12-7-13: Kobe Bryant is soon to return to a Lakers team that has fought valiantly without him early in the 2013-14 season. Before losing on Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles had won five of its previous six games. Pau Gasol has been his typical self, but Nick Young and Jodie Meeks have provided great scoring for the Lakers. It will be interesting to see how Mike D’Antoni’s squad changes when Bryant is back to playing full minutes. In the Lakers’ win in Detroit on Friday, Wesley Johnson led all scorers with 27 points on very efficient shooting. He and Xavier Henry have made strong contributions to this season’s Lakers as well.
11-28-13: Lost in the hubbub of the gigantic Kobe Bryant contract extension news (2 year, $48.5M), was the continued surprising play of the Lakers sans Bryant. The Lakers have won four of their last five games, with essentially a different role player stepping up each night to support Pau Gasol. Kobe took part in a full-team practice last Tuesday but said after the game that he considered himself “weeks” away from returning rather than “days”. Still, fans should be encouraged by the early play with the Lakers treading water at 8-8 and Kobe nearing return.
11-25-13: Kobe Bryant has signed a two-year extension with the Lakers worth $48.5 million dollars. Bryant will earn $23.5 million in 14-15 and $25 million in 15-16.
11-22-13: Despite getting just 135 minutes from Steve Nash and 0 minutes from Kobe Bryant through 12 games, the Lakers have somehow managed to claw their way to a 5-7 record. All despite playing the league’s strongest strength of schedule so far. With Kobe Bryant miraculously ready to return to the court from his torn Achilles, the Lakers may be a team that is forced to be taken seriously. After five days rest, the Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors Friday night.
11-15-13: Steven Nash is taking an indefinite leave from the court in L.A., as nerve issues with his back are causing too much pain for him to play. The absence of Nash and Kobe Bryant (achilles) apparently aren’t enough to drown the new-look Lakers, though, as they’ve held their own with a 4-6 mark through their first 10 games. Los Angeles isn’t playing great defense and doesn’t have a true go-to scorer, but they’re getting by with team offense and just biding their time until they can get back to full health.
11-8-13: Kobe Bryant is still sidelined and Steven Nash is looking the part of a 40-year old on the court, yet the Lakers keep clawing their ways to wins. Oddly enough, the current roster in L.A. seems to perfectly fit head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system, and the Lakers find themselves at a solid 3-3 record through two weeks. Xavier Henry is just one of the many pleasant surprises on offense, as the no-name Lakers already own impressive wins over the Clippers, Hawks and Rockets on this young season.
11-1-13: Kobe Bryant battled through injuries to get through the 2012-13 regular season, but was physically unable to play in the playoffs. After another offseason surgery, he was absent from the active roster at the beginning of the season. In the meantime, newcomers Nick Young, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry and Chris Kaman will have to step up to fill the void. Starting center Pau Gasol, who had a strong preseason, has to take on a lot of responsibility as well until Bryant can return to the lineup. It will be interesting to see how Mike D’Antoni adjusts his offensive scheme when his star is able to play at or close to 100 percent.
10-18-13: The Los Angeles Lakers are 2-4 through six preseason games. Xavier Henry was the leading scorer for the Lakers in their first two games, scoring 29 and 15 points, respectively. After defeating Golden State 104-95, the Lakers lost 97-88 against the Denver Nuggets the following game. They have lost the last three, but Pau Gasol was the leading scorer with 16 points in the Lakers’ most recent 115-89 loss to the Warriors. The Lakers have two preseason games left:
- Oct 22 vs Utah
- Oct 25 vs Utah
10-17-13: The Lakers have waived their 2012 draft pick, Darius Johnson-Odom.
9-5-13: The Lakers have signed free agent forward Shawne Williams. The six-year vet has played with the Pacers, Knicks Nets, and Mavericks. Details of the contract were not disclosed.
8-23-13: After losing out on re-signing Dwight Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers are a team without a clear direction for the first time in almost two decades. With Steve Nash set to turn 40 at the start of the season, Pau Gasol showing serious signs of wear and tear, and Kobe Bryant recovering from a torn Achilles, there isn’t much hope in the immediacy for Lakers fans. Luckily, going to Lakers games is about being seen! With Kobe Bryant expected back early in the season, fans will still get a chance to watch one of the all-time great Lakers perform at a high level. While they may not have the sex appeal Lakers fans are used to, the signings of Nick Young and Chris Kaman will help in a big way to stabilize the lineup.
The Los Angeles Lakers open their season at the Staples Center on Tuesday, October 29th against their in-town rivals, the Clippers. Dwight Howard will make his first return appearance with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, February 19th and will return once more on Tuesday, April 8th. The Oklahoma City Thunder will come to town on Thursday, February 13th as well as on Sunday, March 9th. The Miami Heat will make their sole appearance against the Lakers on Christmas Day.
Key Home Games:
- October 29th – Los Angeles Clippers
- December 25th – Miami Heat
- February 9th – Chicago Bulls
- February 19th – Houston Rockets
- February 23rd – Brooklyn Nets
8-20-13: During the 2013-14 season, the Lakers will wear white short-sleeve jerseys for a handful of games across the season. They will also be wearing a black alternate jersey.
8-19-13: Kobe Bryant has released a video on of him running on an Alter-G, which is a weight-bearing treadmill. According to reports, he's been walking on the treadmill for a while now, and has recently increased those workouts. Based on his current progression, Bryan expects to be back from his torn Achillies tendon well before the expected recovery time.
7-9-13: It was announced yesterday that the Lakers plan on using their amnesty clause on Metta World Peace. With the move the Lakers would save approximately $30 million in luxury tax savings.
7-8-13: The Lakers have agreed on a 1-year deal with free agent center Chris Kaman.
Lakers 2013 Draft Summary:
Round 2, Pick 18: F Ryan Kelly, Duke.
6-12-13: There are many teams that would feel accomplished after locking up a 7th seed and winning 45 games, the Lakers are not one of those teams. All in all, 2012-2013 season was a complete failure for the Lakers. Attempting to load up on talent and build a west coast super team was a huge disaster and pieces were never able to fit correctly. Injuries to Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol did not help the matter either. Coach Mike D’antoni was hired after the season had already started and he was never able to find the right mix on the floor, nor did it seem he earned the respect of his players. The shadow of Phil Jackson seemed to loom very large over the players, Mike D’antoni and the organization itself. Kobe’s season ending Achilles injury was the nail in the coffin and there is no telling as to when he will return to the court.
11-26-12: Even this early in the season it is rare to see the Lakers sitting at .500. Since the early coaching change the Lakers have gone 6-2 despite recent losses under Mike D’Antoni to the Kings and Grizzles. Lakers have been under the spotlight with the acquisition of Dwight Howard and should definitely be looking toward a long winning streak once he becomes acclimated.