Lakers News & Rumors Recap: Mike D’Antoni Now Values The Presence Of Gasol
It was widely known throughout the course of last season that Pau Gasol and Mike D’Atnoi didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye. But with the departure of Dwight Howard, and Gasol assuming the position as the primary big man in a Laker uniform, Mike D’Antoni has had to reevaluate his approach to how he will use Pau.
In an interview with ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin, D’Antoni discussed how Gasol being able to win championships with Bryant created a unique bond of trust between the two. There success together ultimately helped D’Antoni realize that Pau is at his best when he is a featured part of a team (2007-10) rather than just a piece:
“When you win together, you create this bond of trust and it goes both ways. I think Pau understands Kobe and can give him a lot of room, at the same time, I think Kobe understands Pau and where he’s coming from.”
When the two best players are on the same page, it assures that the entire team will be able to play to their strengths and creates an environment where everyone is free to communicate:
“The bottom line is, everybody plays to their strengths. Everybody has their egos and when you trust each other, then things can be said that get you back in line a little bit.”
Moving forward into this season, D’Antoni knows that in order for the Lakers to have any kind of success, Pau will be key, but more importantly, team chemistry is going to have to be better:
“We didn’t have a lot of that last year. It just didn’t happen. We had a lot of people that didn’t trust each other and that kind of was our woes. So, this year, we’re looking to improve that a lot.”
Throughout the off-season, numerous players have discussed the importance of team chemistry. The Lakers clearly didn’t have that last season and it showed every time they stepped on the floor.
Led by Kobe and Gasol, if everyone is able to get on the same page this season and understands their roles, it can give the team that extra lift of energy to push through and surprise teams.
At Lakers Nation, we not only like to keep you posted on current events, but show you historic Lakers moments worth reliving. Today’s post is all about Elgin Baylor’s historic 1961-62 season. During the 1961-62 season, Elgin Baylor put together one of the most amazing seasons ever recorded, and yet it is rarely, if ever, talked about. Baylor, in all of his 6’5 and 225 pound glory, averaged 38.3 points and 18.6 rebounds per game that year.
Lakers Nation wants to give a birthday wish to Derek Fisher! Fisher was a Laker for thirteen seasons, was an key player on five championship teams. As part of our appreciation for D-Fish we did a post of his top five moments as a Laker! Check it out!
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