Fresh off the court after the Lakers third straight victory the purple and gold will now head out to Phoenix to begin a seven game road trip. It's been a long season but with Kobe and the Lakers as a team actively moving the ball around good things have begun happening. There remains one "problem" in this narrative turnaround for the Lakers though, and that's with Pau Gasol, who didn't share the positive vibes throughout the locker room, as reports Mark Medina.
Pau Gasol on sitting out late in game:"I'm a competitor & think I bring a lot to the table. It's something I don't like & don't appreciate."— Mark Medina (@MedinaLakersNBA) January 30, 2013
It should be clear, Gasol was ASKED about not playing in the fourth. He didn't bring it up. That's a VERY important detail. AK— Kamenetzky Brothers (@KamBrothers) January 30, 2013
This isn't a new development as Pau has expressed displeasure in the past in regards to his late game playing time (and the fact that he's no longer starting). The issue, however, is that it continues to be an issue. With the Hornets electing to play "small" Mike D'Antoni had this to say in regards to keeping Pau on the bench.
Pau fans can rest somewhat easy about him not playing late. D'Antoni said he "couldn't get Pau back in there" bc Hornets went small.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 30, 2013
While the Lakers desperately try to find an identity and unity, it appears both Pau Gasol and Mike D'Antoni still have work to do before they see eye to eye. As has been the case for the Lakers, there don't appear to be any easy answers in putting this issue to rest.