After going through some adversity, Mike D'Antoni decided to show Pau Gasol some tough love.
Although Phil Jackson has often utilized the press to send messages to his players, Mike D'Antoni's sarcastic remark seemed to be saturated with a disrespectful aura towards Gasol, a two-time champion.
Although known to play tentatively in stretches, especially when his role in the offense isn't clearly defined, Gasol responds best to a respectful approach.
Although D'Antoni did do some damage control when referring to the move as a coaching decision to accommodate the hot hand, it is clear that D'Antoni feels Gasol isn't a tailor-made fit for his system.
To fit into D'Antoni's system, Gasol has to rely more on his jump-shooting ability to stretch the floor and allow for pick-and-rolls to occur between Dwight Howard and Steve Nash once he returns.
However, this would marginalize Gasol's greatest skills.
Though Gasol is a proficient shooter who has shown that he can hit the three when left completely wide open for a long period of time, his skills all center around his ability to play in the post.
With one of the softest touches in the league and with very good passing ability, Gasol is a very effective and versatile player from both the high and low posts.
With D'Antoni emphasizing the use of Howard in pick-and-rolls and in the paint, Gasol's greatest skills won't be utilized.
Although the flow of the offense and the efficiency of the system is very important to playing winning basketball, there is no way that mitigating the skill set of a former champion and multiple-time All-Star still playing high-level basketball is prudent.
In order for the Lakers to succeed with Gasol, something drastic may have to occur.
By bringing Gasol off of the bench, he will sacrifice some minutes in order to be the focal point of the second unit.
Though it seems foolish to have an All-Star with such a high salary like Gasol come off of the bench, it may be the best decision if his full skill set can't be utilized in the starting unit.
Gasol's impact in the second unit would be great for the D'Antoni system as a whole.
Antawn Jamison would be an ideal starter for D'Antoni with his ability to stretch the floor and allow Howard his space in the paint.
Furthermore, the bench's lack of a creator and consistent offensive threat would be null and void if Gasol conforms to a bench role.