Pau Gasol’s Tenure As A Laker Should Not End This Season Reviewed by Momizat on . This past weekend marked the two-year anniversary of the trade that sent Pau Gasol away for current Clippers point guard Chris Paul -- a trade that likely would This past weekend marked the two-year anniversary of the trade that sent Pau Gasol away for current Clippers point guard Chris Paul -- a trade that likely would Rating: 0
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Pau Gasol’s Tenure As A Laker Should Not End This Season

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Pau Gasol Kobe BryantThis past weekend marked the two-year anniversary of the trade that sent Pau Gasol away for current Clippers point guard Chris Paul — a trade that likely would have been franchise altering for the Lakers. They would have had a built in replacement for Kobe Bryant who would double as the best point guard Bryant would play with in his career. For reason’s that aren’t necessarily important, the trade was reversed by the NBA’s commissioner.

Since the trade was reversed by David Stern, the Pau Gasol narrative has changed dramatically among Lakers fans. While he’s been considered soft by Lakers fans since the 2008 Finals — a series in which the entire Celtics team man-handled the entire Lakers team. While the challenging of Gasol’s manhood isn’t new, he’s since been made the Lakers quintessential whipping boy with every single one of his mistakes curated on social media by Lakers fans who desperately want another winner. This season, fans want Gasol gone, traded for anything, as if talented 7-footers with championship experience grow on trees.

I’m not here to ignore Gasol’s declining skill set. Pau’s numbers have been in a steady decline since the 2010-11 season, and his numbers are down in almost every meaningful metric (his rebounding percentage is up this season largely due to Dwight Howard no longer annihilating every available board). More than any other season, Gasol has settled for long jump shots, and when he’s attacked the basket, he’s had varying success with average peaks and very low valleys. A lot of Gasol’s struggles are directly related to his age and just not having the physicality needed to compete at the game’s highest level every single night. It’s not an excuse for Gasol, but it’s a huge reason for his obvious decline. It’s not a secret, Gasol is a shell of his former self, frustrating his coach, teammates, and fans alike — but I still appreciate the big man, and at this point, it’s hard to imagine Gasol playing in another jersey.

Pau Gasol in Los Angeles California

These days, you’d hardly need a klaxon when Pau catches the ball in the post. The number of times he’s hurting defenses this season when he gets the ball on the block is far below the league’s average — and because of this, it suppresses misoneism among fans. On the surface, I can understand whose thoughts are of that ilk. The Lakers did not become one of the most successful organizations in all of sports by throwing out lackluster talent. But on the other hand, the lore of the franchise also comes from maintaining the players who have carved their way into the collective hearts of the fan base by brilliant play on the court, and helping to improve the community off it. Pau has done these things and so much more, and yet, we’ve quickly forgotten that Gasol changed the culture of this organization for the better more than any other Laker in the past decade, and because of this, I don’t want to see Pau traded.

While this may not remain true for many basketball fans, I don’t root for laundry. I root for the Los Angeles Lakers and the players who force me to appreciate the game of basketball a little more than I did before I watched them play. I’m not one to hold a great’s declining skill set umbriferous over the highs of his career — especially when one of those highs was helping the Lakers bring home a title against the Boston Celtics. Gasol has had some absolutely brilliant moments as a member of the Lakers, and while the frequency of moments like this has plummeted, he’s still capable of providing some beautiful basketball for these Lakers.

Moving Gasol for pieces who are likely only going to be worth pennies on the dollar just wouldn’t feel right, not as a fan. Gasol is a once-in-a-generation talent — there will not be another Pau Gasol. These are the years that should be spent appreciating a man who not only helped bring the title back to Los Angeles, but against the Celtics. Pau’s time in the NBA isn’t going to be much longer after his contract is up. Being a fan should be about appreciating your guys while they’re still here. The name on the back of the jersey is never more important than the one in the front, but some of those names mean more to an organization than others — and the back of Gasol’s jersey is going to hang in the rafters one day. While it’s easy to want to see Gasol traded, it’ll be just as hard to see him go. I’m in the minority here, but I’m glad Stern nixed the Chris Paul trade.

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About The Author

Phillip Barnett loves cookies and difficult sozialisierbaren basketball. You can follow him on twitter at @imsohideouss.

Number of Entries : 323
  • ersliva


    • Dragon7s

      It’s not MDA’s fault Pau is moved away from the basket, it’s usually the opposing center that’s able to do that.

