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Kobe thinks the trade talks are playing games with Pau’s heart… with Pau’s heart

Feb 18, 2012, 1:03 PM EDT

Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett and Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol compete for the ball in Boston Reuters

I’m sorry for that reference, first of all.

The Lakers continue to be mired in constant flux. The vetoed Chris Paul trade kicked off a season of uncertainty that has continued. Pau Gasol is constantly discussed in rumors. And Kobe Bryant thinks it’s affecting Gasol negatively. From the Los Angeles Times:

Though it appears pointing out a descrepancy involves splitting hairs, Bryant believes reports linking Gasol in a trade has made it “an emotional couple of days for him.”

“Personally I don’t understand that crap,” Bryant said regarding the Lakers’ effort to trade Gasol. “But it is what it is. It’s important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us.”

via Kobe Bryant: Trade speculation has made Pau Gasol emotional – latimes.com.

Two thoughts on this.

1. Gasol is developing a reputation for letting his emotions impact his play. Lady troubles last spring were heavily discussed as the reason he completely vanished against the Mavericks. This is probably a bit unfair. Everyone goes through personal troubles, and it’s not like the Mavericks didn’t scheme well against Gasol. But admitting it publicly isn’t going to win you any friends with the fans. Playing through it is part of the job, and everyone in the league has to deal with trade rumors. Well, besides Kobe and a handful of others.

2. How can Bryant be surprised by this? The Lakers have a long-standing history of being devoid of emotion when it comes to players. They are about the organization first and foremost. No one is bigger than the Lakers. That’s what happens when your best player is Magic Johnson and the bar is set that high. Jerry West and Shaquille O’Neal have complicated relationships with the organization. The Logo! Shaq won three titles! Bryant may not agree with it, but he has to understand it. This is their approach. Always try and improve.

It also shows how different and honestly, tougher the league is from three years ago. The Gasol trade combined with the formation of the Big 3 in Boston kicked off the new era of superteams, which is what makes this league so much more difficult and leads to Bryant-Gasol-Bynum no longer being enough to dominate. The thing they created is now threatening to tear the team apart. So it goes.

  1. cakemixa - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    The Lakers just aren’t that good. I wish the media could accept this. Time for other teams to get all the attention and be in the spotlight. LA/Boston aren’t contenders.

  2. ogre2010 - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I’m so sick of hearing about that veto trade!! Get over it Los Angles Lakers

    • redstar504 - Feb 18, 2012 at 7:48 PM

      The reason it keeps coming up is that trade had major ramifications and is one of the bigger story lines in the NBA this season. Stern single-handedly altered the balance of power in LA. The trade with the Lakers wasn’t the best deal for the Hornets but it was made. He put the veto in and changed the Lakers season with the stroke of a pen and messed up the chemistry of that team.

      Anytime the Lakers come up (and come on you know they are going they are the Lakers and Kobe Bryant) that trade veto was the defining moment of their season and arguably the next several seasons.

  3. bearsstillsuck - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Sounds like they’re not winning because they’re a team of pussys with a person that shoots too much.

    • 24thesho - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:53 AM

      That’s spelled, “pussies”. I’m jus sayin’.

  4. losangelasbasketball - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Lakers have the same starting core that won titles… Just an aweful bench now….

  5. chargerdillon - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    It’s true the Lakers arnt that good this year. They’re basically last years team, a year older, with one of their better pieces of last year missing this time around.

    The reason why people keep talking about the Lakers: 1. The vetoed Paul trade 2. NOBODY REPEAT NOBODY believes in the Mavericks 3. Pau Gasol is still a top tier player…

    The Chris Paul trade was the absolute most crooked and senseless decision the NBA ever collectively made, and because of it now the Clippers are looking like a big deal. Do I care about the Clippers, no and I never will, but the league forced the hand to make one team clearly have an advantage in trade the other team did. Anybody who wants to brush this under the rug, is clearly not a fan of the NBA or the Lakers. It doesnt matter who your team is, it was criminal

    The Mavericks gave away their championship building pieces after one season, they got a ring good for them. Everybody thought it was to be the Heats right but guess what, they can’t get it done. So UNTIL the Heat become the champions everybody is looking back to the only team who can REALLY DO THE JOB on a regular basis. The Lakers. big damn duh on that one.

