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Lakers' week in review

September 30, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Kobe Bryant talks to reporters during the Lakers' media day at the team's training facility in El Segundo.
Kobe Bryant talks to reporters during the Lakers' media day at the… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

The Lakers opened training camp in preparation for the 2013-14 season.

Though Pau Gasol is generally healthy, after an offseason procedure to heal his knees, he'll be brought along slowly during training camp, team officials said. A doctor's examination showed improvement for Gasol, who struggled last season with tendinosis.

Kobe Bryant remains sidelined as he works his way back from Achilles surgery. The Lakers may turn to point guards Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar to help fill in for Bryant at shooting guard.

Health is the biggest question for the Lakers this season but defense isn't far behind. The team hopes to rely on youth and athleticism to help improve on that county.

The timing on Bryant's return is still up in the air but General Manager Mitch Kupchak said he expects the superstar back in full at some point this season. Kupchak has filled out the team's roster, searching for gems among other teams' discards.

Bryant said the focus is cutting down recovery time so that he can get to a daily schedule of normal basketball workouts.

The Lakers need to beat out seven teams in the Western Conference. Going team by team (a series of 14), so far the Lakers look to be better than the Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans but not as good as the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder or Clippers.

Lakers owner/executive Jeanie Buss said she broke down after she learned Mike D'Antoni was hired as coach over Phil Jackson.

Buss sent a message to season-ticket holders in what the team hopes will be a strong year.

Her youngest brother, Jesse Buss, serves as the team's scouting coordinator and part-owner. The Lakers recently added two hires to their public relations department.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet kicked off its new season of "Backstage: Lakers."

Bryant was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 100 people to follow on Twitter.

The Lakers invited three additional players to camp: Eric Boateng, Darius Johnson-Odom and Dan Gadzuric.

Former Laker Shaquille O'Neal became a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings.

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

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