Mike D’Antoni responds to Pau Gasol’s criticism
Pau Gasol publicly criticized his Los Angeles Lakers teammates after a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. The veteran forward felt that selfish play and a lack of discipline needed to be addressed. His comments about the Lakers being undisciplined were interpreted as a shot at head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Lakers lost again on Wednesday night, this time at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies. Before the game, D’Antoni made it clear that he was unhappy with Gasol.
“The thing I just don’t appreciate … You just keep it in-house,” he said, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s very easy just to come over and talk about your frustrations. We’ll try to work something out. We’ll figure something out.
“But to go to (the media) and to do it in the papers, that’s disturbing. I just don’t think that’s the way to go and people should understand that we’re all trying to solve the same problem, so let’s just put our heads together and do the best we can.”
Gasol was critical of D’Antoni on Tuesday for going with a small lineup after Wesley Johnson got into foul trouble. MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore, two players LA acquired at the trade deadline, combined for 29 shots during the loss to the Pacers. Gasol insisted he was not singling anyone out with his comments.
“It wasn’t an attack to anyone in particular,” he said. “I wasn’t blaming MarShon and Kent of anything. I like these guys a lot. They’re great guys, they came in, I’m happy that they’re getting this opportunity. But that’s why from a team standpoint, you have to help them make better decisions.”
D’Antoni seemed to take particular exception with Gasol accusing the Lakers of being undisciplined.
“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” D’Antoni said. “(Tuesday) night, like (Gasol) said, we should have had more ball movement, but I don’t know what that has to do with discipline. It has to do with guys trying too hard, guys not really understanding the system totally and not really getting ingrained into it and so I think in that aspect, I can understand what he’s talking about, but I don’t know why he used that word.”
D’Antoni also noted that several players on the team are playing for a new contract, so selfish play could possibly stem from that.
Perhaps the Lakers should have traded Gasol at the deadline. He went on a postgame rant last month and obviously has not enjoyed his time playing under D’Antoni. Gasol’s LA honeymoon is over