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Pau Gasol: “It wasn’t about confidence. I collapsed.”

May 20, 2011, 11:55 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four Getty Images

The Pau Gasol that won the battle with the Boston Celtics front line in 2010 was nowhere to be seen. Same with the Pau Gasol that defended and scored on Dwight Howard in 2009.

Pau Gasol was not right in the 2011 NBA playoffs. He shot 42 percent this year, after shooting 53.9 percent ad 58 percent the last two seasons. He went from putting up big numbers on the game’s best last year to getting outplayed by everyone he faced this year. Some shortsighted Lakers fans went back to calling Gasol soft — if you drop 19 points and grab 18 boards against Kevin Garnett in a Game 7 you should get a lifetime pass from being called soft — while others questioned Gasol’s personal life.

In an interview with Spanish sports site Marca (translated by Hoopshype) Gasol said for all the speculation bothered him, but he was just exhausted.

“It wasn’t about self-esteem. It wasn’t about confidence. I collapsed. I was exhausted a little bit too. It hasn’t been a lack of confidence….

“A journalist from here told me that I’m an easy target. I’m polite, I’m a foreigner and I treat people with respect. Because I’m polite and a good person I’m an easy target. The lies about my personal life have affected me.”

Gasol became an easy target because he played like crap, not because he is Spanish. That said, the speculation about the cause of his poor play crossed lines — we all have some bad personal moments that impact our work, it’s just that the rest of us don’t have an army of writers and talking heads dissecting those mistakes.

The Lakers looked like an old, tired team. They had been to three straight finals and looked uninspired. Maybe a summer off and a new coach will change that. It has to for Gasol, because if he does not come back the old Gasol the Lakers are in trouble.

  1. Waxxx4321 - May 21, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    Well if you collapsed, then you lost confidence…..the great ones dont in great games…

  2. ahemahem - May 21, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    I get tired and keep confidence.

    • bittersonicsfan - May 21, 2011 at 4:51 AM

      If you’re burnt out it’s hard to do anything let alone play basketball. He looks like a llama, I love you Pau Gasol.

  3. trueballs - May 21, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Jesus this looks like a cheap foreign film…just that picture…the headline…

    I love Pau Gasol.

  4. zackd2 - May 21, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    Making excuse I see. If he thinks he’s an easy target now, imagine if he was in NY playing with 4 d-leaguers, he’d get even more crap.

  5. thetooloftools - May 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Hi, this is LeBron James.
    I know this story isn’t about me, but I need to keep my name out there because it really is ALL about me

    • scorp16 - May 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM

      Hi, this is thetooloftools,

      When I was younger, my daddy used to sneak into my room……..late at night……………..

  6. chargerdillon - May 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    People seem to forget because of 2 rings on his finger that his bad play in the Mav’s series was pretty much like what we saw his first time in the NBA finals against the Celtics, he looked pushed around and somebody had gotten in his head.

    • zackd2 - May 21, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      Yup. Soft.

      Some people count rebounds and say that shows he’s not soft – sorry, how many uncontested rebs do guys get at the FT line every game? Or when he’s the only one in the area of a rebound because the other team doesnt crash the boards?

  7. mzwildnwet82 - May 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    well…he shouldn’t lose confidence!

  8. josebarron23 - May 21, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    If I were the lakers I would trade pau gasol for Howard, Ron artest and Steve Blake for Chris Paul, start Matt barnes Kobe of course, Paul bynum odom and Derek fisher can come off the bench deven ebanks is like ariza so hell play good defense and they will still have fishers wisdom and leadership or the same as the above except make Derek fisher coach because he knows the triangle offense and all you would have to do is get another back up point and get rid of Joe smith and Theo Ratliff and get some young talent and also giv Trey johnson more minutes

  9. josebarron23 - May 21, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Don’t get me wrong gasol is a great player but i feel that sometimes he throws up to many layups which can get blocked when he can just slam it

  10. bittersonicsfan - May 22, 2011 at 6:29 AM

    scorp16

    HAHAHAHAHA! That tickled my funny bone!

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