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Pau Gasol gets physical with Kris Humphries

April 04, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Lakers center Pau Gasol scores over New Jersey's Kris Humphries during the first half of the Lakers' 91-87 victory Tuesday at Staples Center.
Lakers center Pau Gasol scores over New Jersey's Kris Humphries during… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

The Lakers star pushed his opponent from behind. Then he approached him to show he wouldn't back down. He then earned a technical foul.

Sounds like something Metta World Peace would do. Or Josh McRoberts. Or Kobe Bryant.

But it was none of those players. It was Pau Gasol. The 18,997 fans at Staples Center expressed displeasure with the Humphries-Kim Kardashian split by booing the Nets forward whenever he touched the ball. But Gasol expressed his displeasure with Humphries by confronting him.

"It's been a little physical," Gasol said after the Lakers' 91-87 victory Tuesday over New Jersey. "I thought elbows were a little too high. I didn't appreciate that. The referees weren't making any calls so I had to make sure at least they saw something going on. Not that it changed anything."



Sure, the technical  at 10:14 left in the third quarter following Bryant's three-pointer didn't change much. Deron Williams missed the technical foul shot. But it changed some things.

"I like that, the fact that Pau instigated anything," Lakers television analyst Stu Lantz said on the air. "Mr. Nice guy? I like a little aggression coming from Pau."

Gasol reads Ernest Hemingway, listens to opera music and has viewed spinal surgeries, so keeping up with the Kardashians is well beneath Gasol's intellectual interests. Even if Humphries is Lamar Odom's ex-brother-in-law, it's possible Gasol has never even heard about the Kardashian-Humphries split. Nonetheless, the chippiness epitomized how Gasol established a stronger post presence during Andrew Bynum's absence because of a sprained left ankle. Gasol scored 22 points on 11-of-22 shooting by playing more in the low-post position and attacking the basket, two assets that he hadn't done as much during Bynum's season-long emergence.

Said Gasol: "I was trying to fill the role and be aggressive and be effective and post up a little more when he's not in the lineup."

That included pushing a hated former reality television star.


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