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Gregg Popovich on the Pau Gasol deal

We had a fun exchange with Gregg Popovich tonight at Staples ahead of San Antonio's tussle with the Clippers (yes, we do attend LAC games from time to time), when the subject of the Pau Gasol trade came up. "You mean the one where I fainted?" he asked with a smile.

Pop, no surprise, still sees that deal as a watershed. "Pau Gasol changed the landscape of basketball in the NBA, as far as the west is concerned, and championship caliber basketball. He's a great player, perhaps the most versatile big man in the league right now, and it makes them really, really good."

Andy then asked him if the development of Pau's lil' bro in Memphis makes the deal perhaps a little less lopsided. Marc has, after all, become a very good NBA player down in Memphis, and is still very early in his career. Maybe, just maybe, it was a more equitable swap than he originally thought?

"Please," he said with a sarcastic eye roll. "Please." 

From his perspective, it doesn't really matter how good Marc becomes, since he's concerned about winning titles, not the rebuilding effort in Memphis. Thus anything that creates a dominant team in LA will seem disproportional. But it does drive home how Pau's presence turned an already quality Lakers team into something truly feared around the league. It's hard to think of another deal that, as Popovich says, "changed the landscape... in the NBA." Not just because of what it did for the Lakers, but how it affected the way other teams operated around them, their moves, and so on.

BK


 
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PAU>>>>>> bonehead kobe

You know what?....I respect the guy as a coach and then it stops.......

Im sick of him...Really sick of him.....Ok lets start here...

1..Duncan with the first pick...Fair enough....

2...Michael Finley..For nothing thanks to the NBA....

3..Jefferson...For a bag of chips.....

Plus Fisher and the .4 shot...

The guy hates us....GOOD........Just like every foul is not a foul to him...

Makes me really mad..

Random notes:

1. Gasol is the best at post position.
2. Kobe and Artest should take their game outside because of 1.
3. Drew is best being the black hole. Catch and shoot. No center better.
4. PJackson should stop teaching the guys a lesson to the point of losing.
5. Artest is not only great at defense, he's fantastic at blocking out.
6. Farmar should stop saying the right things and just ask to be traded.
7. Sasha should stop looking for a fight. Even Portland's miniscule trainer can take him.
8. Rambis' zone defense and Tex's triangle is a thing of beauty.
9. Hey, JVanGundy, the defense wants the player to go baseline even if it is his strong side. Whiny Runt.
10. When will other teams learn that when DFish goes hard inside to just let him shoot? He'll miss.
11. Can you imagine years of Hot Rod at the mike? Poor Utah.
12. Powell (and Luke) should play more. Their DNP is ruining the other teams bpg stat.
13. I miss the losing period news. Now the news is the LO gets married.

Pop sure has selective memory. Shaq for LO? KG for somebody? Both resulting in championships.

BK, of course you watched the game. That's what Clipper fans do.

Lightning could strike twice in Lakerville this month.

Can we swap an injured Portland player, Rudy Fernandez with the expiring contract of non-playing shooter, Adam Morrison? It is a win-win for both teams, Portland gets back 5.25 M at the end of the year and could use Ammo immediately. Lakers will reduce the luxury taxes tis year and gets a good shooter by February or March (due to back surgery of RF), he and Pau have teamwork. Will the Blazers agree with this deal?

Thirty2 - "Michael Finley for nothing... Jefferson for a bag of chips" Excellent stuff! I respect Pop as a coach but he should give the Pau trade a rest. San Antonio has the same ability to pull the trigger on deals. They're probably the best in the league at holding options on international players. And, Dejuan Blair was a definite steal, the guy was initially projected as a lotto pick before sinking to 37 because of talk about his knees. I thought it was crazy that we didn't grab him first.

Edwin....I would do it...Pritchard would be a hard man to convince.

p ang

Agree with number 6.

Pop's perspective is pretty Spurs-centric. Can't fault him for that.

But let's not forget, we were #1 when we got Pau, with wins against big teams.

Pop is a great coach.

He has won 4 championships.

He calls it like it is. That is what I like about him.

He is right. Pau turns the Lakers into a monster team. The Lakers have not lost more than 2 in a row when Pau is playing for them. That is very difficult to beat.

yeah, and drafting tim duncan changed the landscape of the whole nba. whoop de crap.

i always save a lot of time reading this blog after losses. I just skip the posts that begin with 'player x is the real reason we lost, because of y.'

we have exactly the same roster when we lose as when we blow out 10 teams by double digits. the players are pretty much going to play within a set range from game to game. sasha isn't going to turn into kobe, kobe isn't going to turn into sasha. the only thing that really changes? injuries and trades. ie, changing personnel. if we lose a key player, it hurts us, if we gain a key player, it helps. over the long run, that's pretty much it.

why did we lose to the jazz? why did we beat the jazz a couple of days ago? my guess is sunspots.

#4

The Lakers were not number one when they got Gasol I believe. I think before the Suns traded for Shaq, which was after the Gasol trade, they were the number one seed in the West. Granted, the Lakers did beat the Suns twice that year already, but Bynum was healthy. Once Bynum got hurt, the Lakers reverted to form of the previous years, meaning mediocre number 6 seed in the West.

