Pau For Pound: Gasol Delivers L.A. Lakers’ Opening Statement

The insults pelted Pau Gasol more than any other Laker in 2008.

They weren't catcalls. That wasn't good-natured ribbing.

Boston fans threw rocks at the L.A. team bus as it left TD Garden. Those who questioned the Lakers' toughness threw figurative ones.

They saved the bricks and boulders for Gasol.

They assaulted his manhood and wondered if people from Spain were born without backbones.

Ductile players do not hoist championship trophies. Resoluteness wins in the NBA.

The Celtics had it, they said. Gasol and the Lakers didn't.

The final score from that Game Six beatdown haunted Hollywood's hoops squad for 12 months. The Lakers could not escape it. They could not make the pain it caused or the embarrassment it represented disappear.


Two years later, as the Lakers and Celtics commenced Game One of the teams' 12th Finals meeting, Gasol fetched some duct tape and forced those detractors to shut the hell up.

The Lakers swatted back 131-92 in handling the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Finals. They smashed it Thursday night with a 102-89 victory. Phil Jackson has not lost a series after his team won the first match.

Now, the Celtics must contend with Jackson's 47-0 record. Doc Rivers must also cope with another sobering reality.

Gasol has properly introduced himself to the Lakers.

Hi there. I'm Pau. I know how to put the ball in the basket. Get me touches.

How the Celtics handle this news will dictate whether they can make the first dent in Jackson's record and create history.

The All-Star forward scored 23 points and hauled down 14 rebounds. He sent a message to the basketball world. Screw putting it in a bottle. He screamed it so Kevin Garnett and the stone throwers would hear every word.

Stop the fallacies. Stop the insults....

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