Lakers’ Chris Douglas-Roberts clarifies stance on Italian pasta

Lakers forward Chris Douglas-Roberts drives by Utah center Brian Butch during a preseason game on Oct. 13.
(Gus Ruelas / Associated Press)

The Lakers recently cut two players (Ronnie Aguilar and Reeves Nelson) with more to come as the 18-man roster needs to be trimmed to at least 15 by opening night.

Guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, a last-minute invite to camp, may have made enough of an impression on the Lakers to make the regular season roster.

Douglas-Roberts spent last year overseas in Italy playing for Virtus Bologna.

His recent interview with Mike Trudell, of, included a comment that caused a bit of a firestorm among the die-hard Italian basketball community:


“We ate pasta every day. EVERY day. That’s what it is over there. Pasta with grilled chicken. I was like, ‘Man, you don’t have alfredo sauce? The white sauce?’ They’re looking at me like I’m crazy. So one of my teammates, Peppe (Poeta), an Italian, said American pasta is like Finnish rap music. You know. And that was great for me. They destroy our American pasta. ‘You all don’t have real pasta,’ they say. And my boy Patrick from Finland would listen to Finnish rap in the weight room, and I was all over that, telling him it was terrible.”

Douglas-Roberts was naturally using the word “destroy” as a compliment, but his intention may have gotten lost in translation.

The Gazzetta was correct in writing “Distruggono la nostra pasta americana: ‘Non avete la vera pasta’,” but when taken out of context, it appears Douglas-Roberts is suggesting that Italians “destroy our American pasta. You don’t have the real pasta.”

Insulting Italy for its pasta is probably unwise, but Douglas-Roberts was doing exactly the opposite.

“I was complimenting the Italian food. I was complimenting it the whole time,” said Douglas-Roberts on Sunday. “That’s the reason I can’t eat pasta now because it’s not the same. Italian pasta is the best. It’s authentic.”

“The Italians make it from scratch. It’s perfect,” continued Douglas-Roberts, unsure how his comments were misinterpreted. “The pasta from here is watered down. It’s not real.”

Of course, the Finnish rap community has yet to respond....


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