(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol is off to a slow start this season, and Kobe Bryant wants him to snap out of it.
For the second time in five games, Gasol was on the bench during the final minutes of the fourth quarter, and Bryant thinks Gasol needs to get his act together.
“Put your big-boy pants on,” Bryant said after the team’s loss to the Orlando Magic last night. “Just adjust. Just adjust. You can’t whine about it. You can’t complain about it.”
Through 17 games, Gasol is averaging a career-low 12.6 points per game. He’s also averaging 8.9 rebounds per game, which would be his lowest average as a member of the Lakers. Gasol has struggled to fit into new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
“I don’t get irritated,” Gasol said when asked about being benched. “I like to be out there. It’s upsetting for me as a player but I won’t allow it to irritate me.”
The Lakers as a team have struggled as well. They are just 8-9 so far this season.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN