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Gasol surprised by media reaction to Garnett comments

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  June 5, 2010 06:11 PM

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Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol looked to get a shot off against Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and guard Tony Allen. Gasol's comments on Garnett's explosiveness were not intended to be a shot, according to the Lakers center. (David L. Ryan / Globe Staff)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Pau Gasol was a bit surprised by the reaction to his comments on Kevin Garnett, saying the Celtics forward had lost some "explosiveness."

Yesterday after the Lakers practice at the Staples Center, Gasol was asked about facing Garnett over the years and how his and Garnett's game had changed in his career.

This is what he said:

"Well, it's been nine years past, so everybody has grown. For me I understand better the nature of the game here. I grew as far as my body and how do I play the game," Gasol said. "So I could say that I'm a more mature player and more effective now than I was before I was athletic, lanky. I had more explosiveness than I have now, but I was weaker, also, and I wasn't accustomed to the physicality of the league and the amount of games that are played. But little by little I've gotten better, and I've grown to be the player that I am today.

"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, 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."

Today, he was a bit miffed by accounts that he was ripping into Garnett.

"I understand (the) 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.

"But it is what it is," Gasol continued. "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.

But, really, was that his intention?

"Absolutely not. Absolutely not," Gasol said. "The way it was played and put down, it was pretty pathetic. But I'll make no more comments on that because it's not worth it."

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