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Pau Gasol expresses uncertainty regarding NBA All-Star chances for Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and himself

It's very well possible that the only involvement Lakers forward Pau Gasol will have with NBA All-Star weekend involves helping out with the fan activities titled NBA Jam Session.

That's because there's plenty of uncertainty on whether Gasol, or for that matter, Lakers center Andrew Bynum and Lakers forward Lamar Odom, will play in the NBA All-Star game.

"It's hard to say," Gasol said to The Times Wednesday at Children's Hospital, where he visited and played basketball with some of the patients.

There's plenty of reasons why Gasol is so uncertain. Houston center Yao Ming has the highest number of votes among Western Conference centers, according to the latest returns and something that should hold true when the starters are announced Thursday. Since Yao is out for the season after having surgery on a stress fracture on his left ankle, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select his replacement. That won't necessarily go to Lakers center Bynum, whose second-place votes (660,576 votes) might not be enough to offset his 24-game absence while recovering from a surgically repaired right knee. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson told reporters prior to the team's 120-91 victory Tuesday over the Utah Jazz it's conceivable Dallas center Tyson Chandler could fill that spot, but it's also plausible Gasol and Spurs forward Tim Duncan could shift to center.

The forward position appears just as complicated.

Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant (1,270,729) and Denver forward Carmelo Anthony (945,720) are the leading vote getters among West forwards, but Anthony's votes would carry over should he get traded to an Eastern Conference team. That scenario would enable Gasol, third with 851,456 votes, to slide in as a starter.

It's conceivable Gasol and Odom could get voted in as reserves considering coaches vote for a center, two forwards, two guards and two other players at any position. But Odom's consistency (15.6 points on 57.5% shooting and 9.5 rebounds) might not be enough against a crowded field, including Duncan, the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki and Minnesota's Kevin Love. For reasons including increased attention and increased minutes because of Bynum's absence, Gasol's dip in production from November to December could also hurt his case considering the discrepancy in points (20.3, 16.3), field-goal percentage (54.1%, 49%) and rebounds per game (12.3, 9.5).

"The reserves are going to be picked by the coaches," Gasol said. "You have no control over it. It's just on the coaches' vote."

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
Comments () | Archives (39)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I think it will be a good motivating chip if Odom, Gasol and Bynum are all snubbed by the coaches. Combine that with Jerry West's comments and you can pretty much guarantee the 3-peat. Motivation (or lack thereof) is the only thing that stands in the way of a dynasty.

What's going to be great (and no one has really touched on this) is we are going to see Kobe play in the ASG for the first time in 3 years. Last year he was out due to injury and the previous year he made a token appearance for a minute or two because of some rule that required him to play even though he was injured.

Anyway, I just dropped by to post that ASG thought, plus a little nugget from a couple of years ago when the Lakers were on a long winning streak so I decided to have a little fun with it.
This particular theft is from the movie Airplane

Well, boys ... I haven't a thing to say.
Played a great game...all of you. Great game.
(Phil Jackson tries to smile.)
I guess we just can't expect to lose a game.
(PJ pauses and says quietly.)
I'm going to tell you something I've kept to myself for years --
None of you ever knew Troll Man.
It was long before your time.
But you know what an icon he is at the LA TImes Laker Blog. Well at least in his mindseye.
(There is gentle, faraway look in his eyes as he recalls Troll Man's latest last words.)
And the last thing he said to me -- "Philip," he said -
"sometime, when the team is really tired-- and the
breaks aren't going their way-- tell them to go out there
with all they got and.....
JUST LOSE ONE FOR THE TROLL MAN...

TM

If you had to choose one of the three deserving Lakers to make the All-Star team, who would it be? VOTE HERE:

http://www.pollportal.com/use-poll.php?id=163

Spread around this poll, so we get a good sample size!

Truth be told, though I root for our Lakers to be selected to the All Star Game... in the end I'd rather that they just rest instead of play in that meaningless game.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Picking All-Star teams is always so difficult. I counted at least 20 players in the west that are worthy. Yet there are only 12 roster spots available.

Assuming there are 5 guards selected (Kobe, CP3, DWill, Ginobli, Westbrook) that leaves 7 slots for forwards/centers. I don’t feel good about leaving Tony Parker off but that what makes this so tough.

For the forwards/centers I would go with:
Melo
Durant
Gasol - 2nd best player on 2nd best team
Griffin - a real beast
Aldridge - carrying the depleted Blazers
Dirk - speaks for itself
Odom (homer choice)

I can also see Duncan, David West, Tyson Chandler, Gay, Zebo, KLove all having a solid case.

