Pau Gasol’s game is widely viewed as ‘soft’ because he doesn’t dunk on people or try to punk them on the court. Instead, he does what he’s supposed to do as quietly as possible by outplaying them and keeping it moving.
Pau was never able to carry his first team, the Memphis Grizzlies, past the first round but once the Gods blessed him and allowed him to play alongside the NBA’s assassin, Kobe Bryant, his talent finally began to gain recognition.
Yet and still, players and fans still consider him soft. Pau’s not sweating it too much chalking it up to jealously:
PBT: “Sometimes I believe it is guys just talking for the heck of talking. They got nothing better to say and other times I believe there is a little bit of jealousy at times, but I can’t really control what other people say. I can control what I do and what I have been doing throughout my career, which has been very successful and help my team beat better teams. That is as much as I can control and that’s what I focus 100% on, so the rest of the stuff is a couple of guys talking here or there. It does not affect me or interfere with my life.”
“Again it is something that it is brought up after three consecutive finals and two championships. Those thoughts kind of went away with the two championships, but again I play.”
He held his own against the most dominant big man in the league when L.A. beat Orlando and Dwight Howard in the 2009 NBA Finals and he played well against Boston and Kevin Garnett in the 2010 NBA Finals.
Call him soft all you want, just don’t forget to call him a champion. He’s a finesse player and he’ll always be viewed as soft for it but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Especially since he’s got guys like Kobe backing him up and Andrew Bynum manning the paint alongside him.