Gasol frustrated with Lakers offense this season.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has insisted that unhappy players must still play hard following recent comments made by Pau Gasol.
The 33-year-old is shooting a career-low 41.7 per cent from the field and is averaging just 14.4 points per game which is well below his career numbers of 18.3 points a game and 51.5 per cent shooting.
The Spaniard has openly criticised how the Lakers offense works in recent days, claiming that if he does not receive the ball in the post where he feels he is most effective then he loses his aggressiveness and influence.
However, D’Antoni has admitted that he has heard it all before and expects no less effort from his players and their ability to execute a gameplan.
“The biggest thing is, everybody, to a man, we’ve just got to play harder and worry about things less,” D’Antoni said, according to ESPN.
Gasol has since been quoted as welcoming the prospect of linking up with his brother, Marc, with the Memphis Grizzlies, but has insisted that he is still determined to perform well for the Lakers despite speculation suggesting that he will leave in the summer.
Nevertheless, there has been given little sympathy from D’Antoni who was particularly sarcastic as his press conference came to an end.
“Absolutely. It’s also a nice excuse to not play hard. That’s a classic: ‘Well, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’
“Well, you don’t have trouble getting up to the pay stub line. They know what to do there to get the check. So, obviously, you know what to do. They will.”
Gasol is set to start alongside Jordan Hill on Friday for the clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it remains to be seen whether or not his performances improve or D’Antoni is forced into a switch to utilise the rest of his roster.