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Monday, February 20th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  28 responses

Kobe Bryant Wants Lakers to Make a Decision on Pau Gasol


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Kobe Bryant knew what he was doing.

After publicly blasting the Los Angeles Lakers’ front-office for their handling of the Pau Gasol situation, he gave the media a knowing smile and indicated that he knew that his comments would be all over the sports pages. And, of course, it worked.

Following a disheartening loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers’ 11th road defeat of the season, Kobe let it be known that the organization needs to decide whether or not Pau Gasol will remain a Laker, and needs to to do so sooner than later.

From the LA Times:

“I wish [Lakers] management would come out and either trade him or not trade him,” Bryant said after the Lakers’ 102-90 loss Sunday in Phoenix. “It’s just tough for a player to give his all when you don’t know if you’re going to be here tomorrow. I’d rather them not trade him at all but if they’re going to do something, I wish they would just … do it.” Bryant sympathized with Gasol, sprinkling in some expletives while talking about his situation. “If they’re not going to do it, come out and say you’re not going to do it,” Bryant said. “This way, he can be comfortable and go out and can perform and play and he can invest all of himself into the game. You can’t have one of our pillars not knowing if he’s going to be here or not. Do something. One way or another, do something.”

“He’s been the consummate professional,” Bryant said. “He’s going out and he’s trying to do what he can. But let’s be real. If you didn’t know you were going to be here tomorrow, if your head’s on the chopping block … it’s tough to put all of yourself into the game.” Gasol deserved security or clarity, Bryant said. “I just think it would help him out a lot,” Bryant said. “Help us out a lot.”

For what it’s worth, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told SI over the weekend that it’s unlikely the team will pull the trigger on a major trade this season, but of course, you just never know.

It remains to be seen if the Lakers’ front-office will come out and offer Pau Gasol any sort of assurances prior to the trade deadline, especially after Kobe went to bat for him.

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  • Paul H

    Once again Pau deserves major credit for his handling of this whole affair.

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    seems reasonable.

  • robb

    they don’t even know what they’re gonna do Kobe, you know that.

  • Shem

    Pau is acting like such a professional. The NBA may be a business but the way the Lakers are handling this is just plain wrong, he’s done so much for that organization.

  • http://slamonline.com Brion

    The owner should just say were not trading him. easy fix.

  • OTB

    Honestly, I’m surprised it took this long for Kobe to say this. This was a great calculated move on his part as a leader. I’m assuming he had a talk with Pau as friends, and clearly it was bugging him. Why shouldn’t it? I can’t believe they’d just ship him without even giving him a heads up – Pau had literally no indication that he was going to be traded. He thought he was secure with the team that he had helped bring 2 championships in 3 years, along with a Finals appearance. At the drop of a hat (and Phil Jackson leaving), they decide to trade him>? Pau deserves a lot more credit then he gets for a) the way he’s handled it like a pro and b) what he means to this Lakers team. Jim Buss is a f**king moron; he’s trying to make the Lakers his “own” team (and seperate from the PJ era). This is why Shaw was not hired when he clearly was the best option; this is why there is so much hesitation to trade Bynum; this is why a bunch of Lakers personnel were fired. I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for Kobe’s no trade clause and the fans sentiment towards him, Kobe would be on the block as well.

  • anthony y

    Their using him as bait for Orlando. Either they get Howard for him or I don’t they trade him. The way their going about it is wrong.

  • dma

    they’re trying to drive up their demand for him by doing this and Kobe’s in the know. 4 more days until all-star break should be a fun filled rumor week.

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    Pau is extremely talented, I don’t know if there is a solid anything worth what Pau puts on the table.

  • Paul H

    I do not care what anyone says, Dwight Howard is NOT worth giving up both Pau and Drew. Not even close.

  • Dungeon Family

    We don’t need to trade the Twin Towers as Kobe said

    all we need is a PG I would try Ramon Sessions

  • Dungeon Family

    all we need is a PG better than Fisher………….It can’t be that hard to find one

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    Yeah how is there no good minor system for the NBA, you’d hope that you can call up a player in almost every major sport except basketball. Fisher shouldn’t have suited up this year but he did, he can’t guard anyone in the league now.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Or just Baseball (america’s past time – the only sport people will watch no matter who is playing). — And the D-League has call-ups, how do you think JJ Barea was discovered?

  • Ill Smith

    SMH the Lakers dynasty is looking more & more pathetic as the season goes on. PJ knew what he was doing, he always jumps ship at the perfect time (or does it all just seem to crumble because he leaves?). Please dont believe LA wont move Gasol before the deadline: Kobe aint going nowhere & Buss has been strung out on Bynum since he drafted him. Sadly, that leaves Gasol as the odd man out. Cuz who in the hell is trading for Metta, Fish, Barnes or someone off their Five Horsemen bench? Sucks because HE brought those titles to LA but he better ask Shaq: management will always side with Kobe.

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    salary dump guys. the new CBA is a backbreaker. the reason the owners hated the Chris Paul trade was because it saved the Lakers money. I don’t think they cared that much about another superstar in LA since the lakers were losing Odom/Pau anyways

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Pau is a professional, no doubt.

  • Towelie

    Goudelock?

  • Dingo Rob

    These comments do nothing for Pau, they only serve Kobe’s interest and future.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Who care about the professional crap, Pau should be demanding they trade him now. IF I was him, I would force the Lakers hand. Kobe did this on purpose and Kobe will win in the end. Deron or Howard is coming. BOOK IT!!

  • starkpwnsyou

    and once again, the seed proves why he’s an idiot.

  • RKJ92

    He’s A huge idiot..

  • matt

    Kobe is near untradeable due to his contract. The Lakers’ bench is absolutely brutal and no other teams desire those players. That leaves Bynum and Pau. Bynum is favoured as he was drafted by LAL. And he has a shorter contract than Pau, and is younger, and is a top 5 C in the league. Only other thing Lakers have is 2 draft picks this year (LAL and Dallas) and a 8.5? million TPE. They could get something if they were willing to take on more $. For example, Walton/Ebanks for T.Prince.

  • AQWORD

    Sell the Mop Head so i can get more shots yeah?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Props to Kobe for standing up for the guy that helped him get those 2 championships and seal his legacy as one of the greatest.

  • vtrobot

    No way in hell you’re gonna get a deal as good as the one that brought Pau to them. Change for the sake of change will bite the Lakers in the a$$.

  • AQWORD

    … like Dirty old Marv Albert.

  • Big Balls Smalls

    Sixers offer Andres Nocioni, Fransisco Elson and Craig Brackins for Pau…..steal for the Lakers….Make It Happen Thorn!

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