Blog Entry

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

Posted on: February 20, 2012 1:58 am
Edited on: February 20, 2012 2:06 am
 
Kobe Bryant pushes Lakers management to make a decision on Pau Gasol's future. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

It's time for the agonizing waiting game and endless trade rumors to end, according to Kobe Bryant.

Following a double-digit Sunday night loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard ramped up his recent public comments aimed at his team's management, stating clearly that it was time for the Lakers to make a decision regarding the future of big man Pau Gasol.

ESPNLA.com reports that Bryant summed up the situation bluntly: trade Gasol or publicly acknowledge that his future will be in Los Angeles.

"Basketball is such an emotional game, you got to be able to have all of yourself in the game and invested in the game. We didn't have that," Bryant said after Gasol had 17 points and 12 rebounds against the Suns. "Pau, it's hard for Pau because of all this trade talk and all this other stuff, it's hard for him to kind of invest himself completely or immerse himself completely into games when he's hearing trade talk every other day. I wish management would come out and either trade him or not trade him."

"I talked to (Gasol) a little bit about it," Bryant said. "It's just tough for a player to give his all when you don't know if you're going to be here tomorrow. I'd rather them not trade him at all. If they're going to do something, I wish they would just (expletive) do it. If they're not going to do it, come out and say you're not going to do it. This way he can be comfortable, he can go out, he can play and he can invest all of himself into the game."

On Saturday, Bryant said that ongoing trade rumors were affecting Gasol's play and that the Spanish center had his support.

"Personally I don't understand that crap," Bryant said about the rumors, according to the Los Angeles Times. "But it is what it is. It's important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us."

Those comments came a little more than a week after Bryant said he was "sure" the Lakers would make roster moves prior to the trade deadline.

Gasol, 31, was not named to the Western Conference All-Star team for the first time since 2008. His numbers this season -- 16.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 blocks per game on 49.5 percent shooting -- aren't terrible, but his scoring average is currently a career-low and his shooting percentage has dipped a few points since last year.

Of course, Gasol was nearly traded to the Houston Rockets back in December as part of a 3-team blockbuster that would have sent New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers. That deal was nixed, and Paul wound up with the Los Angeles Clippers, while Gasol remained in Los Angeles, his future uncertain. The rumors including Gasol have been fairly steady since December, with a potential trade scenario involving the Minnesota Timberwolves surfacing last week

While still one of the league's most productive and versatile big men, Gasol has a monster contract. He's on the books this year for $18.7 million and has a 2012-2013 salary of $19 million and a 2013-2014 salary of $19.2 million, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. That figure, combined with Gasol's age, limits the Lakers' potential trade partners to teams that are serious about making a playoff run immediately. Otherwise, what's the point?

It goes without saying that public pressure from a superstar on management is less than ideal for the Lakers, who dropped to 18-13 with the loss on Sunday. Bryant seems to be giving his endorsement to Gasol and seeking the same from Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, an action which would essentially handcuff the Lakers at next month's trade deadline. Other than Gasol and franchise center of the future Andrew Bynum, there's not a true trade asset on the roster, although the Lakers do possess a trade exception generated by the Lamar Odom dump to the Dallas Mavericks.

In other words, a definitive public statement on Gasol's future would really paint the Lakers into a corner. It's a nice thing for Bryant to say and it might make Gasol feel better, but there are two dualling goals here -- getting Gasol comfortable and doing whatever it takes to upgrade the Lakers roster -- and it's impossible for Lakers management to do both right now.
Comments

Since: Oct 24, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:09 am
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

Always about Kobe.  Always has been, always will. Shut up, rapist.  Just shut up and fade away. 
jbreitung, you are an absolute joke! Can you even read or comprehend?? 

What Kobe is saying, trade Pau or don't trade Pau.  Enough with speculation.  




Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:27 am
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

with an $18.7M salary wouldn't u think he would give his all EVERY game anyway?????    trade rumors or not????



Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:17 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

Like him or not Kobe is the Lakers,with out him,well they are as exciting to watch as she Bobcaats or the Hornets.Pau is not the problem either,the guy plays his heart out night after night.After those 2 there isnot much to talk about Byrum,often hurt and not much of a leader,and a roster of misfits put together by Mitch.Hell maybe handcuffing Kupchak is a brilliant move by Kobe,we have seen what he could do when he has full reign to operate.How about trading for Vasquez,Calderon,or Mo Willams,all 3 could provide a poor mans version (very poor) of Chris Paul with out dismantling your 2 main pieces


jbreitung
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Aug 23, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 8:47 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

Agreed. Pau was a essential part of the Lakers past winning seasons and Sloppy's comments are telling of why the Lakers are where they're at right now. Yep, all about the Kobe man... He's no Magic that's for sure...two different classes of folks there. Trade the mouth piece and get some draft picks worth rebuilding with. I've been a Laker fan since 1966 and this guy is becoming nothing more than a spoiled mid-aged player who'll be riding the pine in 4 years. Move on!



Since: Aug 23, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 8:43 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

What an advocate, Sloppy Bryant standing up for someone other than his own interests. Guess he really wants Howard in the nest with him. Unfortunately, he should be the one traded along with his bud MW Peace. 



Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2012 8:20 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

This is typical selffish Kobe.  He has a pretty pitiful game.  He shot under 50%, had 10 turnovers, and wanted to blame the loss on Gasol not able to focus on the game cause of trade rumors.  Well, Gasol outplayed Kobe that nite.  He has more assists, more rebounds, and shot a better percentage.  So this is Kobe taking the attention off of his horrible performance and blaming management cause his neighbors, the Clips, are better than the Lakers. 

Bynum is having a good year and getting shots, so of course, Gasol's points will go down.  It isn't like Kobe is actually going to give up shots for the other guys.  Right?  What did you expect?

Every guy's FG% is slightly down..not just Gasol's.  Bynum's is and Kobe's is.  This could be the fact that they are playing more games in less nights. 

Do people actually think before they write stupid articles that make no sense?



Since: Mar 17, 2010
Posted on: February 20, 2012 7:36 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

Lakers are done this season. Tell Pau he is ok to stay and live with it. Do all the work in the off season. Bench is too weak and Walton, if he is healthy, should be playing. Looks like discrimination on the part of the New Coach.



Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:47 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

fist off, gasol is not and has never been a center. Jeez. Second.....I cant wait to go read ken berger gush about the heat and LBJ AGAIN. In the meantime, the buss boys are morons. They are delusional about what Pau and Bynum are worth. They could have pulled the trigger with Houston and had a good deal. Flipped Martin for a point.....but no, they keep an aging team, that may or may not even make the playoffs....and certainly wont go far. They got slapped out of it last year and figure to again. Way to go lakers.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2012 4:52 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end

I completely agree. Its ridiculous for someone making almost 20 mil a year to not give their all to play a game most of us would kill to play for a fraction of that salary. Even if he is to be traded, why not raise your stock by playing well instead of having career low numbers!!! Absolutely retarded


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