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Exit interview: Pau Gasol owns up to shortcomings in 2011 NBA playoffs

Photo: Pau Gasol. Credit: Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times.

Pau Gasol exit interview

 It served as an easy way to break the ice and to cut to the chase.

"You know this is all your fault, right," a reporter joked to Lakers forward Pau Gasol the minute he sat down for his exit interview.

That joke of course was referring to Gasol's postseason play during which he averaged 13.1 points on 42.9% shooting, played passively and allowed both on- and off-court adversities to rattle his mental focus. Gasol didn't shy away from the characterization, even the one that suggested he was a huge factor in why the Lakers suffered a four-game sweep in the Western Conference semifinals to the Dallas Mavericks.

"The thing that makes me the angriest is me not playing at my best and not helping my team accomplish its goals," said Gasol, who described the 2010-2011 season as very emotional. "I’m not happy, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to perform at my usual high level, but obviously I’m not playing alone. It’s time to analyze, to sit back and see what actually happened out there, not just through this last stretch but throughout the year. I think we have to really look deep into how we started, the ups and downs, the meaning of them and what we could have done better individually and as a team to be able to get stronger at certain times when we needed to. It’s unfortunate the way we ended it up; anything short of winning the championship would have been very tough.”

He strongly took issue with Internet reports that indicated he stopped talking to Kobe Bryant during the postseason because Bryant's wife, Vanessa, had contributed to the breakup of Gasol and his longtime girlfriend, which he said was "absolutely false." But he considered everything else to be fair criticism, including his playoff shortcomings, inconsistency and fatigue issues, which is why he's planning to use the poor effort and a possible stint with the Spanish National team this summer as preparation for a better 2011-2012 campaign.

"Through the rough times, you appreciate more the good times you might've had and how hard it is to get there," Gasol said. "[I’m excited] to start off next season fresh and be full of hunger again.”

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Pau Gasol. Credit: Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times.

 
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Pau is still the main reason the lakers made 3 straight finals appearances. Thank you Pau.

Good that Drew "manned up" and apologized for his flagrant foul. 5 games is excessive, but that what happens when you're a repeat offender and put your self in the hands of the league legal system.


@Justa – Yep, Lakers will be one of the favorites again in 2012. I’ll check in on RC. Thanks for relaying the message.

Pau's a nice guy, but he really needs to forget about basketball for
the next six months. Hopefully, there will be a lockout and these guys
can refresh their batteries.
Three finals in a row is a huge accomplishment in these times, especially
with all of the modern day distractions.
Really, who goes to three straight finals?

Get better or get traded, Pau =p

KL Beast,

He is just telling the truth when he testified under oath on their activities with other Laker teammates. If he lies, then there will be additional problem (remember Pres. Clinton lying under oath it became a case to impeach him.)

Secondly, if the rumors are true, it is Vanessa's fault and other chattering women. How can Vanessa affects the romantic relationship of Pau with his g/f, if such bond was strong enough to handle gossips and innuendos? Under these circumstances, Pau has to blame himself. He also mentioned "other factors" throughout the year which I think he has been playing too many minutes as a Center, PF and extended to the playoffs. Perhaps, his most frustration is that the ball does not move around in their triangle offense. All in all, he has to blame himself for his role in the debacle. He is just one factor, but Lakers were also poor when Gasol sat on the bench.

Justa, email me bout the RC. Lew or LT knows my address.

I'd like to remind everyone going about the trade mill - Dr. Buss said during his HOF weekend interviews he thought this was his best Laker team EVER!

We shall soon find out.

Cheers - PLG

The Lakers need to wise up and trade this soft underachiever who has no business wearing a Lakers uniform any longer. Don't let the Staples Center door hit you on your way out.

So this season pau had all summer off,after talk of playing to much ball year round.We saw how that ended up.Now he's talking about a possible stint with the spanish team this coming summer.Well we'll see how it ends up if he does it and is still on the team(cough,cough). No more excuses,and pouting.Not just pau,you guys are men.Aren't you???

keep vanessa away from the players and their wives/girlfriends.
she is poison.

I'd like to remind everyone going about the trade mill - Dr. Buss said during his HOF weekend interviews he thought this was his best Laker team EVER!

We shall soon find out.

Cheers - PLG

Posted by: PsychedLakerGirl | May 10, 2011 at 05:00 PM

That's true,but how much of us actually believed that then,or now??? You gotta love the guy,but just like luke,the joe smith, and even fisher starting.As fans you can see the writing on the wall,but I guess it's there job to do what seems best(cough,cough).Highest salery ever maybe,definately not the best money could buy.With this exit we're no better than those high paid underachieving new york teams that isiah thomas put together.......

Anybody seen Pau? I know that this is a article about him, but for some reason, he still seems to be missing? Anybody know when he is going to show up?

