Pau Gasol: Criticism of Los Angeles Lakers Forward Is Unfair

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers spins from Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on October 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

While it is clear that Pau Gasol isn’t having the start to the 2012-2013 season that he and the Los Angeles Lakers would have liked, the inner turmoil of the club, the turnover at head coach and the four different offensive schemes the team used in the last four seasons aren’t helping matters.

The criticism from his teammates about his conditioning is not fair; this is a process that takes time.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant once again handled the situation poorly and took his criticism to the media, telling the Los Angeles Daily News about his teammate's weaknesses:

Pau is used to laboring up the floor and coasting a little bit. In this offense, we have to put the motor on the first few steps we move up the court.

While the criticism of conditioning issues for Gasol were very obvious during the 113-97 loss Tuesday at Sacramento, the fact that the entire team is transferring to a new offensive style proves this is a process.

For some players—someone like Gasol, who never played in a style like the one D’Antoni runs—the transition from one offensive scheme to the next will take longer.

Gasol told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News about the differences between the offensive sets and what it means for him:

I don't know if it's extremely physically demanding. It's an offense that you have to move and have to be on the go and get to your spots run to your spots and find some good flow out there that we really haven't reached consistently. The offense will evolve and will be better.

It is always hard for a big man who is used to the half-court offense that the Lakers have instituted for years to be ready for the full-court, run-and-gun style of D’Antoni.

Gasol will have to get in better shape, but the fact that his teammates are using the media to reach out to him is flat-out wrong. The Lakers need to learn act like a team and work their problems out in the locker room.

Given the time to acclimate to D’Antoni’s offense, Gasol will be just fine; this is once again a case of Bryant’s bad attitude causing trouble for the team.


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