    • Zimmeredge

      Kaman’s career? wooohaaaaoooo Kaman has got career? give me a break look at the stat sheet for one second. Pau Gasol is more effective away from the basket than inside.

      gasol is playing great for two reasons. because kobe is giving him a lot of balls, and that’s disrupting our offensive rythm (that was one of our main weapon) and…. because he is on the trade block. he plays with more energy because he does not want leave LAL for the New York Knicks where it’s cold and rainy and in the eastern conference…

      don’t be naive, it’s just few decent games (2 or 3?) as soon as the trade talk will vanish he’ll go back to his level.

      • Rhondel

        I SALUTE THIS BECAUSE IT IS THE SAME THING I HAVE BEEN SAYING. I saw this same act with Gasol last season. Its either trade talks are people start to really call him out. That’s the only way you get him to respond and then it is just for a couple of games and then he goes back to the same old crap. People are blaming MDA for it but really its not his fault.

  • Dragon7s

    PB, while understanding your desire to support Pau, the tone and hyperbole used in your article was a bit over the top don’t you think?

    I appreciate that you took the time to give tribute to Pau’s contribution to the Lakers however many of your points lack supportive evidence for why the Lakers should continue to support him given his own lack of effort and mental toughness.
    As Laker fans, we expect our heroes to give their all and it’s agonizing to watch Gasol’s lack of effort night in and night out.
    True, he gave a great effort last night but it was the exception to what has otherwise been a very lackluster season.
    One would think that after playing side-by-side with one of the toughest players of all time, he would have developed a similar mindset as it pertains to mental toughness and conditioning. Yet he fails continues to shake off the ‘Gasoft’ label until Kobe gets on his ass about it. He’s a veteran, former All Star, national hero in his home country and by all accounts is extremely intelligent (not to mention his charitable contributions).
    So what excuse/reason is there for his failure to set a good example for the younger players on the team and contribute at a level commensurate with his $19 million contract?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not undervaluing his contributions in the past.
    Without him, those last two banners aren’t hanging in Staples Center.

    However he needs to show that he belongs on this current roster.

    If he wants to be considered one of the all-time greats among former Lakers, he has to show the same warrior-like attitude as they did and wear his Laker uniform with the pride that comes with the privilege of donning that uniform.

    • Al Haldie

      I read all this crap about PAU–its a sad day in LAKERS LAND -when so many has all this hate in them, why not try and find some thing good about the LAKERS… If you cant then move on to some other team-i dont believe any one will miss you…….long time lakers fan

      • Dragon7s

        Where in any of my post did I say anything about “hate”?

        There are a lot of good things I can find with the Lakers and I’ve posted as I’ve seen fit, even when it goes against popular opinion.

        I don’t know why you only choose to respond to the things you disagree with and ignore those that we might share agreement on but your over-the-top rants are getting tiresome. smh

        • Al Haldie


    • Beau Colatosti

      One name comes to mind Derek fisher. Sometimes laker greats can’t finish as a laker, Jordan hill is a better option at center. He doesn’t need the ball to score like pau does, hill score because he plays hard he hustles plays defense grabs rebounds and more importantly offensive rebounds. Ya dont wanna see pau traded whatever bench him hid mediocre numbers don’t warrant starter material and high minutes when he’s not playing hard. Not hustling. PLAYING NO DEFENSE AT ALL. And being out played by other bigs on the court.

  • bad article

    So.. you waited until Gasol had one good game this season to post this article. Doesn’t sound very convincing. #badarticle

    • DPGC44

      He has had a few good games, he just happened to have a good game with Kobe in it.

  • agmvcc

    A few days ago I posted on Facebook that it might be time to part as friends. (Lakers/Gasol) But I would love your article and would much rather keep the family together if it’s going to be healthy for everybody. But pro sports IS a microscope and I’d like to think we can pull this season together and Pau can figure out how do rise above his perennial trade bait status and have a monster remainder of the season. There are all kinds of directions to point the finger in Lakerland. I just hope the Lakers as a whole can point the finger at themselves, shut all of us (fans and haters alike) out and shut all of us UP and do what they can in the front office and on the court to turn this around…

    • Zimmeredge

      the problem is at what cost Pau is playing well and why is he playing well recently.