    Pau Gasol has more rings than the Mavs franchise, he also has more rings than Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade Combined. Guess what, Pau isn’t an all star but all the guys i just mention will be.

    So…. why are people still talking about the Lakers? In th eye of the public they’re still a bigger, better, more reliable name, than VIRTUALLY ALL OTHER NBA TEAMS.

    Hate the Lakers when they’re good, hate the Lakers when they’re bad. They’re still better than you

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Preach it brother ‘dillon!

    • cmbailey7384 - Feb 18, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Not a Lakers fan at all, and agree with everything you said, still feel the Lakers got robbed in the vetoed Chris Paul trade

    • halflight420 - Feb 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      76ers fan here, just saying i agree with what you said

    • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 18, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      Wait you’re saying all teams aren’t just as important as one another? That a team in LA IS more important than a team in New Orleans. Jesus I wish someone would have told the owners this so we wouldn’t have been locked out for months.

    • redstar504 - Feb 18, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      Dillon I agree with what you said 100% what Stern did was criminal but as a Hornet fan I can see the why now and for the following reasons:

      -With what the Hornets were ending up with in the Paul to LA Lakers trade they would have made the playoffs but they would have been in as a 7-8 seed and likely remained a team for the foreseeable future that either just makes the playoffs or just misses

      -This one can not be overstated enough the financial ramifications of the trade were not good for the Hornets right now. George Shinn really had the Hornets in a bad way thanks to stupid contracts and as a result of foolish overspending they racked up tons of debt, clearing the books made a lot of sense because it allows them to pay down debt so the team looks better for the potential buyer and this seems to have worked because the word around town here is they are going to announce new ownership at the end of the month (I still have to see it to believe it)

      -The team needed a youth movement. The Hornets at the end of this season are going to end up with 2 lotto picks and maybe another 1st if they move Kamen.

      This is where that trade allowed the Hornets to go, They can and will likely amnesty Emeka Okafor at the end of the season, Kamen or no Kamen his contract is expiring, that’s off the books. That is tons of money available for the new owner to make a couple of pickups in free agency to pair with the rookies and a healthy Eric Gordon, Jarret Jack, Carl Landry, Ariza, and company, but the biggest thing the situation they are in now allows the new owner the freedom to go in whatever direction he wants to with the team. The trade with the Lakers didn’t allow for that.

      I hated the move at the time and was outraged at what Stern did but at the end of the day it’s easy to see the logic and once you accept that, that logic had nothing to do with basketball and everything about making the Hornets attractive to a potential buyer it all makes so much more sense.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 18, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        I think theres an argument to be made for both deals. That said if Gordon walks at the end of the year I’d be losing my mind. The Hornets didn’t even offer him a max extension and I find that pretty shocking considering he’s probably the best young 2 in the league.

        In either case I think right from the start an independent party should have been making the decisions for the Hornets. The obvious bias of David Stern clouds his decision to nix that trade whether it ends up being right or wrong. I think the reality is if we weren’t exiting a lockout where small market teams were complaining about losing their stars to teams like LA the trade wouldn;t have been vetoed.

      • redstar504 - Feb 18, 2012 at 8:17 PM

        @ deadeyedesign23

        The deal with Gordon is the Hornets can still match and I think with his injury history this year and the prior year the Hornets didn’t feel he was worth a max by not offering they get the opportunity to let the market set his value.

        Just like the trade this is probably more about letting the new owner make the call. Again, I see it but I don’t like it. It’s hard having tickets and having to sit thru games knowing moves are getting made for business reasons instead of basketball reasons. Gordon leaving would stink and it is a possibility he bolts to the Pacers.

        You are right Stern should have never been making the calls and that is how it was supposed to be working. Hugh Weber and Dell Demps were supposed to be calling the shots but when things got dicey and owners started griping he jumped in and that was wrong.

        The trade with the Clippers was a better trade but that still doesn’t make what Stern did right. The trade was done he had no right to do what he did. The NBA comish should not be deciding the balance of power in the NBA’s second largest market. It is just wrong.

      • mytthor - Feb 18, 2012 at 8:19 PM

        It’s not about whether the trade veto was a good basketball decision for the Hornets; it’s about the fact that David Stern *SHOULD* have no right to decide on basketball decisions for the Hornets.

