Mike D'Antoni rebukes Pau Gasol


MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni says he was disappointed that Pau Gasol took him to task through the media and also vowed Wednesday to continue to employ a small-ball lineup down the stretch this season.

"The thing I just don't appreciate ... You just keep it in-house," D'Antoni said before the Lakers' 108-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. "It's very easy just to come over and talk about your frustrations. We'll try to work something out. We'll figure something out.

"But to go to (the media) and to do it in the papers, that's disturbing. I just don't think that's the way to go and people should understand that we're all trying to solve the same problem, so let's just put our heads together and do the best we can."

D'Antoni addressed Gasol and the rest of the Lakers' players at the team hotel Wednesday in lieu of a shootaround, with L.A. set to play the second half of a back-to-back following Tuesday's 118-98 loss at Indiana.

It was less of an air-it-out team meeting than a chance to move on from the loss to the Pacers -- a particularly bad loss in a stretch that has seen L.A. drop 26 of its last 32 games -- and prepare for the Grizzlies, according to a team source.

"Nobody wants to see that," said the source when asked about Gasol and D'Antoni exchanging public barbs once again, something that's happened on several occasions since D'Antoni was hired to replace Mike Brown last November. "We're just hoping to finish the season off the right way."

The Lakers have a 19-39 record, placing them last in the Western Conference and all but already eliminated from the playoffs -- 14½ games out of the eighth and final spot with 24 games left to play.

If they maintain their .328 winning percentage, it will be their worst season mark since the franchise moved to L.A. from Minneapolis, edging out the team's 1974-75 season when it went 30-52 (.366).

Gasol downplayed his remarks after putting up 17 points and 10 rebounds against the Grizzlies.

"Yes, there was some frustration, but I don't think it was nothing out of line or nothing that went too far," Gasol said. "I stated something obvious, to me. I don't think I said anything too crazy.

"To me, it wasn't that big of a deal. It was just the emotions and the frustrations of a tough loss and a bad game on our part, I think, for the most part."

D'Antoni said that he understood why Gasol was feeling frustrated but took exception to Gasol's claim that there was a lack of discipline governing the Lakers.

"I have no idea what he's talking about," D'Antoni said. "(Tuesday) night, like (Gasol) said, we should have had more ball movement, but I don't know what that has to do with discipline. It has to do with guys trying too hard, guys not really understanding the system totally and not really getting ingrained into it and so I think in that aspect, I can understand what he's talking about, but I don't know why he used that word."

D'Antoni defended the Lakers' two new players MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore, acquired in a trade with Golden State for Steve Blake before last week's trade deadline, and said the pair just needed time to get acclimated to their new surroundings.

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