Pau Gasol and Mike D'Antoni seek mutual understanding

Doug Pensinger

Player and coach have made nice, but that doesn't mean all is well in Laker-land with respect to the Pau Gasol situation.

Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol doesn't agree with head coach Mike D'Antoni's handling of him amid the team's struggles, but that doesn't mean he's not working to develop a relationship with him.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, Gasol met with D'Antoni two weeks ago at a Los Angeles-area restaurant to try to develop a mutual understanding of the situation. According to Gasol, it didn't necessarily solve the disconnect that still exists between player and coach.

"It was an effort on our part to try and come to an understanding," Gasol said. "But I don't think it's translated to an understanding. Nothing significant has happened; it's probably even gone a little backwards."

The evidence of the rocky relationship is wildly apparent in the coach's hesitance to use Gasol late in games, often leaving him off the floor in the most crucial situations. Dwight Howard's recent injury has forced D'Antoni's hand and gotten the Spaniard more floor time, but, whenever Howard is available, they don't see much time together.

That doesn't sit well with Gasol, despite his efforts to come to an understanding with his head coach. He was candid yet measured in his response to the potential scenario of D'Antoni being in Los Angeles long-term.

"It would be hard for me to deal with another season knowing the facts (L.A. Times reporter T.J. Simers) just mentioned," he added.

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