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Pau Gasol didn’t like being benched in fourth. Again.

Jan 30, 2013, 11:48 AM EDT

New Orleans Hornets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

In the end, Mike D’Antoni went with the hot hand.

That’s not how he explained it, after the game. D’Antoni said Earl Clark played the entire fourth quarter while Pau Gasol sat because the Hornets went small and he had to match it. (Note to D’Antoni: You know, you can go big and make them adapt to you. There was a former Lakers coach initial PJ who had success doing that. Just a thought.)

Gasol had played well and moved the ball fantastically — he had 7 assists to go with his 7 points and 7 rebounds. For the past three games Kobe Bryant has led an unselfish Lakers team and that fits with Gasol.

But Clark was 8-of-11 shooting and 4-of-5 from three, and he had 12 boards. He’s D’Antoni’s guy and he’s going to play him. A lot.

Gasol remains frustrated, as reported by

“I’m a competitor, I’m a guy that thinks I bring a lot to the table, and not being on the floor is something that I don’t like, I don’t appreciate,” Gasol said…

“It’s a challenge,” Gasol said when asked about toeing the line and accepting D’Antoni’s decision so that he doesn’t take away from the team while still defending his personal ability. “We’re challenged every day, and I’m challenged every day to keep my calm and keep my peace and not let my emotions take over my words.”

Gasol is too much a team guy to really let his ego mess with team chemistry. They can go the rest of the season this way.

But these benchings just fuel the Gasol trade rumors. And clearly both Gasol and D’Antoni would be good with this.

While teams are calling the Lakers up the offers to this point have not been inspiring — not a lot of teams can take on a guy who is 32, missed games with knee tendonitis and will make $19.3 million next year. Add in the Lakers desire to keep cap space in 2014 (which rules out a trade for someone like Josh Smith, who has to be re-signed this summer) and you just don’t have a lot of good choices.

A deal may come together at the deadline but the summer (maybe in July, after the Lakers re-sign Dwight Howard). But for now, the unhappy Gasol is a Laker and it’s likely to stay that way as the Lakers head out on a seven game road trip.

  1. knickstape84 - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Jeff Van Gundy said it best stop crying about coming off the bench. when Manu Ginobli can come off the bench and not complain than he should STFU and play ball…. Trade Gasol for nothing if you have 2 he obviously is turning into a cancer in that locker room with his attitude.

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      I don’t think he is turning into a cancer, and to be fair, while Ginobli comes off the bench, he does play heavy minutes in the fourth. Earl Clark was having a good game last night though, it’s hard to argue with D’Antoni’s reasoning, even if Pau doesn’t like it. I still want to see more of Pau out there though, he looks more healthy and motivated right now and he needs more minutes.

    • 24thesho - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Oh yeah, I agree with you there as far as Pau’s whining. I should have type something similar in my previous post.
      But the rest of it, I cannot agree with. That team is still weak.

    • smoothaswilkes - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      First, take everything that JVG has to say about the Lakers, any of the Lakers, with a grain of salt. He’s not the most objective, if you listened to his rant about Howard as well last Sunday. Second, he’s anything but a cancer. He’s doing the best he can but last night was so much about Earl Clark as it was Jamison, who was horrible on defense last night, which lead to the Hornets coming back from an 18 point deficit. So yeah, if I was a professional like Gasol, I’d be pissed too. D’Antoni’s roster management is a joke. He’s only been able to make his system work when he’s had peak Steve Nash and bunch of role players like Earl Clark. Now the Lakers are running Kobe System 8, and D’Antoni is marginalized except for his roster management. Finally, what kind of stupid trades Gasol for nothing? He’s clearly not a cancer since the Lakers have won 4 in a row with him coming of the bench. He’s worth too much to dump.

      Next time limit your comments to the Knicks. It’s clear to me that you went to the Isiah Thomas school of NBA team management.

      • dmcannon99 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        Van Gundy should not be allowed to broadcast any Lakers games – he spends more time whining about the Lakers than he does actually paying attention to the game. If they wanted to use him during color spots or something that would be bad enough, but to listen to him complain about the Lakers all game long gets really tedious. It’s really good when he complains about a foul (or lack thereof) and the replay shows he’s full of baloney. I have no idea why they think having him call Lakers games is a good idea…do they not have enough sportscasters to use somebody that might happen to be a bit more objective? I mean, Shaq obvously dislikes Kobe, but even he’s more objective than JVG.

  2. sammykbuck10 - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Is it just me or does every other headline seem to be about every little move the 20-25 Lakers make? I’ve never seen so much coverage for a sub 500 team. It’s to the point where it’s so ridiculous, it’s hilarious

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Says the guy who clicked on and commented on this story.

      • progress2011 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        Most of us just are having too much fun, giving Faker fans the BLUES !!!!

        I don’t think many of us spend good time reading the articles.

        Sammy as well as several others just notice the writers contradicting titles….but as most of us have already concluded…..its to count clicks.

        It’s cool…..all of us that noticed it, will probably be banned now, for calling the bad writer on the carpet…..ahahahaha

    • dmcannon99 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      sammy, it’s just you.

