After the Lakers’ statement win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday afternoon, I excitedly gulped down a caffeinated soda pop and ran around the house praising Steve Nash and cursing Russell Westbrook (he is such a horribly odious fellow). When I had finally settled down, I grabbed my laptop and exclaimed that “The Lakers will make the playoffs,” and that this will be the “fulcrum win” when they “pivot from the mess they have been, to what they were supposed to be.” Read my overexcited post here.
Then this morning, I was rudely greeted by news from SLAM ONLINE that Pau Gasol made some really unneeded comments after the game. For some ungodly reason, Pau felt the need to mention his dislike for Coach D’Antoni’s offensive system:
I’ve accepted it because nothing is really ideal right now, nothing is perfect or great. We’re going to put team functioning and team success first and that’s what I’m doing. I’m accepting that and whatever the coach decides, whether I like it or not or whether I agree with it or not, I’m still going to go out there and do my job and do the things that I can do.
I do not know if we are playing D’Antoni system much right now, we are playing our own system a bit, with a slow passing game, putting the ball a lot in Kobe Bryant’s hands, playing the blocks … and distributing the ball very well. We’ll see if we can continue playing like this. With aggressive defense, and when facing tall and athletic players, we have to move the ball and the defense. If we force situations and abuse the one-on-one, then we are doing our opponents a favor. We are dangerous when we are not predictable.
While this may be true, c’mon Pau! Don’t criticize the coach or his system right now. This is it. This is the last push, the last gasp. The Lakers get the Hornet at home on Tuesday before embarking on the seven-game road trip that will define their season. LA needs unity, not silly comments that create blog posts like this one. In that case, maybe I should have let it slide. Either way, just tow the party line Pau! Everything is great and the turnout is underway, remember?
Ryan Kantor is an author at Sports-Kings.com. He is a life-long Yankees fan and a proud Clemson alumnus, residing in North Carolina, where he works in marketing research. For more stories like this, you can visit his personal blog at RyanKantor.com and follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Kantor.