Lakers News: Pau Gasol Not Happy With 4th Quarter Benching

Lakers News: Pau Gasol Not Happy With 4th Quarter Benching


PauGasol2For a while, during the Lakers’ recent January struggles where the team started 2-10, players were unhappy with their roles. Dwight Howard wanted more touches. Kobe Bryant wanted better focus. And, dominating most of the headlines, was Pau Gasol’s unhappiness coming off of the bench.

However, when Mike D’Antoni decided to go with Earl Clark in the starting rotation instead of Pau, Gasol made it clear that he didn’t enjoy the bench roll because it didn’t seem to help the team’s losing problem. If the team began to win, and if they found something that worked, Pau Gasol would accept any role that Coach D’Antoni asked of him.

That was then and this is now. The Lakers, winners of their last three games including the biggest win of the season on Sunday over the then-Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder, have found something that works. Kobe is sharing, Dwight is dominating the paint, and the Lakers are playing fundamental team basketball.

But Pau Gasol is still upset. Mike D’Antoni decided to go with Earl Clark in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Hornets in which the Lakers snuck away with a 111-106 win.

Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk at reported that Mike D’Antoni stuck with Earl Clark in the fourth quarter because “the Hornets went small and he had to match it.”

Whatever the reason, Pau isn’t happy. He vented his frustration to

After his seven points, seven assist, seven rebound effort, Gasol said, “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.”

It appears that no matter what’s been said during the difficult season, winning isn’t curing everything. And whether Pau’s benching is simply to match size with the other team, is to go with a hot hand, or is a precursor to any possible trade rumors involving Pau Gasol remains to be seen.

  • Anthony Cody

    Gasol’s defense is very poor for a 7 footer. He let’s little guards get lay up after lay up. That’s no good

    • JohnC

      For sure there are players who can in principle defend better, like Dwight… but Gasol has a better +/- than any other big he is matched against; maybe he is not that bad… And it is the same story always around Pau, one of the few bigs who can make plays for both himself and ohers; he is also, and by far, more productive than Howard on the offensive end: does anyone complain about Howard’s limitations offensively? This comes from long:Pau Gasol is probably the worst treated player in the history of the NBA. People with similar or much lower contributions are in the All-Star, year after year after year. “‘Unfair'” is not enough.

  • Rasheed

    Pau trade will only remain as a trade. Mark my words. He is not going anywhere at least until the end of this season (His lifeline is attached with Dwight staying or leaving next season).
    As talented as Pau is, he will not have any issue playing with other teams if he were to be traded. Coach doesn’t know how to play one of best players in NBA. It is a shame. If I were Lakers Coach I would resign myself with shame and lack of coaching skills instead of ruining other player career or even championship. Ultimately, responsibility goes to the management of Lakers. They brought an incompetent coach who couldn’t utilize all the Lakers talent. If truly Lakers Owners wanted to win Championship they wouldn’t have preferred money, ego, personal issues over Championship and playing with emotions of diehard Lakers fans (who give to these rich people their hard earn money and time).

    If I get chance to sit with D’Antoni, I will show him his own statements about Pau before he joined Lakers. It is simple folks, only reason this coached survived this long is because of $100 million dollar market team. Otherwise, no one would want a coach who is lacking basketball IQ. Lakers took a big gamble and results are as Magic Johnson and majority of the fans anticipated. If this was playoff game or final game would this idiotic coach still bench Pau?

    Don’t argue with me please. I am sick and tired of people who try to think they know everything. If you want to argue, then go argue with Magic Johnson.

    If Lakers don’t want Pau, then they should deal with him professionally taking into consideration of his contributions to Lakers Organization. Benching him, frustrating him, ridiculing him, and forcing him to say trade me or play me agenda will be detrimental for Lakers hope of winning Championship.

    • Gasol

      my legs are gone dude

      • Rasheed

        :) I agree but partly…He is not a done deal yet, utilization is the key. But, not going to happen with this coach.
        what do you want me to say…It’s is a multifunctional problem with off/on injuries and bad coaching.
        So much talent on the floor but Pau is always the scape goat unfortunately.

  • joe23

    Gasol need to stop complaining, if he can’t accept being bench in some of the last minutes of the game then quit being lakers or ask for trade and stop cry baby… think what best for the team dude.
    This will start the distraction of the chemistry for the team of being complain about benching, if he keep complaining and keep telling to the media that his not happy being bench, the front office need to do something for this guy, before it get contagious and will distract the team chemistry again.

  • Jamar88

    Pau needs to stop crying and put his 7foot ego aside. It was sickening to watch the whole laker bench errupt when jamison hit that cutting layup and gasol stayed sitting down with his head down. If there is someone who has a right to complain, it’s MWP since his defense was needed late. But he didn’t cry. He and the rest of the Lakers were up on their feet rallying their boys, while Pau was sitting on his ass stewing.