NEW YORK — There’s a lot of losing going on in LakerLand these days, and the team’s most recent loss in Orlando to a Magic squad who came into that one with a record of 11-32 on the season was enough to send Pau Gasol over the edge.
Gasol threw a postgame locker room tantrum that including throwing his shoes, and ripped into teammates for a lackluster effort after losing to what he called one of the league’s worst teams.
“Bottom line is, when you lose against the worst teams in the league, you’ve got to ask yourself why and … what does that make you?” Gasol said afterward, via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Before the Lakers faced the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Kobe Bryant met with the media and was asked what he thought of Gasol’s actions.
“That was the most irritated I’ve seen Pau in a long long time,” Bryant said. “I’ve never really seen him come in and have a tantrum in the locker room, which is good. It’s good. It’s something that needs to be done. It can’t be something where losing becomes accepted, or the whole ‘we gave it a good effort’ sort of thing.”
Bryant is still a ways away from returning from his latest injury, a fractured bone in his knee that has kept him out of action since Dec. 17. He’s scheduled to meet with doctors Tuesday when the team returns to Los Angeles, at which time he hopes to be able to progress to the next stage in his rehabilitation.
Until he does make it back, he believes it’s important for his teammates not to become accustomed to the losing during these difficult times.
“We don’t do that around here,” Bryant said. “That’s not what it’s about. It’s not about giving effort. It’s about winning championships.”