D’Antoni Says ‘Tough’ To Be An All-Star Without A ‘Winning Record’
During his career in the NBA, Pau Gasol has been named an All-Star four times and rightfully so. With Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and the entire backcourt out for most of the 2013-14 NBA season, Gasol was expected to step up in order to help the Los Angeles Lakers stay afloat in the Western Conference standings while making a strong case for a fifth All-Star appearance.
Unfortunately, despite Gasol’s best efforts, the Lakers have struggled this season and are currently one of the worst teams in the West in terms of their record (16-30).
Gasol will not be representing the Lakers in the All-Star Game in February after being passed over for West All-Star reserves. Head coach Mike D’Antoni talked about Gasol not being named an All-Star reserve saying that not playing on a winning team according to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times:
“When you’re not in the top eight, top nine, I’m a firm believer that, you know what, numbers don’t mean a whole lot if you’re not winning,” D’Antoni said Friday. “So you’ve got to be very careful about putting somebody on the All-Star team that doesn’t have [victories]… unless you’re in the East, probably. If you don’t have a winning record, it’s really tough to get in there.”
Along with Gasol not making the cut for the West reserves, Kobe Bryant will not be playing in the All-Star Game either. Bryant had his knee injury re-evaluated recently and will miss at least three more weeks.
As a result of the Lakers ugly record and poor play, the storied franchise may miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 NBA season. Although the current record leads many to believe the Lakers will miss the postseason, the team is starting to get healthy. Steve Nash may be ready to return next week along with Steve Blake.
Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry are still be a few weeks away from a returning to the floor for the Lakers, but progress is being made in the rehab process.
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