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Kobe says Pau’s in L.A. as long as he is

Jul 21, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Spain's Pau Gasol gestures during their Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol seem, at least on the surface, to have a complicated relationship. Bryant knows that he would not have won the two championships in 2009 and 2010 without Gasol. But Gasol’s problems with toughness and consistency in the playoffs the past two seasons has created a level of frustration. Bryant has publicly and reportedly privately challenged Gasol to bring more and been disappointed with what has wound up on the floor.

But in a media appearance in Barcelona with Team USA, Bryant stuck up for Gasol, telling reporters:

Kobe, answering a question from a Spanish reporter about Pau’s status with the Lakers: “As long as I’m there, he’s going to be there.”

via Twitter / briancmahoney: Kobe, answering a question ….

Funny thing… that’s not really Bryant’s call.

I know, I know, he’s Kobe Bryant, arguably the second-greatest-to-greatest Laker that ever lived which is a lot bigger of a deal than second-greatest-to-greatest Minnesota Timberwolf to ever live, but the thing with playing for a franchise that great? It knows it and puts itself above any player’s demands. If the Lakers decide to head in a different direction, that’s what they’ll do. Furthermore, if it means adding Dwight Howard or improving his chances for a sixth title which is constantly taunting him, Bryant won’t mind.

But it is good to see Bryant sticking up for a teammate, and supporting him like he needs to. Maybe Kobe just needed a few weeks to get over the loss to the Thunder and how Serge Ibaka outplayed Gasol.

Unless Gasol winds up crashing and burning in another playoff series. Then he should probably look into the witness protection program.

  1. isujames - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Kobe and Pau are $wingers, I got three lakers ahead of kobe him and I am far from ever being a laker fan.

    • etforick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      I have Wilt the Stilt as the best ever, anywhere – followed by Kareem Abdul Jabar, Magic and then maybe Kobe, matbe Jerry West….and I like Kobe

  2. camnellum12 - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I might be all alone on this one, but I see Kobe tied with Magic in terms of franchise greatness. Both brought 5 titles in 10 years, won back-to-backs, had illustrious careers wearing purple and yellow. Plus, Kobe will own most of the major records Laker history, so I see Magic as 1. and Kobe as 1A

  3. mrlitl - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I agree. 1 and 1 A. No denying Kobe’s greatness. Idiocy aside.

  4. smoothaswilkes - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Matt – while you are correct, it’s not Kobe’s call but it seems like that is the direction of the franchise nonetheless. The Lakers seem to be loading up for a 2-3 year run. Just look at their new contracts and what is already on the books. Nothing goes past 3 years right now meaning once all these old timers (Nash, Gasol, MWP, Kobe) take smaller contracts or retire or otherwise, they’ll be completely out from the cap hell they are in now and will be able to pull a Miami move and sign 3 max players or build around the youngsters and Howard or Bynum. Moving Gasol now doesn’t make any sense whatsoever! They won’t get be value and they lose a key piece of the rotation that can exploit what Nash brings to the table.

    And. while I’m certainly not a Gasol apologist, he’s a proven veteran that goes about his business and still averaged 17/10 over 65 of 66 games last year. Now that the Lakers have some depth as his position maybe he won’t tire out in the playoffs like he has the last few years.

  5. BigBeachBall - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    “As long as I’m playing here, Gasol will have a job on my team. ”

    - or until he acts up like Shaq or Bynum… then he’s cut..

  6. moseskkim - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    What’s he gonna say in Barcelona about pau? Yeah he has one more year left to prove himself. Or yeah I wish we had gotten cp3. I don’t know their relationship but I know pau has seemed out of it and I would too if I were constantly in trade rumors. With Nash around tho, Nash and pau can become a deadly pick n roll combo

  7. misterdreamer119 - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Bryant has insane work ethic, tremendous talent. But he needs to shut it. And pass the ball instead of eating the all the shot clock.

  8. kash71 - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    To me the number 1 Laker will be Chick Hearn. Those of you who have grown up listening to him, should understand where I am coming from.

    God rest his soul.

  9. davidly - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    He’s Kobe Bryant, arguably the sixth-greatest Laker that ever lived.
    FTFY

  10. davidly - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Magic
    Kareem
    Shaq
    Phil
    Mikan
    Baylor

  11. misterdreamer119 - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Magic
    West
    Alcindor
    Kobe

  12. davidcl77 - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Like he has anything to do with whether Gasol stays or not.
    Kobe is aging daily and he knows it, so he’s started making foolish comments like some elders do.
    His Lakers had the Thunder up by 7 with a few minutes to go and they lost. Kobe can’t do the job like he used to. Face it….. Father time is here now.
    He looks old on Team USA, and as for that ignorant comment about them beating the Dream Team……. Well…. I rest my case.
    Shut it, Kobe. You are showing your ignorance. Just play and try to keep the young guys from kicking that old ass.

  13. heathater4lifeson - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    1. Luke Walton
    1a. Sasha sharapova

  14. brianbosworthisstonecold - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Awwww, that’s so sweet…

  15. diablito0402 - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    1-kurt rambis,1a magic 1b kobe get it right!!

  16. badintent - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Jerry West: Class
    Wilt :Sex class
    Shaq: class clown
    Magic: Giving classes on the court
    Kobe: Classless
    Phil: Priceless
    Milkan :The original classy big man
    Jabbar: wife beating class action lawsuit
    Worthy : Not worthy, low class hooker arrest.

  17. cornbreadbbqred - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Yeahhhh! Laker Nation. Not for squirrels. Now all we need is for MWP to show up in condition.

  18. ebmd15 - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Worst ever?
    1. Smush
    2. Sam Bowie
    3. Madden
    4. Travis Knight
    5. Kwame

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