The crackheads who want to trade Pau need to put down the pipe. PAU GASOL had a HORRIBLE post-season, I know that, he knows that, we all know that. But you don't trade a guy who just got done taking you to the big freaking dance 3 years in a row.


KUPCAKES, as dumb as he is, will not trade Gasol, NO WAY, NO HOW! Back in 1986, Dr. Buss wanted to trade James Worthy, had even made a deal with the Mavericks, but Jerry West nixed the deal (thank god!), all of which was an over reaction to a season cut short early. Trading Pau Gasol would be the same sort of knee-jerk over-reaction!


Magic Johnson should know better!

PLG,

Those comments will drastically change 180 degrees especially when swept on the 2nd round in that fashion. JB was also embarrassed w the league and I'm sure he got a lot of calls and texts giving their piece of mind from close friends, season ticket holders, club owners in what they think of the team roster. Laker is a multi million dollar institution today and he has to protect the price of its stock. JB always consult his trusted friends especially Magic and Jerry West on the needs of the team. He just invested 110M on salaries alone maybe additional millions on PJ and his assistant salaries. Just imagine the revenues which estimated @ 2 million per game that was lost after being eliminated early and also the lost of prestige of the team appearing as sore losers. I foresee JB intervening here like what he did on Magic's request for trade in '82, Kobe's request for trade in '77. He will confront this problem head on as long as he still breathing.

Can the PSP get invited to the Rogue Chat too? Pretty Please? bwahahaha ... juuuuuuuust kidding.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Mark Medina,

How often do you think players lie during their interviews?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Poor Pau, he should not be scapegoat.

It was Kobe who derailed the champion run. Kobe either had 32 shots without any any assist, or one assist with 5 turnovers. At the game 4, he disappeared at second half.

Pau will never get it into his thick head what's truly needed so let him go. He's complained all year about needing rest yet wants to spend the summer playing for the National team? No, you don't get it Pau. Your response of,"I know when I need to play harder and to dial it up" is indicative of how it will always be. Pau, you ALWAYS need to play tough/hard, the fact that you think it's a choice is everything that's wrong with you.

Time for a reality check! Do you REALLY think Gasol would confirm ANY of the problems behind the scenes with Kobe and Vanessa if he plans on being here next year with Kobe? He wants to stay so he has to kiss ass.

Now, to blame this series on him alone is beyond me. We NEVER put any effort in guarding the 3 point line. Hell, 11 3 pointers in ONE half! How many did they get for the series? They are a jump shooting team, period! We did not run them off the line. To blame Gasol is insane while Jason Terry is lighting us up. We must improve our defense at the point!

LRob,

"Lakers will be one of the favorites again in 2012."

If Lakers will rely on their current PGs and will not move any of those old knees, then history will repeat itself. Listen to the legends, Magic and JW, these are Lakers thru-and-thru, more faithful fan and HOF who played the game. Listen to what they are saying, compared to these knee jerk posters and pundits who recently became Laker fans, all they know are our current roster. Both Magic and JW are saying Lakers did not win because they lacked "athleticism" this season. This season, players are jumping higher and running faster while Lakers got into super slow train with lots of issues on the side. LRob, that is really very academic if we observe our team throughout the year whether practice season or real season. They lost terribly during the practice season because they lost the inertia of a self sustaining team. If Lakers passed Dallas in the 2nd round, I don't think they have a chance against the young teams Thunder or Grizz or against Bulls or Heat. Maybe, they can beat another geriatric team, the Celtics. Therefore, while Gasol, Andrew, Artest and Lamar have trade values, it must something better in return or else stick with these damaged good and waste another season. I'm afraid they might lose values in 2012 once their weaknesses are overexposed to other GM's.

yes, it was kobe who wrecked everything not pau.
as someone else wrote on this blog, it must be
dis spiriting to play with such a ballhog.

You gotta be a ballhog in order to be a star player. Kobe,Lbj,Rose,all these players are ballhogs..

Another huge consideration why Lakers should be competitive next season is because of this contract. http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/210973/Lakers_Time_Warner_Strike_TV_Deal_Worth_As_Much_As_$3_Billion.

LRob, you are familiar with Media Marketing, you are familiar with rubbing elbows and pressures from Advertisers if you are promoting a low rated program. Lakers are already hooked by TW for the next 20 years, that post JB's life time. Whoever owns this team in the interim has to fulfill that contract as well as satisfy the huge market of the Lakers in US and worldwide. I'm sure TW have forward thinking of extending this rights ownership to the ever expanding smart cell phone media or Ipad of all basketball enthusiasts throughout the world. This is not just confined to LA. cable programming.

Why is pau playing basketball this summer if he is exhausted from the season?

PsychedLakerGirl and all others who repeat Dr. Buss' quote

I'd like to remind everyone going about the trade mill - Dr. Buss said during his HOF weekend interviews he thought this was his best Laker team EVER!

