The 4.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Los Angeles Monday morning hasn’t been the only thing that has shook this city.
Kobe Bryant made rumblings last week when he heavily criticized the team’s front office with everything ranging from the relationships between executive Jim and Jeanie Buss, former Lakers coach accepting a front office position with the New York Knicks and the organization’s suggestion they’ll remain conservative this offseason to save up for a loaded 2015 free agent class. Bryant also suggested the Lakers should decide too whether they should keep Mike D’Antoni, whose fast-paced, perimeter based offense has often frustrated both Bryant and Pau Gasol.
Gasol applauded Bryant this week for his front office criticisms, but could it influence Gasol’s pending free agency? After all, Gasol’s not a fan of D’Antoni. Gasol has also said a significant factor in his free agency decision will entail joining a team equipped to win an NBA title.
“You have to understand that just like me, there’s a couple of years left in his career and he wants to be in that position no matter what,” said Gasol, whose $19.3 million contract expires this offseason. “The ideal scenario is not to be the team that sees what happens, let’s be patient, let’s rebuild and let’s get a couple of young players and go from there. That’ doesn’t bring you championship and makes you win in the short term at least. That’s where he’s focused. He’s tied in the next two years here with a great position and great contract. I’m free and in a different position. I’ll evaluate my options when I have them.”