Pau Gasol lifted the Lakers from a middle of the pack team to elite. Hopefully, he can stay with the Lakers for the rest of his career, win a few more titles, and have his jersey retired.

I was previously harsh on Gasol and called him soft, Gasoft, weak, etc. But I did not truly realize how good this guy is. He can pass, shoot, finish, and from watching him for almost 2 years now, he can defend a little too. Yes, Perkins and Garnett took him out of his game in the Finals, but Odom and Turiaf were not giving him much help.

and thanks for jinxing it james katt.

phred,

"why did we lose to the jazz? why did we beat the jazz a couple of days ago? my guess is sunspots."

It's always sunspots, phred. It's always sunspots.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

While Pop (a coach I respect for his body of work, and like for his personality) has certainly made some comments about the deal in the past, the basic context of the conversation wasn't simply about fair/unfair (he's going to have a perspective that is centered around his team), but more about how it changed the landscape of the W.C. As Andy has pointed out, the Gasol deal had a ripple effect on the rest of the conference. Dallas and Phoenix making big, controversial deals in response, and so on.

The Lakers were a very good team pre-Pau, but reached another level with his arrival. We (and by we I mean me, Pop, AK, and a couple other veteran writers) spent a minute or two trying to find equivalent deals. It wasn't easy. Some in this thread suggest the Shaq-to-Miami deal, or KG to Boston. I'm not sure either applies. Maybe Shaq, but Boston rebuilt their entire team that summer. Gasol arrived in season, wasn't part of a major overhaul, and instantly changed things. The way the NBA world works now, teams that can afford it or are willing to take on a salary can pull in good players (SA did it with Jefferson this summer). There is certainly nothing unfair about what the Lakers did. Not in the slightest. I just think its an interesting deal in terms of how it really altered the power structure in the W.C.- with it, the rest of the conference was put into chase mode as the Lakers vaulted to the top of the heap, and they're still chasing.

BK

When Pop gets in a tizzy over the Lakers "heist" of Pau Gasol, he should be reminded that the Celtics pulled off a previous heist when they were given Kevin Garnett and no one gave it a second thought, except to coronate the Celtics champs right after the deal went down. The Wolves were GMed by Kevin McHale and the Celtics by Danny Ainge, both former Celtics teammates. So anyone detect a conspiracy here? The Grizz were looking to unload contracts for an impending sale, Gasol was disenchanted with the team and exclaimed that position on sportstalk, and the Grizz were seeking to unload Gasol for an expiring contract. IF Jerry West was the one doing the deal, I could subscribe to the way out theory that he wanted to strengthen the Lakers, though JW has too much integrity to do something like that at the expense of his own team. However, Chris Wallace was the GM of the Grizzlies who had no stake in giving the Lakers an advantage.

Dave m......

when Finley chose the Spurs,he still had game and helped win a title...

The Jefferson trade was just like the Gasol trade except Gasol fits our system much better...Jefferson came from a fast break system..It goes to show how good Kidd really was...The Spurs play a totally different game...The team is built around Duncan and Parker first..Then Ginobli....Then the rest...Kobe is number 1 and Pau is a second option...Although he needs more of the ball...

The Spurs got the wrong player for their system...Jefferson in New York or on the Suns team would be ten times better than he is on the Spurs...I think he looks lost at times...Is he an Allstar?.No...But in this case the Spurs got it wrong and that bitter Gasol taste still remains...GOOD...

32 - exactly

OK BK but he has gone on and on and my friend the spurs fan does too.Given the 'Duncan tank'Pop's rants have been totally irritating.Completely and utterly.

I get what you are saying but its a game....a good trade, a good draft pick.Its all part of the game...Pop and these other ninkinpoops should just suck it up.

If the lakers were on the ball enough to dupe Memphis into a bad deal then more power to them...and if you look at Pau Gasol when the trade happened he had made one all star team and had been hurt,fallen out with his team... a lot of guys go for less than they are worth in that instance.Was he one of the top thirty players right then? probably not

Why did someone else not give them a better deal if Pau was that valuable?...and his brother from word go was clearly a good player.I'm sick of people going on about this trade.If we want to talk about how it could be rigged by David Stern then go for it.If not then suck it up and be quiet,give the lakers front office a medal for a job well done or something but these sour grapes are pathetic and particularly unbecoming from a champion like Pop who has seen more than his fair share of fortune in his time... from the lockout to the suspensions to winning on the leagues 'down years'...sorry someone built a genuine powerhouse mate now go coach your fifty percent team.

'Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.'

Last words of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.

David Robinson was injured and so Pop deliberately tanked the 96-97 season (20-62) so he could get Tim Duncan in the first round.

BK

When you say "very good team pre-Pau", does that include healthy Andrew Bynum? If yes, then I agree. If no, meaning the team the Lakers played with following Bynum's injury, then no, that was not a very good team.

