Caught in the Web: Highlighting Laker exit interviews
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan focuses on Andrew Bynum's apology for a dirty play on Dallas guard J.J. Barea and Pau Gasol's strongly worded clarification that Internet reports suggesting relationships problems with his girlfriend and Kobe Bryant are "absolutely false."
--The Times' T.J. Simers doesn't buy Bynum's apology.
--The Times' Bill Plaschke makes a list of outside-the-box candidates for the Lakers' coaching job.
--The Times' Broderick Turner highlights Derek Fisher shifting gears in leading the NBA Players Assn. toward trying to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
--The Times' David Wharton looks at the changes the Lakers might make.
Tweet(s) of the Day: "Final thoughts on the Pau Gasol matter: In absence of a real explanation, people will believe anything ... Basically, Pau was off his game in the playoffs b/c: he was tired, the Lakers didn't run their offense, he didn't respond to failure well ... No, actually he really didn't respond to failure well & got so far inside his head and frustrated, he fell into a funk of historic funkiness ... That was hard enough. Then came a wild story about his girlfriend issues & an even wilder one about Vanessa Bryant interfering with his GF ... The stories were so ridiculous, Gasol tried to ignore them ... But he kept playing bad and it became so much easier to believe something wild, rather than a more nuanced truth ... Does Gasol have a good relationship with Kobe? Yes. Is it great right now? No. But that's because of the Lakers on-court struggles ...
He also grossly underestimated the power of blogs, social networking and message boards. Thought story would go away, not go viral ... Athletes have a tough call to make on stories like this. Respond and they become real. Fail to respond and they can go viral ... It's a different media culture in Spain. Publication that printed initial story would be sued. Here they get linked and tweeted everywhere ... Pau said he thought this experience would bring he and his GF closer, but feels bad she's been put in this situation. "Forget about me" ... His "easy target" quote was to a Q I asked about his polite nature. He's not the type to punch back at media criticism. Lets his play talk ... Basically: Criticize Gasol's play on the court. Guy played awful at worst time. But don't make up stories or repeat stupid stories" -- ramonashelburne (ESPN Los Angeles columnist Ramona Shelburne)
Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I asked all laker fans around and the disrespect done by LO and AB was really terrible especially the long time laker fans, they were really turned off by the course of events. It is hard to disrespect fans who learned the Lakers through the golden voice. We have been accustomed to professionalism and dedicated players who never quit on the Lakers. I don't know whether the damage can be repaired by October if the same players are retain who would act accordingly with the same-same complacency, cockiness and dysfunctional individuals. The perception out there today that Lakers are now beatable" -- Edwin Gueco
Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum was suspended five games by the NBA on Tuesday for his foul on Dallas guard J.J. Barea in Sunday's season-ending loss. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / May 10, 2011.