That's what my mom said to me when I was a kid when I got too over-excited about something. I would start whining and pouting (of course not crying. Ain't no bitch) about something absolutely inconsequential, and my mom would very sternly look over to me and say "HEY! Cool your jets". Then she'd stare at me for a while, with a face like this until I just shut up. It wasn't a overly stern or harsh, but it was just one of those moments that let me know that I needed to stop being ridiculous and calm the eff down. This is the exact expression I want to give anyone that is giving the Pau Gasol to Minnesota deal any type of credence or support.
Pau had a miserable 2011 postseason. That's indisputable. Beyond the numbers (13.1 points on 42% shooting, with a paltry 7.8 rebounds per game), it's obvious that he just wasn't himself. I'm not sure if it was physical, or more likely, mental, but Pau played like absolute garbage. This isn't anything that he wouldn't admit. Just on Around the Horn right now, I heard one sports writer postulate that combined with his 2008 Finals performance, maybe it's time for Gasol to go.
19.6 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, .539% FG, .759% FT in 39.7 minutes per game.
18.3 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, .580% FG, .714 FT in 40.5 minutes per game
19 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 42 minutes
The first two lines are his playoff averages for the past two seasons. Those numbers only help lead to two championships. The third line is his statistics from game 7 of the NBA Finals last year against the Boston Celtics. Perhaps only the most important NBA game played in Los Angeles (no exaggeration there). That last line is the man's birthday. YES, HE WAS BORN IN THE EIGHTIES.
To say that he is either a) over the hill or b) "just doesn't have it" are both ridiculous statements. He has two rings in safety deposit box in Barcelona to prove it. To say he's not worth investing the future in is similarly worthy of ridicule. The guy is not even 31 yet, and has a game that will translate well into his mid-thirties.
And please, let's keep this part in perspective. I want everyone to read this very, very carefully:
IT WAS ONLY 10 GAMES. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. 10 GAMES.
Man! This is like Stallone being judged JUST on Rocky V. Look at what the man did before! He beat Apollo Creed! He beat Mr. T! He ended the Cold War! Body of work everyone, BODY OF WORK.
The Lakers were 12 games away from winning a title this year. To put this in perspective, the 8th seeded Eastern Conference Indiana Pacers were 14 games away from winning a title this year. Pretty poor showing Lakers.
BUT this is a team whose core is older, yes, but certainly not done. It's true that Kobe or his knees aren't getting any younger and will be put into a new offensive system this year with coach Mike Brown, but trading the most skilled big man in the game isn't really the answer here. As I've noted, the Lakers won because of laziness, apathy and lacking true focus. They need minor tweaks and adjustments, not to blow the whole thing up. They are not the Boston Celtics, with a 34-year old Kevin Garnett, a 35-year old Ray Allen or a 33-year old Paul Pierce. Besides Derek Fisher, Kobe is the oldest guy on the team at age 33. They're facing the exact type of age crunch that the Celtics are. The window is still open, and while the Lakers in two years will have to answer the same tough questions the Celtics are facing now, those could be two championship seasons.
Blowing up the team and starting anew with a 33-year old Kobe isn't what the Lakers need now. They needed a new coach who was going to hold everyone accountable for poor defense and a lack of passion. They need a true point guard who is going to be able to at the very least not get TORCHED by the likes of JJ Barea, Aaron Brooks and Earl Boykins (really). They need some energy and hunger to dominate. I think getting swept out of the playoffs, losing Phil Jackson and getting some new blood in there will do that. Trading Pau isn't just throwing the baby out with the bathwater - it's using a wrecking ball to take out the bathroom. CHILL EVERYONE. Or I will get my mother to tweet "HEY! COOL YOUR JETS (followed with the Kobe scowl, digitally)"