Chris Paul and Pau Gasol trade barbs

Updated: January 26, 2012, 3:23 PM ET
By Arash Markazi | ESPN Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- If the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers didn't have a rivalry before Wednesday night, they certainly appear to have one now.

After Clippers forward Blake Griffin fouled Lakers forward Pau Gasol with 1.1 seconds remaining in the Lakers' 96-91 win, Clippers guard Chris Paul tried to grab the ball from Gasol's hands as the two began jawing at one another. Gasol and Paul continued to talk while Lakers guard Kobe Bryant got in front of the two as Gasol walked to the free throw line.

Before Gasol stepped to the line, he smiled and put his hand on top of Paul's head. Paul immediately shoved Gasol's hand away and tapped Gasol on his head.

"He tried to touch the top of my head. I don't like that," Paul said after the game. "I got a son of my own. I don't know if Pau got kids, but don't touch the top of my head like I'm one of your kids. I don't know what his intentions were, and it doesn't matter. I don't know if he's got kids, but I'm not one of them."

When Paul was asked why he tried to touch Gasol on his head, he said, "I went back and I tried to treat him like little Chris."

"You're a grown man," Paul said. "I'm not going to put my hand on top of your head. They beat us, and that's the story of the game."

Gasol, when he was told of Paul's reaction, said he didn't intend to disrespect Paul by touching his head.

"I'm sorry he felt that way," Gasol said. "I do that all the time with my teammates. It's OK. It's like if I touch your shoulder or your back. There's nothing mean about it, but it is what it is."

Bryant simply chalked up the incident to Paul's competitiveness, which mirrors his, after a tough loss.

"Chris is chippy," Bryant said. "I'm extremely chippy, and that DNA spreads to the rest of the team. That's how it is."

Arash Markazi covers the Clippers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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