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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 at 9:20 am  |  10 responses

Pau Gasol Won’t Request a Trade, Still Unhappy With Bench Role


Los Angeles Lakers big man has made it clear time and again that he’s not thrilled with coming off the bench, but he won’t ask to be moved, and promises to remain professional about the whole thing all season long. Per CBS Sports: “Not right now,’ Gasol said when asked if he or anyone on his behalf would lodge a trade request before the deadline. ‘I don’t think now is the time for that step to happen. Right now I’m very focused and committed to our team.’ Gasol, a four-time All-Star and one of the most gifted 7-footers in the world, has struggled with his demotion to the second unit — calling it ‘not ideal’ and adding, ‘Whether I like it or not or whether I agree with it or not, I still try to go out there and do my job. It’s hard for anybody who considers himself one of the top players in the world to say, ‘OK, I’m OK with coming off the bench,’ Gasol said. ‘It’s a difficult situation that we’ve been dealing with here. The last few games have been great, and we’re staying positive and we look forward to that to continue. But at the same time, we don’t need any other distractions, any more negativity. We need positive embracing, we need focus, we need to support each other. That’s where we’re at and that’s where I’m at, too.’ Gasol said he was willing to embrace the bench role for the rest of the season, but couldn’t see himself accepting it for longer than that. ‘I’ve been on this team, in this city, for six years,’ Gasol said. ‘It’s very hard to stick around on this team, and I take pride in that. I think I’m a valuable asset and I want my role to be as big as it can be, within the well being of the team. But I don’t know if being a player that comes off the bench will be something that I’ll be able to accept long term. Right now I want this team to work. I feel we have a very privileged team with great athletes. It’s been a crazy year for everyone, and I understand that. And the last thing I’ll be here is selfish right now. So I’m willing to work with what we have right now for the rest of the year and have no problems, because I want it to work. And I’m not a guy that just quits on himself or on his team.’ Despite his undeniable talent, Gasol is a challenging trade piece because he has $19.3 million left on his deal next season. Already facing uncertainty over whether Dwight Howardwill re-sign as a free agent this summer — Howard lately has taken the approach of not discussing his future plans — the Lakers are in a bind.”

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  • RunNGun

    Everything that needs to be said about Pau and the Lakers has already been said. Same ol’ story, different day.

  • spit hot fiyah

    handled it like a pro with the media

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Everyone knows he’s not going to be a disruption. The words “classy” and “class” are overused when talking about athletes but both can be used to describe Pau.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Can we condense all Laker stories on SLAM into one “Laker post of the day?” I’m a fan of the team, but even I’m getting sick of every other news item being related to the Lakers.

  • shockexchange

    “Doormat” also comes to mind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Does he really have a choice? Its not like they’re just going to magically start him if he demands it or throws a tantrium. What leverage does he have?

  • RayJr

    Agreed. It’s actually slowed down since they’ve won the past 2 games but wait until the next loss and every other news item will be Lakers related.

  • shockexchange

    Not much, he’s already under contract. How L.A. has treated Shaq, Odom, Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum at the same ____ time, is a commercial for how they’ll treat D12. Once he’s under contract and they keep losing, they will trade him for a bag of skittles and “a player to be named later.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/llock3hart Larry Lockhart Jr.

    Mike D’ Antoni is well known to bench star players (DNP – coach’s decision) to stroke his ego especially when he wants to get rid of a player and/or force general managers and owners hand to make a trades. Examples: Stephon Marbury, Pau Gasol, Tracy McGrady, Antawn Jamison, Nate Robinson, Eddie Curry, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llock3hart Larry Lockhart Jr.

    Pau Gasol is to classy to request a trade even though he knows that his free throw percentage is better than Dwight Howard’s. However, Mike D’ Antoni is well known to bench star players (DNP – coach’s decision) to stroke his ego especially when he wants to get rid of a player and/or force general managers and owners hand to make a trades. Examples: Stephon Marbury, Pau Gasol, Tracy McGrady, Antawn Jamison, Nate Robinson, Eddie Curry, etc.

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