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Ex files: Not much out there

November 08, 2008|Mike Bresnahan | Bresnahan is a Times staff writer.

Then there are the players who won't be chasing a championship with the Lakers this season.

Call them the ex-Lakers.

As the Lakers experience a slow period in their schedule (one game in eight days), there's plenty of time to glance at other teams, including those that are home to their former players.

Brian Cook is complaining about his time in Orlando, Javaris Crittenton is riding pine in Memphis, and Ronny Turiaf and Kwame Brown are off to slow starts with their new teams.

Marc Gasol, on the other hand, is enjoying a promising start to his rookie season in Memphis, even if he is only a former Lakers draft pick.

Cook, who was traded last November for Trevor Ariza, has been buried at the end of Orlando's bench, though he finally lashed out about a lack of playing time that had been attributed to showing up to camp out of shape.

"I'm sick and tired of all of their excuses and reasons," he told reporters in Orlando. "But at this point I'm just trying to keep a smile on my face and be ready when they call on me."

Crittenton, in his first full season with Memphis after being dealt by the Lakers in the Pau Gasol trade, has been buried on the depth chart behind point guards Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry. He sat out the Grizzlies' first five games.

Turiaf, who signed a four-year, $17-million contract with Golden State during the off-season, has endured a quiet start as the Warriors' ninth-leading scorer (three points a game) through five games.

Brown's numbers weren't much better in his first season with Detroit after signing a two-year, $8-million free-agent contract. Brown was averaging 3.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and only 11.3 minutes through four games.

Then there's the exception to the above. Marc Gasol, a second-round draft pick of the Lakers in 2007, is playing major minutes in Memphis after his rights were acquired by the Grizzlies in the trade for his brother.

Gasol never signed with the Lakers before he was traded, though he has shown glimpses of future success in his first NBA season, including a 27-point, 16-rebound effort against Golden State.

"I'm happy for him," Pau Gasol said recently. "He's worked hard to get where he's at."

Marc Gasol is heavier and more physical than his brother, though he lacks outside touch and is prone to foul trouble.

Hurry up and wait

The Lakers are experiencing three days between games for the second time this week, but when they return to action, their schedule is packed.

They play host to Houston on Sunday, then have back-to-back games at Dallas and New Orleans before returning home to face Detroit next Friday.

"That's our message for the week, is we can either be good or we can be great," Kobe Bryant said. "This is a time that we really use to get better to make another step forward."


Andrew Bynum tied a career-high with 17 rebounds against the Clippers, prompting Coach Phil Jackson to say he had some "big man-sized rebounds in that contest." . . . Joe Crawford and Brandon Heath, who were waived by the Lakers last month, will be at training camp with the D-Fenders, the Lakers' Development League affiliate.


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