|Pau Gasol and Sylvia Lopez/Courtesy: sports.rightpundits.com|
Part of it was age. Part of it was the Mavs may be better and part of it seems to be the apparent discord amongst the Lakers team. A lot of the vitriol and blame seems to be headed to Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who seemed to be in a funk for most of the series. And Gasol himself admitted as such, though he denied it affected his game.
But there's more to it.
The prevailing thought is that the cause of Gasol's lack of effort and enthusiasm during the series was a break up with his long-time girlfriend.
That's been reported already.
What is starting to come out is that the cause of said breakup may have come from teammate Kobe Bryant's wife.
That inference is made in this story from the LA Times RIGHT HERE
It's reinforced in Times columnist Bill Plaschke's story RIGHT HERE
While Kobe has been acknowledged by most of the media as the "Leader" of the Lakers and has never been questioned as their best player, it appears his wife is a bit of a meddler. Karl Malone accused her of doing something similar to him a few years ago.
Now. To say Pau Gasol was the reason the Lakers lost is absurd. Not having him certainly didn't help, but this was a flawed team that kept buying into the Hollywood-ness of being the Lakers. And it's caught up with them.
The one thing the sweep against Dallas should reinforce is the team needs to be rebuilt. Bryant, while still an elite level player, has a ton of mileage on his wheels and its starting to show. Someone made the comment today that Michael Jordan wouldn't have let that happen when he was 32. That's stupid. At that age, Jordan certainly had a lot of mileage, but he didn't become a pro until he was much older.
The prevailing theory is Gasol may not have the ability to deal with the LA limelight. Him reacting the way he did in the series would seemingly back that up.
The bigger question is how the team could cover their discord for so long. Looking back now, this all makes some sense, but what is it that people say...."Your never realizing you're seeing a problem until after it happens" or something like that.
That would apply here.
Here's video of Pau Gasol doing the Hollywood thing on Jimmy Kimmel's show: