Pau Gasol hasn’t been happy with head coach Mike D’Antoni in recent days, expressing frustrations with his coach about playing style and where he’s been taking the majority of his shots. While Gasol didn’t speak to reporters following today’s shootaround, but D’Antoni responded to Gasol’s comments, according to the LA Daily News.
“It’s also a nice excuse not to play hard,” D’Antoni said. “That’s a classic, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ Well, you don’t have trouble getting up to the paystub line. You know what you need to do to get your check. You know what to do. They will. They’ll figure it out.”
“That’s one thing. They don’t want to do it that way. I understand that. That’s when you have to accept it or not. But there’s no reason not to play hard.”
Those are harsh words for the Spaniard as he’s essentially suggesting that Gasol is just playing for a paycheck at this point. Both D’Antoni and Gasol were at odds last season when D’Antoni felt that both Gasol and Dwight Howard couldn’t effectively share the floor together, and decided to bench Gasol.
This year, Gasol is having his worst season as a member of the Lakers, and likely the worst season of his career as he’s struggling to figure things out on both ends of the floor while dealing with a few lingering injuries.
There’s no telling what these comments will do to the relationship between D’Antoni and Gasol, but things aren’t looking great at the moment. Tonight the Lakers play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their first game in a stretch where they play four games in five nights.
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