      • redstar504 - Feb 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM

        @mytthor

        Exactly, he had no business jumping in/getting involved and then taking the lead over Demps and setting up the second trade with the Clips.

        Demps is the GM of the New Orleans Hornets he made the call it was a done deal. Like you said “It’s not about whether the trade veto was a good basketball decision” he had no right to one up Dell Demps. I was shocked that Demps didn’t just walk out and quit when that happened.

        Stern jumping in was all about politics and the veto was a horrible call and a flagrant conflict of interest. Even worse he used his people to make the Clips trade happen vs. letting Demps do his job.

      • progress2011 - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:12 AM

        mythor….

        Owners can decide who, what, when & where in any business.

        The GM of the Hornets is an ” EMPLOYEE ” of a business owner and given rights to make some decisions, but owners of any business over-ride their managers and make most decisions that affect the company’s ( in this case the Hornets ) bottom line.

        Since the NBA ” OWNS THE HORNETS ” Stern is the Commissioner and the person that will make most major decisions regarding the Hornets, on behalf of the NBA, to better position the team to attract a buyer for the failing team.

        I’m sure that has to make sense, even to the disillusioned laker fans.

      • mytthor - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:38 AM

        @progress You’re incorrect. Stern may arguably have the ability to overrule Demps acting on behalf of the owners (remember, he is not an owner, and therefore does not fall under your statement) but that wasn’t what happened in this case. He didn’t tell Demps in a capacity as stand-in team owner that the trade was unacceptable; he stepped in as comissioner of the NBA and vetoed the trade. That’s something that’s never been done before.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 19, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        @progress2011

        Yeah but the bottom line is you can’t have a team owner who has the interests of all other teams in mind. Was Stern essentially the defacto owner of the Hornets? Sure. Should he have ever been given that position? No. Like I said an independent party should have been put in charge. Someone who had the Hornets and solely the Hornets best interest in mind. As opposed to Stern who was more invested in the opinions of the 29 other owners and the public relations nightmare of a small market losing their star.

    • scadydotp - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:49 AM

      why are they calling that trade criminal, i didn’t hear any one call the cops when Gasol was traded to the Lakers. As a matter of fact they are still laughing at the trade today. Only now Gasol is realizing the green grass is slowly becoming a little brown right now

  6. jgray30 - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    I couldnt have said it better Dillon. And the Lakers arent aweful. They r a pg away from winning another ring..

  7. ksolomonjr - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I couldn’t have said it better Dillion.

  8. progress2011 - Feb 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    This is why kobe is a ” cancer ” and why no other premier athletes are staking their claim to want to play with him. Name one that is publicly stating they want to play with him !

    Historically, he has constantly gone public, criticizing his teammates. These type of comments are for the locker room !

    No one has gone public about kobe jacking up 9 outta 28 ! Most are ill advised, Harlem Globtrotter type, And1, street ball shots, which disrupts the flow of Gasol and Bynum.

    If trade talks are affecting him, it’s because he may be saying ” THE GODS ARE LOOKING DOWN ON ME….GET ME OUTTA HERE ” !!!!

    • vicktator - Feb 18, 2012 at 7:15 PM

      I’d love to have a cancer on my team if it brought them 5 parades.

      • progress2011 - Feb 18, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        U’m The Diesel was the MVP of 3 and the reason for 3. Kobe was a 2nd wheel ” at best ” !

        The other 2, in crunch time, Kobe deferred to Gasol and others because if they lost, he wanted didn’t want to be blamed.

        As in this case, they are losing and a 5th seed at best, so he is throwing his teammates under the bus !

        ” CANCER “

      • mytthor - Feb 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        “The other 2, in crunch time, Kobe deferred to Gasol and others”

        Kobe Bryant hasn’t deferred to others in crunch time in 7 years. You’re insane.

        “Kobe was a 2nd wheel ” at best ” !”

        At best? So you’re suggesting he may have been the 3rd or 4th option? You’re still insane.

    • ludachrisgsx - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      A cancer that has put them in the Finals 3 out of the last 4 years, winning 2 of them. He’s only a cancer to those who hate him.

