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Pau Gasol says players saying he’s soft just talking, jealous

Feb 1, 2012, 7:02 PM EDT

Pau Gasol AP

When at the end of the Lakers win over the Clippers last week Pau Gasol reached out and rubbed Chris Paul’s head and Paul took offense, he turns at one point to Kobe and says, “he’s soft.”

Gasol has been hearing the soft thing since before he was drafted. From coaches, players (Kendrick Perkins, Amare Stoudemire), particularly Lakers fans. Stood up to Dwight Howard in the finals one year (Andrew Bynum was out) and fans are calling Gasol soft before training camp ends the next year. Heck, Pau probably hears it from his brother.

What does he say to all that? He doesn’t care, other guys are just talking He’s got rings. Other players are jealous.

Here is the quote, from 790 The Ticket in Miami with Dan Le Batard (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“Sometimes I believe it is guys just talking for the heck of talking. They got nothing better to say and other times I believe there is a little bit of jealousy at times, but I can’t really control what other people say. I can control what I do and what I have been doing throughout my career, which has been very successful and help my team beat better teams. That is as much as I can control and that’s what I focus 100% on, so the rest of the stuff is a couple of guys talking here or there. It does not affect me or interfere with my life.”

“Again it is something that it is brought up after three consecutive finals and two championships. Those thoughts kind of went away with the two championships, but again I play.”

I think there is a difference between being soft and having a finesse game. I don’t expect all my big men to play like Dwight Howard. Gasol is a finesse player, and he’s got better touch and moves around the post than any other big in the league. But he has some fight in him. He may not be demonstrative, but he’s got fight. Go back and watch those finals. He’s not soft. And a lot of guys are jealous.

  1. dlew2191 - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    I found this article to be a good verdict on whether or not Gasol is soft:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/751656-la-lakers-does-pau-gasol-deserve-the-soft-label-does-it-even-matter

  2. ferhatiggy - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Most of American people see Europan guys as a soft but it’s not real.Ok they are not athletic so much but what do you prefer?Gasol or perkins,gasol or De Andre Jordan,Gasol or Haywood?Pau is the best PF in the league.

    • africanballer - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:02 AM

      I’m definitely with you on everything you said, except the ‘best PF in the league’ part, you lost me there.

  3. Justin - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    I wish he was playing soft on my team (Minnesota).

  4. goforthanddie - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    You know, Pau, if everyone’s been saying it for years, it may just be true.

    • redstar504 - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:16 PM

      That is some pretty sound logic there…..huh?

  5. thethruth34 - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    I’d take Paul on my team any day

    • mlblogsbig3bosox - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:54 PM

      Paul or Pau? smh

  6. 420hippy - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    wonder what lotion he uses…

    • raidmagic - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      Awesome!! That made me laugh out loud.

  7. cowboyscanada - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Just Jealousy! ,,,, Go Lakers!

  8. isujames - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    He’s as soft as a fat girls vagina!!

  9. isujames - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Gasol couldn’t fight his way throught wet tissue if he had to.

  10. africanballer - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    if soft can make you one of the best big men in the game and win championships in sunny SUNNY CALIFORNIA i wanna be soft, please MAKE ME SOFT ANYBODY

  11. breezysmeezy - Feb 2, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    It also didn’t hurt to have Kobe on the floor and Phil on his bench…just saying

  12. sellahh - Feb 2, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    “Stood up to Dwight Howard in the finals one year (Andrew Bynum was out) ”
    Bynum was not out, he was out the year before against the Celtics. Its not like Pau was the only one guarding Dwight, L-O-L :o
    Im a Laker fan, Pau is incredibly skilled and i think definiately up there in terms of pure ability with ZBo, Aldridge and Dirk. I dont know about his competitive fire, but if he was a little more mean and vicious out there on the court, he’d really be unstoppable. I mean you let a midget like CP3 trashtalk to you all game long and all you do is rub his head? He should have slapped him, got into his face or whatever, i dont care, youre 7 foot tall for ****s sake.
    I guess hes just too much of a nice guy, too much of a smart person to really get dirty down there. Now if we got Dwight… ok lets not go there

  13. lanpar - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Pure European stereotype , plain and simple nothing more. All sports have that.

  14. chargerdillon - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    To be fair, Dirk is the best PF in the game. I say this because he carried his team on his back to a championship.

    But…. if Dirk is #1. Pau WAS (keyword was) #1b.

    I say was because it’s either Browns offense or its Gasols physical breakdown. When he came to the Lakers it was 20-30 a night on average. Gasol isn’t producing what he was and because of that the Lakers don’t look half of what they had been for so long.

    I’m not sure if he’s gotten old or tired, but he’s not producing half as much as he used to.

    When I think soft, I think about guys who can’t mentally/physically handle the pressure. Lebron may be the most talented player in the game today, but every time I see him enter a finals or a playoff game where he has to be the man, and all I see is one soft-ass brother not willing to step up and take shots the way Pau Gasol did to get 2 rings on his hand.

    Is Lebron soft? I think so. Is Pau Gasol soft, hell no.

  15. sellahh - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    What the hell…
    “Stood up to Dwight Howard in the finals one year (Andrew Bynum was out)”
    ANDREW BYNUM WAS NOT OUT THAT YEAR SO GASOL WASNT THE ONLY ONE TO STOOD UP TO DWIGHT. I POST THIS FOR THE SECOND TIME CAUSE YOU DELETED MY COMMENT FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON. I THOUGHT IT WAS BECAUSE I USED “FOR ****S SAKE” PHRASE BUT PEOPLE USE EXPLETIVES HERE EVERY NOW AND THEN. SO I GUESS ITS JUST YOU BEING BUTTHURT.
    ****ING BUNCH OF RETARDS HERE, I FEEL FUNY BEING ABLE TO SPEAK ENGLISH BETTER THAN YOU ARE CONSIDERING ITS YOUR NATIVE
    I SERIOUSLY DESPISE YOU KURT AND WISH YOU GET HIT BY A TRAM OR SOME TRUCK WHILE SHOPPING GROCERIES.
    INB4: YEAH ME MAD

    • smoothaswilkes - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Why don’t you relax and turn off your cap lock. Bynum played at whopping 95 minutes during that 5 game series and collected a total of 21 rebounds during that time frame. So yeah, he was pretty much a non-factor in that series.

      Besides that, you seem to be missing the point. Gasol was dominant that series against Howard. Gasol played the bulk of his minutes at Center. During those finals, he was playing some sweet, sweet ball. He shouldn’t be labeled soft after that series. That’s the point. Nobody cares about what Bynum did or didn’t do.

  16. sellahh - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    “Bynum played at whopping 95 minutes during that 5 game series”
    “Stood up to Dwight Howard in the finals one year (Andrew Bynum was out)”
    How many times you need to read that to comprehend my point? Whatever im outta here it seems like fat is damaging your braintissue, Hambericans.

  17. sellahh - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    And my anger was because i actually put effort to write a comment how Pau was an extremely skilled but not mean/vicious enough player to really reach the next level and yet it gets deleted and the typo doesnt even get straightened out. Whatever now im out BB

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