Mike D’Antoni, is trying to do some damage control in his beginning weeks in Los Angeles. The trade rumors of Pau Gasol are running rapid between news outlets and the web, but no one knows how true they are. According to the Orange County Register, D’Antoni is clearing that up by saying his past remarks of removing Gasol from the floor to “win the game” was him just being a “smart-mouth”
“First of all, when Dwight goes out, he’s a great center. You cannot find a center to do what he does for 14 minutes. That is super positive,” D’Antoni said. And with Dwight (on the floor), he (Gasol) shoots the ball all the way out to the 3. He’s another 7-footer who can guard the rim and he’s extremely smart.
“So there’s no reason why he can’t fit in. Ideally, do you want a guy like Jessie Owens who can run? Yeah, maybe. But he’s a big part of what we’re going to do and it’s going to take him, like everyone else, time to get up to snuff, (to learn) that change of possessions is ‘go’ and that we don’t meander, we run. It takes everyone a while to get that kind of mindset.”
“He’s unique in the league,” D’Antoni said. “There aren’t many 7-footers who have the skill set that he has. He’s unique. I will never question what he has done.”
With Gasol averaging career low points (13.4) and rebounds (9), the question of whether the 7 foot center can keep up in D’Antoni’s offense, continues to linger in Laker Nation.