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

well what can we take from Dr. Buss' comments

A. He's a homer
B. He's senile
C. He's going blind
D. Mitch told him so and he believed him
E. Dallas must be better than all previous Laker teams

remember Dr. Buss also thought that the Lakers would win the championship in the Smush Parker days.

So to put any credence into that statement is weak.

Commandment #27 ---Thou shall always treasure Dr.Jerry Buss

He will rebuild this team no doubt but he was wrong in this assessment of the current Laker team. Does anyone really believe that this is the best team ever?

Speak up now or forever hold your peace, I know the ones who constantly quoted these statement. LOL. But it's all good, the Lakers will return.

i know pau was an integral part of the Lakers success for the past four years. 3 straight nba finals, two titles. however, you have two admit if pau scores his season average and gets his season average in rebounds, worst case scenario, it's a 2 - 2 series with dallas. grant it, it's not all on him. poor bench play, crappy outside shooting and terrible 3 point shooting defense. i do appreciate what he's meant to the organization, BUT, here comes the BUT. last years title, was last year. go to pau's facebook page, check out the comments from the L.A. fans. it's pretty clear what they thought of his post season play!

Is pau really playing BB this summer? Guess the NBA season really was the practice season

“ Everything just seemed to get bigger and heavier. Sometimes I feel like I'm an easy target.” -- Lakers forward Pau Gasol

_______

Seriously: is this a "man" you want to go to battle with? Bynum will only be traded if Dwight is available and Pau will definitely be "shopped."

On the subject, why isn't Kobe's name ever brought up in trade talks. I recall when Shaq was in the twilight of his career, the Lakers made a "business" decision to go with and build around the younger superstar. In this current scenario, who is the youngest superstar the Laker's have...that's Bynum. Throughout the season, and before the season started (for that matter) everyone knew the Laker's backcourt was vulnerable on the defensive side for the exception of (maybe) Kobe. Don't get me wrong...he definitely has some productive years (2-3) left, but this is the time we can still leverage some value for the superstar, get younger, and build around the next generation. If you look at the best teams in the NBA right now, they have premier one's (or two's) (e.g. Westbrook, Rose, Wade).


I'd like to comment on Bill Plashke's article a couple of days ago. Bill can you do me a personal favor and stay in Dallas. I'm sure in your bizarro world anything would justify your insane infatuation with trading AB -- after all there is precedent for it - the Celtics went right out and traded McHale during the finals for close lining Rambis. Never mind that AB is productive.
The reason we think you're a nut when you suggest trading him is not because it's inherently wrong, but because your idea of a return qualifies as the worst trade in Laker history -- before this season you wanted to trade him for Jason Kidd at the time a 36/37 year old guard. And don't give me look at J Kidd now -- he'll fall apart against Rose/Wade. After that AB helped the Lakers win two titles and you were the one silent on trading him. This year you want to trade him for a perennial loser Carmelo Anthony – great move. Please send me a memo when you become general manager so I can follow the Clippers because they would have a better chance with you at the helm.

If you actually suggested a valid trade for AB I would not mind, and at least it be worth consideration. But for now, Simers is right – you’re drinking too much. Too bad we can't trade you for a sober columnist.

Bay to LA,

Completely agree this was a weird year. I wonder about Kobe's ankle and what it did to him. Weird to see him without that incredible intensity.

And I have never seen anything like what happened with Pau. Almost inexplicable, at least to me, but I don't really subscribe to the "soft" tag. I recall that phrase being used against Kareem and some of the other Showtime Lakers and did not find it accurate then, so I don't buy it now. It is more about desperation and hunger and I think Pau lost that. I hope he and the rest of the organization can find it again..

In response to the quick exit of the 2 time defending champion I am putting a moratorium on....

Commandment #11

11. Thou shall rebuke all trade suggestions till a trade is actually made, then embrace it.

homeland security should look into this matter to see if gasol has his green papers.

Trollman-Dude..he's sinile, 100% on point.LOL

Paul did a good job, he got 2 rings better than Tim Duncan and Garnett. Game 4,5 in Boston, i felt sorry for Gasol when the C's beat up on him and no fouls. This time, Lakers have one choice Gasol or Kobe. Do we want to see another season like this ? No. If it happens to Shaq&Kobe, Gasol&Kobe, then KObe&...who next ?

What is it with you people who think so poorly of Kobe?

You said the *EXACT* same things when Dr. Buss let Shaq go.
Shaq said it was Dr. Buss. Dr. Buss said, "It was me." Kobe said, "I didn't
have anything to do with it." and yet y'all blamed Kobe for that.

Now, you want to believe cheap unsubstantiated rumors over the
comments of the players themselves?

re: Pau lying about what was really going on. Really? Really?

So now it's not enough that you want to defame Kobe. Now you want to
call Pau a liar, so that you can defame Kobe???

You're going to call Phil Jackson a liar, so that you can defame Kobe?

You're going to call Steve Blake a liar, so that you can defame Kobe?

