Pau Gasol Meets Charles Oakley, Toughness Ensues (Hopefully)

Phil Jackson is at his wits’ end when it comes to motivating Pau Gasol. PJ’s tactics just aren’t getting through to the All-Star forward. In addition to Pau’s weakened and sickly condition, the Spaniard is playing without any fire or passion lately. He’s routinely being guarded by smaller opponents yet fails to take advantage of the mismatches. Pau’s putrid presence in the post has this blogger wondering if he’s devolving into Slava Medvedenko right before our eyes.  

So what’s a coach with two fistfuls of rings to do when his words are falling on def ears?

He locks his soft seven-footer in a room with Charles Oakley and lets nature take its course. That’s what he does!

Since the rain here in Los Angeles isn’t depressing enough, I decided to read Mike Bresnahan’s recap of last night’s crapfest in Charlotte.

Bresnahan recounts a very interesting meeting arranged by Phil after last night’s game.

In case the Lakers’ startling lack of effort wasn’t enough, the night took another turn when Jackson approached a handful of reporters who had been interviewing Gasol after the game.

“You guys done with Pau?” Jackson asked. He then turned to Gasol. “Pau, I want you to meet a friend of mine.”

Jackson walked Gasol into an adjacent room and introduced him to Charles Oakley, a fierce power forward in his day and a player Jackson coached on the Chicago Bulls in the 1980s.

Oakley, his hair now flecked with gray, was later asked by a reporter if he gave Gasol some strong advice.

“Always,” he said, smiling.

No telling what the result of this encounter will be. If Gasol suddenly decides to punch Jeff McInnis and then shakes down Tyrone Hill for a dice related gambling debt then we’ll know the meeting has had the desired effect.

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Tags: Charles Oakles Pau Gasol

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