It was widely known throughout the course of last season that Pau Gasol and Mike D’Atnoi didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye. But with the departure of Dwight Howard, and Gasol assuming the position as the primary big man in a Laker uniform, Mike D’Antoni has had to reevaluate his approach to how he will use Pau.
In an interview with ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin, D’Antoni discussed how Gasol being able to win championships with Bryant created a unique bond of trust between the two. There success together ultimately helped D’Antoni realize that Pau is at his best when he is a featured part of a team (2007-10) rather than just a piece:
“When you win together, you create this bond of trust and it goes both ways. I think Pau understands Kobe and can give him a lot of room, at the same time, I think Kobe understands Pau and where he’s coming from.”
When the two best players are on the same page, it assures that the entire team will be able to play to their strengths and creates an environment where everyone is free to communicate:
“The bottom line is, everybody plays to their strengths. Everybody has their egos and when you trust each other, then things can be said that get you back in line a little bit.”
Moving forward into this season, D’Antoni knows that in order for the Lakers to have any kind of success, Pau will be key, but more importantly, team chemistry is going to have to be better:
“We didn’t have a lot of that last year. It just didn’t happen. We had a lot of people that didn’t trust each other and that kind of was our woes. So, this year, we’re looking to improve that a lot.”
Throughout the off-season, numerous players have discussed the importance of team chemistry. The Lakers clearly didn’t have that last season and it showed every time they stepped on the floor.
Led by Kobe and Gasol, if everyone is able to get on the same page this season and understands their roles, it can give the team that extra lift of energy to push through and surprise teams.
At Lakers Nation, we not only like to keep you posted on current events, but show you historic Lakers moments worth reliving. Today’s post is all about Elgin Baylor’s historic 1961-62 season. During the 1961-62 season, Elgin Baylor put together one of the most amazing seasons ever recorded, and yet it is rarely, if ever, talked about. Baylor, in all of his 6’5 and 225 pound glory, averaged 38.3 points and 18.6 rebounds per game that year.
Lakers Nation wants to give a birthday wish to Derek Fisher! Fisher was a Laker for thirteen seasons, was an key player on five championship teams. As part of our appreciation for D-Fish we did a post of his top five moments as a Laker! Check it out!
Lakers Nation News
Playmaking, Kobe, & Point Guards [Forum Blue and Gold]
Jeanie Buss Thinks Her Dad Would Have Kept Dwight In LA [ProBasketballTalk]
Pau Gasol ‘Would Love to Play’ for Lakers Beyond Next Season [SB Nation]
Why Jordan Hill Is The Best Frontcourt On Lakers roster [Silver Screen & Roll]
Lakers limited by luxury taxes [LA Times]
Pau Gasol Holds ‘no grudges’ Against Lakers, Still Rehabbing Knees [LA Times]
Kobe Says He Has “shattered” Achilles Recovery Timeline [ProBasketballTalk]
Lakers’ Week in Review [Lakers Now]
Pau Gasol Moved by the Plight of Syrian Refugees in Iraq [latimes.com]
Drew League Officials, Players Recall Kobe Bryant’s Appearance [Inside the Lakers]
Kobe Says He’s ‘shattering’ Recovery Timetable [SB Nation]
LeBron doesn’t make cut for Jury duty [ESPN]
LeBron James: “I’m Still Getting Better.” [ProBasketballTalk]
76ers offer head coaching position to Brett Brown [CBSSports.com]
Greg Oden Finalizes His Signing With Miami Heat [ESPN]
Shane Battier is Mad About the Miami Heat’s Holiday Schedule [For The Win]
Knicks Sign Jeremy Tyler, Reportedly Talking to Chris Duhon, Sean May [CBSSports.com]
Report: Knicks, 76ers Talking to Chris Duhon [ProBasketballTalk]
Ryan Gomes, Oklahoma City Sign Deal [ESPN]
The NBA, A-through-Z: Derrick Rose [Ball Don’t Lie]
Tony Parker Plans to Remain With the French National Team [CBSSports.com]
Former NBA Player Craig Ehlo Released From Jail [Yahoo! Sports]
Nick Young Gets Dunked on at the Drew League (VIDEO) [ProBasketballTalk]
Watch the Dallas Mavericks’ pitch for Dwight Howard [Lakers Now]