Let's tell the truth. You have no interest in Lakers basketball at all.
Your sole purpose, you raison d'etre is to insult Kobe Bryant.
You actually can't do it anywhere else because:

1. a moderator would probably stop you after a few posts.
2. No other sports blog actually cares about bashing Kobe Bryant.

Just out of curiosity, how much money do you spend on your Kobe Bryant
fetish? I'm assuming that you purchase anything associated with Kobe, just so
that you can have ritual burnings in your backyard.

it's pau, not paul and duncan has 4 rings.

MM,

Can you put up a thread stating- Kobe Bryant cannot and will not be traded EVER. He has a no trade clause in his contract. He will retire a Laker.
MM, one thread on this, please, so all these idiots who keep hating and want Kobe out of here, will stop posting this ish.

Forget the trolls. The Lakers have effectively played an extra season the previous three postseasons, made the Finals in all of them, and won two championships--largely thanks to Pau.

Never forget, beating the Celtics in Game 7 last year was done on Pau's shoulders. He should have been MVP. What will ever top beating the Celtics like that, in Staples, when everything was on the line?

Thank you, Pau, for your past and future contributions to the Purple and Gold.

*I* am excited/happy about Pau playing with his national team.

The previous 3 years he did this, and the Lakers went to the NBA finals.

I've given a lot of thought to why teams win or don't win multiple championships.
You can't argue that the talent isn't there, because they're champions. At the
beginning of the season, there were a number of articles which said,
"Complacency will be the biggest problem." All year long we saw clear signs
of complacency and the players admitted it.

Now, we know how complacency looks and that it can derail a championship
team.

We wrecked our bench by removing two players who knew the triangle and
were young to get two players who didn't know the triangle and were older.
Of course, our bench did not do well.

Kobe was recovering from knee surgery. He played banged up.

Everyone will be hungry next year and should be healthy.

Maybe we can see more Ebanks.

I am still surprised that people like alekesan and others still complain about Pau being soft and being disappointed because he does not 'man up'. Is there anything in the way he looks, his weight, his frame, his game, his stats, that suggests that he is a second Shaq waiting to happen? Do you think that the lakers pay him to kick a$$? Dr Buss and Mitch knew what they were getting. While it is nice to dream that one day your husband will look like Brad Pitt, please don't blame him if he doesn't.

Still, this defeat made Paulites and Bynites agree on two things: Pau played like crap, and it would be nice to have a better bench.

Coming soon ... 2010/2011 LA Times La Lakers Blog Awards ...

Thanks
PSP Intern

pau will get it together next season pau is great skilled big man like kevin mchale


Some great stuff out there as MM barrages us at a 10 threads a day pace. Scrolled through the haters but loved the posts from Tom Daniels, Tim-4-Show, Lakerholic, Jamie Sweet, and so many others. MM should be appreciated. It’s not easy trying to keep a quality product going in a mass market mall.

Here is the ideal solution to who will be the Lakers next head coach as well as how to get the money needed to sign a good free agent point guard. Derek Fisher retires to become the Lakers’ next head coach, freeing up his money to be used to help rebuild the Lakers bench. And we get the right guy to lead the team in the future. El Presidente. The player that NBA General Managers voted most likely to be a successful head coach in the future. Finally, it’s the perfect virus protection against Fish haters.
..
I was glad to see Drew own up to his mistake and vow not to let it happen again. The hypocrisy in so many critics crying out for Drew to be banned for life or traded has been ridiculous. Most of the critics who were former players needed to look in the mirror at similar acts they had committed during their storied careers. Drew got frustrated and made a stupid mistake. He apologized. Now let’s move on.

I’ve cooled down some on my frustration over the way the Lakers went down. So what really happened between the 17-1 streak and the West semis to transform the Lakers from a near unbeatable juggernaut to a flawed discombobulated team that got trounced? In retrospect, you have to admit that at least part of problem was probably the huge wear and tear of trying to three-peat. Like any family, sometimes the ties that bind are stretched too thin or even break and the bonds of trust are broken. I’m betting we’ll have to wait for the answers until next year when Phil releases his latest book “the Last Stand.”

It will be interesting to see what Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak do. I don’t think they will blow the team up. For one, I don’t think either will hold Drew’s flagrant on Berea against him as MM muses but I think Jerry Buss may well be offended at how Pau Gasol played. Those well-deserved boos from his paying customers after Game 2 may have struck a chord with the pride he has in the Lakers competing. Can you trust Pau Gasol after his dreadful performance when you desperately need trading pieces to get help at the 1, 3, and 4 spots? That question will determine much of what happens this summer.

When a team loses like the Lakers did it is never solely the fault of any one player. You win and lose as a team. But when one player who is a key component of the team’s offense and defense doesn’t show up, it totally destroys the team’s offensive rhythm and defensive rotations. The best description of what happened is to envision the Lakers circle of trust unraveling as Pau failed to make the right decisions offensively or the right rotations defensively. He was the thread that unraveled the Lakers. Pau Gasol for Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Pau Gasol for Dwight Howard, DWill, CP3, etc.
…………………
TOM


Btw when is Lebronze going to get fined,and make a formal apologt/donation to the handicaped comunity??Are there noorganizations out there that are offended?This is part of the problem with the nba and america(thr world) today to much double standards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MM,

There people that keep blaming Kobe's wife for something, were they there? I mean did they actually see this or are they just spreading gossip in written form that actually could be construed as Libel and as speak, Slander?

I respectfully disagree with LakerTom.

Lakers need to be athletically fitted next season, if the trade involves Howard and CP3 EXCEPT for Kobe, everybody is available. There is already a clamor in Orlando press for Gasol, Lamar and Blake for Howard and Dwight. Orlando has to make a more or they lose their marquee player without an exchange. If they ask Bynum, why will we retain a player who is a trouble maker and injury prone? Go for Dwight and Chris Paul and prepare for Kobe's exit in the future. If not Chris Paul, Deron has player option too at the end of next season.

By the way, even without elbowing incident Drew also disappeared in Game 4, can't escape the defense of Chandler and the other Center, is he the leader who will take place of Kobe?

This must be a joke.. Pau´s fault?

What about Fisher?, He´s had terrible terrible playoffs.
He´s absolut finished.

What about Lamar defence, Artest..?
What about the pathetic lakers bench?

c´mon dont cheat yourselves, this is not about Gasol.

This team is not going to get any better. A big move is necessary, but what? I thought Odom's poor play was as big a factor as Gasol's poor play. However, their most consistent player over the last three years(Gasol), suddenly looked confused and incompetent. He has been the anchor to this team, and he suddenly looks like a kid pouting over a girl that just dumped him. Maybe he was. That being said, do you trade him and hope a talented but injury prone center can remain healthy? I think I would hold on to Gasol.

I think there's plenty of laker blame. How about Fisher(point guard?)how may assists per game-1/Artest-big strong forward with how many rebounds per game-1/ and both with terrible shooting. How about contributions from the laker bench-nada(compare to Dallas bench). It really is sad.

I'm with you EG. I like Howard and DWill or CP. That beign said, we need the guard first.

PompousTom-

Drew owned up? Really? LOL and LMAO!!

Stay Classy!!

I agree, if he's so fatigued, how can playing all summer help him rest?

Just a thought, but can Gasol and Bynum excel in the same offense? Think about it. This is the first year they both played healthy for extended periods. They never seemed to get comfortable with each other, no trust or chemestry. Can this be resolved by playing more than 3/4 of a season together? I for one would like to find out. I dont think trading either one of them is prudent and is reactionary.

I have to give Kobe a pass, he was obviously slowed down by his ankle.
What else can explain Kobe not being able to run circles around J. Kidd's defense?

If it wasn't his ankle then the Lakers are in BIG BIG TROUBLE.

note to Kobe:
get rid of those low-tops. He is still wearing them right?

note note to Kobe:
get surgery on your knee (again)

note note note to Kobe:
get surgery on your fingers

note note note note to Kobe:
rest all year, forget about shooting 1000 jumpers a day and mentally visualize taking only high percentage shots next year. Your mid-range jumper is money.

final note to Kobe:
if you practice anything this off-season... practice your dribbling once your fingers heal.

Lakers still need Pau Gasol!!! Basketball sense dictates that in order for your Big Men to score they need help from outside shooters like Dirk, Terry and Peja. I say dump Fisher, Blake, Barnes, Artest they played poor defense and failed to stop the 3 point shooting of the Mavs!, but keep Pau Gasol.

I think we all tend to forget too quick, and are spoiled by the Lakers success. If it wasn't for Pau we would still be in the cellar. 2005- No Playoffs, 2006- first round exit Phoenix, 2007- first round exit again Phoenix. Pau joins in 2008- finals (lost) 2009- First full year with team, Championship, 2010- Championship. We would not have won the last two titles without him. We should of focus more on the positives that came from the last few years instead of what's going on right now. Once Pau clears his head for a few months, and gets some rest. He'll be just fine, it's way too soon to give up on him.

Get Chris Paul, forget about Howard and CP3 will make the team better...even with the same lineup!

desertlaker,

According to Jerry West, Gasol and Drew are incompatible playing at the same time as starters. He is a Laker legend and a HOF so he knows what is compatible and what is not, among players. You cannot accuse JW as a laker hater or which I have read here in dissing out our best PG of all time, Magic Johnson. If they noticed something bad and they sounded the alarm, would u accuse them of Laker hater or visionary Laker reformer? I found Sir Charles ridiculous too before the 2nd round that he predicts Dallas because the Lakers are already washed out and may have hard time to fend the perimeter shooters of Mavs. That is totally out of context and as a Laker fan, I can't believe these HOF'ers were going against the b2b Champion. Well, we saw the evidence of the 4-0 that's just too much evidence to swallow for 4 games only. These legends may be telling the truth and we, die hard fans can't handle that truth! We were too close to the giant Sequioas and did not see the scope of the problem. Therefore, let's open our eyes and be objective. We are for the Laker brand, not any individual. If it's Kobe, so be it but we all know Kobe cannot traded and non negotiable in the foreseeable future. He is prime product and a rare commodity. As such for the good of the team, let's lay the foundation in finding the great PG, a great Center and Kobe. If we still adhere with the triangle, then get good players. Triangle can only be effective if the players in the triangle are good shooters and movers, if they cannot shoot and they could not move, triangle or any pick and roll will be a kaput.

