Lakers Considering Bringing Gasol Off Bench

Mike D'AntoniMike D’Antoni is wrestling with the idea of making Pau Gasol a permanent fixture off the bench.

“My job is to put the best team on the floor,” D’Antoni said. “If I feel like (starting Gasol is) the best way to go, then we’ll go that way. If I don’t, it’s nothing personal. It’s just that I got to do what I think is right. I think every player has to accept what is right, whether they like it or not. So, that’s the bottom line.

“Now, does he deserve to start? Yeah, he does. He’s been here a long time and probably that will happen, but if it doesn’t, then you know what? You got to go on. You got to contribute. You got teammates to think about. You got the Lakers to think about. You got to do whatever is best for the Lakers. Whether we agree or not, then that’s something else, we can agree to disagree. My job is to try to get the best team on the floor all the time and make it work. That doesn’t mean I’m not including him. I just mean, that’s my job.”

Gasol wants to remain with the Lakers’ first unit.

“I’ve never come off the bench in my career,” Gasol said. “(Thursday) was my first game off the bench with the Lakers, maybe a couple other games due to injuries, but that’s it. I’ve been a starter my entire career. I’ve been a star starter my entire career, so I want to continue to be a star starter.”

(Via Dave McMenamin/ESPNLosAngeles)

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