Pau Gasol talking about getting more touches. LO talking about ball movement.
Hint, hint.
I think both were referring to Kobe taking 24 shots including 9 3 pt attempts in the SLC game despite a broken finger and IV fluids during half-time. Pau and LO were just beating around the bush because they can't say it directly. They must have learned from PJ.

#4

The Lakers were not number one when they got Gasol I believe. I think before the Suns traded for Shaq, which was after the Gasol trade, they were the number one seed in the West. Granted, the Lakers did beat the Suns twice that year already, but Bynum was healthy. Once Bynum got hurt, the Lakers reverted to form of the previous years, meaning mediocre number 6 seed in the West.

Pau Gasol lifted the Lakers from a middle of the pack team to elite. Hopefully, he can stay with the Lakers for the rest of his career, win a few more titles, and have his jersey retired.

I was previously harsh on Gasol and called him soft, Gasoft, weak, etc. But I did not truly realize how good this guy is. He can pass, shoot, finish, and from watching him for almost 2 years now, he can defend a little too. Yes, Perkins and Garnett took him out of his game in the Finals, but Odom and Turiaf were not giving him much help.

Posted by: Tom | December 13, 2009 at 10:56 PM

The Lakers were number 1, then Bynum went down. We were still more than a .500 team without Bynum then (I remember we lost only by a couple of points to then powerhouse Detroit and was doing good on the roadtrip) but after a couple of weeks we got Gasol.

KG was traded for a proven Al Jefferson. What had Marc Gasol accomplished when he was traded for Pau??? NOTHING, that's what.

It is a top 5 most lopsided trade in the NBA of all-time and u faker fans know it!

I think Pau Gasol need another team. Gasol is a Franchise player and with this laker team that´s impossible. San Antonio Spurs maybe.

POP with all due respect is an ass!!!How many rings would he have without getting Duncan number 1? 00000000000 thats how many.


I am a huge fan of Mr Gasol but I think we should all stop saying that Gasol changed the face of the Lakers as he was the only heroe. Gasol has always been a very skilled player but since he joined the Lakers he became a much better players and showed the aggresiveness that is needed to become an Superstar. This year he is also improving a lot.

Let's not forget that the Lakers make them superstars and not the other way around. The Lakers are over any individual. Our franchise, being the most popular team in the world, our championships, our Hall of Famers etc...that's what really counts and that's what really help them to earn all the individual praises and awards.

Tom, I recall your complaints about Gasol...good to hear you saying that. I would expect the same from Troy someday althought I think he has something more personal...

If I were the one behind the failing choice of putting my hands on Pau, and let him slip away to a major competitor, I would just keep scratching my own skin till it weren't any left.
Seriously.
Pau is amazing as a player and JUST what Lakers needed to become unstoppable.
It's all about his multiform talent on the court, and his truly impressive bball IQ.
*Pau Groupie For Life*

phred,

"why did we lose to the jazz? why did we beat the jazz a couple of days ago? my guess is sunspots."

I KNEW it was the sunspots! Hot DANG! Now, I have independent confirmation.

--Fearless

p ang,

you wrote:
1. Gasol is the best at post position.
2. Kobe and Artest should take their game outside because of 1.
3. Drew is best being the black hole. Catch and shoot. No center better.
4. PJackson should stop teaching the guys a lesson to the point of losing.

my response.

1. yes.

2. No. Outside shots are harder to make. Lower %'s. Given how many
shots they take, I would prefer them to take higher % shots. Perhaps
we ( you & I ) can find a middle ground where we agree that Gasol gets
more post shots.

3. Hell No! Bynum needs to focus more on defense, rebounding and passing.
He has a history of rushing his shots because he's looking for "glory" vs.
doing the dirty little things that make for championship basketball.
Example: I seem to recall a runt named Chuck Hayes out rebounding Bynum
in our loss to Houston.

4. It seems like guys don't learn the lesson unless they lose. He alluded to
this during the 07-08 season. After getting abused by the Celtics, the
next season the Lakers won. Unfortunately, some lessons are only
learned thru pain and suffering. Sad, but true.

BK,

More than anything, I think Pop and others are marveling at how the trade was specifically for Pau. As in, maybe the only big guy of his caliber who would; a) fit into the triangle offense immediately, b) have instant chemistry with and get respect from a disillusioned Kobe, c) hedge the Bynum bet (you know Buss is always gambling), d) fit in financially, and e) completely rehabilitate the image of the Lakers' brain trust (which was just finished receiving a league-wide -- including here -- beating).

Even getting KG, I don't think, would have worked out this well. It isn't just that Pau Gasol is great. It is that he *fits*.

Now, everyone thinks that Mitch is a genius and that his years working with The Logo really did rub off on him.

