Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant share concerns about Lakers offense

Fresh off the Lakers’ tremendous meltdown against the Wizards on Wednesday, Pau Gasol was a guest on a radio show in Spain on Wednesday and spoke candidly about the Lakers’ offensive woes this season.

NBA Maniacs transcribed the interview in Spanish, and Ball Don’t Lie provided the following translation of his comments:

“(There is) lack of concentration, overconfidence and a certain level of selfishness, in general. I’m not a person or a selfish player, but we have to move the ball more, and we have to look further the team game, because we have enough talent to use different players.”

Kobe Bryant had a dreadful shooting night on Wednesday, needing 31 shots to score 30 points. That included stretch where Kobe shot 1-for-8 as the Wizards mounted their 21-point comeback. With that in mind, Gasol might have a point by saying the Lakers need to share the ball more. Good luck getting Kobe to buy into that.

But Gasol’s comments do represent an apparent growing dissatisfaction among the players with the way Mike Brown has been running the offense. Kobe reflected similar sentiment just before the All-Star break.

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Kobe spoke up for Pau Gasol ‘I said what he wanted to say but can’t say’

Call Kobe Bryant the voice of the people and a defender of the weak. After the Lakers beat the Trail Blazers Monday, Bryant explained to TNT’s Cheryl Miller why he defended Pau Gasol after the Lakers’ loss Sunday.

“I just basically said what he wanted to say, but can’t say,” Kobe explained. “I felt it was important for him to know that I have his back. We’ve been through so many battles. Even though it’s part of the business, guys that you’re in the fox hole with, it’s important for each other to know that we support each other.”

Kobe has a strong enough standing with the organization where he can feel comfortable publicly confronting management. He used his status to defend a teammate in a commendable way. GM Mitch Kupchak says he will continue to explore trades anyhow, but you have to respect the way Kobe spoke up for Gasol. Now it’s up to Pau to play his best during the tough time.

Derrick Rose reportedly wants Bulls to trade for Pau Gasol

Kobe Bryant has asked Lakers management to make a decision on Pau Gasol’s future. If they decide to trade him, Derrick Rose reportedly would welcome him on the Bulls.

Spanish news outlet Marca first reported that Rose would want Gasol in Chicago, saying he thinks Gasol would be able to return to his old form. Sheridan Hoops confirmed that report, saying Rose has told the Bulls privately that he would approve of a Carlos Boozer for Pau Gasol type of swap.

This report could be problematic for both sides. People believe that Pau Gasol’s play has been affected by the trade rumors; it’s easy to understand why he might be distracted. Now, Rose may have to answer questions from Boozer why he would rather play with Pau Gasol.

Once players are mentioned in trade rumors enough, you almost have to get rid of them. We may be headed to that point with Gasol and Boozer.

Kobe Bryant wants Lakers to finally decide Pau Gasol’s future

Over the last couple weeks, Pau Gasol has played very inconsistently. The entire Lakers team has struggled at times, but Gasol has had some particularly streaky shooting nights. With his name at the center of several trade rumors, many people believe Gasol has been having trouble focusing. Kobe Bryant is one of those people. In fact, he sounds extremely frustrated with the Lakers front office for leaving Gasol to wonder about his future.

“I wish management would come out and either trade him or not trade him,” Bryant said after the Lakers loss Sunday according to the L.A. Times. “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.

“If they’re not going to do it, come out and say you’re not going to do it. 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.”

Obviously, it’s not that simple. The Lakers don’t want to say they aren’t trading Gasol, because they need to listen to offers. They also don’t want to lie and tell him he isn’t going anywhere while continuing to shop him around. On the flip side, the front office doesn’t want to let their star forward know if they plan to deal him. If they are unable to work something out, that’s how feelings are hurt. Hurt feelings would not help the team down the stretch this season.

Kobe Bryant believes trade rumors have distracted Pau Gasol

Ever since David Stern stepped in and prevented him from becoming a member of the Houston Rockets last December, Pau Gasol has been the center of nonstop trade rumors, and Kobe Bryant thinks it’s affecting the Lakers big man’s play.

Kobe told the LA Times after Friday’s 111-99 home win over the Suns he thinks all the trade chatter has provided “an emotional couple days” for Gasol, who scored just 10 points in the contest.

“Personally I don’t understand that crap,” Bryant said. “But it is what it is. It’s important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us.”

Amid constant talk this season about being the centerpiece in a potential trade to the Magic for everybody’s favorite frontrunner Dwight Howard, Gasol has posted a career low in points per game (16.6). Recently, he’s also been linked to a possible deal sending him to Minnesota for rookie Derrick Williams and draft picks. The NBA’s trade deadline is March 15.

“At times it crosses your mind, but not exactly when you’re playing,” Gasol said. “Obviously when you’re playing, you’re focused and you try to do the best that you can. It’s something you have to shake off regardless at any time.”

Regardless of Gasol’s play on the court, you can’t knock him for displaying excellent professionalism in the face of persistent trade speculation, especially when you compare him to the way Lamar Odom handled his things.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas, US Presswire

Chris Paul Calls Pau Gasol Soft, Gets His Head Patted (Video)

The Lakers beat the Clippers Wednesday night at Staples Center 96-91 and things were testy. Six technical fouls were assessed and much more trash talk was exchanged. The teams even were at it after the game.

Chris Paul, who returned from a hamstring injury to dish 12 assists, was pretty livid about losing. You could see him mouthing to Kobe after the game that Pau Gasol was soft. The Spaniard’s reaction was to pat the point guard on the head, leaving Paul fuming even more.

“I don’t like that…don’t touch top of my head like I’m one of your kids,” Paul said, according to Lakers reporter Beto Duran.

Pau was apologetic, saying “Sorry [he] feels that way. Do that all time w teammates…nothing mean about it. But is what it is.”

Gasol had 23 points, 10 boards, and got the win. Seems like Paul was just salty about the defeat.

Timberwolves May Want Pau Gasol, But Acquiring Him from Lakers Will be Difficult

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a surplus of attractive assets and will likely be a busy team over the next few days. They hold the second pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft and could take forward Derrick Williams. The Cavs reportedly are locked in on Kyrie Irving with the top overall pick and Williams is viewed by many people as the second-best prospect (our Patrick Crawley argued Williams should actually be the top pick).

In addition to holding the second overall pick, point guard Ricky Rubio, who was drafted two years ago, has arrived in the U.S. and is ready to play in the NBA this season. Because of Rubio’s arrival from Spain, countryman Pau Gasol has become an attractive trade target for Minnesota, according to Chad Ford.

Minnesota’s desire to acquire Pau Gasol is understandable; even if he played poorly in the playoffs, he’s still one of the top forwards in the League. The problem is a trade would be difficult to be arranged because of salary cap restrictions, as Eric Pincus outlined on Hoops World via Speculative Sports.

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