Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers News

Pau Gasol 'unlikely' to return this season

April, 9, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- After missing seven of the last eight games because of symptoms stemming from a bout of vertigo, Lakers forward Pau Gasol conceded that his season may be over.

[+] EnlargePau Gasol
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty ImagesPau Gasol, who continues to battle a recent case of vertigo, might already have played his last game for the Lakers.
"It's unlikely," Gasol told ESPNLosAngeles.com following the Lakers' 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday when asked if he would play in any of the four remaining games this season. "But, I want to."

Gasol said he was still undergoing therapy, including an exercise where he rapidly circles his neck to intentionally make himself dizzy to train his body to be able to return to a stable state. He is being re-evaluated on a daily basis by the team’s medical personnel.

Two of the four final games are at home -- Friday against the Golden State Warriors and Sunday against Gasol's brother Marc and the Memphis Grizzlies. Even if he does not suit up, the Staples Center crowd is sure to give Pau Gasol a warm ovation on Sunday to thank the veteran big man for his contributions to three straight NBA Finals runs and two championships after being acquired at the trade deadline in 2008.

If Gasol is unable to play before the season ends, he could have very well played his last game in a Lakers uniform. The 33-year-old is set to become a free agent this summer and made it clear that his top priority is signing with a team capable of competing for a championship. The Lakers (25-53) are in the midst of the worst season in franchise history and the process of rebuilding, with 11 of their 15 players (including Gasol) on expiring contracts.

Gasol has averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks in 60 games played this season.

Jordan Farmar on brink of return

March, 27, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
MILWAUKEE -- In a rare instance this season of an injury going better than the Los Angeles Lakers expected, guard Jordan Farmar says he plans to have his strained right groin re-evaluated this weekend when the team returns to L.A. The seven-year veteran could be back in the lineup next week if cleared.

Farmar said he suffered the injury at practice March 17 when he warmed up, sat down and signed autographs "for an hour" as part of a team requirement, then played again after his groin had tightened up. He was originally projected to miss a minimum of two weeks.

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni even hinted Farmar could miss the rest of the regular season and lamented how the 27-year old's return to the franchise that drafted him into the league was derailed by persistent injuries. Thursday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks marked the 35th game Farmar has sat out this season. He has played in 36.

But the L.A. native and UCLA product made the most of those appearances. Farmar is averaging career highs in points (10.4) and 3-point percentage (45.7), while also putting up 4.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds in only 21.9 minutes. His 3-point accuracy is third best in the league this season, behind only Atlanta's Kyle Korver (48.6 percent) and Memphis' Mike Miller (46.2 percent).

"The best thing he does, he can get a shot any time he wants it and he can shoot it," D'Antoni said. "That's his best part of his game and the rest of it is coming on. I thought he defended well. He's smart and there's no reason why he's not a good guard in this league."

Farmar is one of 11 players on the Lakers' 15-man roster set to become a free agent this summer (that number grows to 12 if Nick Young chooses to opt out). He sacrificed more than $3 million of guaranteed money with his team in Turkey, Anadolu Efes, to rejoin the Lakers, whom he left as a free agent in the summer of 2010.

"Obviously, he wants to play in the NBA," D'Antoni said. "I've been the other way and I understand what he's going through. When you can play at home and in the NBA and still make some nice little change, I can understand that too. Sometimes, there's things in life more important than money."

Chris Kaman lets his frustrations out

March, 25, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- On Tuesday when the Los Angeles Lakers faced the New York Knicks, Chris Kaman started in place of Pau Gasol, who was still suffering lingering effects from his bout with vertigo.

While Gasol's symptoms include dizziness and nausea, it was Kaman who made it sound as if he has felt uneasy all season.

[+] EnlargeChris Kaman
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY SportsChris Kaman got some playing time Tuesday night, but before then he had played a total of four minutes in the previous 12 games.
"It's been a tough year for everybody," Kaman said before the game. "It's been frustrating for everybody, including the management, down to the players to the guys who are doing the laundry. It's not been easy for anybody."

