Losing consistently is never easy for a veteran player that use to doing the complete opposite. Pau Gasol is currently in that position and seems to be getting more and more frustrated with every loss moving forward.
One of Gasol’s biggest gripes as of late has been the Lakers continuing to play small ball. Gasol isn’t a fan of that style of play, but that’s the way head coach Mike D’Antoni wants to do it.
With a head coach and a star player not seeing eye-to-eye on style of play, there’s bound to be tension and frustrations vented to the media after disappointing losses.
On Tuesday night, Gasol didn’t hold anything back when talking to the media following the loss to the Indiana Pacers. Gasol let it be known that there is a lack of discipline being taught to the current squad. D’Antoni responded to the indirect jab from Gasol saying the following on Wednesday according to OC Register’s Bill Oram:
MDA calls Gasol's comments a "product of being frustrated and losing." Calls them "disturbing" and says issues should be kept in-house
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) February 26, 2014
D’Antoni added that Gasol needs to keep those kind of comments in-house according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
Mike D'Antoni on Pau's comments: "The thing I don't appreciate … You just keep it in-house."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 26, 2014
At this point in time, Gasol is the only healthy player on the team with championship experience, outside of Jordan Farmar, and the recognition as one of the best in the league at his position. Although Gasol’s performance has been up and down at times this season, the veteran forward/center still continues to hold his own in the paint while playing through a forgettable season.
As for D’Antoni, it seems as though he’s prepared to try and mix things up on a nightly basis in hopes of giving the Lakers a fighting chance. So far, D’Antoni using all sorts of different starting lineups hasn’t exactly changed much, but he’s staying with his philosophy and the small-ball style that Gasol is clearly not fond of.
With the Lakers continuing to lose and a bottom feeder in the Western Conference as a result, Gasol being frustrated will happen on a nightly basis. The fact is that a healthy Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash won’t be walking through that door anytime soon and the two-time champion will simply have to deal with the hand he’s been dealt this season.
Pau Gasol Expects Kobe Bryant To Remain Positive Even IF Out For Season