Lakers Notebook

Gasol surprised to be talk of town

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / June 6, 2010

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Pau Gasol didn’t expect his evaluation of Kevin Garnett’s game to generate a storm of negative reports. But it did.

Yesterday, Gasol said he did not intend for the comments, made after Game 1, to be an attack on Garnett. “The way it was played and put down, it was pretty pathetic,’’ Gasol said. “But I’ll make no more comments on that because it’s not worth it.’’

On Thursday, Gasol was asked to compare how his and Garnett’s games have changed since they started playing against each other nine years ago. Gasol said of Garnett:

“On Kevin’s part, he’s also lost some explosiveness. He’s more of a jump shooter now, you could say, comes off the lane. Before he had a really, really quick first step and was getting to the lane and he was more aggressive then.

“Time passes and we all suffer it one way or another, but he’s still a terrific player, a terrific competitor, and he’s going to bring everything he’s got. You can count on that. I expect a very tough series, and every game will be a battle.’’

Gasol was surprised to “an extent’’ that his comments were played out in a negative light.

“I understand media try to create situations for whatever reason, create attraction,’’ Gasol said. “But again, sometimes I extend my answers too long. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. I should be shorter with my answers and don’t give away just anything so it can’t be manipulated that way and used.

“It’s the Finals. It’s going to be a little bit of chaos. We’ve just got to focus on doing whatever it takes to win Game 2. That’s my main focus.’’

Garnett did not respond to Gasol’s comments. Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said he is all for free speech during the playoffs.

“I say speak your mind,’’ Perkins said. “Sometimes it livens up the series. You never know who you might make mad when you say something crazy. You never know. Everybody’s watching.’’

‘The right way’
Lakers guard Jordan Farmar had numerous interactions as a player at UCLA with John Wooden, but what stood out to Farmar was the legendary coach’s ability to be down to earth.

“You didn’t feel anything other than he’s a normal person, and that’s what he wanted to show, that he was just like everybody else,’’ said Farmar, who played at UCLA from 2004-06. “He was just trying to live the right way and teach the right things.’’

Wooden, 99, died Friday night in Los Angeles.

Feeling swell
Lakers center Andrew Bynum said swelling had increased in his right knee, but it won’t affect his availability for tonight.

“It’s a little more swollen, day in and day out, but the treatment kind of suppresses it, and keeps it to a level of where we can handle it,’’ he said.

Bynum played 28 minutes in Game 1, days after he had fluid drained from his knee.

Shaw can wait
With reports that Celtics associate coach Tom Thibodeau is taking the head job in Chicago, Lakers assistant Brian Shaw was asked about his ambition to run a team.

“I don’t think just because there’s an opportunity means it’s the right opportunity,’’ said Shaw, who played for both the Celtics and Lakers. “I’m glad my name isn’t in the mix, particularly right now because I want to concentrate on our ultimate goal, which is winning a championship.

“Then in a couple of weeks, however the chips fall they’re going to fall and they’re going to select who they want to select and at that particular time you can make whatever decision you want to make.’’

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