--Fearless

A LOST THAT DID NOT COST
Lakers lose I say who cares, in this season they will lose their share.
Just let them learn from every loss, And the loss will be worth the cost
You can blame this and you can blame that, We lost the game and that’s a fact
Did you think after whipping their @zz, Revenge wouldn’t be on the minds of the Jazz
A few days ago we were the invincible Lions, Now whats all this whimpering & crying
It’s this whining that has bought the trolls Back, They wait till you’re down and then attack
We are still tied for the Best record today, so don’t get happy the rest of you NBA.
Edwin Gueco is right we do boast a lot, The season is still early and a lot of games we still got.
As the past few games easily show, one slip one crack and the season can easily go.
It does not matter the skill we possess, If half the team is suffering from some sick or illness
Also a more boisterous crowd would be good, I know that’s not cool in hollywood
All in all I think we are doing well, no changes needed in Lakers personel
This team exactly as it’s composed today, can compete for years in the NBA.
As for "Pops" opinions of how we got here, Frankly my dear I don't care
So sit back and enjoy the ride to, We’re the World champion Lakers NBA who are you

POP with all due respect is an ass!!!How many rings would he have without getting Duncan number 1? 00000000000 thats how many.Posted by: RIZZO | December 14, 2009 at 03:58 AM

NOW THAT'S WAHT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!
MAMBA24

Let's not forget that the Lakers make them superstars and not the other way around. The Lakers are over any individual. Our franchise, being the most popular team in the world, our championships, our Hall of Famers etc...that's what really counts and that's what really help them to earn all the individual praises and awards. Posted by: Ganapia | December 14, 2009 at 04:29 AM
...OUT FREAKIN STANDING GANAPIA!!!

Random notes: Posted by: p ang | December 13, 2009 at 07:50 PM
Good & Entertaining post p ang. It makes you go hmmmmmmm.


re: the Tall lineup that many have been lusting over.

from Kevin Ding's article at OC register:

Jackson, who wants his players to stretch their comfort zones to learn on their own, hadn't even prepared by playing the Bynum, Gasol and Odom together in practice. What he did try to do is give them a fair chance of defending themselves on the perimeter and in transition — Jackson's greatest concerns with going so big — by pitting them vs. a seemingly impotent Utah unit while Deron Williams rested.

Utah had rookie point guard Eric Maynor out there with three unimposing threats of guard Wesley Matthews and forwards C.J. Miles and Paul Millsap to go with undersized center Carlos Boozer. In theory, the Lakers' size up front, with Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar defending the perimeter, could have come up big.

In reality, the failures of the Bynum-Gasol-Odom alignment in the first 51/2 minutes of the second quarter were the beginning of the end of the Lakers' 11-game winning streak.

The score went from a 25-25 tie to a 44-37 Utah lead before Odom headed to the bench — not exactly the tallest and most talented of his teammates stepping up and winning one for sick, tired and broken-fingered Bryant.

Ron Artest came in for Brown midway through that stretch to make the Lakers even bigger, but Artest's defensive prowess didn't fix anything. In 10 trips down court against Bynum-Gasol-Odom, Utah scored nine times. Twice the Jazz got offensive rebounds and cashed in the possession that way. The only empty trip was Matthews missing a wide-open 3-pointer from the corner after the Lakers all got their feet stuck in the paint.


***************

Perhaps we can end the lust/speculation on this? I hope PJ gives up on this.
As I have said before, Lamar is too old and too slow to play defense against
the quicker 1/2/3's in the league. He's perfect as the 2nd string PF.

Go Kobe!
Go Lakers!!

Fair or unfair? Who cares? It's irrelevant. The deal was legal, served the interests of both parties, and theoretically could have been made by any other team in the league if it had the ingenuity and boldness that Mitch and Dr. Buss had. What Pop is really saying is that the trade for Pau was so stunningly brilliant that it demonstrated to everyone else just how dumb they are for not having the smarts to pull it off themselves.

It's just another reason why the Lakers are a dynasty and everyone else are like the envious, fugly stepsisters.

Fearless,

you wrote: Even getting KG, I don't think, would have worked out this well. It isn't just that Pau Gasol is great. It is that he *fits*.

my response: With respect, If we had KG two years ago, instead of Pau, we
would have won. KG is the best defensive PF in the game. One can even
argue that with KG, on the team, Bynum would focus more on defense
instead of offense.

Phred,

Well, sunspots and a sick Kobe with his shooting hand index finger in a splint. But I don't underestimate the sunspots.


Kobe on defense looked like Vlad Rad in cement shoes. He just wasn't himself.


And while everyone is being quite calm about it, and Kobe may prove me wrong, having your best player have a splint on the index finger of his shooting hand is unlikely to be good news. This is not his pinky finger, it's a touch finger.


Lamar is right about needing more passing. I think Kobe shot a bit too much trying to see how his touch was with the splint and to prove he was still a threat. And Artest tried to be aggressive to make up for Kobe being sick and injured. Pretty successfully. But the result was less ball movement and this team, when it moves the ball, is impossible to stop.


Just a loss. Expect about 14 of them this year. Part of the ebb and flow of an 82 game season. Utah is pretty good at home, they beat both teams that were in the Finals last year. Coaches like Sloan and PJ that run real offenses are pretty consistently tough. They will lose 2 in a row at some point too. Its a long season.


