The talk here in Los Angeles about what was wrong with Pau Gasol started the moment he scored a paltry eight points and was a non-factor in the Lakers’ Game 1 home loss to New Orleans in the first round of the NBA playoffs in mid-April.
Even before the second round Dallas series, which has seen Gasol perform adequately - at best - in consecutive home loses to the Mavericks, the L.A. media was at a complete loss to explain Gasol’s postseason performance. So far the Spaniard has been been injury-free with his demeanor also giving the media no clue as to the condition of his game.
But when you’re a main media member in Los Angeles - and beyond - charged with breaking down the Lakers in the playoffs, chalking up a performance to the unknown isn’t unacceptable. So, in the case of Gasol, cooking up a theory about his lack of production, no matter how baseless and damaging to his personal life, is a job requirement.
Beginning last month during the Lakers-New Orleans series, that’s exactly what happened on a particular Los Angeles sports radio station. More than one host on the main outlet floated the idea that Gasol’s game was suffering because his relationship with girlfriend Silvia Lopez Castro, who we introduced you to here last year, was breaking down.
The rumor spread from there to internet message boards, which naturally meant that the dubious claim would eventually find its way to bloggers who source their reporting from anonymous message board posts.
Which it did today.
I then decided to find out the truth after main media outlets - apparently unaware of the dubious posting tactics of blogs that primarily traffic in imaginary stories - began picking up those blogs ‘reports’ on Gasol’s so-called relationship breakup.
This morning and afternoon I talked to two people who work with the Lakers on a daily basis.
One told me that there was absolutely no talk of a breakup between Gasol and Castro by anyone in the Lakers organization and another said Pau’s girlfriend Castro most recently attended the Lakers game against the Mavericks with Gasol’s mother Marisa on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Less than two weeks earlier Gasol was seen holding hands with Castro at the Lakers annual Casino Night charity event and few days before that Gasol was photographed kissing Castro during tennis match involving Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells, California.