Lakers News: Pau Gasol’s Struggles More a Result of Decline Than Incorrect Usage

Pau Gasol's relationship with the Los Angeles Lakers has always been a little off-kilter. 

Brought to Los Angeles for Kwame Brown, picks and flotsam (including his then-chubby-now-awesome little brother), Gasol's arrival has, in the long run, been more an affirmation of Kobe Bryant's greatness than his own. The two Lakers championships he brought are more often cited with Bryant's five total than a confirmation of his Hall of Fame status—that's what happens when you're the second banana to an all-time great. 

In what basically amounts to six seasons, Gasol has been fake-traded more times than anyone else in the league. He was even real-life traded once before the then-Hornets "ownership" put down the kibosh. It's been such a weird, up-and-down relationship that Gasol's only real connections to the organization seem to be Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson—the latter only tangentially involved at this point. 

So you can understand that Gasol is unaffected by the latest round of trade rumors circling his name. 

“I’m used to it by now,” Gasol told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “It’s been a constant thing for me. It’s like getting up from bed and having breakfast.”

Gasol's name has been bandied about of late thanks to his latest run-in with arguably his biggest annoyance since arriving in California: coach Mike D'Antoni. Upset with his play to start the 2013-14 campaign and the way he's being used, Gasol pretty much laid it all on the line in an interview with Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times last week. 

"The fact that I'm not getting the ball in the post affects directly my aggressiveness," he said. "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." 

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers