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D’Antoni says Pau Gasol should have kept complaints out of media

Feb 27, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

It’s a little trick coaches use now and again, one Phil Jackson used to great effect — criticize a player to the media so he gets the message. A little humiliation can go a long way to getting a player to fall in line.

But if a player uses the same tactic, oh lord, it’s an abomination in the coach’s eye. An affront to all things good about the game.

Which brings us to Lakers’ coach Mike D’Antoni. He’s more publicly positive than most but he’s used the tactic of knocking a player publicly to get his point across. Remember last season when D’Antoni was asked why he didn’t re-insert Pau Gasol in a game and he said “Because I wanted to win.”

Tuesday night after another Lakers loss Gasol complained about D’Antoni’s lineups — going small even when that doesn’t work — and added “I don’t think there’s a lot of discipline right now.”

D’Antoni’s response? Gasol shouldn’t have said that to the media. Here are his exact quotes, via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“The thing I just don’t appreciate … You just keep it in-house,” D’Antoni said before the Lakers’ 108-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. “It’s very easy just to come over and talk about your frustrations. We’ll try to work something out. We’ll figure something out.

“But to go to (the media) and to do it in the papers, that’s disturbing. I just don’t think that’s the way to go and people should understand that we’re all trying to solve the same problem, so let’s just put our heads together and do the best we can.”

I’d suggest Gasol and D’Antoni sit down and hash their differences out, but really what’s the point?

Gasol is gone from the Lakers after this season and he’s done suffering fools gladly. He’ll speak his mind, something he has a right to do as a veteran — and he’s right, D’Antoni’s rotations are confusing and odd at times.. His game has deteriorated some but he’s also been forced into uncomfortable roles under this system and he has every right to voice that objection.

D’Antoni has pretty much become the interim coach in Los Angeles — nobody much thinks he’s the guy to lead this team back to contention, but so long as they are light on talent (and that could extend into next season depending on how summer free agency goes) he’s the man. Los Angeles can hope system can find some diamonds in the rough. Or if not diamonds some role players. Maybe he can inflate the stats of some guys who can then be traded for something of value.

For 25 more games, Gasol and D’Antoni need to be at least civil to one other and try to find a happy medium. Then come April 18 they can go their separate ways.

  1. timberwolvesbrisin - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    D”antoni is an idiot. Pau was just stating the obvious. Sorry Mike, you just dont want to admit youre doing a horrible job.

    • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Exactly, “Pau was just stating the obvious”, so just shut up and play out this season. Pau and everyone in the LAKERS organization are responsible for this historically bad season. With Kobe and Nash out, Pau had an opportunity to step up and carry this team like some have always claimed he was capable of doing. However, he did not do it. He is as much of the problem as everyone else is.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        You’re trippin kb, Pau was never a guy that can carry a team the whole season by himself. He was at best a very perfect 2nd banana. A big man Scottie Pippen if you will. At 33 and doing 17 and 10 playing with a bunch of guys who realistically should be coming off the bench on any other team with a hairbrained coach with horrible rotations and no defensive schemes whatsoever, I think he’s done more then his fair share of his job.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Plus it’s hard to do much good only getting in there 31.6 min. a night -his 2nd lowest total of his career by 0.1- while MDA punishes him for being even just a hair over 6”8 3/4ths.

      • sumkat - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Even if he was good enough to carry a team himself (at this point in his career, he’s not even close), who cares? They have him playing a game that doesn’t go with his skill set.

        If Phil Jackson decided Shaq should always play at least 15 feet from the rim and work there, it wouldn’t of been Shaq’s fault that he couldn’t break down a defender from 15 feet out and get to the basket, that wasn’t his game.

        Amazing that, as you rightly mention, with Nash and Kobe out, Dumb’Antoni STILL refuses to play to his best players strengths, even in the slightest. Almost as amazing as you blaming the player

      • mytthor - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        Scottie Pippen very easily could have won MVP the year Jordan played baseball. He was an amazing first banana when given the chance. Bad example.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      If you think this is bad, you have to watch his press conferences regularly. According to Mike D’Antoni, Mike D’Antoni can do no wrong.