I just can’t justify Drew being selected after missing 24 games. If the delay in having surgery indeed caused him to miss some games, then he can’t have his cake and eat it too.

Check out this Yahoo Sports interview with Greg Anthony and Adrian Wojnarowski. As you can imagine, I agree with the vast majority of what both of them say. I'm curious to see where you agree or disagree with them. I think it's an excellent discussion about the Lakers, whether Kobe's slowed down, how his lack of practice might effect the team and the importance of HCA:

http://sports.yahoo.com/video/player/nba/Y_Sports_NBA_Coverage/23817708#nba/Y_Sports_NBA_Coverage/23817708

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 26, 2011 at 07:29 PM

-------------------------

I don't think Kobe needs to practice often with the team....just when he feels they need an extra kick start. He needs to save his legs for the playoffs. I believe Bill Russell didn't practice his last 2-3 yrs with the Celtics and they managed to win a couple more chips.

As I stated a few times I'm not worried about SA. I viewed Dallas as a bigger challenge because of their size (before Caron got injured). Thus, the only team I'm really concerned with losing HCA to would be the C's. I would like to have HCA over Boston, but its not imperative

Here's what makes zero sense at all ... Yao Ming played for a week this season, before going down for the season. Yet he is the leading All Star vote getter for West Centers. OK big deal right? We all know this is how it works, but the part that makes even less sense is Stern may very well not give Andrew Bynum (2nd leading vote getter) the nod because he has missed 24 games this season. This makes absolutely no sense if you stop and think about it.

I'd like to see Lamar get an All Star nod. He has been more selfish in a good way this year putting up bigger scoring #'s and getting a lot of rebounds. At times he has been lax on D but overall Lamar has played at an All Star level and for him I think the recognition would be motivating just like playing on team USA was.

Practice Season Police,

I enjoy that you refer to yourself in the third person.

I can only imagine that a conversation between yourself and LeCreep would be hilarious beyond words.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

By the way... I miss Kwaminus, Lord of the Golden Calves...

It's just not been the same since.

Seriously.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

"Here's what makes zero sense at all ... Yao Ming played for a week this season, before going down for the season. Yet he is the leading All Star vote getter for West Centers. OK big deal right? We all know this is how it works, but the part that makes even less sense is Stern may very well not give Andrew Bynum (2nd leading vote getter) the nod because he has missed 24 games this season. This makes absolutely no sense if you stop and think about it.

Posted by: PurpleHeart | January 26, 2011 at 11:12 PM "

If you ask me, it makes no sense that the fans vote at all. Yao is definitely not the first case of the fans voting in a player that was going to be unable to play.

I remember that one year when Grant Hill and Alonzo Mourning got voted in even though they both had missed almost the entire season and had no hope of playing in the game.

I actually think Lamar is more deserving than A. B. or Gasol. Forget the #'s. A. B. has played enough games & Gasol although the most talented of the 3 plus has the best stats, sems to be "underachieving" at times.

Odom has been the Lakers' most dependable player this year from day 1. He deserves the reward.

@ Trollman..actually Bryant did play in 09.He was co-mvp with snaq.. It was in 08 when i think B scott was coaching he made a token appearance.It's safe to say however that when he plays the west has a way better chance of winning(lol)..
Btw it kinda sucks that the ASG is in LA with maybe only on Laker starter,and maybe just two all together.a few years back almost all the pistons were on.Oh well with comments like phil not wanting to coach ASG and stuff like that. It might just be that bitch karma creeping up again...Hopefully more motivation for Pau,Andrew,and Odom(motivation for those 3 definately won't hurt).

BTW how are the heatles and karma coming along....

Because this year it will be in Los Angeles I think it would be nice that some Lakers players could play the game.

I would choose Lamar because probably one of his last chances to be an All-Star.
Pau have already played already 2 or 3!? And Andrew has many years to come.

But by other perspective if they don't play in it, they will have a nice rest and will get motivated because of the snub.

LakerTom,

did you read/see: http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-lakers-fyi-20110127,0,4440438.story

Do you remember our conversations about this last year?

snippet:
Andrew Bynum had more rebounds than shot attempts against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday and had more blocked shots than personal fouls.

snippet:
"We have a lot of scorers on this team, so offensively, if you get a play run for you, you better be successful with it because we've got a lot of guys who are able to score," Bynum said after the 29-point win over the Jazz. "But defensively, I think I can be active and challenge a lot of shots, change a lot of shots."

re: LO, Pau & Bynum on the all-star team.

