How Kobe Bryant’s Injury Impacts Pau Gasol’s Los Angeles Lakers Future

David Stern won't stop the Los Angeles Lakers from trading Pau Gasol this time, so Kobe Bryant will.

Tragedy struck again in Los Angeles, with an already injury-stricken Lakers organization announcing Kobe would join their growing throng of invalids:

There's little time to harp, though. Six weeks is a long time, but the Lakers already have Kobe locked down through 2015-16. Attention must be turned to the rest of their roster, Gasol first and foremost. 

General manager Mitch Kupchak and Co. have decided to retain the 7-footer for now, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein:

The Los Angeles Lakers have decided -- at least for now – that they're better off keeping four-time All-Star center Pau Gasol, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told Wednesday that the Lakers, after weighing the idea of making Gasol available before the trade deadline in February, are encouraged by the way he's played in the past three games, as well as his efforts to make amends for his recent public spat with coach Mike D'Antoni.

ESPN's same duo reported earlier that the Lakers were open to trading their big man after he made some petulant-sounding comments to the media.

"The fact that I'm not getting the ball in the post affects directly my aggressiveness," Gasol said, via Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. "When I'm not getting the ball where I want to, where I'm most effective, where I can bang guys and utilize my skill, that affects my aggressiveness and overall intensity."

Tides have since turned. Gasol's frown is now closer to a simper, and Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni refuses to read too much into his center's previous thoughts:

All-Star-level play has ensured Gasol will remain in Los Angeles. For now. Again. Largely because of a certain tireless running mate, who wears No. 24 and is known f...

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