      • unxpexted1 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        yea the things Mike says in press conferences have the time are ridiculous and she be said “in house” or not at all

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Mike D’Antoni reminds me of Mike Shanahan in the NFL. I believe that both coaches have genius offensive minds and they know the game, but they both don’t know how to handle the media and act like a head coach with composure. They also have a good system, but are so inflexbile that if players don’t fit their system they won’t change the system. Mike D’antoni looks more suited to be an assistant coach, and kurt rambis can be head coach.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Mike D’antoni looks more suited to be an assistant coach, and kurt rambis can be head coach.

      • sumkat - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        @unxpexted1, I honestly don’t have the slightest clue what you are trying to say

    • brookwell2013 - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      timberwolvesbrisin has it spot on…..and so did Kurt in his article…..D’Antoni ripped Pau in the media in the worst way as Kurt pointed out by saying he didn’t play Pau one 4th quarter because “he wanted to win.” Then when Pau expresses his frustrations D’Antoni squawks. D’Antoni will never, ever win anything. What a jerk.

  2. 00maltliquor - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    I wish we had Deron Williams or Josh Smith and Chauncey Billups on our team. They would’ve gotten the job done! We need a coach killer in the worst way. But then again, I’d be scared to see who we’d hire next!

    • unxpexted1 - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      I literally LOL’d

    • RavenzGunnerz - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Kobe could do the job but he is on IR.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Yes, Kobe, who has played for 5 coaches in 18 seasons (and that number is including Tomjanovich’s half-ass half-season) is a coach killer.

  3. billtetley53 - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Evidently, it doesn’t take much to amuse you then.

    • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      @billbitely53….what I find amusing is just two weeks ago, during one of your rants, you said the LAKERS would not pick higher than 6th. It is looking like top 3, sir.

  4. bhunter1995 - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Mike should keep his ego out of it and use some logical rotations, this man is convinced that he has revolutionized the game when in reality his coaching strategy has failed to get him in the Finals even with the talent that he had on the Suns.

    • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      The Suns overachieved because they had one of the greatest pg’s of his era. I don’t recall a roster full of HOF players. Phoenix was never better than the LAKERS with Kobe/Shaq or the Spurs with Timmie.

      • sumkat - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        most teams don’t have a “roster full of HOF players”. Even the Jordan era Bulls (best team of the modern era) only had 2. Teams with a “roster full of HOF players” died 30 years ago

        However, they did have Nash, Matrix Marion (in his prime), Amare (healthy), and a bunch of solid role players like Diaw, Raja Bell, and Jason Richardson (a few years before he became useless).

        There was plenty of talent to make a serious run with that team, it just didn’t happen

  5. bballhistorian - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Jim Buss said that late father (Jerry Buss) wanted them to pick DAntoni over Phil Jackson b/c he knew the team was going on decline-mode and Phil Jackson wanted no parts of that.

    Saying that…I think DAntoni is the right guy for this job at this particular time. But just like what Kurt said, once they get right players on that team to go back into contention, DAntoni wont be the coach anymore.

  6. thomaskouns - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Total double standard on D’Antonio’s part.

    Kobe made those types of comments all last season and DT never said one word. Now Pau, who usually takes the high ground despite a lot of criticism coming his way the last few years and he gets publically rebuked.

    • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      Pau ain’t Kobe…

      • thomaskouns - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        You’re right he’s not Kobe and Kobe wouldn’t have his last 2 rings without his first ballot HOF 18 10 + 500FGP during those years.

        It is a ‘team’ game & ‘talent’ league after all.

      • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        I’m not going to elaborate too much on this comment because it has been rehashed over and over….all I’ll say is LAKER fans love an respect Pau for helping us hang two more banners. HOWEVER, it is easier to envision Kobe eventually teaming up with another star and winning rings…had Pau never gotten traded to the LAKERS…than to envision Pau ever winning a title in Memphis or someplace else.