While the 11-year veteran tried to bite his tongue, saying "it doesn't get anybody anywhere" to complain to the media, he couldn't help but reveal that he hasn't spoken to Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni in three weeks.

In that time, he collected 10 straight DNPs and played a grand total of four minutes in 12 games.

Does the former All-Star regret his decision to sign with the Lakers last summer?

"My bad on my part not doing due diligence enough to look into a situation better and style of play and that kind of thing," Kaman said.

Kaman toed the line, but kept things professional, allowing that while D'Antoni's system might not be the best fit for him, it still has its merits.

"I won't knock the style of play, because I think it's worked for Coach in the past and he's had some teams with great success [to show] for it," Kaman said. "I just think sometimes when you have certain players that can really play the game of basketball, you cater to their style. But I don't think that's always the case. But also as the head coach, that's a decision you make based on the tools you've been given and it's his job to do the best he can with it.

"I can just keep beating it up and beating it up, but I think everybody at this point is frustrated and kind of just trying to finish strong the best way we can and see where it leads us."

Kaman finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes in the Lakers' 127-96 rout of the Knicks.

D'Antoni, who predicted before the game that Kaman would play well, said afterward that just because the big man hadn't been playing in games, doesn't mean he hadn't been playing basketball at all.

"He plays everyday, but he doesn't play in a game," D'Antoni said. "You can practice."

Kaman took exception to D'Antoni's logic.

"As of lately, we haven't had a lot of practices just because we haven't had a lot of days with time in between the games enough to practice," Kaman said, adding that when the Lakers have practiced, it's usually been only halfcourt 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 because of all the team's injuries.

While Kaman seems to have a point about the lack of practice time available, who knows if going to a more post-oriented game plan would have really mattered this season. With Kobe Bryant playing only six games, Steve Nash playing only 11 and a slew of players spending time on the inactive list, the season seemed almost "star-crossed," as D'Antoni described it Tuesday.

"This year has been tough with injuries," Kaman said. "There's been so many guys that have gone down that no one ever thought it would go the way it went. I think all of you guys would have bet your entire paychecks for the year if you would have said that Xavier Henry was going to play point guard at some point and time this season, not that he's not any good, just the fact that he's like a 2-3 in this league and never a point. I would have bet my paycheck, I think. Even though you don't bet on basketball."

You also probably wouldn't have bet that the answer to the question of which Lakers player had the most made field goals in a single game this season with 13 is Kaman, either.

"It's been an interesting season with injuries and positioning and the lineups," Kaman said. "It's been kind of crazy."

The insanity will end soon.

Gasol anticipating free agency

February, 20, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- After making it through a third straight trade deadline remaining a member of the Los Angeles Lakers when it appeared he might have to be packing his bags, Pau Gasol is looking forward to controlling his destiny this summer.

"It would be nice to be in that position," Gasol said Thursday. "At least for a few days. And then I'll be back in somebody else's hands."

[+] EnlargePau Gasol
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesPau Gasol has said his desire was to remain with the Lakers, but that doesn't guarantee he'll re-sign with the team if he reaches free agency this summer.
For the first time in Gasol's 13-year career, the big man will become an unrestricted free agent when the market opens July 1. While Gasol said he "wanted" and "preferred" to finish the 2013-14 season with the Lakers, that doesn't mean he will feel the same way about the franchise beyond that.

"No grudges. No hard feelings," Gasol said of hearing his name mentioned in rumors right up until Thursday's noon PT deadline passed. "It is what it is. I'm just glad there are a lot of teams interested in me. That's a good sign. When a lot of teams knock on the door and ask for you, that means you're valuable."

Gasol, whose $19.3 million contract expires at the end of the season, said all the hubbub around him leading up to the trade deadline is an indication there will be suitors knocking on his door when free agency begins after the season.

"I'm pretty confident there will be," Gasol said.

L.A. engaged in talks with the Phoenix Suns about trading Gasol for Emeka Okafor's expiring contract but could not get the Suns to include a future first-round draft pick in the deal. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team was pursuing trades at the deadline only that made basketball sense, not arrangements based on dollars and cents.