      I seem to remember Howard saying he’d love to play with Kobe, among other big names. Of course, all Kobe haters will talk about his shooting and scoring… if Kobe is leading the league in scoring, you’d better believe he’ll have all his detractors calling him a ball hog. As if that has anything to do with Gasol and Bynum having lower field goal percentages and the rest of the team shooting 20%. Please…

      You know who else used to take some crazy Globetrotter-type-circus shots, fade aways, etc? Some guy on the Bulls in the 80’s and 90’s. I used to watch his games too, thinking, he really shouldn’t be taking those kind of shots. But he made some of them. And I remember some of his detractors back then talking about how he was a ball hog, but not quite as much as Kobe gets for taking similar shots. Strange how that works.

  9. progress2011 - Feb 18, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Laker Nation,

    You patrol this MSNBC website. You can give me all the thumbs down you like. But the fact remains –

    You can’t name ” ONE ” premier player that has said publicly, they want to pay with kobe, EX:

    1. Mello said he wanted to Stoudemire
    2. CP3 has said he wanted to play with LBJ or Stoudemire
    3. Billups has said he wanted to play with CP3
    4. Wade said he wanted to play with LBJ
    4. D. Will has said he wants to play with Howard or LBJ
    5. D. Howard has said he wants to play with CP3

    You get the picture. NOBODY has said they wanted to play with kobe ( aka- Harlem Globetrotter, AND1, street baller ).

    Additionally the NBA ” OWNS THE N.O. HORNETS “. Owners trade players to set themselves up to be in a better position.

    The NBA OWNS THE HORNETS, so they traded Paul to the team that had the most to offer in return. There is nothing criminal or wrong with that…..crybabies !

    Additionally, since I have not heard CP3 complain about the trade, I wonder if CP3 didn’t contact Stern and tell him, ” dont trade me to the lakers and the ball hawk ” !

    YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH !!!

    • lakerdownunder - Feb 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      Sorry, and you support which team?

    • mytthor - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:42 AM

      Owners do not trade players. General managers do that.

      Dwight Howard has said he’d be willing to sign an extension with 3 teams, and the Clips are not one of them. The Lakers are.

      A “ball hawk” is a defensive player who gets a lot of steals or tips a lot of passes. The phrase you’re looking for is “ball hog.” (I assume)

      Can you please get a basic idea of how things work before commenting?

      • progress2011 - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        mytthor – Owners do what they chose. They write the checks. You live in real La-La land if you think the GM has the last word….stop being silly.

        Ball Hawk/ Ball Hog/ Jack-up Artist/ bricker……call it whateva you like. I’ve played ball over 20 years and slang is slang…all of the words are interchangeable, depending on the court. You obviously knew who and what I was referring to…..ahahaha

        The basic idea of how things work – the lakers and kobe got thrashed in the playoffs last year. You roll out the same team and expect different results. You will be thrashed again this year !

        Keep prowling all the blogs ….crying like a baby, won’t help. People like me will only provide you with salt for your gaping, wounded ego….ahahaha

    • scadydotp - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:46 AM

      i honestly thought that was a Laker page.

    • chargerdillon - Feb 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Fact remains, if the Lakers had been willing to give up both Gasol and Bynum, Howard would be a Laker right now, and he wouldn’t be complaining about it.

      Fact remains, if the Lakers had been willing to give up both Gasol and Bynum, Paul would be a Laker right now, and he wouldn’t be complaining about it.

      I absolutely agree that if I were any one of these premier players you named, I probably wouldn’t want to play in Kobe’s shadow either.

      Everybody is out to get the biggest/best deal for their team, and at the same time NOBODY want’s to hand another big title run to the Lakers even though for the most part they have the most trade ammunition.

      The only real truth in your statement is you really hate Kobe, nothing wrong with that.

    • ludachrisgsx - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      Howard has stated the Lakers are one of the teams he’d sign an extension with. That means he’d be willing to play with Kobe, does it not?

      And I don’t know if you remember, but reports came out that Paul was having serious thoughts of suing the NBA for the Lakers vetoed trade, just before he was dealt to the Clippers. Seems to me he wasn’t happy about not being traded to Kobe’s team, at least for a week.

  10. edweird0 - Feb 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    So it goes, indeed.

  11. 24thesho - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    I must say, Pau Gasol gets emotional too easily. Last year in the playoffs it was about his girlfriend and that b.s. He shouldn’t be playing in the NBA if can’t control his emotions. It’s kind gay, meaning, soft. Does he own a toy poodle, too? You can say whatever you want about Kobe, but he brings it most every night.

