It’s no secret that Pau Gasol is not happy with things in LA, but are things bad enough for him to ask for a trade? Maybe, and his strained relationship with head coach Mike D’Antoni could be the main reason.
The two met a few weeks ago to try to hash out their differences.
“It’s hard to know personalities if you don’t get in touch with them,”
“It was an effort on our part to try and come to an understanding,” Gasol said. “But I don’t think it’s translated to an understanding. Nothing significant has happened; it’s probably even gone a little backwards.”
According to the LA Times report, Jim Buss said D’Antoni told him that Gasol was happy and that he was saving his knees in efforts to prolong his career. Gasol’s response:
“Never heard that,” he said.
Then Times reporter TJ Simers dropped the bomb.
“If this coach stays and Dwight Howard remains with the Lakers,” I asked, “what about you?”
“It would be hard for me to deal with another season knowing the facts you just mentioned,” said Gasol, 32 and with one year remaining on his contract.
“So do you ask for a fresh start elsewhere?”
“It’s a possibility,” he said, “yes.”
Gasol did say he is not a quitter and would prefer to remain in LA.
There is obviously a disconnect between Gasol and D’Antoni. It’s the head coach’s job to learn how to effectively utilize his personnel, and obviously he hasn’t been able to do that even with two of the league’s premier big men at his disposal.