*My* take [ yours may differ and mine is less worth than lint ] is that
LO is the only one who deserves to be on the all-star team.

All-stars don't complain about minutes when their teammate is hurt. So, there
goes Pau.

All-stars don't miss the first quarter of the season, so there goes Bynum. No,
the injured one [ Yao Ming ] shouldn't be an all-star, but according to the rules
China can and has voted him in.

Kevin Love & Blake Griffin should be all-stars. I think you have to pick Dirk.
I think you have to pick Durant.

That's my .02 cents. Don't go to Starbucks with it.

regardless of how many games bynum has missed, he hasn't consistently played at an all star level in the games he's been in. guys like tyson chandler and nene have technically had better seasons than andrew and are more deserving of the all star team.

LRob,

you wrote: As I stated a few times I'm not worried about SA. I viewed Dallas as a bigger challenge because of their size (before Caron got injured). Thus, the only team I'm really concerned with losing HCA to would be the C's. I would like to have HCA over Boston, but its not imperative

my response: I disagree with you. I think that HCA is as close to necessary
as you can get. Obviously, health comes first. Going beyond that, I think
most basketball types would say that your bench plays better at home.

We *need* to have D-Fish, Blake, Barnes, Odom & Artest shoot well. WE
NEED THIS! LO will play better at home if for nothing more than the
reality TV show that will incorporate the footage. :)

W/ all of the inconsistent shooting that we have had and will have ... And
Pau not playing *inspired* basketball ... Anything that we can do to tip the
scales in our favor should be done.

All-stars don't complain about minutes when their teammate is hurt. So, there
goes Pau.
Posted by: hobbitmage | January 27, 2011 at 05:54 AM
----------------------------

I'm not sure Pau "complained" about his minutes. Here's a link below from when he was asked about his minutes......

Asked if 44 minutes was too much for him after practice on Saturday, Gasol shrugged.

"No, not a chance. I enjoy playing," he said. "Forty-four is 44. Some nights those 44 are going to feel a lot more than others, depending on the opponent. But I'm fine playing the way I'm playing right now. It's not ideal, at this point in the year, but these are the circumstances that we're in."

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5803017

-----------------------------------

But even if Pau did "complain" about his minutes, his production warrants him being an all-star.

@hobbit,

I guess Lebron isn't all-star worthy...

“For myself, 44 minutes is too much,” James declared. “I think Coach Spo knows that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out.”

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/25801090

----------------------------

Or Brandon Roy.....

After playing just 21 minutes during the Portland Trail Blazers' blowout win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night, Brandon Roy was barraged with questions about his health and stated desire to play less minutes.

http://www.blazersedge.com/2010/11/9/1805145/transcript-blazers-guard-brandon-roy-on-his-health-minutes

If Yao gets if for receiving the most votes - even though he didn't play, then Drew should start for getting the second most votes. It is as simple as that. The team is doing very well since he came back. He is getting better and better. He dominated Nene. Chandler was 2-5 when they played and Drew was 4 0f 6.

Pau is the most skilled and successful guy his height in the league. They are playing in LA. He has to go.

This is Lamar's year. He was Captain of the US team and their second best player. He just won a championship for the second time. He is playing the best basketball of his career. His celebrity status is through the roof. He is not getting younger. Give it to him!

Detroit had four all stars in '06. Kobe, Pau, Drew, and Lamar in 2011.

I am a Lakerholic.

Pau is the 6th faster player reaching 13000 points 6000 rebounds and 2000 assitences in the history of the NBA!!!, trespassing Shaquile O'Neal who now is seventh. It must mean something... So underrated always...because he is white and european..

I'm not worried so much about the ASG as I am about the LOT. That's the Larry O'Brien Trophy for those who didn't know...

Title Heaven in 2011, baby!


DBDH!

I have to line up with the Hobbit on the subject of the importance of HCA: Especially against Boston. We've seen how much better the second unit plays on the home court AND we've also seen how certain (not all) officials play to the Boston crowd. Face it, the Lakers do not respond well when calls get a bit lopsided. In fact, certain individuals (not naming names) tend to Pau-t, which then causes the team to abandon the winning formula (inside out).

So how important is HCA really? Against the West, maybe not so much. Against the Sceptics, critical.