I hope Kobe can be effective over the next two months. Injuries are part of the game, but not a good part. I expect the Lakers will have to make some adjustments for this. Hopefully more touches for Drew and Pau and a more aggressive Lamar.

Tom D.

Hilarious.

Popovich just said Gasol is more versatile than Duncan.

I wonder how Duncan feels about that.

I'm with you, LakerinBC. I really admire Kobe's toughness, and I'm sure that he will adjust to the broken finger and play well until it heals. But on such a night, with no energy from sickness, why can't he give other guys more touches? We have so many offensive weapons... get Pau the ball and let him operate. It's just one of those things that still frustrates me about Kobe. He is playing MVP level this year - one night of passing a bit more would not kill him.

Tom-

I was referencing their literal place in the standings, which was high (reinforcing the point that w/ a healthy Bynum- he wasn't at that point, you're right- the Lakers had performed really well and had gone back to a top-of-the-conference team, at least based on record) but you're correct that once Drew went down, that equation would have changed dramatically.

Fearless-

Very well put, and got to the heart of things more than I did in my last comment. It really was a watershed deal in terms of how it changed the balance of power in the W.C., how it transformed the Lakers, etc. And I think most coaches, who understood how Gasol played and his vast skills (even while including questions of his toughness, which Gasol would eventually rise and answer) could see what he'd do in LA's system, w/ Kobe as a #1. It's a really interesting moment in recent bball history.

BK

Kiwi said: if you look at Pau Gasol when the trade happened he had made one all star team and had been hurt,fallen out with his team... a lot of guys go for less than they are worth in that instance.Was he one of the top thirty players right then? probably not


I say: Exactly.

At that point, we did not have any idea if Gasol was just one of those guys who had inflated numbers because he was a good player on a bad team.

Yes, you could see he had good fundamentals, but then so do guys like Manu Ginobli, and no one would expect a mid-season trade for him to change the league.


Also, remember, Gasol is not necessarily a strong defender.

While Gasol is great for the Lakers, he is not a great player. He is still just a good player with great passing ability, and he just happens to be the exact right fit for the Lakers triangle offense. He is the grease that makes their offense run.

p ang,

YOU WROTE: " Drew is best being the black hole. Catch and shoot. No center better."

How many centers playing today are good period?

Just think of a single season when all of these centers were playing against each other:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon
Patrick Ewing
Robert Parish
Bill Walton
Moses Malone
David "The Admiral" Robinson
Alonzlo Morning


Just think of a single season when all of these centers were playing against each other:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon
Patrick Ewing
Robert Parish
Bill Walton
Moses Malone
David "The Admiral" Robinson
Alonzlo Morning
Posted by: lakerfan | December 14, 2009 at 08:36 AM

You forgot one. Luc Longley - Bulls

Laker fan-

I hope Kobe is fully healed for our game next month. I would hate for someone like Perk or KG to slap down on the ball and accidently hit Kobe on his finger and cause him to miss extended time.

BTW the main reason you lost to Utah was because it was on the road. I know you probably forgot that teams actually have to go on the road and play since you only seem to play at home. When you dont play well on the road youre probably gonna lose. You can get away with being outplayed at home (Miami)but not on the road.

If Kobe is the greatest and smartest player on the planet ... why cant he figure out that if he is sick and playing with a messed up finger then maybe he should pass instead of shooting?

MAMBA24:

I forgot to add: Bill Wennington

131-92

You wrote: "If Kobe is the greatest and smartest player on the planet ."

I agree Kobe is the greatest but does not strike me as being the smartest. Kobe has the strongest will and desire to be the greatest but sorely lacks in "smartest" department. Magic and Bird were smart. Just not in Kobe's DNA.

Spurs, who? We've got bigger fish to fry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85LYL05I8_s

Chris Vasquez....

Hey...it wasn't a one for one trade, you can't be that out of touch, or tunnel minded?, can you?

MAMBA24: I forgot to add: Bill Wennington Posted by: lakerfan | December 14, 2009 at 08:52 AM


ROFLMFAO!!!!!

Lakerfan I forgot Will Perdue! Oh the Humanity!!

'Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.'

Last words of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.

Posted by: phred | December 14, 2009 at 12:02 AM


I thought it was "Ouch."


Wes

LakerFan I haven't completely lost my mind. I just mention these centers because The Lakers play the Bulls tomorrow.

@Pastorius: I disagree with your comments about Pau being a poor defender. Defense is so much more than just blocking shots (I'm assuming that's one of the aspects of his defense to which you were referring). Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Pau is not the best defender in the league or anything. However, he does play excellent position defense. He's smart enough to try to force opposing players into low percentage shots. He uses his length to make the guy he's guarding shoot over the top. (That's hard to do over a 7-footer.) He has good defensive balance most of the time. He achieves proper spacing on pick-and-roll defense and recovers to his man. He sees the floor well on offense and makes the correct read -- a critical skill in the triangle offense.

Pau has amazing hands for a big man. (Actually, that's a hallmark of all of the Laker big men.) He can shoot well with both hands. His face up game from 15 ft and in is very respectable. He isn't an injury risk because he's not a "high flyer;" most of his baskets are scored on quick jump-hooks or tip-ins. Great free throw shooter. Lots to like about Pau.

