The Los Angeles Lakers got a solid win Friday night against the Phoenix Suns, but Lakers power forward Pau Gasol did not have his best game, shooting 4-13 and scoring just 10 points. Though the occasional bad game is routine this season for every player, a power forward missing nine shots and making just four means something could be amiss.
Kobe Bryant believes that the trade rumors surrounding Gasol — that the Minnesota Timberwolves are interested in acquiring the Spanish big man — have affected his performance. Via the Los Angeles Times:
Bryant believes reports linking Gasol in a trade has made it "an emotional couple of days for him."
"Personally I don't understand that crap," Bryant said regarding the Lakers' effort to trade Gasol. "But it is what it is. It's important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us."
While Gasol has acknowledged that he's thought about why the Lakers have traded him, he denied that it's affected his performance on the court. Bryant does know a little bit about basketball, though.