JR

LROB,

re: LBJ. And *THAT* is just one of the reasons why I'm not a fan of the
"King of Nothing".

re: Brandon Roy. You're talking about the guy who's coming off of knee
surgery, right?

Perhaps I've become jaded watching Kobe. Perhaps, I'm just an old man.
As a competitive person, I actually *WANT* to play the whole game.

It's a game & I'm a gamer. I *LOVE* to play.

However, thanks for giving me another reason why Kobe is the best player
in the NBA!

Eurotriple,

you wrote: Pau is the 6th faster player reaching 13000 points 6000 rebounds and 2000 assitences in the history of the NBA!!!, trespassing Shaquile O'Neal who now is seventh. It must mean something... So underrated always...because he is white and european..

my response: How do you get he's underrated when so man say that he's the
best offensive big man in the game?

Given all of the comments about Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Pete Marovich ...
the color of his skin has nothing to do with this conversation.

re: being European. That may have something to do with it.... Although,
I think you want to drill down a bit and call him Spanish. Dirk is European
and he gets plenty of props. That big center who used to play on the Blazers
was European and he got plenty of props.

Maybe you should send him and email and tell him where the gym is ...
Maybe you could send him some tapas and a note which reads: When in
Rome, do as the Romans do.

Translated into 21st century American English: Don't play like a girl when
there grown men on the court.

Speaking of which, was that Pau in the beer commecial wearing a european
man thong?

Speaking of which, was that Pau in the beer commecial wearing a european
man thong?

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 27, 2011 at 07:45 AM

But it's stylish.

LRob,

you wrote: But even if Pau did "complain" about his minutes, his production warrants him being an all-star.

my response: Actually, no it doesn't. His production warrants him being
considered an all-star. Which has happened.

Today, the all-star game is for the fans. Obviously, the fans are not
in agreement with you.

http://www.nba.com/2011/news/01/13/allstar-ballot-results-4/index.html#update

He's 3rd behind Novitsky & Durant. Which actually makes sense.

A better question is: Do the coaches agree with you?

We'll see.

I'm really hoping Shaq plays on Sunday. I'm interested to see how Bynum does against a bigger stronger center.

On the topic of minutes/injuries/players complaining etc..
I hate when million $ players make 5 $ excuses.Kobe made some good points,while it was funny maning up and not being a punk is what some of these guys need to do. You definately don't want no ! to get injured,and you try and play to win but not to get injured.that aside when on the big stage you gotta perform.I'm going directly at the heat here.while they may have 3 of the best players(not the 3 best mind you)in the league,those guys are lacking some serious balls.I mean from lebron's quiting last year talking about an arm injury.Then bosh afterwars saying he was playing injured.To the way bron did the decision. I just don't know.something is contagious in south beach,I'm not just sure it's winning.Oh yeah how good I forget wade crying like a baby and needin a wheel chair for his shoulder.fast forward to this season Bron running his yap talking bout too much minutes(thought they were young studs).Bosh talking about not diving for balls and players trying to injure him.(They probably should be diving for balls cause there's are surely missing).Of course if they don't reach the finals and win it all they'll have a million excuse.I really wish these guys would just shut up and play..anyway's here's to hoping when the Lakers take their talents to south beach,they don't catch any of the sissy from those guys....

LRob,

thanks for the fact checking on Pau. Would you say that his play in Dec.
was inspired?

Jon K,
The PSP miss Kwaminus too and wish that he would come back. The PSP think that the blog atmosphere has changed a lot due to some ... goings on. The PSP understand the banning of a douche like Eric Wright, but a lot of the others that were banned were mostly harmless and were receiving about as much as they dished out.

The PSP do not want to have a conversation with Lebron, that would end in disaster. The man has God given physical ability but lacks almost everything else.

Jon Kavulic, do you agree with this statement: The regular season games are meaningless
Thanks
PSP Intern [ Working the morning shift too :( ]

If Stern is going to select the best Center in the Western Conference, it should be Bynum (when healthy). Not Nene. Not Tyson Chandler. However, other bigs who can fill in at center, like Lamar Odom or LaMarcus Aldridge, are more deserving of a spot on the team. But who deserves to start at Center, Gasol?

Tim Duncan should be left off to make room for Blake Griffin and/or Kevin Love. Players shouldn't be rewarded for career achievements unless the fans vote them in as starters. Let the best players play, regardless of position, to a certain extent.

