Popovich: “Pau Gasol changed the landscape of basketball in the NBA”

Some fun comments from Spurs head coach Popovich on the “unfair” Pau Gasol trade.

Spurs Jazz BasketballL.A. Times: We had a fun exchange with Gregg Popovich tonight at Staples ahead of San Antonio’s tussle with the Clippers, when the subject of the Pau Gasol trade came up. “You mean the one where I fainted?” he asked with a smile.

Pop, no surprise, still sees that deal as a watershed. “Pau Gasol changed the landscape of basketball in the NBA, as far as the west is concerned, and championship caliber basketball. He’s a great player, perhaps the most versatile big man in the league right now, and it makes them really, really good.”

Andy then asked him if the development of Pau’s lil’ bro in Memphis makes the deal perhaps a little less lopsided. Marc has, after all, become a very good NBA player down in Memphis, and is still very early in his career. Maybe, just maybe, it was a more equitable swap than he originally thought?

“Please,” he said with a sarcastic eye roll. “Please.”

From his perspective, it doesn’t really matter how good Marc becomes, since he’s concerned about winning titles, not the rebuilding effort in Memphis. Thus anything that creates a dominant team in LA will seem disproportional. But it does drive home how Pau’s presence turned an already quality Lakers team into something truly feared around the league. It’s hard to think of another deal that, as Popovich says, “changed the landscape… in the NBA.” Not just because of what it did for the Lakers, but how it affected the way other teams operated around them, their moves, and so on.

Chris Manning is a co-owner and video producer for TheLakersNation.com. In addition to his "LD2k" fan-video productions, Chris is working as the "Production Manager" for HS3; A Digital, Brand Strategy and Marketing company based in L.A. which represents the digital entities of numerous high-profile athletes. You can follow him on Twitter for a wide array of sports/Lakers talk!
  • WifelovesLuke

    What was truly amazing about that deal was how quickly Pau impacted the Lakers. He jumped into the triangle offense like he had been running it for years. Result= back to back trips to the finals and poised to make it 3 for 3.

    Shaq coming to LA from Orlando was the last time there was an impact of this magnitude but it took Shaq a few years and a coach by the name of Phil to get him the ring he wanted so dearly.

  • gugy

    Pop is just bummed out because he knows the fact the Lakers got so strong with Pau and basically finished any chances for the Spurs to win another title.
    Spurs are just too old and their key players breaking apart. In couple of years they will need to start dealing of the fact Duncan needs to retire.
    They run is over and they did well. So they should be proud of what they accomplish with that team.

  • Go – Lakers

    I agree that the Gasol trade was huge. But i would say that the KG/Ray Allen (as much as i hate the celdicks) Trade started the change in the League and the Lakers knowing what they had to do to compete traded for Gasol.
    Boston won 24 games the year before they Got KG……
    No one talks about them getting Lucky or whatnot.
    Everyone needs to shut their traps about this trade already and figure out who they can get and or adjust your team to compete at the highest level(Poopovich).

    • http://s1.zetaboards.com/2Kstaplecenter/msg/?c=1&folder=-1&id=583753 Omamba

      Probably because for one, our team is the team everyone is jealous of and hates on because of that. Second, Al Jefferson is a bona fide superstar right now.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    WITHOUT GASOFT….NO RINGS.

  • The Mamba24

    *YAWN*

  • 007

    omg. i thought we went back in time two years ago.

  • http://bestplayerontheplanet.com Chase

    Popovich is a hypocrite. Back in the 96-97 season the Spurs purposefully lost games in order to improve their chances of getting the first overall pick the following draft. It worked. They got the first pick and with it took some guy named Tim Duncan.

    Talking about “unfair” and something that changed the landscape of the NBA. I’m so sick of this guy whining. We wouldn’t even be talking about this guy if the Spurs didn’t game the system and draft Duncan. He has no right complaining about the Pau trade!

    • gugy

      Well said,
      Pop is just a little biatch for complaining.

      Who cares, Spurs is not even in the picture anymore. They are barely above .500 now. Their team is old and injury prone.

      For me the only threat in West is Denver, even though the Lakers need to have a complete meltdown to let them overcome us in a series.

    • Jim

      Great point Chase, he didn’t mind having the Robinson/Duncan twin tower pairing in his line up, don’t begrudge us our Bynum/Gasol duo.

    • LakersAllTheWay

      Pop is whining too much on this because if they had an expiring contract bigger than Kwame’s and a few players they could have gotten Gasol also. I don’t blame Pop for tanking that season. He lost Robinson due to an injury and played young players because the season was basically lost. Every other team would have done the same thing.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    you girls go back to licking the mambas little sac….us grown-ups are talking….

  • lakerbunny

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