Did Pau lose his speech functions as well? I have never heard a player answer questions with so many "uhhhh, uhhh, uhhh's" before. He's even gotten weak in his verbal skills lately.

Erratum: There is already a clamor in Orlando press for Gasol, Lamar and Blake for Howard and Dwight.

I mean Howard and Arenas.

DJ,

I read before CP3 was telling it aloud w/ NO that he wants to go to a team vying for Championship. I think he will be waiting for Howard to move first before making his own move. These guys have player option in their contracts so they will be watching each other and if DH goes to the Knicks, you bet CP3 will choose the Knicks.

I don't know what happened to our team, we suddenly became a "washed-out" team if we don't move any personnel, just my opinion ok. 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, therefore I doubt if CP3 will be energized to come over without the first move from Dwight.

Pau was a godsend to the team. Right before he joined the team, the Lakers were the #1 ranked team in the west WITHOUT him. But adding him as the second best player made the Lakers the leading contender for three years straight, and almost four.

I have full confidence that he can still contribute to the team going forward. Even if they keep the core of the team exactly as it is. If Bynum had been healthy the whole season, I don't think Pau would have worn down as much as he did. If Bynum could stay healthy next season (and if the Lakers could get a fourth front court player who's actually an asset on the court), then Pau could be fresh and ready to dominate again next spring heading into summer.

The only negative to keeping Pau going forward is the price tag. People whine about Luke's salary, but it's Kobe and Pau and Drew's salaries that keep the Lakers from hiring higher quality bench players. Trading one of the three of them would certainly bring back a lot more than trading any other player on the team... but trading any of the three of them might also make the team worse rather than better... I don't envy Mitch his job.

We didn't win solely because of Gasol. As everyone keeps mentioning, Gasol came here in 08, we made it to the Finals and lost (badly). Take note that Bynum and Ariza were both either injured or out all together that year. The two years after that, we won--with Bynum healthy and healthy enough for each year respectfully and Ariza was healthy that first year we won. Artest came in for the second championship and had it not been for Artest spurring that 4th quarter charge in Gm 7, we would've lost that year as well against the Celtics. If Bynum had went down instead of Perkins, I'm almost positive we would've lost in '10. Gasol rides the back of others effort. He rides Bynum's D (which until recently, has always covered Pau's lack of D). He rides the energy that others put out in game charges. He's not one to go and lead a charge himself. And again, Gasol himself states,"I know when I need to play hard". That's his problem, playing hard should never be a choice.

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I am still surprised that people like alekesan and others still complain about Pau being soft and being disappointed because he does not 'man up'. Is there anything in the way he looks, his weight, his frame, his game, his stats, that suggests that he is a second Shaq waiting to happen? Do you think that the lakers pay him to kick a$$? Dr Buss and Mitch knew what they were getting. While it is nice to dream that one day your husband will look like Brad Pitt, please don't blame him if he doesn't.

Posted by: DoDeDuckie | May 10, 2011 at 07:33 PM

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Actually, you're mixing me in with others as I've never called him soft. He's not a physical player by nature and never will be. What I have questioned is his mental fortitude and his non-existent defense. So no, I'm not expecting Pau to be the second coming of Shaq. But from what we know he's capable of, we do expect him to play to that level. If Pau plays like Pau, we may still lose, but we don't get swept.

Something else that should be addressed as well...

The Lakers/Buss didn't get rid of Jordan Farmar. Jordan Farmar wanted out as he didn't like the Triangle and wanted to be a starter (which is actually Phil's fault for his lack of trust in anyone not a vet).

We didn't get rid of Ariza as his agent screwed him out of re-joining the Lakers.

So to date, Sasha is the only person the Lakers have actually gotten rid of so I wish that folks would quit saying we got rid of our youth for old foggies as Phil wouldn't play the youngsters. That's entirely on Phil.

With all of that said, maybe now that Phil is out, we can go younger/athletic and run some pick and roll/other offenses in addition to the Triangle, instead of just the Triangle (is the Triangle supposed to be capitalized?).

Hopefully, Fish will retire (or come off the bench/be a player-coach...whichever...). I know he's stated that he feels he can still play but he needs a wakeup call. Those legs are done.

