09:32 PM ET 01.31 | Pau Gasol was moved to the bench unit, then he was moved to the bench altogether. Gasol's role on the Lakers came into question this week by fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves. On Tuesday, Gasol didn't play in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Hornets, who nearly rallied from a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. Gasol has been dealing with minor knee troubles, but he's often looked lost on the court. He has had clashes with head coach Mike D'Antoni as well. Rubio has his friend's back. "It's been the last two years that it seems like they don't want him, but actually they need him," Rubio told ESPN. "He's a great player. He can do a lot of things and he had some issues with the knees, too. It's been a lot of years without resting for him."