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November 15, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner
As the Lakers landed at LAX sometime around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Phil Jackson took stock of his team, considered its up-and-down two-day basketball binge, and canceled the practice that was scheduled later in the day. The Lakers had spent the last couple of nights oscillating from a convincing victory over Phoenix to a humbling loss in Denver, transitioning from an effort that turned the Suns into a two-loss team to a series of gasps in mile-high air...
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November 16, 2009 | Broderick Turner
There was a video montage from Trevor Ariza's time with the Lakers, during which he helped them win the 2009 NBA championship. It finished with, "Thank You, Trevor." Then Ariza walked onto the Staples Center court Sunday night with his 19-month-old son Tajh in his arms and was greeted by former teammates Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, who presented Ariza with his championship ring. As Bryant and Fisher hugged and rubbed heads with Ariza, the Houston Rockets guard became emotional.
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November 14, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers signed Ron Artest for very specific reasons: LeBron James, Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony. They wanted a strong small forward to take on the NBA's bigger small forwards. Artest seemed like a good fit. Listed at 6 feet 7 and 260 pounds, he outweighed his predecessor, Trevor Ariza, by 50 pounds and brought a reputation as one of the league's top shut-down defenders. Anthony is listed at 230 pounds, James weighs 250 and Pierce is 235 pounds. Fast forward to Friday, and Artest's first test this season against a top veteran forward.
SPORTS
November 15, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner
As the Lakers landed at LAX sometime around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Phil Jackson took stock of his team, considered its up-and-down two-day basketball binge, and canceled the practice that was scheduled later in the day. The Lakers had spent the last couple of nights oscillating from a convincing victory over Phoenix to a humbling loss in Denver, transitioning from an effort that turned the Suns into a two-loss team to a series of gasps in mile-high air...
SPORTS
November 13, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
The smaller things in life ate away at Phil Jackson the last few years. He felt the toll of 12 seasons as an NBA power forward whenever he stood for too long. Or shifted in his seat at a movie theater. Or simply walked from the locker room to the team bus. The Lakers' coach had chronic pain in his back, hips and knees, sometimes skipping games to rest his body. But Jackson, 64, is feeling better than he has in years. He is wearing an "unloader" brace on his left knee and seeing the benefits of years of physical therapy.
SPORTS
November 16, 2009 | Broderick Turner
There was a video montage from Trevor Ariza's time with the Lakers, during which he helped them win the 2009 NBA championship. It finished with, "Thank You, Trevor." Then Ariza walked onto the Staples Center court Sunday night with his 19-month-old son Tajh in his arms and was greeted by former teammates Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, who presented Ariza with his championship ring. As Bryant and Fisher hugged and rubbed heads with Ariza, the Houston Rockets guard became emotional.
SPORTS
March 6, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
Kobe Bryant looked at a reporter and gently admonished him Thursday for acting like Stephen King. After all, the Lakers don't seem too haunted by the specter of a ton of road games coming up after tonight's home game against Minnesota. Ten of the Lakers' next 13 games will be away from Staples Center after tonight, which might make the team with the league's best road record at least mildly disquieted, no? "Why, because we're terrified of going on the road?" Bryant said, smiling.
SPORTS
April 6, 2009 | Broderick Turner
Each day, Lakers center Andrew Bynum has inched closer to playing in a regular-season game. Bynum, recovering from a torn medical collateral ligament in his right knee, missed his 31st game Sunday night, but he could come back as soon as Thursday night when the Lakers play the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center, and if he does, he probably will start.
SPORTS
March 4, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
The final phase of player movement in the NBA took place without the Lakers adding anyone else to their roster. They inquired about the availability of free-agent forward Joe Smith, but the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly agreed to terms with him Tuesday night. Smith was waived by Oklahoma City last week. "We explored it and put in our two cents' worth," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Tuesday.
SPORTS
March 29, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
Second-rate, once again. There are so few areas to criticize in a Lakers season that has trended impressively upward, but the second unit has again pumped its brakes after a couple of games of renewed vigor. The Lakers' reserves were heavily outscored by those of the New Jersey Nets, 38-12, in a tighter-than-expected 103-95 Lakers victory Friday.