"Quite frankly, we had an opportunity to go below the [luxury] tax threshold, but there were no basketball components," Kupchak said without offering specifics if that opportunity would have involved Gasol or other players such as Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman, who were also being shopped. "That's unacceptable with this organization. I think the expression would be a salary dump. That's not what this organization will do. If we could've gotten picks or players we feel good about going forward, then we would've done that. But we did have opportunities to go below the threshold and we wouldn't do it."

The Lakers, who extended Kobe Bryant on a two-year, $48.5 million deal earlier this season months before his contract was to expire, have not had any talks thus far with Gasol about extending him.

(Read full post)

Lakers mulling what to do with Pau

February, 19, 2014
Shelburne By Ramona Shelburne
The Los Angeles Lakers have been weighing the benefits of holding on to the perpetually dangling Pau Gasol for the rest of the season to maintain his Bird rights this summer, against trading him before Thursday's trade deadline, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Lakers have been one of the more active teams in advance of Thursday's deadline as they gauge the market for Gasol and veterans such as Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman and Steve Blake. With their record at 18-35 heading into Wednesday's game against the Houston Rockets, it makes little sense to pay luxury taxes and be in line to pay the more punitive repeater taxes in the future.

However, sources said the Lakers have remained resolute in every trade discussion not to trade Gasol without acquiring an asset in return, and that there is a growing sentiment within the organization that it could be more valuable to hold on to Gasol and his Bird rights as he becomes a free agent and the organization has substantial room under the salary cap for the first time in years.

The Lakers have stayed in contact with the two teams who had earlier showed interest in the four-time All-Star -- the Phoenix Suns and the Cleveland Cavaliers -- but sources said none of those discussions has made substantial progress.

On Tuesday, CBS Sports reported the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks were trying to assemble trade offers for 2015 prospective free agent Kevin Love, but thus far the Minnesota Timberwolves have given no indication they'd consider any such deal before the deadline.

The Lakers did inquire about Minnesota's interest in teaming Gasol with his Spanish countryman Ricky Rubio recently, according to a source, but those talks did not progress.

The Charlotte Observer reported the Charlotte Bobcats have been in contact with the Lakers about Gasol as they try to make a playoff push this spring.

The Suns had backed away from talks with the Lakers earlier this month when the 33-year-old suffered an injured groin that has kept him out for the past six games. Gasol had averaged 20.8 points and 11.9 rebounds in January before the injury. He practiced Tuesday and is listed as questionable for Wednesday's game.

The original construction of the talks between the Lakers and Phoenix involved injured center Emeka Okafor, who is owed $14.5 million in salary this season. While that falls well shy of Gasol's $19.3 million, it is allowable because the Suns are $5.6 million under the salary cap. A trade for Okafor's expiring deal would save the Lakers $4.8 million, but still leave them approximately $3 million over the luxury tax threshold.

The Lakers have concurrently had talks about Kaman, Hill, Blake and several other players. Sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk that Brooklyn and the Lakers have had trade discussions about Hill. The Nets have a $5.25 million Disabled Player Exception through March 10 that they were granted for losing Brook Lopez for rest of the season in December. But the Nets -- already possessing a payroll that will cost roughly $190 million this season -- would take an additional luxury tax hit of more than $15 million if they used it to absorb Hill's salary. The Hill discussions were first reported by Yahoo Sports.

Nash still touting how good he feels

February, 9, 2014
Shelburne By Ramona Shelburne
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Steve Nash said Saturday he felt as good physically as he has in two seasons. That would be the two seasons he has spent in Los Angeles, since coming over as a free agent in the summer of 2012.

"There were times last year where I think I started to play pretty well," Nash said. "But as far as moving, this is about as good as I've felt since I broke my leg [in the second game of the 2012-13 season]."

Nash returned to the Los Angeles Lakers last week and has averaged 13 points and seven assists in the two games he played, including a game-high 19 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on his 40th birthday on Friday.

Nash said he was "a little stiff" Saturday after a six-hour flight home from the East Coast late Friday night, but expected to be ready for the Lakers game Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Bulls.

