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Gasol calls media interpretation of his Garnett comments 'pretty pathetic'

June 5, 2010 |  3:34 pm
Lakers center Pau Gasol said Saturday that the media's interpretation of his comments made Friday about Celtics forward Kevin Garnett were "pretty pathetic," and said he "absolutely" did not intend them to be interpreted that way. 

In his initial comments, Gasol described going up against Garnett when they both were younger players, calling Garnett a "great, great player." Gasol later said that as time had gone on, he himself had lost explosiveness and that "also on Kevin's part he's also lost some explosiveness." 

Gasol added that Garnett was "still a terrific player, a terrific competitor," but some media reports were selective in how they relayed that information to Garnett, as if to start mud-slinging, which Garnett did not take part in. 

On Saturday, Gasol said he didn't intend the comment to be negative toward Garnett. 

"The way it was played and put down, it was pretty pathetic," Gasol said. "But I'll make no more comments on that because it's not worth it."

Gasol also added that he was surprised that the comments were interpreted as being derogatory toward Garnett. 

"I understand media try to create situations for whatever reasons, create attention," Gasol said. "But again, sometimes I extend my answers too long. Maybe I shouldn't do that. I should be shorter with my answers and don't give away just anything so it can't be manipulated that way and used."

Celtics center Kendrick Perkins spoke generally and said that the back-and-forth comments that have been relayed through the media -- such as the so-called mind games being played by Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and Garnett -- "livens it up."

"I say speak your mind," Perkins said. "You never know who you might make mad."

Garnett, for his part, was asked whether reports that he's not the same player were considered insults. 

"Insult? No. 'Insult' is a strong word," Garnett said. "I feel like a lot of times what I'm hearing is just personal observation. I don't think it is going at my character or judging my character." 

Has Garnett lost a step? 

"Well, that's what Gasol said, that he can't do what he used to do," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't think Kobe [Bryant] believes that. I don't think Kevin believes that. He's not injured, I can tell you that. He just didn't play a good game. He's as healthy as he's been all year. And I think he plans on trying to prove that to a lot of people tomorrow.

Is Garnett in good enough shape to do so? 

"He's in great shape as far as -- listen, he's not who he was two years ago," Rivers said. "I'm not either. Neither is Ray [Allen], Paul [Pierce], [Rajon] Rondo, none of us are. But in a lot of ways through this playoff stretch he's been as good. His numbers are good. We've just got to keep him moving. We do have to do a better job of getting him the ball."

-- Baxter Holmes