See those bright lights, Pau? That’s Los Angeles. LA-LA Land. It’s also known as your last chance to show the League you got game.
It’s do-or-die time for Pau Gasol. For the past several years, fans have grumbled about the seven-year pro out of Spain. He’s been labeled “soft” and people have even questioned his will to win. These aren’t good things to hear when you’re a former NBA Rookie of the Year and recent FIBA World Championships MVP.
His Grizzly Adams beard hasn’t intimidated anyone. Nor has it fooled people into thinking he’s the second coming of Bill Walton. Things will be a little more menacing under the hard glare of the Staples Center.
This is the last chance for Gasol to prove he can win in the States. Teamed with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and with Andrew Bynum returning later this season, Gasol’s trade demands have put him in an ideal situation.
On paper, a big three featuring Kobe, Odom and Gasol is enough to keep Mitch Kupchak salivating through March. If you take a closer look, however, you might realize that these three guys need the ball to be effective. I’m thinking Kobe never shared his chocolate milk in grade school because he sure as hell won’t pass the ball. Lamar Odom’s not exactly handing over his Gushers either.
During all of his NBA stops, Odom has been surrounded with talent. While with the Clippers, he played with Elton Brand and Corey Maggette. In Miami, he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Caron Butler. Neither experience has given him much success. Can he figure out how to play with the two big dogs on his Lakers team?
Nevertheless, the Lakers are a hot team right now and they desperately need someone to throw the ball to in the paint. Have they found their answer in this seven-foot Spaniard?