Tag:Pau Gasol
Posted on: May 15, 2011 12:26 am
Edited on: May 15, 2011 12:31 am
 

Shannon Brown squelches Pau Gasol rumor

Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown took to Twitter to squelch a rumor involving Pau Gasol's girlfriend. Posted by Ben Golliver. pau-brown

The Los Angeles Lakers bombed out of the 2010-2011 NBA playoffs in surprising and disgraceful fashion. Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were ejected after some unnecessary fouls and most of the rest of the team played without much heart or energy as the Dallas Mavericks swept them out of the second round.

In particular, All-Star big man Pau Gasol was listless and ineffective, averaging just 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds, well below his season averages. It got so bad that Phil Jackson, the Zenmaster, screamed at Gasol and thumped him on the chest to try to wake him up.

As Gasol struggled on the court, rumors off the court circulated about problems involving his girlfriend. The rumors first involved Kobe Bryant's wife. Both players moved to squash that talk in relatively short order, stating publicly that the relationships between the two players and their significant others were all hunky-dory. 

After the Lakers were eliminated, an even more vicious rumor emerged concerning a supposed relationship between Gasol's girlfriend, Silvia Lopez Castro, and Lakers guard Shannon Brown.

Brown took to Twitter on Saturday night to correct the record: "Ok let me put a end to this right now before it goes any further. I DID NOT SLEEP WITH @paugasol woman!!! First and last time addressing it!"

Rumors about the private lives of professional athletes, especially teammates, is a dirty, dirty game. In the past, standard practice for athletes has generally been to avoid commenting on them directly so as not to legitimize them.

Clearly, Brown has opted for a different approach. Given that he has more than 152,000 followers on the social networking site, his side of the story can be dispersed widely and without a filter. Putting out that kind of statement might very well make his life easier, or at least a little less dramatic.

If you're Gasol, though, how do you react? Are you glad Brown put the rumors to bed? Are you a little peeved that a public denial/clarification of this sort was necessary? Are you worried that this might serve as fodder for additional rounds of rumors? 

It's hard to know without being in his shoes. It's especially difficult because Gasol did acknowledge that some of the rumors that had spread had been hurtful to Carsto. Does this help or hurt her?
Posted on: May 12, 2011 5:09 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Report: Lakers interested in Adelman as coach

The Lakers are reportedly interested in Rick Adelman to serve as their head coach. rick-adelman

Posted by EOB Staff

With Phil Jackson expected to retire and end a Hall of Fame career, but with the Lakers still with a championship-worthy roster, the search for the next coach in Hollywood is kind of a big deal, even bigger than it normally is. And while Brian Shaw was the presumptive favorite, given the disappointing and altogether unsavory end the Lakers met in the playoffs' second round, there's talk of some of the bigger names being brought in.

The top of that list? Rick Adelman. From ESPN:
 
NBA coaching sources on Thursday described the Lakers as "very interested" in Rick Adelman as a candidate for the position.

Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw has the public endorsement of Kobe Bryant and is regarded as by far the strongest in-house candidate for the position.

Yet sources say Lakers officials are intrigued by the Adelman option, not only because of his history of success in Portland, Sacramento and Houston but also his reputation for thriving with veteran teams and the similarities between Adelman's "corner" offense and Jackson's "triangle" offense.

Beyond Shaw and Adelman, sources said, L.A.'s list of potential targets is only just taking shape.
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers 'very interested' in Rick Adelman - ESPN Los Angeles.

Adelman taking over the Lakers would be pretty bitter for Blazers, Kings, and Rockets fans who supported Adelman against "the Empire" over the past ten years.  But at the same time, Adelman's constantly been winning and producing with teams with far less talent, and if anybody deserves a shot at a one-off championship with a loaded, veteran roster... well, it's Jerry Sloan. But after him, it's Adelman, and trying to sell the Casual Sunday Lakers on Sloan's militant approach is a no-go. Adelman has credit with the players, a system similar to the triangle, at least in some regards, and experience. 

Adelman's going to have his pick of jobs. But the Los Angeles Lakers, with another year of Kobe, Gasol, Odom, and possibly Bynum? He's not going to find a sweeter job than that.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 2:41 pm
 

Pau Gasol might play for Spain this summer

Posted by Royce Young

Pau Gasol is faced with a rare situation. He has June entirely off.

The last two, he's kind of been, you know, busy. But with the time and added rest time, Gasol is thinking about playing for his home country of Spain for the first time in two years. Spain plays in the Eurobasket tournament Aug. 31-Sept. 18 in Lithuania.

