Kobe Bryant is not too happy these days.
With the Lakers sitting at a mediocre 18-13 about midway through the season, Bryant, voiced his frustration at Lakers’ management after they were pummeled by the Phoenix Suns 102-90 Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant frustrated over Gasol trade rumors
Bryant, who was forced into a season-high 10 turnovers in the loss, spoke to reporters after the game about the Lakers’ brass and their need to decide on which direction they plan to head with teammate Pau Gasol moving forward.
The subject of repeated trade rumors since NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in to halt a 3-team Chris Paul trade that included the 7-foot Spaniard back in December of last year, Gasol, although his statistical numbers won’t show it, has been rightfully uncertain about his importance and future with the Lakers’ storied franchise.
And Kobe Bryant feels as if that aforementioned uncertaintly is negatively affecting not ony Gasol, but his team’s championship prospects this season.
In an article posted by L.A. Times reporter Mike Bresnahan late Sunday evening Kobe fumed stating an urgent need to ‘either trade him (Gasol) or not trade him.’
“I wish management would come out and either trade him or not trade him,” Bryant said. “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.”
Lakers deficiencies offensively
Whether Gasol is completely invested or not, that still does not solve the Lakers glaring deficiencies offensively.
Los Angeles scored just 90 points against the Suns Sunday night and rank 23rd in the Association with just 93.0 points per game this season.
To Gasol’s credit the lanky highly-skilled power forward has averaged 16.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on 49.6% shooting from the field in 31 games played this season.
However, playing in a new offense, those numbers are down from a season ago where the Lakers tower averaged just over two points more per game while shooting 3.3-percentage points higher (18.8 points on 52.9% shooting).
Who knows what the Lakers plans are, but one thing is for certain; King Kobe is getting ancy. And, unfortunately, that’s never a good thing.
To provide some much-needed perspective on Gasol; the former Memphis Grizzlies franchise player has been in the NBA Finals 3 out of his 4 years with the club, winning 2 championships within that same span.
Getting equal value for the, now, 31-year old Gasol arguably the foremost concern of Lakers’ management at this point.
As upset as Kobe may be, the Gasol waters must be tread with the utmost delicacy. One could make the argument that his value is as underrated as they come in the league today.
Source: L.A. Times