  • Zimmeredge

    “Gasol has had some absolutely brilliant moments as a member of the Lakers, and while the frequency of moments like this has plummeted, he’s still capable of providing some beautiful basketball for these Lakers.”

    so, Mister Barnett you’re absolutely delusionnal! and here’s the reason why:

    “These are the years that should be spent appreciating a man who not only helped bring the title back to Los Angeles”

    that’s why… you live in the past. we have to rebuild, rearm, revamp the roster and get it younger, more competitive! You think you can rely on an unconsistant center.
    I think it’s time for our team to move on Pau Gasol and dot it by doing it: trade him as long as he still worth it.

    • Jan Rey

      that’s basically philip barnett’s point. He does not care much about rebuilding, revamping, and such. He’s all about loyalty. Whether you like it or not, it’s his opinion.

      • Zimmeredge

        i respect his opinion but he’s delusionnal. that’s my opinion. :)

        loyalty is about being honest to your best players. we’ve supported Pau for quite a long time but time to move on. don’t get stuck in the past like after 1991-92. we are loyal to Steve Nash… Loyalty has a cost and it’s costing us a lot of time and money.

  • Dragon7s

    And in other news:

    “Doctor said Farmer’s hamstring was still not healed. He’ll be looked at again Dec. 24, day before Lakers play Miami.
    — Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) December 18, 2013″

  • Marty Susman

    Pau Gasol did a great job in the past, but the past does not win rings. Pau needs to go for draft picks or at least a salary dump. Gasol, needs to do one last thing for the Lakers & that’s bring them in young future studs, period the end. As for who caused his remarkable downtrend, it was a combination of age & this worthless coach. Honestly the Lakers signed Kobe to way to much money, he should have signed for under $10,000,000, more like $5,000,000 but thats to late meaning there is NO room for an aging slow weak power forward like Gasol.
    2014 has zero people to go after other then one, Greg Monroe who could be the lock down in the paint for may years to come, the Lakers should go after him & if they can work out a Monroe for Gasol that would be great…..

  • Martin

    The three point shot has drastically changed the game. Every year, the number of three-point shots attempted and made increases, and the teams have gone to smaller, athletic “centers” who can stretch the defense by shooting 3′s. By forcing the opponent’s center to move away from the basket to protect against the three point shot, a quick point guard can penetrate to the basket without having to deal with a shot blocker standing as the last line of defense. D’Antoni understands that this is a new era of basketball, and a slow, non-athletic center, even one who is skilled in the low post, is not going to be able to handle the smaller, quicker centers who are taking over. Gasol is a nice guy, but like the dinosaur, his time has passed. If the Lakers are going to keep up with the top teams in the league, they need a quick point guard to break down the defense and a center who is both quick and an outside threat.

    • Josh

      Sounds like you have it all figured out. Oh, wait. What about the Heat, who have been to the finals three years in a row with no point guard or center?

      • Martin

        Josh – you just made my point. Chris Bosh is the prototype for the stretch 5 center and you don’t need a point guard when you have a point forward ( LeBron).

        • Josh

          Bosh does play center for stretches, but for the most part during the Lebron era, the Heat have started Joel Anthony or Udonis Haslem at center and rotated those guys before adding Chris Anderson last year. None of those guys are exactly “stretch 5′s.” And what does having a quick point guard do to counter Lebron James?

          D’Antoni’s system can be very successful with the right players–a quick, penetrating point guard and a bunch of shooters–but it can never win a championship. The old addage “live by the three, die by the three” is true and is the reason the Suns never made it to the Finals and the reason the Lakers swept the Magic so easily. To win championships, an offense needs to value every possession, slow the game down, and beat the defense with brain and braun…not quickness.

  • franco

    Gasol has to go because no team in the NBA would win a championship with him as a starter. His defense is atrocious; Gasol does not defend the paint, gives up countless offensive rebounds, and is outmuscled by most opposing sf/pf forwards in the paint. You guys think the Heat would’ve won with Gasol instead of Bosh, in the line up? Or Memphis and San Antonio reached the Western Conference Finals with Gasol as a starter, instead of Randolph or Duncan, respectively? And as for Kobe, we’re all thankful for 17 amazing years, but he’s not worth 24 million a year at 35 and 36. In fact, nobody is… But hey, I’d give up any championship expectations for $48 million dollars myself, so who am I to judge? I’ll even root for the Celtics if you guys paid me that money. Tell me me you wouldn’t…

  • Lakers or Bust

    Phillip Barnett should not be writing for the Lakers. I appreciate Pau as well and I don’t want him to be traded unless we get a good return. but wanting to keep pau instead of chris paul??!!!! are you an idiot! you must be a Laker hater. Get off my Laker channel you jerk. Can LakersNation get some real basketball writers? Is this jerk a family member or something?