  12. jgray30 - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Progress.. I can name 3 players that said they wanted to play with KB24. Cris Paul, Shaq, and Larry Bird. kobe dont wana play to with melo or stoudemire they suck.

    • progress2011 - Feb 20, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      That’s all you got !!! ahahahah

      1. CP3 – Since he has been so quiet about how Stern stopped his trade to the lakers, my question is, did he call Stern himself and asked to go to the Clips instead !

      2. Shaq – well if you just woke up, Shaq hated the guy after actually playing with him. I won’t elaborate further, cause even non- basketball fans know that.

      3. Larry Bird- played in another friggin generation ! Plus Bird was the go to player on all of his teams. Bird was the man ! So, kobe would have been crying then too ( like he did when Shaq was the man for the lakers ) cause he didnt get enough shots !!!

      Name someone from this generation, that is an elite player, that has publicly said they want to play with him…..if this is all you got, you proved my point !!!

      kobe= Harlem globetrotter, And1, street baller !!!

      ahahahahaha

  13. schaffershokai - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Kobe should quit while he’s ahead and start doing this: http://rat-mantheseries.com/episodes.html

  14. losangelasbasketball - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Stern went on a power trip… When he retires i think people will say he was pretty irrelevant as a comissioner.

    • progress2011 - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      This is a very stoopid comment, from a very delusional laker fan.

      Stern is the most successful Commissioner is all of sports.

      He has grown the NBA more than any other commissioner in any other professional sport !

      The profit margin of the NBA is historic.

      Conversely, when kobe retires, people will say he was a good Harlem globetrotter, And1, streetballer who was a member of several very, very, very talented teams and those teams were able to win because of the overwhelming team talent, not because he individually made a difference.

      Which will put him right along side the Allen Iversons, Clyde Drexler, J.R. Rider, etc ( no disrespect to them ).

      • ludachrisgsx - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:17 AM

        You must be a diehard Jordan fan. Those are the only nut jobs who make ridiculous, illogical statements like this these days.

  15. bebopa - Feb 19, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    the Lakers reign is over in my opinion unless they get Dwight Howard, period. As they are now, Kobe will be done by playoff time, they dont have a point guard and no consistent scorer besides Bryant, as a Laker fan this is hard , but it is reality.

  16. jgray30 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Shaq wantedto go back to LA after he left the heat.Cris Paul was prepared to sue the league after the veto. He decided not to which was a smart decision…Larry Bird was just giving Kobe props and mych repsect to his will to win. But if u think Melo and stoudemire are relevent players, u need to put the pipe down. Melo and kobe are best friends and if the lakers had the money, trust me, melo would be a laker.. New york dumped their salaries for 2 yrs to get big name players..doesnt mean they wouldnt play with kobe..it means they chose to play in NY. Who really cares tho? All LA NEED, is a pointguard. Has nothing to do with Kobe and everything to do with management.. Kobe and melo wouldnt work, actually melo and any allstar dosent work..example A.I., Amare. Stoudemire which is no shape or form better than Pau. Bynum and Dh r basically the same player.. If YOU knew anything about nba u would know LA needs a pg. who cares who u think is relevant, cuz at the end of the day, those “relevant” players r not needed

  17. jgray30 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Then the same thing will be said about MJ right? The bulls had more talent than the lakers recent 2 titles. As a matter of fact, was there any non talented team that ever won a ring? Lol come on now, hate kobe but there is no way he dosnt go down as a top 5 all time player. Even top 10. How many globetrotters can u say that about? Most pple I know that hates the man, respects his game and will to win..stop smoking that ish..

  18. jgray30 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Oh, and name a relevant player that wants to play wit melo or stoudemire cuz I cant…melo didnt even say he wanted to play wit stoudemire. He said he wanted to play for NY. I bet 100% its because of his wife. NY wanted LBJ and SETTLED for stoudemire and melo

  19. jgray30 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    One last thing lol…EVERY FA THIS SEASON has put LA in their top 3 choices to play for. If they had a decent POINTGUARD! They would have laneded some one. Or even if they could have had more money to offer

  20. klownboy - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Kobe knows his Lakers are trending downward…

    http://theklowntimes.net/2012/02/20/kobe-knows-the-lakers-are-officially-on-the-downside/

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