Pau Gasol says Phil Jackson “worth every cent” to the Knicks

Just as the Lakers participated in a non eventful practice for a non eventful game Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center, something notable happened nearly 3,000 miles away.

The New York Knicks formally introduced Phil Jackson as their new team president, a move that brought some extra dose of optimism a one beleaguered franchise. Jackson lacks any front office experience, but the Knicks are banking that his extensive coaching resume will carry over that they devoted a reported five-year contract worth $60 million.

“It’s weird to see him with a Knick logo behind him,” said Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who won two NBA titles under Jackson with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. He’s in a good place and the Knicks are fortunate to have him. They’ve given him a big contract and big investment but I think he’s worth every cent of it.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar gush about Phil Jackson’s role with the New York Knicks

At left, in a June 13, 1997, file photo, Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson hoists the NBA Championship trophy aloft after the Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 90-86 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. in Chicago. At center, in a June 21, 2000 file photo, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson waves to the crowd as the Lakers and thousands of their fans celebrate their NBA Championship in downtown Los Angeles. At right, in a June 16, 1996 file photo, Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson hoists the NBA championship trophy after the Bulls beat Seattle in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Chicago. Carmelo Anthony says he has heard that 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson will be "coming on board" in a leadership capacity with the New York Knicks, though cautioned that nothing is yet official. Anthony made the comments Wednesday, March 12, 2014, to reporters in Boston, where the Knicks are playing the Celtics. (AP Photo/File)

At left, in a June 13, 1997, file photo, Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson hoists the NBA Championship trophy aloft after the Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 90-86 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. in Chicago. At center, in a June 21, 2000 file photo, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson waves to the crowd as the Lakers and thousands of their fans celebrate their NBA Championship in downtown Los Angeles. At right, in a June 16, 1996 file photo, Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson hoists the NBA championship trophy after the Bulls beat Seattle in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Chicago. Carmelo Anthony says he has heard that 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson will be “coming on board” in a leadership capacity with the New York Knicks, though cautioned that nothing is yet official. Anthony made the comments Wednesday, March 12, 2014, to reporters in Boston, where the Knicks are playing the Celtics. (AP Photo/File)

SAN ANTONIO — Phil Jackson’s about to embark on a journey perhaps far more difficult than stopping Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal from fighting, or ensuring high-volume shooting from Bryant and Michael Jordan don’t hinder team play.

Jackson will oversee the New York Knicks front office, trying to restore order in the same way he brought stability through his triangle offense and his Zen-like teachings. Such philosophies coupled with talented rosters ensured Jackson winning a record 11 NBA championships, including five with the Lakers. But how will that translate as an executive in which Jackson has lacked any previous experience?

“I’m happy for him. I’m sure the Knicks organization will benefit from his knowledge and his position,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. “It’ll be interesting to see how involved and what kind of decisions he’ll make and what kind of relationship he’ll have with the coaching staff and the players. That’ something I look forward to talking to him so he can explain to me a little bit.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pau Gasol part of NBA Cares campaign against ivory and rhino horn poaching

Something’s bothering Pau Gasol.

OK, plenty of things are bothering Gasol. The Lakers’ losing. His philosophical differences with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. Becoming trade bait for the last three years.

There’s something else too. Gasol’s among five NBA players to participate in the NBA Cares and WildAid initiative dubbed the “No Hype campaign,” which aims to bring awareness about reducing demand for ivory and rhino horn.

Gasol, New York’s Tyson Chandler, Atlanta’s Al Horford, Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha and Chicago’s Joakm Noah appeared in the PSA above that first aired Thursday during the TNT telecasts Thursday of the Bulls-Rockets game and the Lakers’ loss to the Thunder.

According to WildAid, the number of poached rhinos has outpaced previous records with over 1,000 killed last year in South Africa, as opposed to 668 in 2012 and 13 in 2007. The organization also estimated 30,000 elephants have been killed annually in Africa.

“The demand for endangered wildlife products is not just an issue in Asia,” WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights said in a statement. “In the United States, the second largest ivory market, Hawaii and New York legislatures are considering banning sales of products made from elephant tusk. We need to make ivory socially unacceptable rather than making it more legitimate, because when the buying stops, the killing can too.”


RELATED:


Nick Young targeting return Wednesday vs San Antonio

Pau Gasol supportive of Kobe Bryant calling out the Lakers’ front office

Mike D’Antoni says he hasn’t thought about job security amid losing

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pau Gasol supportive of Kobe Bryant calling out the Lakers’ front office

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) defends as Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) goes to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, March 1

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) defends as Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) goes to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, March 1

OKLAHOMA CITY — The bond Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol formed runs in many directions, and it doesn’t just include winning two NBA championships and meshing complementary personalities together.

Gasol also supported Kobe Bryant for publicly questioning the front office. Those included issues ranging from wanting executives Jim and Jeanie Buss to improve their relationship, decide Mike D’Antoni’s future as head coach and build a championship caliber roster this offseason.

