uto·pia (noun) \yu̇-ˈtō-pē-ə\ : an imaginary and indefinitely remote place.
Pau Gasol has been a bit more vocal as of late on the topic of the Lakers’ recent struggles, even going so far as to throw a tantrum in front of teammates and Kobe Bryant in the locker room following an especially unpleasant loss to the Orlando Magic.
Speaking to reporters in Spanish following the loss to the Knicks in New York on Sunday, Gasol continued to deliver some honest commentary about the fortunes of his team moving forward, and obviously the future isn’t exactly bright.
As translated by HoopsHype:
The playoffs are a utopia right now. (…) The Western Conference has a lot of great teams that are playing much better than us right now. (…) If things don’t change very quickly, I don’t know if we will have many chances.
Gasol isn’t giving up, and he isn’t painting an unnecessarily gloomy image in hopes that all of the constant trade rumors that swirl around him might some day come to fruition.
He’s speaking the truth.
The Lakers are currently 13 games under .500, and nine and a half games out of the final playoff spot in the West, with four teams ahead of them before we even get there. It’s honestly easier and more accurate to refer to L.A. as being just two teams away from being the worst in the Conference — something Gasol knows all too well, and isn’t afraid to articulate in another language.