"My decisions the last couple years have been because of a lack of rest and time to recover from our runs to the championships before the beginning of the season," Gasol told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "But this obviously gives me more opportunity of participating with my national team."

There was a ton of criticism for Gasol following the Lakers sweep at the hands of the Mavericks, some centering around energy and focus. I'm not questioning whether or not Gasol is up for playing for Spain, it's just that some are going to wonder if he's better served taking the time off to heal and rest.

The two top teams from Eurobasket automatically qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:20 am
Edited on: May 10, 2011 2:42 am
 

Dwight Howard calls out paper for 'dumb articles'

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard criticizes his local newspaper for its coverage of his future with the team. Posted by Ben Golliver. dwight-howard-lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers bombed out of the playoffs, the Orlando Magic bombed out of the playoffs and Dwight Howard hasn't yet committed to a long-term contract extension, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to think up a trade scenario between the two teams that centers around the All-Star center. Back in the day, Shaquille O'Neal went from Disneyworld to Disneyland and many assume Howard will do the same thing.

No one has been more aggressive in tracking that potential move than the Orlando Sentinel, who created a website application that allowed users to dress up Howard in the jerseys of different teams, including the Lakers. (An image from the application is shown to the right.)

On Monday night, Howard took to Twitter to criticize the paper for its coverage of his future (all sics are his).
"Y does it seem like the writers of Orlando sentinel are tryna push me out of Orlando with dumb articles. It's annoying. Can I enjoy my summer and get ready for next season in Orlando. Pls. Same thing u guys did to Shaq. Smh"
In a series of follow-up tweets, Howard clarified that he's not blaming the media.
"I'm not blaming the media. I'm saying stop with the dumb articles. They don't make be decision of mine. I jus don't want Orlando fans to believe them. Cuz they don't know. I love my city"
Assessing the Sentinel's Magic page on Monday night, you could read a column calling on Howard to inform the team of his future plans, a story about L.A.'s pursuit of Howard, a story that led with discussion of the Howard-to-Lakers talk, video of Howard describing the state of his contract negotiations with the Magic and a poll for fans to vote whether they would trade Howard and guard Gilbert Arenas to the Lakers for Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Steve Blake.

There's probably more, but you get the point.

No one -- especially not Howard -- should be surprised by the volume of coverage of his future. It's far and away the dominant storyline concerning the franchise from now until the second he is signed to an extension or traded. Griping will get him absolutely nowhere. Newsflash Superman, they're just getting started.

Ultimately, the paper's reporters are really just doing their jobs: feeding an insatiable beast. Well, except for that jersey application. That was kind of a low blow.
Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:16 pm
 

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

Mitch Kupchak says not to worry too much about Magic's "blow it up" comments. But if not a complete self-destruction, is a major remodeling on the way,and how does a new coach fit into this?
Posted by Matt Moore




Sure, you were just swept out of the playoffs in what should have been the culmination of so much work, effort, and money spent in order to achieve a three-peat and send your expensive Hall of Fame coach out in style. Sure, your roster was relatively exposed as lackadaisical, lacking in focus, determination, heart, and eventually class. And yes, the idea has always been to reload when the shots don't quite hit their target, which is always championship gold. 

But the Lakers? They're not looking to follow Magic Johnson's advice and blow it up. Not yet, anyway. And not completely. 

From Sports Illustrated: 
(Lakers GM Mitch) Kupchak cautioned against the idea that Johnson's recent comments on ABC were an early indication of things to come. The Lakers' legend had all but written his favorite team off during his television analysis, then recommended Kupchak "blow it up" by trading one of his frontcourt players for Orlando's Dwight Howard as a means to keeping the dynasty intact.

Jackson called the comment "unnecessary" before tip-off, while Kupchak largely dismissed the notion raised by some fans that it was an in-house sentiment being shared publicly. Howard is believed to be eyeing the Lakers as a possible landing spot when he becomes a free agent in 2012, however, meaning this storyline won't be going away anytime soon.

"I thought Earvin was trying to motivate our players," Kupchak said. "He's great at cheering for us, and a lot of times saying stuff like he said can motivate a player to play harder. That's how I took it.

"I talk to Earvin from time to time, and I think Dr. Buss [owner Jerry Buss] does from time to time, and this moves too quickly for him to be intimately involved in what's going on day to day, so I would hesitate to think that was the case."
via Lakers fall apart against Mavericks in Phil Jackson's farewell - Sam Amick - SI.com.

Not surprising that Magic isn't plugged into the day to day ops, especially having sold his stake, despite retaining a front office position. But the question is whether the Lakers are correct in this train of thought. One issue that isn't being talked about here is pretty obvious. This roster was constructed to play for Phil Jackson. 