I see Pop's comments as the ultimate compliment to the Lakers front office and to Pau. Pop is a great coach. He recognizes how skilled Pau is and how much better Pau makes the Lakers. I think he's just giving credit where it's due. Mark Gasol is a good player, but he will never be the caliber of player that Pau is. I have to agree with Pop on that one.

Phred:

This is what I tell my friends when we are out fly fishing during summer:

'Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.'

Interesting post. I've heard other commentators make the same point: the Gasol trade set off all kinds of moves in the West. A lot of teams felt like they had to make moves to keep up. It seems like a lot of the responses missed this point. Pop wasn't complaining, (though he clearly was not happy at the time of the trade) he was stating a fact.

hobbitmage,

2. There will (should!) be a middle ground.
3. All true but he doesn't want to do those things. Scoring is his thing. Wrong but what can you do?
4. PJackson is a hell of a coach, he should find another way.

lakerfan, all so true. When the 2nd best center is one who won't even play defense there's a lack of quality centers.

mamba24, hmmmmmm. Don't forget Travis Knight.

SOFT HANDS IN A BIG MAN is an asset and lack of this asset has been a demise of many aspiring centers.

@Pastorius:

Did you watch the finals last year? It was Pau's defense against the beast from the east Dwight that was crucial to the final outcome.

mamba24, hmmmmmm. Don't forget Travis Knight.
Posted by: p ang | December 14, 2009 at 09:41 AM

Heyyyyyyyy! Laker for life buddy! Lol!

It's not sun spots.We lost to the Jazz because of MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING, we might as well blame it on that, were blaming everything else on it.

"He is right. Pau turns the Lakers into a monster team. The Lakers have not lost more than 2 in a row when Pau is playing for them. That is very difficult to beat."

Not losing more than two in a row doesn't count much when you only win two of six in the Finals.

As for Pizzavitch's absurd claim. I can think of at least three bigger deals without even trying.

Kareem Abdul Jabar gets traded to the Lakers
Robert Parish and Kevin McHale get traded to the Celtics
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen get traded to the Celtics
Shaq gets traded to the Heat.

And many, many more.... The lack of historical perspective in this league is pathetic.

The gasol trade was:

pau
2nd round pick

for

kwame (expiring)
mckie (filler to make salary work...expiring)
jcritt
1st round pick (Darrell Arthur)
Marc gasol
2010 1st rounder

Memphis used the cap space created by kwame to get zbo (it was zbo for darko...salaries didn't have to match because of gasol trade...darko was originally signed using money from Eddie jones expiring which was acquired for Jason Williams and James posey, which helped the heat win a title)

jcritt was traded to wash to get draft pick back in failed attempt to bring in navarro since he pau's bff

so in reality, Memphis traded pau for Marc and zbo and 2 sketchy 1st rounders. Seems fair to me.

Why was Pop's statement controversial at all? Of course it changed the Western Conference. We saw it happen as teams like Phoenix and Dallas lost their minds and made near immediate trades. He didn't claim something shady had happened. But the development of Marc Gasol does not mean that the Pau trade wasn't lopsided. It's just less lopsided than we thought at the time. That seemed to be his point. Pau is custom made for the triangle. He was exactly what the Lakers needed. Those sorts of acquisitions are exceedingly rare. I don't blame Pop for being upset about it. It reminds me how upset Larry Bird was when we acquired Mychael Thompson.

hobbitmage,

I didn't say that we wouldn't have won with KG. Only that we may not be running at over 80% wins with him as we are with Pau. Also, there is the question of KG being the #2 person on the team. KG is still top dog in Boston. Pau seemlessly went from #1 to #2. He didn't miss a beat.

Now, with Drew, there is a possibility that KG would have rubbed off on Bynum differently that Pau has or has not. Better? I don't know, but definitely different. But, then, Drew's impact on the team in the last 24 months has been almost negligible due to injury.

BK,

I got your drift right away. I think what made it even more pronounced was that it happened mid-season. So the before and after was separated by like 3 days instead of 3 months.

Plus, people have seen around the league that mid-season trades typically don't even play very much under PJ because of the learning curve of the triangle offense.

Pau started right away and had like a double-double his first game or something similarly ridiculous.

--Fearless

im a raptors fan and u know wat? i can not agree more
right now, pau gasol is the third best pf in the nba...(behind dirk and bosh)
and thinking back,
dallas traded for kidd 2 try and keep up with the lakers and
the suns traded for the diesel for the same reason (and 2 guard duncan)

hes so right.. the acquistion of gasol led 2 kobe staying in la, la winning a title, shaq on the suns (and the cavs), kidd on dallas, harris 2 the nets, ect.

Tom said: "before the Suns traded for Shaq, which was after the Gasol trade, they were the number one seed in the West. Granted, the Lakers did beat the Suns twice that year already, but Bynum was healthy. Once Bynum got hurt, the Lakers reverted to form of the previous years, meaning mediocre number 6 seed in the West"

Not true, as Gail pointed out. We had only lost a couple road games after Bynum's injury and were nowhere near being in danger of falling to a "mediocre number 6" in the west. We were #1 in the west until Bynum went down.

