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LAKERS FYI

Lakers' Pau Gasol is concerned about hamstring injury

He misses his second straight game and says there is no date for his return.

October 31, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson keeps saying he's not concerned about Pau Gasol's hamstring injury.

But someone on the Lakers is worried.

"I'm concerned about it, definitely," Gasol said. "There's no set time to return, no set date. I just don't want it to turn into something long-term."

It's almost at that point.

Gasol was sidelined Friday against Dallas, the second regular-season game he missed after sitting out the last six exhibition games.

The Lakers continue to call him day to day because of a strained right hamstring, but it has practically become week to week.

Gasol has practiced only once since he was injured almost three weeks ago. He felt sore the next day and hasn't been back on the practice court in more than a week.

The Lakers' next game is Sunday against Atlanta, but . . .

"I don't think Sunday is the day," Gasol said.

Gasol was an All-Star last season, averaging 18.9 points and 9.6 rebounds a game.

Foul!

Tim Donaghy isn't the only one blowing the whistle on NBA referees.

Jackson called a couple of fouls on them as well, not directly accusing them of wrongdoing but saying a culture of acceptance has seeped into the game over the years.

Donaghy, who lost his job as an NBA referee and was sentenced to 15 months in prison for taking part in a gambling scandal, had a tell-all book in the works that was recently canceled, though deadspin.com obtained excerpts.

In one of the excerpts, Donaghy wrote that he and two other referees made a pre-game bet in which the first referee to make a call would have to buy dinner that night. Donaghy alleged that players were huffing and puffing in the summer league game because no fouls were called for the first several minutes, leading to end-to-end action.

"Of course I buy some of it," Jackson said of Donaghy's allegations. "We a lot of times say during the course of a game, 'Hey, they put their whistles in their pocket. They're not going to call fouls tonight.'

"That's one of the things he disclosed that I can buy."

In another excerpt, Donaghy said the NBA wanted "the big names to score big points" and that if Kobe Bryant collided with journeyman guard Raja Bell, the call would "almost always go for Kobe and against Bell."

Jackson concurred, in a general sense. "That's happened ever since [James] Naismith threw a jump ball up," he said. "That's always happened in basketball. There's nothing unusual about that or disturbing about that at all."

More rings

Not all the key parts of last season's team received their championship rings Tuesday.

Former assistant coach Kurt Rambis will receive his ring in a small pregame ceremony Dec. 11, when the Minnesota Timberwolves come to town. Rambis is the Timberwolves' head coach.

Former Lakers forward Trevor Ariza will receive his ring in a similar ceremony when his new team, Houston, plays the Lakers at Staples Center on Nov. 15.

The Lakers plan on shipping a ring to former reserve guard Sun Yue, who is no longer in the NBA. Chris Mihm and Vladimir Radmanovic, dealt by the Lakers before the trade deadline last February, will not get rings.

Bench time

A new NBA rule forbids players from standing in front of their bench during games, so the Lakers' reserves found a new way to celebrate.

They all sit with their legs crossed until the Lakers' first basket and then, in unison, they uncross the legs, tap their feet twice, and cross their legs again.

"We can't stand anymore, that's the rule, but we can always do something different, something that's ours," guard Sasha Vujacic said.

It's not quite entirely theirs. It's borrowed from a move made by baseball players in the movie "Major League."

--

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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