And that definitely won't be the case next season. 

From ESPN:
Jackson might've played coy in what was likely his final postgame press conference, joking "I haven't answered that, have I?" when pressed for a definitive statement on whether he'd coached his final NBA game Sunday. But Kupchack says he believes Jackson's decision to retire is final this time.

"I think this is it," Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles after the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks 122-86 on Sunday. "We'll sit down and talk, but I've gotten no indication that he won't retire.

"We just talked briefly and I thanked him for what he's done for the organization. It was a pleasure to work with him. Everybody who is a coach in this league works endless hours. I'm not going to say he works harder than any other coach in this league. He certainly works as hard as any of them.

"But he's different. He's got a feel that I think a lot of coaches don't have."
via Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak senses Phil Jackson set to retire - ESPN Los Angeles.

With Jackson gone, Brian Shaw is the favorite to get the Lakers' head coaching job. But after the abject meltdown that occured on a chemistry level, the job will probably be open to several applicants. ESPN also reports the job is "wide open" and with candidates like Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman, and Larry Brown on the market, you have to think ownership will take a long look at its options. And if there is a change in the coaching line, the new coach will want players to fit his personnel. 

The question of Dwight Howard will come back around again and again this summer once the CBA is resolved (if it's resolved). In case you missed it in the fall of Rome, here's Ken Berger of CBSSports.com on Howard and the Lakers: 
Everybody knows that Dwight Howard wants to be a Laker," said a person familiar with the All-Star centers plans. "Theyre going to lose Dwight Howard for nothing. Hes not staying there. Dwight Howard is going to be in the same mode as LeBron James."

So would the Magic, facing the reality of losing their franchise cornerstone and getting nothing in return, accept Gasol and Odom, Bynum and Odom, or even Bynum and Gasol as the centerpiece of a Howard trade?"Probably," said a high-profile agent with a hand in past maneuverings for both teams.
via Fast-approaching offseason critical for Lakers - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

Landing Howard would automatically put the Lakers back at the top of the contenders list, though they may be there anyway, even with the Dallas Meltdown. But it comes with its own set of issues, including giving the reins of a veteran club to a younger player. How's Kobe Bryant going to react to being the No.2 for the first time since the first W. Bush term in his final ride into the sunset? Will the Magic really want Andrew Bynum after he embarrassed himself, his family, and his organization with (another) needless foul that could have resulted in injury and will definitely result in his suspension for multiple games next year, along with his injury issues on a long contract? 

There's time for all this, and the Lakers will take it. They are unlikely to "blow it up" and more likely to simply try and pick their favorite from the NBA's buffet as in year's past. But deals like the Pau Gasol trade don't come along twice in a four-year span, and with the franchise tag a possibility to come out of the CBA, life may be significantly different for L.A. after the seconds ticked off the Phil Jackson era in Dallas. 

Things aren't as simple as pushing the "self-destruct" button and starting over. Even Athens fell, and an immediate return to glory isn't always guaranteed for those blessed by the Gods for so long. 

But I wouldn't bet against them.
Posted on: May 9, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Pau Gasol had a bad week

Pau Gasol loses fiance, has tension with Lakers, is swept from playoffs. Other than that, things aren't bad for the 7-foot Spaniard. 
Posted by Matt Moore




Let's take a look at Pau Gasol's week: 

  • Dumped by his long-time girlfriend: check. 
  • Challenged and pushed physically by Phil Jackson, who notoriously does not get up in player's faces or ever touch them during games: check.
  • Dominated against Euro 7-footer, exposing him as an inferior to Dirk Nowitzki: check.
  • Swept from playoffs in attempt for three-peat, and failed to send arguably the greatest coach in NBA history out on a high note: check.

Yeah, that's a pretty bad week. 

Gasol was reported to be upset with Kobe Bryant over his wife's involvement in Gasol's girlfriend's decision to break up with him earlier in the week. Gasol admitted there was some tension in the locker room, but also denied Bryant's involvement. It's not really worth pursuing, since it's none of our business and it doesn't change the result. It's understandable that Gasol would be upset about something in his personal life like that, but in the biggest series of the year for the Lakers, they needed their big man, and he wasn't there. It's a rough patch of luck, but you have to fight through it if you want to be a champion, as cliche as that sounds. 

Perhaps more important, though, is this point. Regardless of what was going on with Gasol, he still could have dominated had the Mavericks not played him so well. They sent effective doubles, brought help when he got to the corner, challenged his turnarounds enough to drive him too deep baseline, and stayed aggressive on the defensive boards to not allow those tip-ins.  Pau Gasol has a terrible week, one that has changed Laker fans' perception of him despite his pivotal role in the Lakers' two championships, but it should be noted that it was a two way street. Gasol fell apart when the Lakers needed him most, and the Mavericks did what they had to in order to take away the Lakers' second best player. 

