All Los Angeles Lakers fans have a great appreciation for Pau Gasol‘s contributions as a Laker, there is no denying that. We know he is a great guy, and a solid member of any community.
With that being said, Gasol has easily turned into the most irritating player to watch over the last two seasons. He makes zero effort to box out his man, or even jump for rebounds. This happens on a very consistent basis, more than any player in the league. I promise. And if there is a turnover, forget about Gasol getting back on defense. Maybe he is in so much pain that it is extremely difficult for him to do the simple fundamentals. In that case, an injured player should not be on the court, and if he is on the court, there really is no excuse at all.
It’s well documented Gasol and head coach Mike D’Antoni do not see eye to eye. Their differences have been played out in the media during D’Antoni’s entire tenure as coach. D’Antoni is the not the smartest man in the world. His initial use of playing Pau as a stretch-four was mind-boggling, but he has been dead on with his complaints of Gasol’s lack of effort.
So what is the reason for this?
Gasol has lost all of his passion for basketball. He has won two NBA championships, so there is nothing left to prove in his eyes. I’d imagine he is the kind of the guy who doesn’t think about the game right up until tip-off. This translates onto the basketball court, where he is not ready to play.
Some media and fans are trying to figure out why teams aren’t going hard after Gasol for a playoff run. I mean, he is averaging 16 and 10, right?
Coaches and GM’s aren’t stupid. They see how the lack of effort and downright laziness or carelessness are momentum killers in a game. They don’t want any part of that.