D'Antoni chides Lakers' Gasol over effort

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Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni heard enough of forward Paul Gasol's complaining and fired back on Friday.

Gasol expressed displeasure in recent days about his role in the Lakers' system and that he feels out of place because he wants to be used in the post.

"The biggest thing is, everybody, to a man, we've just got to play harder and worry about things less," D'Antoni said after the Lakers' shootaround on Friday morning in Oklahoma City.

Gasol is averaging 14.4 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field. Those numbers are well below his career averages of 51.5 percent shooting from the floor and 18.3 points.

"That's one thing, if they just don't want to do it that way," D'Antoni said of his system. "Then you have to accept it or not. But there's no reason to not play hard."

The 33-year-old Gasol told the Los Angeles Times on Wedneday that the system is to blame for that.

"The fact that I'm not getting the ball in the post affects directly my aggressiveness," Gasol said. "When I'm not getting the ball where I want to, where I'm most effective, where I can bang guys and utilize my skill, that affects my aggressiveness and overall intensity."

D'Antoni said, "That's a classic: 'Well, I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Well, you don't have trouble getting up to the pay stub line. They know what to do there to get the check. So, obviously, you know what to do. They will."

In an NBA.com story earlier in the week, Gasol acknowledged that he is intrigued by returning to Memphis and playing on the same team as his brother Marc. Gasol becomes a free agent next summer.

"It's appealing," Gasol told NBA.com. "One of the best centers in the NBA, one of the best interior players, is my brother. There's a lot of attractive factors there. But who knows if that's even a possibility or if that will ever happen.

"Right now, I'm just trying to focus on (the Lakers' opponents) and staying healthy and playing a very successful year so this team and others will have the certainty and the confidence that I am a difference-maker, that I am an elite player and I have a lot of years in me."

D'Antoni was to start Jordan Hill with Gasol in the frontcourt on Friday night.

"He'll get through it," D'Antoni said of Gasol. "The message is the same to everybody: Just play hard, and we'll figure it out. If you don't play hard, it's hard to figure out because you don't know what works and what doesn't. I think everybody has the same message, and we keep beating it in during practice. Every film session we show them what we want, and hopefully they'll do it."

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