If the last few weeks have been interesting for Gasol, the next few months could be even moreso. 
Posted on: May 7, 2011 9:44 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2011 9:49 pm
 

Kobe Bryant predicts series win over Mavericks

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant says he thinks Los Angeles can come back from a 3-0 series deficit to the Dallas Mavericks. Posted by Ben Golliver.

kobe-fail

The Los Angeles Lakers' season could end as soon as Sunday night. Down 3-0 to the Dallas Mavericks with Game 4 in American Airlines Center, the Lakers will look to keep hople alive their season after three straight games featuring fourth quarter meltdowns. There has been plenty of blame to go around, 

While no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit, ESPNLA.com reports that Bryant not only still has hope, he's predicting a series victory.
"I don't know, I might be sick in the head or crazy or thrown off or something like that because I still think we're going to win this series," Bryant said after totaling 17 points and six assists in Game 3. "I might be nuts. ... Let's win on Sunday, go back home and see if they can win in L.A."
We shouldn't expect less from Bryant, one of the league's most confident and decorated players. He isn't going to fold in the face of adversity, at least not publicly. With Games 4 and 6 still to be played in Dallas, however, L.A. faces an extremely tall order. It's better to go down with your head up, I suppose.

What happens in the very likely event that the Lakers aren't able to make good on Bryant's prediction? Ken Berger of CBSSports.com explores that subject, saying that trades, possibly including some big names, are likely in L.A.'s future.

The New York Times notes that Lakers legend Magic Johnson agrees with that assessment.
“If the Lakers lose this game, you’re going to have to blow it up,” Magic Johnson, the former Lakers great, said on ESPN. “This team has been together too long. It’s time for major changes for the Lakers.”
Posted on: May 7, 2011 1:33 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Gasol says he needs to 'snap out of it'

Posted by Royce Young



It was obvious to Phil Jackson early on. I've seen Phil get animated, but during a break in the first half last night against the Mavericks, Jackson went right after Pau Gasol, even giving him a little bump in the chest with his fist. Later, Jackson zeroed in on Gasol again, giving him what some would call, a "butt-chewing."

Gasol got the message. His play didn't necessarily reflect it, but he says he got the message, according to Yahoo! Sports:

He’s “out of it” mentally and hasn’t been able to be “effective or comfortable out there,” but couldn’t explain why and says he needs to “snap out of it.” Time is running out….

“It’s been tough,” Gasol simply said. “It’s been tough more than anything [because] of the losses.”

When asked if this poor playoff season ruins his previous Laker accomplishments, Gasol sternly responded: “You tell me? Should it? I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

That's not good news for a team down 0-3. Also not good because Andrew Bynum was vocal after Game 2 about "trust issues." The Lakers are clearly having problems right now and most will point directly at Gasol. He's a player as responsible for their back-to-back titles as anyone, but within the triangle offense, it's almost as Pau goes, the Lakers go.

In this series, he's averaging just 13 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting. For the playoffs, the numbers are virtually the same. Against the Hornets, Gasol was a disappointment, but L.A. advanced because, well, they were playing Chris Paul and four dudes that stumbled in from Mardi Gras.

But against the Mavericks, it's another story. Not only is Gasol not contributing to the Laker offense, Dirk Nowitzki is torching him. According to ESPN State and Info, 27 of Dirk's 32 came with Gasol "on" him. (I put "on" in quotes because there were a few times where Gasol was decidedly not on him.) For the series, Nowitzki is shooting 19-25 from the floor for 42 points when Gasol checks him. That's ridiculous on Dirk's behalf and inexcusable on Gasol's.

Gasol's shimmering reputation as one of the most gifted big men in the league is taking a serious tarnishing right now. He's the focus of a lot of negativity. Andrew Bynum was visibly keyed in and aggressive all night. Gasol gave away an easy Jason Terry dunk at one point because he was barely holding on to the ball. Jackson claimed that was the play he first singled Gasol out on, but it's much more than that.

It speaks to the respect we all have for Jackson, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers that we haven't completely ruled them out from being the first team ever to come back from 0-3. (Or maybe that speaks to the Mavs. I don't know.) They aren't out of it until the buzzer sounds and Dallas has more points than them in a clinching fourth win. But if they have any dreams of getting there, any dreams of winning a third consecutive title, Gasol must absolutely snap out of it.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com