"With all the injuries, it's hard to feel really free out there. But the last two games, I've felt about as free as I have the last few years," Nash said. "With this injury I'm never going to count my chickens. I'm going to be diligent and be thankful for every minute I get out there."

Nash said all the work he has done with his personal trainer has taken him to a level he feels he can sustain a for a while, but admitted that his situation is "tenuous" as he could start "compensating again," so "it's something I have to work on every day."

Kaman on potential trade: 'I don't care'

February, 7, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
PHILADELPHIA --– After receiving consistent playing time in all three games of the Los Angeles Lakers' 2-1 trip, Chris Kaman admitted that it was the first time he had fun playing basketball in a long time.

But he also admitted that if he doesn't make it past the upcoming Feb. 20 trade deadline and finish out the season as a Laker, it won't faze him.

[+] EnlargeChris Kaman
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezChris Kaman is an 11-year NBA veteran and says he understands the league is a business, allowing him to be prepared for most scenarios.
"I don't care, I honestly don't care," Kaman said when asked if he has thought about the possibility of the Lakers trading him. "It's not something that I want to do, but it's not going to make me go to sleep at night and have to stay awake all night tossing and turning thinking about it. I don't care. If they want to trade somebody, trade me, trade the next guy, it don't bother me. It's part of the business. The sooner that you realize it's a part of the business, the better off you're going to be. Just let it roll and let it happen. I'm not going to try to stop anything."

Kaman was signed in the offseason to a one-year, $3.2 million deal but has played sparingly under coach Mike D'Antoni. The coach prefers to play with only one post player on the court at any given time, limiting the opportunity for a back-to-the-basket center like Kaman, especially when Pau Gasol is healthy. Gasol remained in L.A. during the trip to rehab his injured groin.

Even with Friday's 112-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers giving L.A. a two-game winning streak, the Lakers are still just 18-32 overall and 11 games out of a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

Should management decide that making a postseason push is not feasible, Kaman could certainly be shopped for a future draft pick as the team would certainly like to shed the approximately $8 million in salary it would need to drop to get under the luxury tax.

(Read full post)

Kupchak reflects on Stern's tenure

January, 30, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers fans may never forgive David Stern for vetoing the December 2011 trade that would have put Chris Paul in purple and gold. But as the final days of Stern's 30-year run as NBA commissioner count down, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak made it clear how much Stern has meant to the Lakers over the years.

"He's done so much more good for this organization and in this city than people could ever measure, in the long run," Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles.com in a sit-down interview Thursday, two days before Stern's tenure is set to come to a close Feb. 1, when Adam Silver will officially assume his position as league commissioner. "Anything that's taken place that can be conceived or be construed as not good will be in the rearview mirror and something good is going to happen down the road. And that's how Dr. [Jerry] Buss looked at it."

[+] EnlargeDavid Stern
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty ImagesMitch Kupchak had nothing but good things to say about NBA commissioner David Stern, above. Stern's 30-year tenure comes to an end Saturday.
Buss, who died last February, purchased the Lakers for $67.5 million in 1979, five years before Stern became commissioner. Today, after benefiting from the growth of the league under Stern's watch, the Lakers are worth $1 billion, according to a recent valuation by Forbes.

Of course, those benefits over time mean little to Lakers fans who see Paul suiting up for their city cohabitants in the Los Angeles Clippers. Stern, citing "basketball reasons," nixed a three-team deal at the outset of the lockout-shortened 2010-11 season that would have landed Paul with the Lakers. Stern had final say because the NBA had taken temporary ownership of Paul's former franchise in New Orleans at the time. A week later, the Clippers put together a trade to acquire the All-Star point guard.

"It was kind of like a perfect storm," Kupchak recalled. "The league owned the team, very unusual circumstances, and quickly -- from an organizational point of view -- we just moved on. And to this date, I don't really catch myself looking back and saying, 'What if?'

"You don't have time in this business to do that. That leads nowhere. But it was a unique situation and I don't think it will ever happen again -- when the stars are lined up just like that where something like that can happen again. But quickly, at least from our point of view, and I know from Dr. Buss' point of view, we just moved on as quickly as possible."

