Mike D'Antoni and Pau Gasol went through a rift over philosophies last year, but seemingly the Los Angeles Lakers' loss of center Dwight Howard and discussion between player and coach would change Gasol's game for the better in 2013-14. That hasn't happened, and Gasol told the Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke he still doesn't believe he's being utilized by his coach properly.
"This year hasn't been ideal, certain things are not ideal for me, but that's not going to change any time soon," Gasol said.
So why hasn't it been ideal?
"What do you think?" he said. "I'm not going to say anything, but it's easy to see. You see a guy with a certain skill set, where does it fit better, where it doesn't."
Plaschke's column reads as if two stubborn people are refusing to work for a better fit or common ground. Gasol added that he and D'Antoni haven't discussed the forward's problems with his offensive role, and D'Antoni backed that assessment but said Gasol "knows what he has to do."
It seems both Gasol and D'Antoni are resigned to the current situation.
And the current situation for Gasol is this: He's been injured and beaten down by younger big men this season. His contract is expiring, and though Los Angeles would consider re-signing him, the franchise wouldn't do it unless it was on a budget.
Offensively, Gasol is having his worst shooting season of his career and is hitting 41.7 percent of his shots through the Lakers' 10-11 start. That's the worst shooting percentage of his career by far. Last year, he hit 46.6 percent from the floor.