LOS ANGELES -- It has come to my attention that Pau Gasol has been unfairly, and stupidly positioned as having insulted/trashed/ripped Kevin Garnett. I am here to tell you he did no such thing.
Here's the skinny. Pau Gasol was asked the following question:
"How would you say you've most changed as a player since then? And if you could say something about Kevin's game that's maybe changed since you were first introduced to him, what stands out?"
Fair question. And here was Gasol's reply:
"...And also 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 quick first step and was getting to the lane and was more aggressive then. Time passes and we all suffer it one way or the other, 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."
Wouldn't we all like to be "trashed" like that?
There you have it. The answer was honest, compassionate, respectful, and, above all, 1000 percent accurate. You couldn't sum up the current state of Kevin Garnett's offensive game any better, and Gasol should know because he's been playing Kevin for nine years.
Anyone who would go running to Garnett with that quote, or, worse yet, some garbled version of it, in the hopes of eliciting a so's-you-old-man response is despicable and an embarrassment to our profession. And you can quote me.
Gasol said yesterday that some of the coverage of what he said in response to the question he had received about Garnett was "pretty pathetic."
Once again, he's 1000 percent correct.