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Pau Gasol says he would stay with Lakers for Kobe, but there needs to be changes

Apr 24, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Pau Gasol will not be back with the Lakers next season.

Nothing is a certainty, and I’m sure somewhere in the multi-verse there is a world where Pau Gasol stays with the Lakers. There probably is even one where Lakers fans would be happy about that. But in this universe I have heard for a while that the Lakers and Gasol will part ways this summer and it is pretty mutual. The relationship has run its course.

Gasol keeps a blog in Spanish and wrote about his plans, something translated for us by Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Daily News.

“Re-signing for the Lakers is a possibility, but I’m not sure whether to say it’s a remote one. If there’s anything or anyone who could make me stay it’s Kobe Bryant. I’d stay for him, but there’d have to be significant changes. I’ve said it many times: I want to be in a team that has a solid chance to win another tournament and where I can be an important factor in the game….

“I’ve never concealed the fact that (Lakers coach Mike) D’Antoni’s style doesn’t suit my game. Everybody knows this. I don’t know if my decision will be swayed by whether Mike stays or leaves. Obviously, the coach is a very important factor for any team.”

If D’Antoni is back then Gasol is gone, but the smart money is that D’Antoni is toast in Los Angeles despite some front office supporters. Kobe Bryant reportedly doesn’t want him, that’s an issue. Also, to bring him back would enrage the fan base, and as a general rule of thumb it is not good business to enrage the fan base.

Even with a new coach the fit isn’t there. Despite Kobe Bryant’s love of Gasol, the Lakers are in a multi-year rebuilding process and the aging, declining Gasol is not part of the future in Los Angeles. Outside of Bryant the Lakers need to have the long term in mind here.

I expect this summer Gasol will be rejuvenated and find his love of the game again playing for Spain (in Spain) for the World Cup, then will bring that bad to a new NBA home that is a better fit, and he will put up good numbers. People will say it’s a renaissance, but it’s just a matter of fit.

Gasol seems to get that.

  1. aboogy123456 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    But so many commenters on this site tell me that nobody wants to play with kobe?!?!

    • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      “Nobody” is a figure of speech meaning very few, which is true. Kobe is difficult to get along with personally – he will tell you that himself. Kobe is difficult to get along with on the basketball court – he will tell you that himself.

      It took some years but, like Vanessa Bryant, Pau has learned how to tolerate him despite the poor treatment.

      • kb2408 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        How many of MJ’s teammates truly liked him? What about Bird’s? I’ve read McHale and Bird never got along. Lamar, Derek Fisher, Pau, Mello, CP3, Steve Blake, Caron Butler, Swaggy P, Steve Nash are just a few of the players I’ve read quotes from, or seen speak highly of Kobe in interviews about how they love (loved) playing with him.

      • dablakdrphil - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM

        I was with you until you mentioned Bryan’ts wife

      • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:29 PM

        You’re still with me. She only tried to dump him twice… same with Pau Gasol!

      • money2long - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        When ppl get proven wrong , they throw out the “figure of speech” card.

      • kinggw - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:51 PM

        kb,

        It’s telling that four of the players you mentioned have barely played with Kobe and two of them are olympic team members. Butler played one season with Kobe and Nick Young played all of 6 games with Kobe.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        We really shouldn’t have to get into those details. It’s ridiculous. People in this country generally do not like Kobe. Especially outside of California.

        If California residents were removed from All-Star voting and jersey sale numbers, Kobe would probably never be an All-Star or have a top selling jersey.

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        Because Dwight Howard, Shaq and Smush Parker didn’t like playing with Kobe, all of a sudden that means most people don’t like him?

      • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        -_______-

        You must live in California to be that oblivious. But no, it’s not just because of those guys. A distaste for Kobe goes all the way back to his rookie season.

      • musician0785 - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        Your Kobe hate borders on obsessive and unhealthy, GET OVER IT

      • antistratfordian - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        It is not up to me. It’s karma. Kobe is reaping what he has sown.

    • spursareold - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Beta males don’t mind. I think they were talking about Alpha male FAs.

    • hudgeliberal - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:03 AM

      Because so many normal fans are idiots. If you don’t want to play with Kobe then you are simply not concerned with win at all costs and that is exactly the type of players that do not need to be on the court with competitive winners like MJ and Kobe.

  2. fnc111 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Pau is heading to the Bulls. But only if they overpay.

    • apkyletexas - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Memphis.

  3. therealhtj - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Hey, judging by the way they overpaid Kobe, Pau’s just hoping to get a similar treatment. Pau’s not a guy with a ton of options right now.

    Chicago won’t amnesty (and pay) Boozer just to end up with Pau.

    Houston already knows Pau and Howard don’t play great together and they really shouldn’t give up on Parsons and their other young pieces to sign Pau.

    If he wants a money grab, Cleveland or Charlotte may pose a possibility, but those are far from desirable landing spots for Pau. And Charlotte has Jefferson who operates primarily in the same spots as Pau.

    So yeah, stay in LA to be a bubble playoff team. Giving up future cap space to keep Pau beyond next season is unwise.

    • Big Ant TV - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      why not go too memphis play with his brother end ya career where it started

  4. bougin89 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    He couldn’t possibly mean he wants D’Antoni fired, could he?

  5. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    I don’t care where Pau goes as long as it’s not Chicago.

  6. 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Keep Pau, dump MDA ASAP.

  7. zacksdad - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Go play with his brother in Memphis. Not sure of their cap situation, but the community likes him and they have a pretty good team.

  8. kb2408 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Man, I love Pau. Even if he does go elsewhere, he will always be a LAKER. Just like Shaq. And where are all the “nobody wants to play with Kobe” dudes at? Pau loves playing with Kobe because Kobe brings the best out of him. And Kobe also benefitted from playing with Pau. But if you’re only interested in having “fun” Kobe is probably not your kind of teammate.

  9. skins26portis - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Look isn’t doesn’t even matter is Pau likes playing with Kobe , because he is good as gone this summer. The problem with Kobe is this is his team , so if a another all star like Mello came he would never relinquish his role as Batman. In other words like when Dwight Howard was here he won’t take a back seat. That’s why Howard bounced cause he new as long as 24 was around it would always be his way or the highway. Kobe is on the decline so the Lakers aren’t winning any rings anytime soon. You Lakers fans better get on the Clippers nuts now.

    • musician0785 - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      How is that working out for D12 right about now? oh and all you fortune tellers and psychics who predict the Lakers aren’t winning anytime soon sound like the same pplp who said the SAME thing when Shaq left in 04….

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