Like you needed me to tell you this. But it looks like things between Pau Gasol and Lakers’ head coach, Mike D’Antoni could be close to reaching it’s boiling point. With the NBA’s trade deadline roughly two weeks away, Pau Gasol spoke out on his inevitable return to the Lakers’ bench once Dwight Howard clears from his current shoulder injury.
“It’s hard to know personalities if you don’t get in touch with them,” said Gasol. “It was an effort on our part to try and come to an understanding,” Gasol said. “But I don’t think it’s translated to an understanding. Nothing significant has happened; it’s probably even gone a little backwards.”
Gasol’s role within the Lakers’ system has been unclear at best since Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family looked over Phil Jackson and decided to bring in head coach Mike D’Antoni. The perennial star from Spain has looked under-utilized fro much of D’Antoni’s tenure with Los Angeles and this drama is shaping up to one for the ages if something doesn’t change soon.
Gasol has seen increased action as of late, due to Howard’s torn labrum issue, but when Jim Buss recently spoke out, saying that he and D’Antoni spoke and Mike told him that Gasol was a “happy camper”, Gasol responded as if it was a subject he was completely unaware of.
”Never heard that,” said Gasol.
When asked whether or not he’d welcome staying in LA with D’Antoni and Dwight Howard for the long-term, Gasol responded. “It would be hard for me to deal with another season knowing the facts you just mentioned,” When posed with a question of whether or not he’d ask for a fresh start elsewhere, Gasol said. “It’s a possibility,” Gasol said. “yes.”
The real question here is whether or not Pau Gasol is being used correctly. It seems pretty apparent that he does not believe that his skills are being used in a fashion in which it best suits him or the Lakers. A stand-up guy throughout his career, and not one to really complain much, Pau has really been stuck into a rough situation this season, in Los Angeles, a city he helped mount championship trophies over the course of his stay. A city he embraces every day.
“I’m not a quitter,” he said. “Just because things look better on the other side of the fence, I’m not going to take the easy way out.
“I have a certain level of loyalty here, and I’ve been through a lot of great, amazing things. And there have been others that have been hurtful. But that’s life.
“I don’t have cancer, my mom wasn’t dying and I’m still playing basketball. I love the Lakers and Los Angeles, and none of that has changed just because certain things are out of my control.”
In the day in age where leaving town to find happiness is status quo, a player like Pau is a rare find. For the sake of LA and it’s fans, we hope the Lakers can come to a cordial agreement and figure out a way to save face before it’s too late.
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