Gasol reminds me of the lone weak "white guy" I used to foul repeatedly and intetionally even charging into him when I used to ball. Every baller knows what I'm talking about.

@Rob in L.A.
Did Pau lose his speech functions as well? I have never heard a player answer questions with so many "uhhhh, uhhh, uhhh's" before. He's even gotten weak in his verbal skills lately.

It is ironic to say that. It's very funny, I always surprised
the IQ of most players in the NBA.
It is assumed that the American players come from college and 95% speak as authentic retarded.
I'm pretty sure many of them can not write properly.
When I think Pau Gasol speaks three languages ​​and the majority of players (and many fans) can not speak your own language and also he has to listen
criticism of his speech ....
I guess there's a lot idiot with too much free time.

Regards Rob in L.A.

Pau needs to work on his leg strength so that he can push back. He is too thin. Itis ridiculous to play him a center against thick thugs. Lakers just need a credible big man backup - get anyone that can go 6-6

Remember Jabbar in 85 came back and no one could push him off the block? He said it in his book, leg strength makes all the difference

BTW has Jabbar publicly admonish Bynum or does he tacitly agree that someone had to show some spirit?

I agree with LongTimeLaker fan. If Andrew Bynum had come back in a timely fashion, Pau would not have had to log all those minutes early in the season. Its a long season and it is a team sport. There are so many moments in this series that one can look back on and say that it was the pivotal moment. They played stupidly many times by jacking up threes to try to catch up when it was not necessary...if they had played hard the first game and kept their 16 point lead and won, I think that Dallas would have been mentally beaten. When they realized that they could get back in the game and win, it gave them a confidence that they have never had when playing the lakers and most teams would have trouble with quick rotations when any player on that team is able to hit the three at any given time.
I also cringed when the fans booed Pau at the first game. Sure you pay to go to games but fans should be supportive and help players get back into the game. If three peats were so easy, more teams would have gotten there. One championship is hard enough. Dallas' team has several players who are future hall of famers based on career to this point and some who prob will be...........jason kidd, jason terry, peja stojackovic, shawn marion, tyson chandler, caron butler when he gets back.
For Magic to make the comments that he did on game day just two days after he criticized bynum for a similar comment reeks of hypocrisy and I adore Magic. I do think they look at Showtime through rose colored glasses-------------I mean there was plenty of strife there and lots of icky prima dona stuff like getting coaches fired, etc.
Finally, keep the core and revamp the bench............

Magic Johnson has lost a lot of his shine as far as I'm concerned, the guy won't stop talking. "Blow it up," over and over. What an attention whore, the guy failed as a coach, talk-show host, what else... he just has to have the attention, the spotlight. He got so used to it as a player all the time and he deserved it to be sure, but let's be honest, since those glory days has he done one thing to merit all the attention?

Pau's less-than-expected play is one of the MANY reasons that the postseason ended so abruptly for this team.

Three full seasons with Finals play, two of which ended with a ring and their tanks, unfortunately, were on E.

They'll be back in the hunt next year with a new coach (B Shaw, hopefully) and after a few tweaks in the lineup.

LAKERS!!!

I can't believe so many of these ingrates are still blaming Pau.
You win and lose as a team. They're all at fault.

From today's interviews (Pau, Fish, Luke, Steve, Bynum), they all mentioned that the team never gelled this year. They were inpatient and went away from their offense/defense. Injuries, new players not fitting in, they didn't practice well...
Probably a culmination of fatigue (mental and physical), lack of hunger from the title runs.

We saw the symptoms all season but thought the team could still get it together.

I hope they get a well deserved rest (and love from fans) and come back with hunger and maturity.

Thanks for the great run!

Pau Gasol is the reason why LAkers where at last 3 finals.
And is the reason not to achieve the 4rth.

Every team knows that is more important to guard Gasol to beat LAkers, if he has the ball you have a guard+PF+C in one person, but ...

As every great player he must improve to beat this improved defenses.

And, of course, team must help.

I would ask Zelko Obradovic, the bes world Head Coach to be LAkers Head Coach replacing the best NBA coach otherwise LAkers will not be at 2012 finals.

And Luke Walton contract should buy a better player.

Europe is a good place to look at FC Barcelona beated LAkers in preseason and all of them cost more or less 12 M USD, but this is not new, Joventut de Badalona almost beated Magic Jhonson's LAkers in the 9os.

The NBA advantege is money, and there are a lot of bargains at European teams.

If Pau reads his Facebook comments he's definitely going to be insane. Pau Gasol should not be traded. Except for Snoop Dogg, such a gentleman and tough guy (and also a ticket season holder), 3 Finals in a row dealing with the best power forwards and centers of the league should mean something. Then you here a champion like Amare Stoudamire calling him soft. Have you ever heard Duncan or Shaq or even Garnett calling him soft? Ask his brother if he thinks Pau is soft? He lost his hunger? Yeah sure you know that. True Lakers fans should be happy to have a player who dignifies Lakers org. visiting Hospitals and poor African villages during his free time, not to mention the fact he never says a bad word about his teammates and Lakers employees simply adore him. Let me tell you something, from Barcelona to Memphis to Spain to Los Angeles, when Pau Gasol gets tired of achieving things, he will be honest and say so, because he's a real gentleman. By the way, all you people talking about Bynum being THE FUTURE, look at Dwight Howard's age, please...