  • Poorly written

    Def bad article. Illogical, reward players for past performance while mortgaging team’s future. At least kobe deserves it. Pau only got us 2 rings as a second fiddle guy. Stop pandering.

  • Patrick Poe Vibar Cadano

    beautiful article

  • Mufugga

    not gonna lie though when gasol does get traded i won’t be as entertained by pau faces lol and awkward free-throw stance

  • GM Jim

    $17,832,627, This is what Durant is getting paid this season. @ 41.6 (Points + Rebounds + Assists)/game

    $19,285,850, This is what Gasol is getting paid this season. @ 28 Points (Points + Rebounds + Assists)/Game

    Pro-rating Gasol’s Numbers to Durant.
    (28/41.6 ) x 17832627 = 12 million dollar

    Ok,let’s knock another 20 percent for poor defense = 9.6 million dollars, this is what Gasol is worth compared to Durant this season.

    He is over paid.

    • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

      most players who are at the end of their maximum contracts are always over paid… they were offered a contract, agreed to it, and signed it. Blame the FO for it, not the player. Durant is at the beginning of his max contract…no one was saying Gasol was overpaid when he was helping us win rings at the beginning of his max contract, didn’t they? just saying.

    • Josh

      Both players are on max contracts. You could say that Gasol is not currently justifying his salary, but when he signed that deal, every team in the league would have offered him the same amount. Even with the new CBA, there are a handful of teams that would consider offering him a max deal next summer. 7-footers with that kind of talent and experience are extremely rare.

      • GM Jack

        I thought It was a mistake when the Lakers offered to him 3 years extension with MAX dollars. Gasol was good, but he is not Lebron James. If they did not give him the extension, they could have gone after Lebron. Most experts will tell you, Lebron has been the best all around player in the NBA last 7 years (Add up the points, rebounds, and assists he is number 1, except for one season, Love beat him) I respect that we are the Lakers, and we root for Kobe, but the truth is that Lakers could have gone after Lebron if they had planed it right. Now they need to plan for 2016 to get Durant or even Love. Forget 2014, those players are going into their last 25 percent of the career and they will want max deals (you will end up with the same problem, old players with big contracts). And, CBA does have a problems, best players are not getting the most money. The money is not distributed correctly at the moment.

  • DPGC44

    Um kaman is a usable player with a great skill sets. Although I appreciate the dancing Sacre I still think Kaman is a better player. 2 big men with passing skills to players that can actually hit open jumpers? Imagine that? The Lake show will live and die by the 3. D’antoni needs to get over his black list and get back to winning games.

  • Pau Sucks

    Haaa haaaa haaaa! Lets hold on to Pau for ever. Hell lets give him a max contract – because you like him – you are definitely right. There won’t be another one. He is a one in a lifetime Soft, No Defense, Not physical, Not Agressive, Not Confident player. Those are the once in a lifetime attributes. Now, if you want to talk about talent, Is rather have his bro, Zach Randolph, KL, Alridge, Hibbert….how can you say he is “one in a lifrtime” when clearly there are soooo many other players in THIS YEAR Id rather have??????????

  • Pau Sucks

    This article is sooooo weak there are holes everywhere. PAU changed the culture of the Lakers?????? Because he was such a winner in Memphis right? That must be it. HE ONLY WON ONE PLAYOFF GAME WITH THE GRIZZLIES. What did he change culturally for the Lakers? Did he make them into a defensive team all of a sudden? LMAO! Did he instill a winning attitude in Kobe? Lol. Did he make our team more vocal on the court? Hahahaha!

  • Pau Sucks

    By the way, those pieces who are “just pennies on the dollar” OUTPLAY HIM AND OUTHUSTLE HIM more often than I’d like to remember right now. And for those who say its the coach…DAntony has actually vocalized the fact that he wants Pau to go to the basket. He just refuses to do it, and Pau has underperformed under Phil – remember the Dallas sweep? Under Mike Brown AND under DAntony.

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