Lakers forward Pau Gasol denied recent internet reports and speculation in several major media outlets that there has been any conflict between Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa and Gasol's girlfriend Silvia Lopez Castro.
One report even intimated that Gasol's situation had spilled into the Lakers locker room and caused an argument between him and Bryant because Bryant's wife became involved in Gasol's relationship issues.
On Tuesday, Gasol called rumors of a rift between he and Bryant or a breakup with his girlfriend "absolutely false."
"My girlfriend and I are fine, we're happy, we're doing well. Kobe and I are fine," Gasol told ESPNLosAngeles.com in the parking lot outside the Lakers training facility Tuesday, after his exit interview with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Phil Jackson.
"She [Lopez Castro] was suffering because she saw me suffering. And I was suffering because I was seeing her suffering. When you add that to other stuff to what's already happening, it's tough."
Gasol said that he didn't realize the extent to which the internet chatter had spread as an explanation for his subpar play during the Lakers disappointingly short playoff run this year because he doesn't read articles about himself or the team on a regular basis.
"I didn't know to what extent it had become an issue," Gasol said. "During the playoffs I'm totally out of the media whether it's great or not so great.
"But you do feel it because your environment feels it, and they make you feel it."
Part of the reason the story spread and became somewhat legitimized in recent days were Gasol's cryptic comments after the Lakers 122-86 loss to Dallas in Game 4 Sunday night.
Gasol said that he needed to learn to handle "whatever goes on, on or off the floor" better and "not let it affect anything that goes on on the floor."
It was taken by some as an acknowledgement of off the court issues. Tuesday, Gasol clarified his remarks, saying that he was referring to the toll the viral story had taken on him and the team.
"Everything just seemed to get bigger and heavier," he said, referring to the wild story about Bryant's wife and his girlfriend.
Pau Gasol: Rumors caused 'suffering'
ESPN.com | May 11