Then Tom says: "Pau Gasol lifted the Lakers from a middle of the pack team to elite. I was previously harsh on Gasol and called him soft, Gasoft, weak, etc. But I did not truly realize how good this guy is. "

It's sad and just plain false to see so many people claim that "Gasol lifted to Lakers to elite status" when they were pretty much already there. He just pushed them over into untouchable status. By the same token, it's sad to see people claim "Gasol finally found his game" or "Gasol really improved now that he's playing with Kobe". He was always a great player. Watch the tapes, check the stats, do what you gotta do, but I guarantee if you review the evidence you'll find that Pau has always been an all-star caliber player, its just that he was surrounded with scrubs in Memphis.

How many trades has SA had where they pick up someone useful for a couple of players, only to have the other team promptly waive the players the Spurs traded, so thy can go back to SA? Usually, it's some team where the GM once worked for Popovich, too. Yeah, those deals are on the up-and-up.

People forget that Pop became coach the same time Spurs got Duncan. They have one bad season after having a ton of great season thanks to David Robinson and luck up and add Duncan to an already 50 win team. Pop is Jealous that luck did not go his way again.

@longliveshaq: Let me guess. You are the real Shaquille Oneal using an alias to beg for his old job back. Cuz if you're not, you're the ONLY person left in lakerdom with his nose glued so tight to Shaq's behind that he still thinks that fat bag of underachievement could contribute ANYTHING to this team. Let me make this clear: NOT EVEN OFF THE BENCH FOR THE VETS' MINIMUM. Seriously. And while we're on the subject, how come no one ever mentions Shaq with guys like AI, Stephen Jackson, Dennis Rodman etc. His real nickname should be "the big locker room poison", or "the big drama queen". I guarantee as soon as the Cavs have their next bump in the road Shaq is going to be the first one to start pointing fingers and causing friction. Can't wait til he retires so we can stop talking about him.

Most people don't realize the circumstances in Memphis at the time....

Pau and Shane Battier were drafted the same year....the Griz sucked....

Then Jerry West was brought in to rebuild the team...he did.....

The Griz went to 3 straight playoff appearances and were 0-12 in the playoffs

progress was made since the team went from terrible to a 45 win team and playoff team in a tough western conference

but everybody saw the team wasn't going to get over the hump......we had no center next to pau....and shane and mike miller are good regular season players, but not primetime playoff performers.....

and pau on the other hand was finding great success overseas with Spain in the offseason....he was ready for a championship shot in the nba....

he wanted out of memphis if memphis couldn't get him that....

jerry west made one last ditch effort in bringing in Mike Conley, Darko Milicic, Rudy Gay (for Shane) and hiring Iavaroni before riding off into the sunset...

that experiment didn't work

and Pau wanted out

and the fans in Memphis had had enough of Pau......he was scoring well in the first 3 quarters, then disappearing in the 4th and we would lose......he was weak and passive......memphis didn't connect with him.....

it all started going downhill when he double clutched a free throw in the playoffs and missed badly......that was the first time he was booed....it happened many times in the next season(s).....

and when chris wallace came in, he saw it wasn't working and the only way he could get memphis up the standings in the future (rebuilding) was to get what he could for Pau (which meant cap space, picks and prospects).....

and when Pau started nursing (nonexistent) minor injuries, chris wallace had had enough......he got the green light to trade him

and when pau got to LA, guess what, all those minor back and foot injuries were now healed!!!

pau is a perfect fit in LA....this is true.....

but just because memphis couldn't make it work with him, doesn't mean it was wrong to trade him.....they were going nowhere with him....trading him was the right thing to do and they got a GOOD deal...

--cap space in kwame's expiring contract that turned into ZBo
--prospects in Jcritt and Marc Gasol....Marc has turned into a top 10 center...jcritt was used to get back what we lost in the failed Juan Carlos Navarro trade that was meant to make pau happy
--2 1st round draft picks....one is still to come, but the other turned into Darrell Arthur, who is hurt now, but started last year and looks to be a good backup behind Zbo when he gets healthy....

and not to mention the money Heisley made by renting out the cap space for a year by being a third team in trades....

good deal for both

pushed a top flight team over the top

gave a rebuilding team the room to rebuild

"KG was traded for a proven Al Jefferson. What had Marc Gasol accomplished when he was traded for Pau??? NOTHING, that's what."

Marc won a gold medal at the 2006 championships, beating Greece in the finals with Pau injured sitting on the bench. He was the starting center for the Askavayu team who won the ACB league in 2004, and then chosen as MVP for the 2008 season, weeks before he signed with the Grizzlies. ACB is the professional Spanish league... the world's best league after the NBA.

You better check your facts.

