Blog Entry

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

Posted on: May 20, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 9:09 pm
Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol says he "collapsed" during the NBA playoffs. Posted by Ben Golliver. pau-gasol

What a month for Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol.

On the court, Gasol averaged a career-low 13.1 points per game in this year's playoffs and the Lakers were swept out of the second round by the Dallas Mavericks. Off the court, vicious rumors involving his personal life swirled around the team, to the point where guard Shannon Brown issued a public denial of a sexual relationship with Gasol's girlfriend.

In an interview with Spanish website Marca, translated by, Gasol admits that the situations overwhelmed him.
"It wasn't about self-esteem. It wasn't about confidence. I collapsed. I was exhausted a little bit too. It hasn't been a lack of confidence."

"A journalist from here told me that I'm an easy target. I'm polite, I'm a foreigner and I treat people with respect. Because I'm polite and a good person I'm an easy target. The lies about my personal life have affected me."
That's a pretty damning, soul-searching admission by Gasol, who should know by now, after spending four seasons in Los Angeles, that the paparazzi and society's obsession with celebrity are a part of the job description for every Laker. 

To his credit, Gasol doesn't duck from the Heat, accepting full responsibility for his off play.
"My goal is to help my team to win and since I haven't done that, I have failed."
Injuries and physical struggles can be frustrating for fans, but there's nothing worse than when a key player battles mental struggles, whether it's doubt or pure distraction. How are Lakers fans supposed to interpret these comments? What's the proper reaction? Rage? Compassion? Demand that he be traded?

We can be sure Gasol will bounce back in the future -- he couldn't play much worse than he did in the playoffs, at least not until he's significantly older -- but his no-show in the playoffs, and this explanation, won't quickly be forgotten. If you're Kobe Bryant, entering the final extended chapter of your career, are you able to give Gasol a pass? If you're the new Lakers coach, whoever that might be, do you have any idea how much you can count on Gasol in the future? 

The easy explanation: a collapse was inevitable given three straight grueling trips to the NBA Finals and extra time away from the game should help revitalize both body and mind. We won't know if that's the correct explanation until the full strobe light of pressure is shining on Gasol again. In the meantime, hopefully he gets his house in order.
Category: NBA

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:44 pm

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

If the Lakers trade him, they are stupid. Pau was the backbone of the team almost the first half of the season when Bynum was out, as usual. He is human, he gets tired physically and mentally and having rumors going around that his teammate is sleeping with his gf, I'm sure that too has an affect on him, like most human being would. The Lakers losing to Dallas and playing sub-par basketball in the playoffs was not all because of Pau, the rest of the team sucked in the playoffs, coaches included. Blame it on the entire team for playing lousy basketball and for thinking that they can just turn on or off whenever they pleases, complacency got into their heads.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: May 21, 2011 11:46 am

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

Hopefully Pau gets his life back on track.

As a diehard LA fan, there's nothing more 2 chat about regarding this years attempt to 3 peat. We got swept & everyone should be embarrassed!

The good part for the players & coaching staff is that they still collect their big paychecks.

But us fans gotta live with the disgust until the team can get back on track with it's championship ways!!! 

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: May 21, 2011 11:16 am

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

True Lakers fans will realize a lot of the blame has to fall on Bynum.  Why?  Because of his serious lack of durability Pau was forced to play way too many minute for over half of the start of the season.  If people remember right, Pau was tearing it up and basically carrying the Lakers for good stretches of times but I believe him.  He simply wore down.  Period.  He was forced to play Center a position that DOES NOT suit him.  Had Bynum been available at all it would have lessened the load for Pau.  Instead, Odom had to start at PF and Pau at Center.  I truly believe LA will come back refreshed, refocused for next year.  Pau is not my fav player actually don't even have one.  But LA is my squad.  Funny how no one talks about Odom and his focus about reality shows and books etc.  Yes Pau was awful in the playoffs at least he admits it and let's be straight here.  Without him last year NO WAY does LA beat Boston. 

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: May 21, 2011 10:19 am

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

I give credit for admiting the problem. It was Gasol not playing like he can that cost the Lakers. Something changed his play after they went 16 and 1 after all star break. AFter that he never played great again. The worse I ever saw him play was in the playoffs. The Lakers just will not win wothout him playing like he did in 2010 playoff run. This year he was terrible and it cost them the chance this year. I want to say it was entire team but he is the one guy who disappeared in the playoffs.

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: May 21, 2011 8:39 am

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

I give Pau some credit for admitting that his play during the NBA playoffs was piss-poor! Not to many players will be straight-up for why they performed like they did when things go bad,but I will say this....Pau had better get his physical/mental game back on track because if he does then he'll make it very easy for the Lakers to get rid of him via trade.He played in the playoffs as if he was still with Memphis in his early part of his NBA career.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: May 21, 2011 4:20 am

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

Pau Gasol,

Please take some time off and get your head screwed on straight. You can still be a good player. But this is the most important thing for you coming up.

Please get a personal trainer this off season and build some muscle!!!!

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 21, 2011 1:58 am

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

Who's gonna give Kobe a pass for doing next to nothing in the playoffs?  He shot jump shot after jump shot and contributed very little in any other area. 

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:16 am

Pau Gasol: 'I collapsed' in NBA playoffs

"If you're , entering the final extended chapter of your career, are you able to give Gasol a pass? "

Gasol helped win Kobe 2 extra championships, so he'd better be able to give him a pass.

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