The NBA Dribbled Out

I know Whitlock, and other rush-to-judgement fans of the NBA look at Pau Gasol’s wiry 7-foot frame, his girlfriend as excuse after the Lakers’ 4-0 loss to the Mavericks in the 2011 playoffs and conclude he’s soft; softer than a baby’s butt. It also helps that he’s Spanish (or even better: French!), but Pau didn’t play soft in the gold medal game against all the American stars. He played like a rock.

In fact, if his Spanish teammates had picked up the slack a little more, we could be talking about an entirely different outcome and a disgraceful exit for Team USA’s Coach K (who will be retiring from his international coaching duties after winning his second gold yesterday).

Pau was a beast, scoring a team-high 24 points to go with 8 boards, 7 assists and a steal. He might be thought of as a the mercurial 3rd 4th wheel on the Lakers, but anybody that’s calling him soft didn’t watch his eviseration of the under-sized USA team in the 3rd quarter yesterday when Spain matched the US throughout the quarter, and Pau dropped 15 points. The only thing soft about Pau is his mid-range jumper.

[AP Photo/Matt Slocum; Harry How/Getty Images]

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