The Clock Is Ticking On Gasol's Laker Career
By Mitch Chortkoff
Just a few more weeks and the Lakers' season will be over. No playoffs this time.
Of all the negatives that have occurred the one that bothers me the most is the way Pau Gasol hasn't been appreciated.
This is one of the top 100 big men ever to play in the NBA, a professional who has had championship seasons here but now is struggling against age and injuries, plus a coach who doesn't want the center to have the ball in the post.
Instead of Gasol being celebrated as obviously the Lakers' best player along with Kobe Bryant, we've had the following:
The season starts with a batch of new Lakers taking one three-point shot after another – Coach Mike D'Antonio's preferred offense.
The Lakers play .500 ball for while, then tumble out of playoff contention, compiling one of the worst records in Laker history.
Oops, D'Antoni then changes his ways and Gasol averages 21 points in January.
Maybe the Lakers are showcasing Gasol for a trade. They're going nowhere and probably would like to get rid of a$19 million contract.
It's hard to tell. Gasol battles injuries, then last week experiences vertigo and misses a game against the New York Knicks
And look what happens. The Lakers score 51 points in the third quarter. It becomes one of those rare games when the long-distance shooting brings excitement and a victory
So, it's almost next season and where do the Lakers stand with Gasol? They may pull out of the free agent derby, realizng they won't get LeBron James and probably won't get Carmelo Anthony
Is it an option to feature Bryant and Gasol next season? Do they want to settle for that? Who knows?
Whatever is about to happen, Gasol tries to remain professional. It's what he does. Do the job day after day to the best of his ability.
Since Gasol has differed with D'Antoni so often in a frustrating season I don't know if he'll want to come bak.
I'm pretty sure the Lakers won't offer him another $19 million contract.
Maybe he'll take less from another team that will make him happier.
After Phil Jackson was rejected for the Lakers' coaching job this season he admitted he would have featured Dwight Howard and Gasol In his offense.
That makes sense to me. It sure beats a plan where you lose 20 more games than you win.