For everyone out there calling for Pau Gasol‘s head, saying he fell off and was embarrassing in the playoffs and that the Lakers need to trade him to have a shot at another title, he has a few words for you: “Thanks for the trust.” The big Spaniard says he hasn’t paid attention to any negativity this summer and that one of the best parts of life is being able to go forward and prove people wrong. Looking back at last season, it was a tale of two lives for Gasol. For the first half of the year, he was phenomenal, probably even better than Kobe. He had a legitimate MVP case and was playing as well as he ever has. But he slowed in the second half, a dilemma that was overlooked because the Lakers went on such a big run, and then in the playoffs he just fell apart. How much of that was fatigue and how much of that was just plain pussycat ball? It’s impossible to put a number on it. But it’s not a question Laker fans wished they had to answer. The team’s only going to go as far as Gasol takes them. Bryant will be there. Odom will be his usual inconsistent self. Andrew Bynum will be his oft-injured self. It’s up to Gasol. Words are wind, especially since we’ve heard this stuff from him before. How much trust do you have in him? Is he still hungry enough for another title? … With what happened between Ty Lawson and many Lithuanian fans on Twitter recently, the former NBA player John Amaechi, who acknowledged he was gay in 2007, added to that by saying the prejudice against homosexuals is terrible in Britain sports, especially with soccer, and that certain feelings and institutions haven’t changed a bit in 100 years. About soccer, he said: “If you compare their emphasis on racism to what they’ve done on homophobia, it’s an embarrassment.” … There’s been a lot of talk recently about the BRI and how confusion caused the fallout on Friday without a deal. The NBA went in believing the players would accept a 50/50. The players went in thinking the NBA was willing to negotiate. Turns out, some of the miscommunication came from Derek Fisher. There are players who believe Fisher promised David Stern he could deliver the 50/50 proposal even though Billy Hunter has been advising the players to not take less than 52/48 all along. While it might be good for us, it’s not a good sign for the players that your leading man might be working behind the scenes with Stern. Apparently, Kobe was on board with Fisher about the 50/50 split, but Hunter and a number of players met with him, questioned him about his relationship with Stern and then convinced him to stand firm at 52 … Jimmer Fredette plans to take part in a charity game on Nov. 7 at Salt Lake City Community College where a number of Jazz players – Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Al Jefferson and Ronnie Price – will give back a little basketball entertainment to the fans. The one question though is will the fans enjoy it? Out in Utah, they’ll probably be calling for back screens and a flex offense … Adrian Wojnarowski stopped by a Kentucky practice and asked an NBA scout about Anthony Davis. The scout said he’s the most talented and complete freshman big man on the college level he’s seen in a decade. So that probably puts him on a list with about 15 other “best big man of the decade” players … And we lost our first Greatest Mode game yesterday in NBA 2K12. Anyone else have trouble with the ’97-’98 Lakers (We did beat them the second time.)? They snuffed us. The Jazz couldn’t match up, Kobe and Eddie Jones hit about seven combined threes and even though we shut down Shaq, we were down double digits until the final few moments. Of course since it was a big game, Karl Malone didn’t show up and missed about five shots in the paint. It’s amazing to sit there in a video game and think you can’t match up with that talent from the Lakers, and yet in real life the Jazz blasted them in the playoffs … We’re out like Wisconsin in the clutch.
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