Pau Gasol is twisting in the wind and Kobe Bryant is none too happy about that. After a listless loss in Phoenix a clearly frustrated Bryant called out the Lakers front office for their silence on all the Gasol trade talk.
“I wish management would come out and either trade him or not trade him. It’s just tough for a player to give his all when you don’t know if you’re going to be here tomorrow. I’d rather them not trade him at all, but if they’re going to do something, I wish they would just … do it.”
This issue has been simmering for the last couple days now. After the Lakers beat the same Suns in Staples on Friday Bryant pretty much said the same things. This time it was done without any concern for coming across as constructive.
The message is clear. Just like when Bryant was begging for help and Mitch Kupchak miraculously turned Kwame Brown into Gasol now Kobe is sharing the same sentiment for the sake of Pau and the franchise. Without the right mindset you’ll likely see more of these uneven performances like last night’s debacle in the desert.
Pau has admitted to the trade rumors taking their toll on his psyche. He never claimed that to be any reason why his performance might be lacking however. To be sure his shooting percentage has taken a huge dip but he’s also posted 9 straight double-doubles.
Still, Bryant is championing for the betterment of Gasol’s mentality and the greater good of the team.
The frustrations are building. Gasol isn’t feeling welcomed any longer and hasn’t since the season began. Bryant is bullying management to make up their minds and let Gasol know here he stands. Metta World Peace has been irritated by Mike Brown’s unusual rotation patters. And for good measure Andrew Bynum isn’t so sure that Coach Brown is allotting enough rest for the team during this hectic season.
It’s all coming to a head just as we hit the halfway point. Obviously the Lakers have taken a look in the mirror and realize they don’t see champions looking back at them. They’ve tried to give the company line but the irritation is no longer ignorable. Kupchak and the rest of the front office must do something and it must be done yesterday. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The longer these issues linger the worse things will unravel.