  7. kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Let me preface my comment by saying, I am NOT a Mike D supporter. However, what does Pau or anyone else expect him to do with a roster comprised of D league players? Kobe and Nash are two of the most intelligent and respected players the NBA has ever seen and they both vouch for Mike’s coaching abilities. Has he done a good job with the LAKERS? Nope. but what coach could have succeeded with all that has happened the past two seasons?

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      D league players? Man you’re on a roll today good buddy! Let’s not get over-dramatic here. While the whole team is just Pau and a bunch of bench players, they are VERY good bench players. I would love to have most of them come back next year. We just need starters.

      Let’s take all 4 starters off of every NBA team, leaving only their aging #2 option (or forget aging, just leave the #2) and have those teams play the year out with their #2 and bench starters. How many games would those teams realistically win??

      Let’s look at the almighty Pacers

      Watson
      Turner
      Copeland
      Scola
      Hibbert

      Yeah……does that look like a team that will beat the Heat on their way to a title. NO. That looks like a team that would get beat easily by our CURRENT LAKERS team.

      And I could go on and on, but you get the point.

      • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        “Very good bench players”? Malt, come on, the majority of those “very good bench players” on the LAKERS were barely hanging on in the league. No other teams were fighting for the services of Henry, Johnson, Bazemore, Farmar, Marshall, Kelly, Sacre…..

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        While that may be true, you never heard of a diamond in the rough? No teams even picked Wes Matthews, he went from undrafted to starter and key player on a contending team. There’s plenty of stories like that out there where overlooked players find their spot and seemingly come out of nowhere. We just happen to have a bunch of them. Plus when I’m talking about our good bench players, I’m not talking about Kelly or Sacre (although I like Sacre).

        Another thing, how many teams bench players can win 19 games (up to this point) all by themselves? Yeah, if your bench alone can win over 20 games in the NBA, I’d say that’s a pretty dang good bench.

    • sumkat - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      what do they expect him to do?

      Maybe…just maybe, they expect him to stop trying to use a system that clearly does not fit the players he has, and run his offense through his best player, using that best players strengths?

      Doesn’t sound very unreasonable, or very hard to figure out, to me

  8. mackcarrington - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Gasol has rings.
    D’Antoni has none. But he thinks he knows how to win a championship.
    There’s something wrong with this man.

    • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      So does Adam Morrison….what’s your point?

      • zacksdad - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        Gasol has rings being a number two option. Gasol was probably the top three person that helped win the rings, with Phil and Kobe being one and two. Gasol carried a bad team in Memphis.

        D’Antoni as a coach has never done much except for a few years in Phoenix. Only thing D’Antoni carried well was his paycheck to the bank.

      • mackcarrington - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        @kb2408:
        Adam Morrison isn’t coaching the Lakers and misusing Pau Gasol.
        That’s a joke comment, right?
        Gasol was a major contributor to winning those rings.
        Adam Morrison never saw the court.

  9. zacksdad - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    D’Antoni believes keeping it in his house only. Ask Jamison why he was benched last year, oh he does not know. Ask Pau why D’Antoni does not play at times, he does not know. Ask Kaman why he is in the dog house, he does not know. Ask any player why they are in his dog house, he does not know.

    All D’Antoni knows is lip service. At least Pau knows how to speak the truth and his mind. Even though Howard will not state it, one big reason he did not sign with the Lakers is D’Antoni.

    If the Lakers had Phil as the coach who had Howard’s ear, what percent of chance do you think Howard would have signed. Yes you are about to say Kobe, Phil can control Kobe for the next two years.

    But this is not D’Antoni’s fault, we all need to blame the Laker that decided to make his own mark on the team and not bring back Phil. Yes I am talking about Jimmie Buss. The brilliant mind that hired a coach that likes to run his players up and down the court. Hire coach that likes to only use 7 players. This coach only know how to coach guards and does not know how to use big men. This brilliant Jimmie hired this coach for team of older players that besides Kobe has their strength in their bigs.

    RIP Jerry Buss

    • Professor Fate - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      Just to expand on one point you made: One of the reasons O’Neal was traded away was because Dr. Buss wanted to bring back Showtime. He liked that style and felt it was more exciting for the fans, too. Unfortunately he got sick and had to leave the job to his son.

