Pau Gasol Rips Coach Mike D’Antoni, Thinks Lakers Lack Discipline

Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol
Jennifer Stewart USA TODAY Sports

After six L.A. seasons, Pau Gasol’s days as a  Laker  appear numbered. And it seems the veteran center is more than willing and ready for the switch to happen.

Gasol used his post-game interview following the Lakers 118-98 pounding by Indiana Tuesday night, the team’s sixth loss in seven games, to express all his mounting frustrations.

In Gasol’s opinion, players are being allowed to go one-on-one too much and, as a whole, the team simply lacks discipline. With 11 of 15 teammates playing under the final season on their contract, the veteran center was quizzed as to if he feels some of that might be playing a role in all selfishness he senses.

“Probably. That’s part of it,” Gasol told the L.A. Times. “But that’s why you have to be disciplined and implement discipline. That’s how you kind of make that better or make that not a factor. I don’t think there’s a lot of discipline right now.”

That’s where you would think Coach Mike D’Antoni would come in, but you might have a hard time convincing Gasol that’s actually been the case.

“It’s really deflating and takes a lot of energy away from individuals,” Gasol said of a  stalled offense or teammates who don’t pass the ball. He later added “I wouldn’t put that responsibility on {Kobe] Bryant,”  thought to be a natural disciplinarian. “He’s frustrated with his situation and his injuries. I don’t think he has to be the one implementing the discipline.”

Against the Pacers, the rudderless Lakers (19-38) were outrebounded 62-42. Playing in just his third game since being acquired by the team, Kent Bazemore scored a career-high 23 points, but took 19 shots to do so, compared to the 13 Gasol was afforded.

“When you get outrebounded by 20 rebounds, I don’t care who you are and what you do, it’s not going to work and you’re not going to win,” lamented Gasol, who finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes.

As for D’Antoni’s small-ball strategy that found Wesley Johnson being asked to guard David West, Gasol also took exception. With the equally beefy Memphis Grizzlies, featuring Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol up next, things don’t figure to get any easier for the undermanned Lakers.

“Good luck, right?” said a sighing Gasol. “Let’s see what happens Wednesday if Wes continues to start or if we actually try to match up and utilize our size because we do have guys with size that can do well.”

author avatar
Glenn Minnis
Glenn Minnis is an XN Sports NBA contributor. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, ESPN, BET and AOL. Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.