How about pitching for Deron Williams - seems like he has still not committed with the Nets - he would be a welcome addition to the Lakers team to replace Fisher - any thoughts?

Come on Gasol, " suffering" is too Operatic. Remember what Fisher went through; his infant daughter's eye surgery, came back from NY right after that and still contributed for his team. Kobe had his own story whole world to see. Yet , commuting from Denver, still could shoot 40 some points. Pau, your life has been too sugary.

Paul did a good job, he got 2 rings better than Tim Duncan and Garnett.

Posted by: bluesky | May 10, 2011 at 07:00 PM

What are you talking about??? Duncan has four rings? And he doesn't have to put up with the crap Pau does, TEAM is everything, live as a team die as a team, no excuses!!

Too bad Lakers can't get Pop to teach some of those bozos.


Rule #1 Pau:

Laker bros before hos

Everybody wants to blame Kobe, Bynum, Pau. This team never perfomed like it should all season, some of the balme has to go to Phil as well. The bench play was erratic and inconsistent. Odom's play was not that great in the playoffs, Fisher is a great guy but he gave us nothing all season, no body to spell Kobe during the season, if Pau like he said felt fatique then Phil should have played at least Joe Smith to spell Pau. Their team defense stunk. The claring weakness is the bench and Pau needs to show more agression at both ends of the court. We need an athletic point guard with the ability to play these younger ones. Hire Shaw and move forward.

For those all over Magic about his talking, I would remind you that Megic is the Lakers. But for Magic, LA would not be where it is today. To be sure, he took his share of bad losses in his career, but he's also more invested in the Beloved Franchise than any of us will ever be. He has infinitely more room to talk candidly as an analyst (which is, btw, his *job* when he goes on TV) or a member of the Laker Family.

As for Gasol, remember that he was

- Thrown into the pressure cooker of the NBA Finals and forced to play out of position in 2008

- Thrived and played a critical role in back-to-back titles, capped by one of the Greatest Wins In Laker History, Game 7, 2010 NBA Finals.

- Played in a lot of international games in the 2008 and 2009 offseasons.

- Played the longest 4-year stretch of his career, and actually played increased minutes in 2010-2011 due to injuries.

ALL THAT BEING SAID, His play was the central reason the 2011 run fell apart. In times of crisis the last 3 playoff seasons, LA could go to him to stop/answer the opponent's runs. They couldn't do that this year. He bears a lot of blame, for whatever the reasons were for his funk.

Should he be traded? I say only if needed for chemistry or to address a central need for quality PG or perimeter athleticism.

Given that I've been in varying stages of grief since Sunday, my opinion could change tomorrow, but I think I'm in the acceptance phase.

Pau I don't think anyone expected you to become Keith Van Horne. This guy is weak and needs to go. He already has a reputation for being physically soft, now he will have the reputation of being mentally weak. The only question can be what they can get for him.

For those that find comfort in him helping the Lakers get to the finals the past three seasons, I say to you-live in the past you die in the past.

Pau dissapear when we need him. As he allways do. Kick him away from LA and bring Dwight

I am an Spaniard myself. Some peope has wondered in this forum why Pau plays for the national team if he feels tired. In my humble opinion it is a question of having fun. Pau enjoys playing for Spain because his long time friends are there (Navarro,Reyes, Mumbru, Garbajosa, Ricky Rubio, his own brother Marc...) They are a fantastic team because chemistry flows naturally. To be honest, when I see Gasol playing for the Lakers, I do not see that chemistry. All is so professional, so inhuman, so cold... Most of the players want to make their numbers without thinking of the team

Say what you may about Ron Artest and Pau. I think most fans agree that if it were not for Ron and Pau the lakers would not have been going for 3 in a row.

Ron did a heck of job in turning his self around. He does not care what I think, and I appreciate that.

Conratulations to PJ and to a well deserved retirement A very classy man.

One thing that I can say in Pau's defense is that he takes an awful lot of punishment from game to game. A lot of what contributes to the perception that he is soft are legitimate fouls against him that are not called. Dallas committed a lot of fouls against him that weren't called. Same for the rest of the league, all season long. Refs need to call fouls and stop critiquing players reactions and worrying about whether player X should be able to finish through contact. That is bogus. By definition, finishing through contact means a foul has been committed. A foul is a damn foul. The NBA has become like a mudwrestling match in the paint. Pau's great skills are negated by players who are able to get away with excessive contact because refs want to keep the "game flowing". Call the damn fouls!


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