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#pounditSunday, May 16, 2021

Pau Gasol responds to David Fizdale’s rant

San Antonio Spurs big man Pau Gasol thinks the data could go both ways.

On Wednesday, the six-time All-Star responded to Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale’s post-Game 2 rant that his team wasn’t getting enough foul calls in their first-round series against the Spurs.

“I didn’t get to the free-throw line yet this series,” said Gasol, per Melissa Rohlin of the San Antonio Express-News. “I think he’s just trying to motivate his team, stand up for his team, that’s it. There’s no other twist about it. You have to get your team going, and you do it whichever way is necessary, I guess.

“I assume that a guy that has been 20-plus years, successful and has the status of coach Pop [Gregg Popovich], then I’m a guy who just comes into the league and gets a head coaching job, I might not get the same treatment,” he went on, pointing to Fizdale’s status as a first-year head coach. “I guess you have to earn it, I don’t know how certain things work. But, again, I’m not going to emphasize it, I’m not going to point it out. It is what it is.”

In his fiery rant (which you can view video of here), Fizdale took exception to a 32-15 foul shot discrepancy in favor of San Antonio in Game 2 and noted that Kawhi Leonard had more free throw attempts than the entire Grizzlies team. But as for Gasol, he indeed has yet to even attempt a single free throw in 55 minutes of action so far this series.

Nevertheless, Fizdale’s tirade has already become a rallying point for his team as they try to come back from an 0-2 deficit in the series. As such, Gasol, a 16-year NBA veteran, can at least appreciate the motivational element of the rant.


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