Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 1/5/13

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was benched in the fourth quarter of Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth time since Mike D'Antoni was hired. Gasol was asked if he would request a trade following the Lakers' 107-102 loss to the Clippers. "No, oh, that's radical," said Gasol to ESPN.  "I still believe. I still have faith in what we have. I still have faith that I can be a big part in helping this team succeed. Right now, I'm not being able to do that very often." Gasol finished the game with just two points along with four rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes.  He sat the entire fourth quarter until Dwight Howard fouled out with 1:07 remaining. "He just didn't have a good game," D'Antoni said responding to a question as to why Gasol was benched. The former four-time All-Star said he needs to become more assertive. "I have to have more initiative because I can't wait for other people to make decisions for me, so I have to make them myself," Gasol said. "That's a little uncharacteristic of me, but right now I feel like I have no other choice if I want to be more effective." Kobe Bryant said he plans to speak with D'Antoni in practice about Gasol's role. "Pau is just going to continue to be patient," Bryant said. "He's obviously frustrated and has every right to be. I'm frustrated for him. But, I mean, that's something that we have to solve because we're not going to get where we have to go with him not playing at maximum potential and using his maximum potential." "We need to go through him a lot, lot more. A lot, lot more," said Bryant. "He needs more touches on the elbow, more touches on the post. He's not a scorer type of a person, he'll be the first to admit that, but he can make plays for others down there. He can control the game from down there, and we got to find a way to get him more activated."

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