Pau Gasol Still Very Unhappy With Mike D’Antoni’s System

by December 13, 2013

Things were supposed to be different this season. Alas, they are not. Pau Gasol still doesn’t fit into Mike D’Antoni’s run & gun system and philosophy, which may eventually lead to his departure from the Lakers. Per the LA Times: “In one corner of the Lakers’ practice gym stood Pau Gasol, his constant smile pulled tight. ‘The fact that I’m not getting the ball in the post affects directly my aggressiveness,’ he said. ‘When I’m not getting the ball where I want to, where I’m most effective, where I can bang guys and utilize my skill, that affects my aggressiveness and overall intensity. I can’t lie to him… Our numbers tell us the worst thing we do is post up,’ he said. The short distance between the Lakers’ struggling big man and their headstrong coach Thursday felt like miles, a giant chasm filled with disillusionment, disappointment and boos. Once the most embraced Laker, Gasol has become the most scorned. His reluctant offense and dissolvable defense have elicited a dark rumble from Staples Center fans every time he goes near the ball. He is shooting a career-low 42%, five opposing big men have already run over him to equal or top their career best in points, and everyone has been wondering when Pau Gasol is going to fight back. On Thursday, in his own kindly way, he finally did. […] ‘This year hasn’t been ideal, certain things are not ideal for me, but that’s not going to change any time soon,’ he said. So why hasn’t it been ideal? ‘What do you think?’ he said. ‘I’m not going to say anything, but it’s easy to see. You see a guy with a certain skill set, where does it fit better, where it doesn’t.’ When asked about D’Antoni’s sometimes pointed criticism of his toughness, Gasol shrugged. ‘I don’t pay attention. Mike is sometimes all over the place, I don’t give much credit to things like that,’ he said. When asked if D’Antoni has ever discussed this criticism with him directly, for the first time in the interview, Gasol sounded irked. ‘Nope, zero. Nope, zero,’ he said. ‘Like I said, it’s not ideal, but it is what it is.’ A few minutes later, in another part of the emptying gym, D’Antoni offered his own shrug and acknowledged he has never discussed his criticisms directly with Gasol. ‘We know how he has to be,’ D’Antoni said. ‘We talk, but he has to produce. He knows how to play, he knows what he has to do.'”