SPORTS
November 14, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers signed Ron Artest for very specific reasons: LeBron James, Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony. They wanted a strong small forward to take on the NBA's bigger small forwards. Artest seemed like a good fit. Listed at 6 feet 7 and 260 pounds, he outweighed his predecessor, Trevor Ariza, by 50 pounds and brought a reputation as one of the league's top shut-down defenders. Anthony is listed at 230 pounds, James weighs 250 and Pierce is 235 pounds. Fast forward to Friday, and Artest's first test this season against a top veteran forward.
SPORTS
November 13, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
The smaller things in life ate away at Phil Jackson the last few years. He felt the toll of 12 seasons as an NBA power forward whenever he stood for too long. Or shifted in his seat at a movie theater. Or simply walked from the locker room to the team bus. The Lakers' coach had chronic pain in his back, hips and knees, sometimes skipping games to rest his body. But Jackson, 64, is feeling better than he has in years. He is wearing an "unloader" brace on his left knee and seeing the benefits of years of physical therapy.
SPORTS
June 8, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
Pau Gasol has been the overlooked star of the Lakers, the one always taken for granted, if not slapped with a reputation of being soft from time to time. He struggled mightily in the NBA Finals last season against the physically intimidating Boston Celtics but has been nothing short of strong against the Orlando Magic in the Finals a year later. He had 24 points and 10 rebounds Sunday in Game 2, yet another contribution toward the Lakers' cause. He also changed assignments numerous times throughout the game, from three-point marksman Rashard Lewis to bull-like center Dwight Howard because Andrew Bynum was limited to 16 minutes because of foul trouble.
SPORTS
May 1, 2009 | Broderick Turner
Finally, the wait is over. The Lakers, home resting after beating the Utah Jazz in five games of their first-round series, will meet the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the conference semifinals Monday night at Staples Center. Houston took care of business Thursday night at home, finishing off the Portland Trail Blazers in six games.
SPORTS
April 17, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
How many ways could "bleak" be analyzed? Quite a few, actually. It became the word of the week when Utah Coach Jerry Sloan grimly summed up the Jazz's chances against the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. "It looks pretty bleak. . . . " he said after the Lakers thumped the Jazz, 125-112, in the regular-season finale Tuesday. Not that the Lakers hailed it as the raising of the white flag.
SPORTS
April 15, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
Tex Winter is in his 63rd year of earning a basketball-related paycheck. It's probably his last. The longtime Lakers consultant and the modern-day architect of the triangle offense said he didn't expect to return next season because of health issues. Winter, 87, has been battling shingles since late 2007, making next season seem less and less likely. "I'm getting too old," he said, smiling. "At one time I thought I would [return], but I'm not sure anymore.
SPORTS
April 5, 2009 | Broderick Turner
It was another step in Andrew Bynum's recovery as he attempts to play in a game before the regular season ends. Bynum played in five-on-five competition with his Lakers teammates at practice Saturday, the first time that has happened for the center since he tore a medial collateral ligament in his right knee Jan. 31. This came on the heels of Bynum's three-on-three session at Thursday's practice and working on drills before Friday night's game.
SPORTS
April 7, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner
Phil Jackson spoke, and it lasted longer than 33 seconds. The day after the Lakers coach abruptly ended his postgame news conference, he provided reasons for why he appeared so irritated in the wake of the Lakers' 88-85 victory Sunday over the Clippers. "I was just disgruntled," Jackson said Monday. "There's nothing to say about a game like that. To rant or rave, I just didn't want to get involved with that."
SPORTS
April 8, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan
Kobe Bryant is trying to nail down a second consecutive most-valuable-player trophy, but he won't be the only one in the Lakers' franchise considered for an award. General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Phil Jackson will get some support for executive of the year and coach of the year, respectively. "We'll finish up either with the best or second-best record in the league," forward Lamar Odom said. "They did their jobs."
SPORTS
April 7, 2009 | Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner
Phil Jackson spoke, and it lasted longer than 33 seconds. The day after the Lakers coach abruptly ended his postgame news conference, he provided reasons for why he appeared so irritated in the wake of the Lakers' 88-85 victory Sunday over the Clippers. "I was just disgruntled," Jackson said Monday. "There's nothing to say about a game like that. To rant or rave, I just didn't want to get involved with that."
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