“I’m glad that he spoke his mind,” Gasol said following the Lakers’ 131-102 loss Thursday to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. “He wants to win. He’s got two years under contract with the franchise. He wants to be in the best possible position to win. Whether you do that publicly or internally, that’s totally up to you. He spoke his mind and you have to respect him for that.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pau Gasol gripes about Mike D’Antoni’s small lineups, team’s lack of discipline

Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol, of Spain, right, shoots in front of Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol, of Spain, right, shoots in front of Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

INDIANAPOLIS — Pau Gasol emerged out of the locker room with a stern expression and an irritated tone in his voice.

The reasons went beyond the Lakers’ 118-98 loss Tuesday to the Indiana Pacers at Bakers Life Fieldhouse, marking their sixth loss in the past seven games. It also entailed Gasol’s frustration with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni fielding a smaller lineup to handle a loaded Pacers frontcourt that outrebounded the Lakers, 62-42, and posted 50 points in the paint.

Lakers forward Wesley Johnson (15 points in 25 minutes) mostly had those defensive responsibilities instead of the Lakers’ frontcourt in Chris Kaman (14 minutes), Jordan Hill (10 minutes) and Robert Sacre (six minutes).

“If we want to continue to play small, we have to play to that advantage and utilize our quickness,” said Gasol, who had 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting, nine rebounds and four blocks. “If you get outrebounded by 20 rebounds, I don’t care who you are or what you do it’s not going to work and we’re not going to win.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers-Pacers game on Feb. 25 added to NBA TV

Lakers#16 Pau Gasol drives around Pacers#55 Roy Hibbert .The Los Angeles Lakers faced the Indiana Pacers in a game played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. January 28, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers#16 Pau Gasol drives around Pacers#55 Roy Hibbert .The Los Angeles Lakers faced the Indiana Pacers in a game played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. January 28, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

The NBA adjusted its national television schedule, and for once it didn’t involve dropping a Lakers game.

NBA TV will televise the Lakers when they visit the Indiana Pacers Feb. 25 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The lineup switch likely reflects the Pacers’ (41-13) current standing as the top team in the Eastern Conference than anything related to the Lakers. After all, Kobe Bryant doesn’t have a clear timetable on when he will return from a fractured left knee, an injury that has sidelined him for the last nine weeks. The Lakers (18-36) also enter tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics (19-36) at Staples Center tied with the Sacramento Kings (18-36) for last place in the Western Conference.

The Lakers have had three of their games this season dropped from national telecasts, including the Lakers’ loss Jan. 8 in Houston (ESPN), the Lakers’ loss Jan. 20 in Chicago (TNT) and when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday at Staples Center (ESPN).

The Lakers originally had 25 national television appearances scheduled, including five on ABC, 10 on ESPN and 10 on TNT. A team can make a maximum of 10 appearances on ESPN and TNT per season, opening the possibility for ESPN, TNT and the NBA to decide later to add a game that wasn’t originally planned.

RELATED:

Mitch Kupchak unsure if Kobe Bryant will play this season

Mitch Kupchak pleads patience with rebuilding process

Can the Lakers no longer attract high-level free agents?

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Mitch Kupchak pleads patience with rebuilding process

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak tried preaching patience. Nick Ut - Associated Press)

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak tried preaching patience. Nick Ut – Associated Press)

The Lakers usually come out of the trade deadline with a mostly intact roster geared for a championship run or a significant move destined to accelerate the rebuilding process.

This year, neither scenario happened.

The only move the Lakers made leading into the NBA’s trade deadline entailed sending Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for young, seldom-used shooting guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, a deal that saved the Lakers about $4 million in salary and luxury taxes.

That means Pau Gasol survived yet another trade scenario. Jordan Hill also remains here to stay despite the Lakers inquiring various teams about him. But here’s bad news for the Lakers: they mostly have the same roster that has spiraled into last place in the Western Conference. Even more bad news for the Lakers: they failed to collect any additional draft picks for this year’s star studded class or fall under the luxury tax threshold.

So after Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak concluded a busy stretch of phone calls before Thursday’s noon cut-off time, he outlined that the Lakers quest to return back to their championship luster will take some time.

“It’s reasonable to think that every now and then, or maybe once every 10 years, or maybe once every 15 years, you might have a bad year. OK?” said Kupchak, perhaps mindful of the Lakers’ 16 NBA titles. “And we are not having a good year. Our hope and desire is that next year will be a lot better than this year and we certainly have the tools to begin the process.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pau Gasol relishes staying with Lakers; but believes he’ll have options in free agency

As if he unleashed the pent-up frustration stemmed from three years worth of trade scenarios that never materialized, Pau Gasol stayed on the Lakers’ practice court showing off an array of post moves against a defenseless dummy.

