Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers sat down with Gasol, and the big man said that another season with Los Angeles would be "hard for me to deal with" if the team's coach and superstar center remain. Gasol has another year left under his contract at $19 million, and although he has committed to remaining through this season past the upcoming trade deadline, he'd make no promises going forward.
Gasol also said that his relationship with D'Antoni has "probably even gone a little backwards" since the pair met to discuss the situation over a meal. He said that he doesn't take his benching and lack of playing time personally, that its merely a continuation of the strategy D'Antoni has developed throughout his career in the NBA, but that with the circumstances, he hasn't enjoyed his time under the Lakers' new coach. He went so far as to say that keeping him out of the game is hurting the team.
"I believe 100% if I was starting inside with Dwight we could make the playoffs. I just don't know if coming off the bench gives the team a chance to be better and win more games."
Gasol has let his game speak the past two games: after being put back into the starting lineup over Earl Clark, he's had two 20-point, 10-rebound outings in Lakers wins -- his first games with those numbers since the season opener.
Silver Screen and Roll broke down the story -- and its implications -- in depth. Here's a snippet:
Whether the two can continue to co-exist (or if they are at all currently) is a serious question. Pau Gasol is noted for his professionalism and putting his head down, but interviews like this very one isn't exactly fast tracking understanding between himself and his coach. This is all without mentioning the "passive aggressive" shots they've been taking at one another.