- Ric Bucher, NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer
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Pau Gasol appeared to be sleep-walking through much of the Lakers' embarrassing loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center on Sunday. It turns out that might not have been too far from the truth.
"My alarm didn't go off so I woke up past the time," Gasol said. "I still went to shootaround, just a little later than I should have been."
But a team official said Tuesday that Gasol missed the team's entire morning shootaround.
Three Lakers in all said they did not get up on time because the alarm clocks on their iPhones malfunctioned that morning, but Gasol was the only one who didn't show up at all, sources said. Luke Walton was one of the other two Lakers who arrived late. The third Laker was not identified but sources said it was not Kobe Bryant.
Widespread alarm issues had been reported by iPhone users across the world citing a New Year's glitch with the Apple product.
Gasol said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson did not bring up his or his teammates' tardiness in the locker room Sunday night following in the loss to Memphis.
"No, I don't think that would be fair," Gasol said.
Jackson did however feel like the shootaround absences did have some consequences on the outcome of the game.
"I always think that it affects the team's performance when everybody is not in their places ready to go when it's 10 o'clock in the morning and we're supposed to be ready to go through a film session," Jackson said. "Then everybody is behind a little bit and everybody is wondering what happened to somebody else and then the messages conveyed aren't there in the same way. So, it affects [the team], but you have to be grown up enough to know that you can't let that affect your own game."
Gasol had 10 points, eight rebounds and five turnovers with no assists in 32 minutes of action in the Lakers' 104-85 loss.
Sources say Gasol's absence only fueled Bryant's frustration with the team, underscoring the lack of commitment and focus the two-time defending champions have displayed for most of the season. The loss to Memphis was the Lakers' fourth in the last six games.
Said Gasol: "Unfortunately these were kind of accidents that happen and [there's] nothing you can do about it, but a team should be able to get over that."
Ric Bucher covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine. ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.
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