When the Lakers got Pau Gasol in a trade for a bag of air in 2008, that was seen as a robbery since Pau Gasol is one of the most talented power forwards in the game. Basketball fans saw the basketball abilities of Pau Gasol as he helped Kobe Bryant reach the Finals when he arrived and eventually winning a title the year after.
Recently, Pau Gasol has not been himself. He is battling knee tendinitis and battling to get minutes. A starter battling for minutes? That seems like the case under coach Mike D’Antoni’s new system. Antawn Jamison is coming in for Pau Gasol and eating up his minutes. Also, Pau seems lost in this new system. He has been complaining that he has not been getting touches and has seen himself away from the basket and shooting jumpers from the elbow.
In an article by ESPN Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant has had enough of Pau Gasol complaining and being soft. The Black Mamba had some not-so-kind words for his teammate in an attempt to toughen him up. He said,
Put your big-boy pants on. Just adjust. Just adjust. You can’t white about it. You can’t complain about it.
Kobe was referring to how Pau should just get into basketball player mode and play your game. In other words, Pau needs to stop thinking and just play. He is too talented to not be in the paint causing damage alongside center Dwight Howard. Kobe would continue on to say,
We’re not going to lose him. That’s just not going to happen. I’ve been around him long enough. I know how to deal with him.
What Kobe is trying to say here is that Pau Gasol is not going to get traded. The media has speculated that Pau is on the trading block due to his skills not meshing with D’Antoni’s system. Even coach D’Antoni said that having to “lose Pau” is not what he wants. To sum this all up, Pau just needs to step up.