  3. fanofevilempire - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    I like Pau………….. but you have to get the win.

  4. 24thesho - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I think there are few things going on here:

    1. I think D’Antoni holds some sort of resentment because Pau played on Spain’s national team (D’Antoni pro ball played in Italy, he is an Italian-American, and perhaps there’s an inherent Spain-Italy rivalry, historically) blah, blah, blah, etc. (okay, that might be stretching it a bit).

    2. In all fairness, Pau Gasol was throwing up all kinds bricks ugly hook shots and missing free throws, but it also seems like D’Antoni does not have any real respect for Pau’s playing and history.

    3. D’Antoni really does think his system is actually very good but he is truly quite delusional. D’Antoni is the luckiest man in the world to not have been fired for this season; he’s an idiot who obviously has good friends working for the Lakers in the front offices.

    4. It seems like Kobe is the one who is the true head coach of that team for the past few games. We shall see in the coming gaming against the better teams.

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      “1. I think D’Antoni holds some sort of resentment because Pau played on Spain’s national team (D’Antoni pro ball played in Italy, he is an Italian-American, and perhaps there’s an inherent Spain-Italy rivalry, historically) blah, blah, blah, etc. (okay, that might be stretching it a bit).”

      Might be?

      • 24thesho - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:34 AM

        Yes there are. You are so observant. How is the Lakers defense, again? How many rings does D’Antoni have? I’m just curious.

  5. abchome - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I don’t like hearing player complain after a WIN.

  6. ultichiva - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Is this guy French? Or Spaniard?

    • jimeejohnson - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:18 PM


    • 24thesho - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      I call it like I see it. Personally, I really don’t give a rat’s ass.

  7. loungefly74 - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    being the big dork i am…i “like” Pau on facebook. let me tell ya, he posts tons of stuff. its on a daily basis, just about. and you can tell the posts are from him in real time at the place (not an assistant)…which leads me to believe Pau reads a lot of media material. heck he may read PBT! awesome! anyway…as we also know, he is an emotional/sensitive guy, reading all that stuff makes it worse for him as he is not absorbing the material the proper way (heck, he should just ignore it!). but i thought this could play into his wishy/washy attitude…

  8. metalhead65 - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    it is nice you are a competitor and all but you are making 20 million dollars a year so shut up and do what the coach tells you to. he is your boss and I am sure you are not aware of this but those of us in the real world who hate ours, have no choice but to listen to what he says and do what he says whether we like it or not if we want to keep our jobs. so excuse me if I find it hard to feel sorry for somebody who makes as much money as you bitching because they are not happy with their boss!

    • franchiseplaya - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      ill agree that if the lakers keep winning pau should bite his tongue and come off the bench for the good of the team but very few coaches, on very few teams in very few leagues could ever be considered “the boss”. the players hold all the power not the coach. if the players revolt, the coach is usually the one let go. *cough, mike brown, cough*

  9. LPad - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Who knows Kurt, maybe D’Antoni will follow your advice. The Lakers are running more triangle sets during this winning streak.

    Or maybe Kobe or Nash will just sub in Pau. D’Antoni says all the time that the players should figure things out and Kobe and Nash did decide to stop running high pick n roll everytime down the floor so anything is possible.

  10. thevza - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Don’t. Read. Too. Much. Into. This.
    I play in a crappy rec league, and there have been some close games where I was not on the court during the final minutes, even though I felt the team could have used me. But you know what? There are many more games to play. Especially for the Lakers. Pau will have 37 more chances this season to contribute in crunch time against all kinds of matchups. And rest assured, D’Antoni will use him.

  11. protectthishouse54 - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Add this to the list of reasons why D’Antoni sucks. Part of coaching is managing minutes/egos and as the Lakers start to turn things around, the last thing you need is this kind of crap.

  12. stadix093 - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Earl Clark plays better D, hustles more, was hitting the three and isn’t soft. Gotta roll with what’s working.

  13. rodyaugu - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    “I’m too pretty and talented to be benched in the fourth quarter”

    -Pau Gasol-

  14. exhelo1 - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Right now, managing egos takes a back seat to wins.

  15. jason7498 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Get him a pink uniform and bottle. Needs to grow a set and shut the bleep up.

  16. progress2011 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:45 PM


    In another article (written also by Kurt) he attests – Pau Gasol says he’ll accept bench role, will not ask for trade !

    So, which one is true !

    1. Is this a case of here say !
    2. Bad reporting
    3. Writing articles just to get “clicks”

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      Accepting something and liking it are different things. Also, he said he’d accept coming off the bench but that is different than accepting sitting the fourth quarter of games. Please work on your reading comprehension and understanding of nuance.

      • progress2011 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        I KNOW you aren’t suggesting someone should work on reading comprehension.

        If you are the dude that writes the articles…..How bout you work on spelling, grammar, punctuation’s and also have someone edit this stuff, before you post it !!!! ahahahahahaah

        I typically come to the defense of the “writers” because we are just blogging and not writing a thesis.