      Poor Jimbo was in over his head, felt Jackson would have wielded too much power, and wanted to make his own mark on the team. And he has, except that mark looks more like what you find in your shorts after barely avoiding a drunk driver on the 405.

      Jimbo likely thought that D’Antoni would be the coach to get the Lakers back to their running roots when they had the likes of Johnson, Worthy, Cooper, etc. The problem is as much a lack of the type of players to make that style work as it is a head coach who cannot coach any other way.

      Going forward it would seem that if Jimbo decides to continue to pursue the vision his father had then you will see the Lakers draft/trade for/sign players in the mold of what D’Antoni can coach. In that case D’Antoni likely stays another year or two. If the Lakers get those kind of fast-break players. and D’Antoni doesn’t succeed with them, then the Lakers may make yet another coaching change.

      If Jimbo abandons the run-and-gun philosophy, and the Lakers go back to having the kind of roster that a coach like Jackson can win with, then we’ll see a coaching change much sooner than later. In either event the days of the Dr. Buss-Jerry West dynasty is over.

      The new CBA was designed to prevent teams from using the Laker blueprint of how to dominate. Pat Riley once coached multiple championship teams in L.A. and learned everything he needed to know from Dr. Buss and Jerry West. Riley then went to Miami and found a way to put three All-Stars (including the game’s best player) in the same uniform. That was the last straw for David Stern and the small-market owners.

      Stern then faced great embarrassment when the Lakers engineered the trade for Chris Paul mere months after the league negotiated a CBA that they claimed would prevent large-market teams from getting the very best players. He felt he had to veto it after getting complaints from many small-market owners, the loudest from the guy who couldn’t keep LeBron James. Stern’s reason for vetoing Paul to the Lakers? That New Orleans was “better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform…” Six days later Paul was in a Clipper uniform. No complaints about that particular large-market team stealing a small-market team’s best player.

  10. billtetley53 - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    kb2408, regarding the draft pick….good for you? You have to stoop to rooting for more ping pong balls? Too funny.

    Hey, at least I knew James Worthys # was retired, Mr Big Laker fan.

    How do you ever come on this site anymore? I’m embarrassed for you.

  11. 1historian - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    FYI – as a Celtics’ fan I am required to hate the Lakers.

    I hate the Lakers.

    That being said, i would love to see Gasol join the Celts this summer.

    • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      We tried to give you him for Rondo.

      • sumkat - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        He said “join the Celtics”

        He did not say “Get left behind during a robbery”

  12. billtetley53 - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Never mind kb2408. Hes in love with Kobe, therefore, in his mind, Kobe can do no wrong.

    What a sad sack. 40 year old man and he still has a hero.

    KB, I will be in L.A. in July, lets settle our differences in person…

    • kb2408 - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      Another internet “tough guy”. Oooo, please don’t beat me up, sir.

  13. billtetley53 - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    sumkat: UN is a toolbox and so is kb2408. Just bat them around like a cat does with a cat toy. They aren’t very smart, but are sure fun to make fun of(kb2408) and make look woefully uneducated(UN).

  14. billtetley53 - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Not really kb. Just shows what type of chickens*** You are. I’m not surprised at all.
    You want run your stupid mouth, but you lack the testicular fortitude to back it up.

    Typical idiot. Come on kb, I just want to see if your face is as punchable as I think it is.

  15. chitownmatt - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    I always love it when one member of an organization calls out another member of an organization for, ‘airing the dirty laundry’ so to speak.

  16. billtetley53 - Feb 27, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    It figures you run away from the article like a scalded dog, ander you wonder why I call you squishmitten…

    • Professor Fate - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      “Squishmitten” As I recall, one of paulhargis53’s favorite words.

  17. billtetley53 - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Fate, you need to take the Professor out of your name. It took you this long to figure out I’m Hargis?

  18. ProBasketballPundit - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Yeah come on, Mike D. He learned it from the best: Phil Jackson.

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