Finally some good news for the Lakers in regards to a hamstring and Pau Gasol.
"He worked pain-free today," Coach Phil Jackson said Wednesday. "So that's nice to know."
It wasn't an on-court workout, and a basketball wasn't involved, but the Lakers' forward-center wasn't sore after doing abdominal and other strengthening exercises with trainers.
Gasol sat out his second consecutive game because of a strained left hamstring and said he won't play Friday at Portland.
He's back . . . maybe
Lamar Odom broke free of a lengthy slump by getting close to a triple-double Tuesday against Houston, but Jackson cut off a reporter's question about it.
"Don't start predicting things," he said. "That's not good."
In other words, one game does not a trend make.
On the other hand, Odom had nine points, 16 rebounds and five assists Wednesday against the Clippers.
"Lamar's not one person that we always say, 'Well you can pencil in 15 or 20 points when Lamar's out there,' " Jackson said before the game. "That's not something you do with Lamar."
Then he paused as he watched Odom enter the locker room 20 minutes late.
"You pencil in Lamar coming late to the arena or you can pencil in the fact he's going to get 12 to 15 rebounds on the night and five to 10 assists, those things," Jackson said.
Jackson said he probably wouldn't fine Odom.
Jackson's contract doesn't extend past this season, but he definitely won't be a front-office type if he doesn't come back to coach the Lakers.
"I'm just thankful I've never had to do that," he said. "No interest. I don't want to deal with agents. I don't want to have to lie. You have to do a little bit of negotiating with truth a lot of times in that situation."
On the day Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was suspended indefinitely after admitting he brought a gun into the locker room, Jackson said the NBA had a battle on its hands. "We've had someone come in the last couple of years to talk to our players specifically about guns, ownership of guns and their place in society. We feel like it's never enough because you get new people, you get new situations, you get players that have issues that may evolve in which they feel unguarded or unprotected. I think there's a real challenging level for our league to address this head on. Society too." . . . Former Lakers guard Coby Karl was waived Wednesday by the Cleveland Cavaliers.