You all have valid points, ecept you didn't read the article. Pop didn't bring up the lakers affair (oops pardon the pun) the writer did. I read a lot of other teams blogs and I have to say this, and it's based on comparison, LA and Dallas have the most candied a$$ fans I've ever seen. "The Spurs are a dirty team; POP tanked the 99 season to get Duncan (any idiot knows they had a fifty fifty chance to get number one pick, oops sorry too logical for this forum) the spurs are cry babies." Grow up and learn the game. You NEVER EVER hear Kobe say the Spurs are dirty or Bowen was dirty. You can say alot of things about Kobe , and people do, but he knows the game and respects the other team and , yes, destoys them most of the time. The Mavwrecks are just lame because they got rid of Nash and because they have winey little wusses that complain because they got their feeling hurt because the coach yelled at them, and then fire Avery Johnson. And if none of this sinks in to your think coconuts try this on for size. More than half the teams in the NBA have some form of connection to the Spurs. So now that I'm no longer welcomed here one last thing left to say: Shut up and quit kissing your brother!

Did everyone forget the Lakers gave up future Hall of Famer Kwame Brown in the Pau deal?

Pop forgets that McHale gave KG away to his old team Boston...and don't tell me that Al "Joke" Jefferson was and is going to be a good player...that's crap...KG was given to Boston...that's the worst trade of all...........

Trades can't be evaluated till perhaps the careers of all involved are played out.....I hate when they say "and a 1st round pick"...when at the time of the statement the pick has already transpired....I say once the draft picks are pickd, label the "and a 1st round pick which was used to get "so and so"....
Everybody was pretty high on J Critt, I wasn't...glad they unloaded him....that would have been sweet to have been able to keep Marc Gasol, and have thrown them M'Benga or Mihm, if he was still around....

Gasol is a perfect fit for the triangle, funny, seems the only thing that gets in his way sometimes is Bynum...but I think it's something they'll learn to live with...

...hey, maybe if we sit tight, come trade deadline, we can packaga up (I'm not looking at salaries now)...Sasha, Morrison, M'Benga (since Phil never uses him anyway to Memphis for Rudy Gay.....now that would pop all of Pop's corks....

...The Garnett trade was more blatantly a "gift.....I'm glad now that it didn't pan out for the Lakers, geez, imagine having to give up Bynum, Odom, and a buncha other stuff to get the "Chalk" Experience....Popobitch probaby wasn't so upset about that one because it got Kevin G out of the West.......

KG was traded for a proven Al Jefferson. What had Marc Gasol accomplished when he was traded for Pau??? NOTHING, that's what.

It is a top 5 most lopsided trade in the NBA of all-time and u faker fans know it!

Posted by: Chris Vasquez | December 14, 2009 at 01:32 AM

====================
Hey Troll,

Marc Gasol had plenty of potential and showed it to be true. I know you will argue potential means nothing but you would be wrong. Proof you want?

Lakers traded a proven center the name of Vlade Divac for an unproven rookie just drafted by the name of Kobe Bryant who had a lot of potential. How did that work out for potential?

Why doesn't anyone have have the guts to say something about the 'under the table' deal that Danny Ainge and McKale pulled off. They not only stacked the C's to a sure championship in '08, they ruined another franchise in the process. Wonder why Popovich and others fail to mention how too old Celtics got together for the betterment of their true love, the Celtic's. Anyone could have had Pau Gasol, but no one was going to get KG but Boston. Life long cheats.

1. I like Pop. He's very sarcastic. I remember this one time, a reporter asked him a question where she got confused and also implied the answer. Pop just answered "Well, you just answered your own questions" and then silence....it was funny.
2. Bynum: needs to dunk the ball with one hand. he looks like a kid trying to reach for candies. He needs to start getting strenght and go up like Howard or Shaq and take all the opposing 5 players with him. He doesn't convince me.
3. Kobe is diminshing his athletism. he depends on that. Pierce doesn't need that and he can play at the same level. Kobe is in the process of adjusting to not jump really high. YOu can sometimes tell that other players can guard him now.
4. Gasol needs to get stronger even more. Believe it or not, Perkins from the C's can push him out. I've seen that. I play Bball and you can tell when you cannot get under the rim by bulkier defenders.
5. Artest means defense, nothing else. I've seen him get blocked 3 times in a row like nothing. But I like his toughness. Lakers need to start being nasty and in-your face kind of team.
6. Did I tell you that I am a laker fan?.....Otherwise, we won't beat the Celtic's.

I think before the Suns traded for Shaq, which was after the Gasol trade, they were the number one seed in the West. Granted, the Lakers did beat the Suns twice that year already, but Bynum was healthy.

Coaches and players are notorious for answering the most inane questions from sports reporters when they're winning. But a loss? That's a different matter.
When the same stupid, insipid questions is posed after a loss, then, pardon the pun, it becomes a different ball game.
This coach, before he does another thing, is examine his behavior. Would he want to be treated the way he treated some of these dreg reporters? I think not.
In the end, it doesn't matter---at least for this year for the Spurs. They soon begin summer vacation and can watch the rest of the games without breaking a sweat.

I hope this deal is worth it. Just want to have a decent outcome regarding this one,.


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