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Lakers say stop calling Pau Gasol soft

Apr 6, 2011, 1:15 PM EDT

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Them’s fightin’ words to the Lakers.

Well, at least verbal fighting.

A couple people have taken swings at Pau Gasol and used the soft word recently, as ESPNLosAngeles.com reports, starting with the Knicks Amar’e Stoudemire.

“He’s still soft,” Stoudemire said with a grin and a shrug. “But, he’s a good player, you know what I mean? But he also has help down there. He has help down there in Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, those 7-footers down there. So he’s got some supporting cast.”

Last month, Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins took a similar shot at the Lakers’ starting power forward.

“I don’t like Pau Gasol or Phil Jackson,” Perkins told ESPN the Magazine. “Phil is arrogant. Pau is soft. Kobe tries to bring out his toughness, but he’s still soft.”

The Lakers fired back.

First came Andrew Bynum taking a shot at Stoudemire via twitter:

The NBA is a weird place! How can a man that plays 0 defense call a 2 time champion soft?

Then other Lakers players chimed in.

“Pau got moves. He don’t have to be hard. That’s why he got us,” said a shirtless (Ron) Artest as he flexed his chest and arm muscles.

“How are you soft and average 10 rebounds?” chimed in (Lamar) Odom….

Artest didn’t let the moment pass without throwing a zinger back at Stoudemire.

“Amare posed on the front of [a magazine] butt naked!” Artest said. “OK, is that tough?”

Gasol is not soft. He’s also not a true center — he’s a power forward, and maybe the best one in the league. But he’s not some kind of classic, Patrick Ewing back-to-the-basket center (and he’s European) so some people made the leap to him being soft. But the man defended Dwight Howard to a standstill when the Lakers won their title two years ago. He has banged bodies with Kevin Garnett in the finals and got a ring out of it. That’s not his nature, but he can do it.

Gasol isn’t soft. He’s just one of the best big men in the game.

  1. thestudiokida - Apr 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    All I know is Pau Gasol can’t play 1 on 1 defense. He gets owned by Chris Bosh every time they match up.

  2. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 6, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    I agree, Gasol is a great hard big man. Bosh? Now he is a softey. But, Gasol is never soft, he always plays big and always plays hard. That is why I love him and the Lakers.

    • loungefly74 - Apr 6, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      bingo…Bosh is SOFT…so is amare…lets throw in KG as well. yeah, I said it, KG. don’t let his pie-hole fool ya. his bark is worse than his bite. People call Pau soft because he doesn’t talk trash. so i guess tim duncan is soft too. no…they use their head and win. pau is the best PF in the game. 2 rings…maybe a 3rd one on the way.

      • fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        Ewwwww….I know, I know, I know. Why can’t people see how hard Gasol is? I have always thought of him as hard. Bosh = soft. Amare = soft. KG = soft. But, oh, Gasol is HARD.

      • borderline1988 - Apr 8, 2011 at 5:00 PM

        Bosh and Gasol are similar in their softness. Does it matter? Not really. Both are really good.
        The reason why Gasol averages more rebounds than Bosh is b/c he’s 2 inches taller (although the difference isn’t very large). Otherwise, they’re exactly the same.

        Bosh is better in the face-up game, and Gasol is undeniably better with his back to the basket. Both are very good jump shooters from 10 – 15 feet (maybe Bosh has slightly more range).

        Overall, Gasol is better though b/c of the height difference which does make a considerable difference on defense and when shooting over players, and the fact that he’s an excellent passer (Bosh is a clueless passer).

      • loungefly74 - Apr 9, 2011 at 8:47 AM

        at borderline1988, okay…you have a point. i just believe the “soft tag” is silly IF they guy is producing. Amare, Bosh, Gasol all produce but getting back to the original debate…Amare has no clout to call Gasol soft.

  3. denverhoopdreams - Apr 6, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Gasol plays hard, but isn’t hard. He’s too good of a guy. Great player who doesn’t need to be hard though. Like Artest said, he’s got the guys with the scowls all around him.

  4. stinkfingers - Apr 6, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Stoudamire calling Gasol soft is pretty laughable.

    Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

    • denverhoopdreams - Apr 6, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      Watch out. Rapmusicmademedoit is lurking around the courner and is about to tell you why he thinks Gasol is soft.

  5. truprof - Apr 6, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Let’s compare Amare’s 2010 playoff stats vs. Pau Gasol’s;
    In 16 playoff games, Amare avg’d 22.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg and 1.1 apg in 36.5 minutes per game.
    In 23 playoff games, Pau avg’d 19.6 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg and 3.5 apg in 39.7 minutes per game.
    So Amare avg’d 2.6 more points per game, but 4.5 less rebounds, 0.6 less blocks and 2.4 less assists in 3 less minutes per game.
    Somebody is soft, but it ain’t Pau Gasol!

  6. chargerdillon - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Amare is just mad he has to watch a 7foot whiteboy do what he can’t

  7. frankiejr - Apr 6, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Amare is soft…very very soft. No NBA crown wahhhhhhh!!!! Perkins he was traded because he’s soft, soft legs, soft ankles too, he got 1 NBA ring but with the help of their own BIG 3??? what a softie

  8. richard92648 - Apr 6, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Where I come from, 2 always beats zero…

  9. damp1015 - Apr 6, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Hold up now, Gasol is hard? The guy plays great but remember that he is surrounded with other BIGS who help him. If you were to put Gasol on a team without that help he would not be doing what most of you are preaching. A player may be good but his team is what makes him great and that is what is making Gasol seems so great.

    Call it what you want, but I would say Nene is hard. That guy mans up without another BIG coming to his aid. Lets not create this presence of a person based on his actions with his team, what can he do by himself.

    And for Bynum, that kid needs to realize just because you have championship rings does not make you hard, there are players with no rings who played even better but does not have the supporting cast.

    • denverhoopdreams - Apr 6, 2011 at 6:21 PM

      I’m trying to see if I can grasp if you grasped what this article was saying. But I’m having a hard time grasping that…. gasssssp.

  10. davidly - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    I won’t speak to NBA players, because it can be a pretty rough sport and to compete at a high level in it requires something that I wouldn’t refer to as “soft”. But most of the folks you read in forums like this, mouthing off about this guy or that, are most likely pussies.

    • denverhoopdreams - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      So you’re saying, Stoudemire, Bynum, Gasol, Artest, and every other player in the world who’s called someone soft is a pu**y??? Well you just called all of the NBA “pu**ies” because everyone thinks someone or another is soft.

      • denverhoopdreams - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:38 PM

        That, or you’re saying people on this blog are… in which case you’re pretty soft because you can’t take someoens opinions on who is soft or not. But if this isn’t the case… well… we’re all just hardie non-soft softies.

  11. denverhoopdreams - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    While were at it, everyone say the word SOFT out loud. What a weird word… but I love soft socks.

  12. ocgunslinger - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    The vast majority of players who make an NBA roster are NOT soft. There may be players who play hard and tougher game than others but to just make a roster you have to be able to play harder than a lot of truly soft players who simply never make it that far.

  13. davidly - Apr 10, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    Shhh. You’ll ruin the computer-geek nba-fanboy fantasy. Then all that’ll be left with is heated discussions deciding once-and-for-all who the best drummer of all time is.

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