It may be the dog days of the NBA offseason, but there's still plenty of things to monitor.
First of all, Laker fans can still get their hoops fix by watching the 2012 London Olympics. Among the notable subplots: Kobe Bryant has played an elder statesman role with Team USA where he's providing leadership, deferring teammates and playing defense. Pau Gasol remains Spain's No. 1 option, became the country's flag bearer and hopes he can rectify his native country's gold-medal match loss to Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Team USA easily handled France to open play, winning 98-71, and things should get even easier when they play Tunisia (Tuesday, Nigeria (Thursday) and Lithuania (Saturday) this week.