Starters:

C - Gasol
PF - Durant
SF - Melo
SG - Kobe
PG - CP3

Reserves:

Guards - D Will, Ginobili, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, Tony Parker (Spurs Record)
Forwards - Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin
Odom (Backup Center - Break In Case of Emergency)

Snubs:

Kevin Love (T Wolves Suck)
LaMarcus Aldridge (No Fan Support)
Luis Scola (Dude Can Play - Did You Watch the Worlds?)
Monta Ellis - (Fun to Watch - Rather See Stephen Curry Play)

Not enough bigs? Not compromising the best players argument...

"...a good motivating chip if Odom, Gasol and Bynum are all snubbed by the coaches. Combine that with Jerry West's comments and you can pretty much guarantee the 3-peat."
Posted by: scottie pimpin | January 26, 2011 at 08:24 PM

______

Yes, I agree and furthermore, why risk the injury or compromise the energy? I really wish Kobe wasn't playing either and Pop will probably allow Kobe to play all he wants!

Nah, LO needs to finish the year with a 'chip and have another solid start next season before becoming an All Star. He was complacent for too many years to be granted all star status just because he decided to "dedicate" himself this season. Consistency is key, so if he finishes on top this season and comes out focused again for next, then he will have earned a starting spot on the All Star roster.

Pau? Are you kidding me? That young fella needs to rest and hit the gym a bit. We definitely don't need to sacrifice his energy for an All Star appearance. He needs to stay home, lie in bed, plug into an IV and hydrate!

As for Bynum, does it really require discussion? He's the key to the Lakers' success this season and the major reason why we will win a championship if, IF he can remain healthy. Let's hope Stern will give him a pass this season because this team will need every break to get back into the Finals, healthy, energized and poised to win.

Too much on the line to be over confident about winning it all. It's going to take a lot of work for this team to remain in contention as the season progresses. This is Phil's last year and he DESERVES this championship so this team needs to dedicate itself to the cause.

Kobe needs no motivation. It's obvious he operates on a different plane. In his competitive mind, he has much larger fish to fry - M. Jordan. Don't think for a moment that he's not looking to cement his own legacy and leave a huge footprint on this game. He has a few more years to climb the mountain top, so believe you me, this warrior is always motivated and we're all fortunate to be "witnesses!" The "King with no Ring" will have to wait - just as many others - for #24 to leave the game, just as players before him had to wait for Jordan to exit the arena. I LOVE THIS GAME!!

GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!!

Since Stern will pick the replacement for Yao, I would think (since it is in LA) that he will pick Drew as the second leading vote getter or Pau.

All of the western conference coaches vote for the players other that the leading vote getters - Kobe, Paul, Melo, and Durant. They can't vote for guys on their own teams. They will hopefully put in Lamar if Pau gets Stern's vote. Drew will be out at that point. If Drew gets it, they should vote Lamar and Pau in, but it is tough. The other twist is that Melo could get traded to the Eastern Conference in which case Pau makes it as a starter. Stern proably won't want to pick another Laker for the starting line up. This scenario leaves Drew out of it and hopefully Lamar making it. There are so many forwards having great years however - Dirk, Griffin, Love... Also, Duncan should probably be there. After all, the Spurs have the best record in the league... ;-) There can be only 12.

Kobe, Pau, Drew, and Lamar in 2011!!!

The ASG leaves me cold. It's just one step above the Pro Bowl in my eyes. That being said, it is a game for the fans and mostly the kids. Stern should have increased the roster size to 15 players years ago. Blake Griffin and Kevin Love need to be there. They have had outstanding seasons. I can't see Popovich leaving Duncan off the squad, unless he and Tim agree that rest would be more beneficial. Me, I'll just wait and see who's selected. Whoever the coaches pick will be worthy of the honor, and some players who deserve that same honor will be left out. Happens every year.

Answering hobbitmage:
Pau is not in the allstar starters did u see? he is underrated.

Answering hobbitmage:
Pau is not in the allstar starters did u see? he is underrated.

And also in response to hobbitmage:
Do u think being more "man stereotype" makes him a better basketball player?.
I think thats the problem, american sport followers are the classic nobrain pple, pple who like this guys behave like gorilas , dunking showing huhuhuh! animal behaviour, hitting their chests.... u know... gym is something EVERYBODY can do.... but skill, basketball IQ, shoot selection, passing... man... very little pple has that . There u got what should be more apreciated, thats what Gasol shows every day.


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