Pau Gasol Feeling the Weight of the Luxury Tax

Some things are just universal. No matter what line of work you’re in, chances are your place of employment is understaffed and you’re overworked. Well, if it makes you feel any better, Pau Gasol knows your pain.

Gasol in November looks a lot like the Pau we saw in Game 7 back in June – gassed.

With Andrew Bynum’s ever expanding timetable for return and Theo Ratliff recovering from knee surgery, Gasol is playing big minutes. Last night might have been the most frustrating moment of the young season as Phil Jackson pushed Pau to a ridiculous 45 minutes of PT during the listless loss to the Pacers.

To make matters worse, there is no help on the way.

Unwilling to pay the luxury tax that comes with adding a new big, Dr. Buss is not giving in to PJ’s pleas for help. As reported by Mark Heisler, PJ had free agent Jake Voskhul atop his wish list but with Voskhul comes a veteran’s minimum. With that minimum comes another hit on the luxury tax as the Lakers are already well over the threshold.

So as it stands, Gasol’s legs are just going to have to continue to bear the weight of the luxury tax.

Despite logging big minutes, the Spaniard didn’t produce much and was largely ineefective against Roy Hibbert and the active Pacers. Making matters worse is that the Lake Show makes back-to-back stops in Memphis and Houston in the coming days.

No rest for Pau could mean more uninspired efforts for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant is already sensing Pau’s fatigue and you could see as much by the way Mamba sought to takeover in Utah and last night as well.

This doesn’t bode well for Jackson’s men and the 11-time champion coach knows it.

“We’re playing Pau too many minutes. Don’t have a backup for either he or Lamar.”

“We put all our eggs in one basket of Andrew coming back and we hoped he’d be back by this time, by Nov. 15, by Thanksgiving time …

“So we don’t know when Andrew’s coming back and right now Pau didn’t score in the fourth quarter the other night [against Utah] because he played too many minutes and didn’t have that energy.”

Just goes to show you that the line separating the management from the employees exists in every line of work. Even ones where you’re paid millions to play a game.

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Dr. Jerry Buss Jake Voskhul Kobe Bryant Pau Gasol Phil Jackson Roy Hibbert Theo Ratliff

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