LOS ANGELES – Pau Gasol will not be benched anymore at the end of fourth quarters, the Los Angeles Times is reporting today.
The decision was made during a dinner meeting in Manhattan Beach on Wednesday night between Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni and power forward Pau Gasol.
From beat writer Mike Bresnahan: “Gasol said he wanted the ball in the post instead of on the perimeter and also asked to play in crunch time, among the topics discussed with D’Antoni at a Manhattan Beach restaurant. ”It was to make sure we’re in the same boat,” Gasol said in a quiet moment Thursday after the Lakers’ practice. “We’re trying to reach the same goal. Let’s communicate. Hopefully, we can meet halfway on some points.” D’Antoni told Gasol he would no longer be benched in crucial situations, according to a person familiar with the conversation. Gasol has been benched three times in the fourth quarter since D’Antoni was hired, including the last 2 minutes 36 seconds of the Lakers 101-100 victory Tuesday over Charlotte. It was Gasol’s first game after sitting out eight in a row because of tendinitis in his knees. He sat out the entire fourth quarter Nov. 23 against Memphis and the last 6:07 of a Dec. 2 game against Orlando.”