Pau!!! Right In Da Kisser!

This story got lost in the back pages of Memphis’ local paper so I figured I’d send it further into the abyss by blogging it here. In a recent interview with Commercial Appeal’s Grizzlies beat writer Ron Tillery, former Grizzlies All-Star and current Laker forward Pau Gasol minced no words when expressing what he felt about the prospects of the Memphis team before and after his controversial departure.

Pau Gasol, the hopeless leader“No matter what, the Grizzlies aren’t going to be able to put themselves in position to win a championship. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. I think it’s just the way it is. We just couldn’t do it. We had Jerry West as a GM. If you can’t do it with Jerry West, I don’t think there’s many ways you can. We had Hubie (Brown) and Mike Fratello — good coaches. It wasn’t enough. I don’t think the Grizzlies will ever have enough to be at that highest level. There’s a lot needed.”

Spoken like a true winner. People question the decision to dump this guy and clear his salary from the books but if this were your company would you continue to pay a guy top dollar to give 100% and lead your workers with this type of pessimism rattling around in his bushy dome?

Here are current owner Michael Heisley’s hindsight thoughts on the deal:

“Honestly we were not going anywhere with Pau, and there was a tremendous sentiment against him in Memphis,” Heisley said. “I traded Mike Bibby to Sacramento. I traded Jason Williams to Miami. When it works out I’m very happy for them. But we made the trade because we had to take on a new direction and start rebuilding this team.”

I agree with Pau on one thing, there is a lot needed (save for the PA Announcer. He’s awesome!). But if the best player on the team believes winning a championship is impossible then it probably is…with him. I’m of the belief that anything is possible in today’s NBA. Just ask the San Antonio Spurs or the Miami Heat. A trade here, a draft pick there and you can find yourself sittin’ very pretty.

*That photo was taken the moment Gasol realized he was not a franchise player.


5 Responses to “Pau!!! Right In Da Kisser!”

  1. heatherltrotter Says:

    I am so glad that you decided to post this. You are right…why pay someone who thinks this way? Besides, he may not have voiced his opinion while he was playing here, but he sure did play like he didn’t care.
    Fortunately, the sports analysts have convenient amnesia and choose to sing Pau’s praises because after Kobe, Pau seems to be the greatest thing that has happened recently to the Lakers!
    I’ll shut up now…considering that my knowledge of all things NBA are limited!

  2. Hi, Rick.

    I agree with every word you wrote there.

  3. August West Says:

    Rick, you expressed my response to Pau’s comments perfectly:

    “Spoken like a true winner.”

    We needed Pau to be a transcendent player, but he isn’t that. He could be such a player if he wanted it badly enough (see the World Championship), but he just isn’t tough enough move past the pessimism and will his team to a win.

    That’s why he isn’t a winner. And that’s why he’s 0-12 in the playoffs.

  4. “He’s going to help them win an NBA championship,” Griz owner Michael Heisley said. “I always felt he played hard. We never had a problem. He’s a quality player. I was extremely pleased that I was able to find a team that fit Pau’s talents.”

    I really don’t understand Heisley’s comment. Why should he care about how much better the Lakers are with Gasol or that Pau is with a team that fits his talents? I only wish Memphis had been as concerned about putting the team around Gasol when he was here that would have maximized his talents!

    I wish our owner was pissed off that he couldn’t build a team around Gasol instead of being happy that someone else found Pau to be all they were missing. It makes me sick how much we help other teams win instead of focusing on how to make Memphis a winner.

  5. I can see your point clearly. But being happy for Gasol (or Bibby & J-Will) doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t sit courtside fuming about what he’s put on the floor. I don’t want to put words in his mouth but it’s possible. Your disdain is good. It shows that you care. Apathy is what makes me nervous.

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