Is it time for a change of scenery for Pau Gasol? While his current numbers (14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game) don't suggest so, his career-low field goal percentage (42.3 percent) this season has slowly forced him out of head coach Mike D'Antoni's rotation. Plus, it doesn't help that Gasol has developed a verbal feud with D'Antoni which has spilled out to the media.
Following Friday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Gasol publicly blamed D'Antoni's system for his struggles. Then, Pringles followed up with an extremely harsh response that not only questioned Pau's toughness, but suggested that the forward/center was only in it to receive a check.
"It's also a nice excuse not to play hard," D'Antoni said. "That's a classic, ‘I don't know what I'm supposed to do.' Well, you don't have trouble getting up to the paystub line. You know what you need to do to get your check. You know what to do. They will. They'll figure it out." "That's one thing. They don't want to do it that way. I understand that. That's when you have to accept it or not. But there's no reason not to play hard."
With Gasol in the final year of his contract, the Lakers are in a fortuitous situation where they can probably find a suitor for his expiring deal. However, given the fact that Pau is making an astounding $19.2 million this season, L.A. may need to eat a good chunk of the money in order to get a trade done before the deadline. Then, there's the whole thing of making your franchise player, Kobe Bryant, happy. After Dwight Howard opted to join the Houston Rockets, Kobe hopped on Instagram to acknowledge that, through it all, he still had Pau. But, of course, in the end, KB wants to win a championship over anything else and it doesn't matter who is heading to the mountaintop with him.
It may be best for Pau for to leave as soon as possible. Maybe that "appealing" return to the Memphis Grizzlies is still available.
[via Eye On Basketball]