But as Gasol “murdered” the dummy as he joked afterwards, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti approached him with some somber news apparently delivered from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Mitch wants to see you,” said Vitti. But considering Gasol remained on the practice court well past the Thursday’s trade deadline that expired at noon PST, Gasol didn’t fall for the joke.

“He’s been trying to have fun with it the last couple of days,” Gasol said with a smile afterwards. “It’s all good. We’re family here.”

So much that despite the Lakers dangling him in trade discussions for the third consecutive season, Gasol said he holds “no grudges or hard feelings.”

“That’s what I preferred, to continue to play with our team and fight through this type of season,” said Gasol, who believes he will play Friday when the Lakers (18-36) host the Boston Celtics (19-36) at Staples Center after nursing a strained right groin that sidelined him for the past seven games. “It’s an experience that’s fueling for your future. Not everything will work out great and not everything is going to work in your favor. Through adversity, you have to grow as a person.”

But will Gasol’s strong sentiments carry over to the offseason?

Gasol conceded the Lakers haven’t had any conversations with him about extending his $19.3 million contract that expires on July 1. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said “it’s an absolutely an option” that the Lakers will re-sign Gasol. But he added that it’s “unlikely” the Lakers will sign him to an extension because of the Lakers want to maintain financial flexibility.

Gasol also suggested he’ll have other options too.

“I’m pretty confident there will be,” Gasol said. “It’ll be nice to be in that position at least for a few days. Then I’ll be back in somebody else’s hands.”

But Gasol declined to go into what variables he will weigh.

“I’m just going to focus on finishing out strong with the year healthy and trying to help our team be the best it can be and compete every single game,” Gasol said. “That’s my mindset and will put me in a better position in the summer and offseason. When the point gets there, I’ll see what I got.”

RELATED:

Lakers stand pat at trade deadline

Jordan Hill wants to stay with the Lakers, but vouches for consistent playing time

Can the Lakers no longer attract high-level free agents?

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers stand pat at trade deadline

The trade deadline passed on Thursday, and the Lakers’ roster mostly looks the same.

Pau Gasol survived yet another round of trade discussions and will remain a Laker. Jordan Hill also will stay on the team despite the Lakers holding various conversations with the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns about shipping them. Same with seldom-used center Chris Kaman.

But with the Lakers nearly guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2005, they hardly took the steps they hoped leading into the deadline in making the first steps toward a significant rebuilding process. The Lakers walked away from the trade deadline without any additional draft picks for this year’s star studded class. Nor did the Lakers fall below the luxury tax threshold, a move that could’ve helped them avoid the so-called “repeater’s tax.”

The Lakers traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night for two seldom-used point guards in Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, a cost-cutting move that saved the Lakers about $4 million in combined salary and luxury taxes. But the Lakers’ payroll remains at $76.9 million and the luxury tax threshold stays at $71.7 million. That leaves the Lakers vulnerable for the repeater tax, a penalty that applies to teams that spend over the luxury tax in four of five seasons since the NBA’s new labor deal was constructed in 2011.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said such cost-cutting measures were hardly a “driving force.” The Lakers had talked with Gasol to the Phoenix Suns, but they were only intent on shipping him if it entailed receiving draft picks. The Lakers had no interest in ridding Gasol’s $19.3 million million contract without any additional assets.

Still, the Lakers only have one first-round pick, their first since 2007.

RELATED:

Lakers laud Steve Blake’s toughness, professionalism

Jordan Hill wants to stay with the Lakers, but vouches for consistent playing time

Can the Lakers no longer attract high-level free agents?

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pau Gasol expected to sit out at least two weeks with groin injury

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol, right, tries to push past New York Knicks' Tyson Chandler during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in New York. The Knicks defeated the Lakers 110-103. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol, right, tries to push past New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in New York. The Knicks defeated the Lakers 110-103. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Pau Gasol is expected to sit out for at least two weeks while he heals his strained right groin.

The Lakers had initially penciled him out for this week’s trip with stops in Minnesota (tonight), Cleveland (Wednesday and Philadelphia (Friday). Gasol also received a platelet-rich plasma therapy injection Monday in hopes to accelerate the healing process in his groin. But the Lakers wouldn’t say what prompted the additional timetable.

The Lakers haven’t currently set a date on when they will reevaluate Gasol.. But according to the Lakers’ latest timetable, Gasol will miss at least six more games, including next week’s homestand against Chicago (Feb. 9), Utah (Feb. 11) and Oklahoma City (Feb. 13). Gasol’s won’t return until after NBA All-Star weekend Feb. 14-16, perhaps as early as Feb. 19 when the Lakers host the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. That marks one day before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20, a notable development considering Gasol’s uncertain standing with the Lakers.

The Lakers have been engaged in trade talks that would send Gasol to the Phoenix Suns, though his health could complicate the deal. It would also hinge on whether Phoenix would send first-round draft picks to the Lakers.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email