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Kobe Bryant takes note of how low Lakers are 'ranked' in West

August 14, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Kobe Bryant has taken notice of exactly where the Lakers are being ranked in the Western Conference, at least in a preseason survey by ESPN.com.

Compiling the opinion of 215 contributors, ESPN ranked the Lakers after 11 teams including the New Orleans Pelicans (11th), Dallas Mavericks (9th) and Minnesota Timberwolves (8th).

The Oklahoma City Thunder project to finish first in the conference with a 58-24 record, followed by the Clippers with 57 wins. The website next lists the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers and Pelicans.

The Lakers near the season with uncertainty given Bryant's Achilles injury. After surgery in April, it's unclear when he'll be ready to play and at what level. Pau Gasol and Steve Nash have also spent most of the summer recovering from injuries that plagued last year's 45-win season.

Bryant recently returned from a trip to China and the Philippines.

The Lakers are expected to get a medical update on Bryant at the end of month, but he has expressed optimism recently, saying he had "shattered" the recovery timetable.

The all-star guard was originally projected to be sidelined for six to nine months.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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