There is drama brewing in LaLa land, and unsurprisingly it is being played out in the media. This is nothing new. There has always been more media attention surrounding the Lakers. They are based in LA so by location alone the members are subjected to more media and paparazzi. I mean Kevin Durant is a super star, but how many people in the media are going to follow him to dinner in Oklahoma?
It is just the nature of the game when one is a Laker. However, this has resulted in things playing out in the public eye that should really be kept behind closed doors. Pau Gasol and Mike D’Antoni brought their feud back to the public forum this week. Once again Pau complained about being underutilized by D’Antoni, while D’Antoni publicly criticized Pau for bringing this issue to the media instead of to him directly. I am going to take a minute to let you all ponder the irony of that sentence.
Mike said that Pau needed to “keep it in house.” Again, I would like you all to take a minute to laugh about the fact that Mike is telling the MEDIA that Pau should keep their problems “in house.” Sometimes I chuckle at his stupidity.
The sad thing is that I do agree with him. Pau needs to stop complaining about D’Antoni in the media. The Lakers are a team and despite their record, they need to keep a united front. Listen, I agree with Pau. My readers know that I am not a D’Antoni fan. However, I am not a member of the Lakers organization. Despite my awesome insights, I am not paid by the Lakers. My opinions are mine alone. I do not represent anyone but me. Even Magic Johnson came out after criticizing D’Antoni, and vowed to stop because he felt it was unhealthy. Magic is no longer a player or owner of the Lakers, but he still represents them. He is free to make any comments that he wants, but he recognizes the power of his words and realized it wasn’t good to add fuel to the fire.
I came out against Magic for keeping is mouth shut. I understand why he did it, but I do feel that he is at a point where he can make those comments. However, I will respect his decision to practice his free speech.
Pau on the other hand needs to be careful. He is a free agent, aging, and has had some tough streaks. He has suffered more injuries and the league is moving away from big men. Therefore, he should not get a reputation for speaking out against coaches and management. Even the super stars who have done it have suffered. Williams has gotten the reputation of getting great coaches fired after doing it in both Utah and New Jersey/Brooklyn. Pau is not at the same level as Williams. This could damage his brand and contract options when he is negotiating with any team this summer.
The Lakers and Pau have said that they have not ruled out him returning next season. I personally think that is a long shot simply because of all the drama. I would love it if Pau came back, but I highly doubt he and D’Antoni will be able to weather another season together. The Lakers are going to have to make some big decisions this summer, so lets see where Pau and D’Antoni land.