        But check yourself before you suggest someone else should work on something….you write this stuff and many posters BLAST you because of your lack of writing abilities …..ahahahaha

        Writing for clicks……CONFIRMED !

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:52 PM

        @progress2011: Be that as it may, it doesn’t still change the fact that YOU have an atrocious reading comprehension. 5th graders can read between the lines much better than you…

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Bozo, Hargis, and progress might just be the same person!

      • progress2011 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:46 AM

        Dimwit….ahahahahah & Fake Jimmy Johnson,

        I’ve CLEARLY stated, I did not ….nor do I ever intend to read the lame, boring articles thrown out by this particular writer.

        I typically see the title speaks of the FAKERS getting thrashed and I oblige the writer with a “CLICK” in order to rub salt in the wounds of FAKER fans EVERYWHERE !!!!

        ahahahaha…..I NEVER would waste my time attempting to comprehend the gibberish that is typed by the uneducated fans and writers on these blogs!

        So, take this SALT witcha……The FAKERS have ZERO chance of making the playoffs ….ahahahahah!

    • dmcannon99 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      progress (there’s a misnomer if there ever was one), did Gasol ask for a trade? Did he complain about coming off the bench? No and no. He was unhappy to not play in the fourth. You seem rather fixated with complaining about the writers here… A couple of things: FIrst, I doubt that anybody forces you to read anything here, let alone visit the site; if you dislike it so much, perhaps you could waste your time elsewhere. Secondly, anybody that repeatedly uses things like “ahahahaha” (or anything similar) has no business degrading anybody else’s writing style. I dislike many of the typos and such here as well, but I am still generally able to glean what the writer is attempting to say. Oh, yeah…what is “punctuation’s” – is that what you would call proper grammar?

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jan 31, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        Indeed. Something tells me that progress2011 hasn’t even finished grade school. You can see it in the manner he expresses himself and the content of his arguments as well.

        Definitely not college-level material.

    • ocgunslinger - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      “hear say”

      If you live in a glass house don’t throw stones.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      yo, progress…my man. this is a losing battle. i’d just drop it and move on.
      some ways…i look forward to your condenscending retorts but this is not a fight you want to be in…no way you come outta this looking good.

      • progress2011 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:55 AM

        Thanks Lounge….

        Psychology 101….pushed the write button that time !!!

        I got ’em climbing the wall, attempting to defend kurt, while they attempt to earn brownie points of some sorts.

        Watch this = U’m jus havin fun wit dem, good ole boyz…….AHAHAHAHAHA

        Let ’em spell check and proof read that …..ahahahaha !

  17. bonner504 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I for one love Pau Gasol and the different things he brings to the game but he needs to do what he is told and stop pouting like a three yr old who doesn’t get his way, or the lakers need to send him packing, your making 20mil sit down take a break and enjoy winning if its working

  18. jhuck92 - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Didn’t Gasol say only a few days ago that he would be fine with a bench role?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jan 31, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      The issue here is being benched in the 4TH QUARTER. Being a non-starter is a non-issue in this thread.

  19. chrmngblly - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    I think the Lakers need to be happy whenever any of their teammates gets hot. In Gasol’s case, the Lakers ought to be pulling Howard in the last 5 minutes and having Pau play center. Pau makes his freethrows and is a top center in the league, too, all by himself. Pau is not a bench player, he is a fabulous sixth man. They can rotate him in any place in the front court. With Howard and Clark we have a giant front line nobody else can match. Pau also has the emotional capability to actually do this.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Well said.

  20. exhelo1 - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    For those of you criticizing Gasol for honestly answering a question, do you do the same to Kobe if he complains about the system they run, or about how a teammate is doing?

  21. mytthor - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    He was asked if he liked being on the bench. Should he say yes? He’s not a rookie; he’s earned the right to be honest and forthcoming.

    Also, it’s a little bit overblown that he’s “benched for the 4th.” All the starters were sitting for the first 8 minutes of the quarter until the Hornets made their run. And sorry Pau, but when they’re trying to get back in the game, I don’t think having you chase Ryan Anderson around the 3 point line is the best move.

  22. omniusprime - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Thank you Kurt Helin for finally pointing the finger of blame at clueless Dumbtoni for not knowing how to coach a fine player like Pau or that he can dictate what other teams do the way Phil Jackson did. Dumbtponi is the worst coach the Lakers ever had. Time to fire worthless Dumbtoni and let Bernie Bickerstaff coach the team the rest of the season. Just look at what “interim” coaches like former Laker Lyndsey Hunter and P.J. Carlesimo are doing getting their teams to win when the hired coach couldn’t.

    Pau has every right to be peeved that he’s being benched. I’m sorry but Earl Clark just isn’t better than Pau. Considering how Howard’s shoulder keeps getting injured it sure is fortunate the Lakers have Pau to back him up. Only a total fool would want to trade Gasol away. What’s need is to trade away Trash Nash and Steve Flake, the two sorriest excuses for point guards the Lakers ever had.

    Fire Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash!!! Trade Steve Flake!!! We Want Gasol!!!

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