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D'Antoni shrugs off Magic Johnson's latest criticism

January, 28, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Magic Johnson again criticized the Los Angeles Lakers for hiring coach Mike D'Antoni.

"We made some critical mistakes," Johnson said to Leno on Monday. "Coach D'Antoni, I like him ... when he was with Phoenix."

Johnson's line brought laughter and applause from Leno's L.A.-based studio audience.

"Because we're the Lakers, we got to have a championship coach," Johnson said. "We made a critical mistake in not bringing Phil Jackson back. That was a critical mistake."

Beyond D'Antoni never winning a ring, or making it to the Finals, in 12 seasons as head coach with Denver, Phoenix, New York and Los Angeles, Johnson said he had an issue with D'Antoni's approach to defense.

"I can't stand to watch the Lakers play because the same play happens every single time on the Lakers: pick-and-roll and the guard goes all the way in for a layup. We're 40-something games into the season. The teams run the same play, Jay, on us. We haven't stopped it yet. Uh . . . duh!"

D'Antoni was asked about Johnson's comments following shootaround Tuesday morning in preparation for his team's game Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers.

"No," D'Antoni said when asked if he had any thoughts about Johnson's statement. "Next subject"

D'Antoni was asked about Johnson's comments again during Tuesday's pregame media session and remained tight-lipped.

"I don't have anything to say," D'Antoni said. "There's no use addressing it."

A reporter followed up by asking if the coach found Johnson's stance "hurtful" in any way.

"Oh yeah," D'Antoni said. "It doesn't help anything, but that's not up to me to say."

Johnson, who went 5-11 in 16 games as Lakers head coach during the 1993-94 season, made similar comments in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, telling the newspaper D'Antoni's hiring was, "a wrong decision."

D'Antoni, who said he has not spoken to Johnson in person since joining the Lakers, responded to the previous barb from Johnson when the team was in Boston during its recent seven-game "Grammy" road trip.

"Normally I don't hear it until [the media] brings it up," D'Antoni said. "There's voices everywhere, and it's a hard job to do no matter what team you're with. You do the best you can and you feel like every day is a new battle, and everybody has their opinion. There's a saying about that . . . So, that's the way it is. You go on and do your job."

L.A. has allowed its opponent to score 100 points or more in each of the last 12 games (going 2-10 in that stretch) and ranks 26th in the league in defensive efficiency overall, allowing 106.2 points per 100 possessions.

Part of the Lakers' struggles on that end has been because of injuries. Once L.A. starts getting players like Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Xavier Henry, Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar back in the lineup, will they be capable of improving on defense?

"Yeah, yeah," D'Antoni said, matter of fact. "Yup."

Lakers sign guard Manny Harris

January, 16, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
The Los Angeles Lakers signed L.A. D-Fenders guard Manny Harris to a 10-day contract, general manager Mitch Kupchak announced Thursday.

Harris was expected to join the team in Boston before its game against the Celtics on Friday.

Harris is a combo guard who is the D-League's reigning player of the week averaging 35 points on 57.4 percent shooting from the field in three games. He will help the Lakers' depleted backcourt, which will be even thinner after Nick Young was suspended for one game for his altercation with Phoenix's Goran Dragic in Wednesday game.

Steve Blake's elbow progressing

January, 15, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
PHOENIX -- The Los Angeles Lakers got a bit of incremental good news on the injury front Wednesday. And any time a team has only nine healthy bodies in the lineup, it will take whatever good news it can get, no matter how minuscule.

Steve Blake, sidelined since Dec. 10 because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, has been cleared to resume limited basketball activity with his right arm.

Blake, who underwent an ultrasound exam Monday in Los Angeles that showed improvement in the tear, took to the court before the Lakers played the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday and was able to participate in 1-on-1 drills that included dribbling and finishing shots with his right hand around the rim.

Blake said he could practice form shooting with his right hand close to the basket but has yet to resume shooting jump shots outside of the lane.

"There is still pain," Blake said, before clarifying that the discomfort is stemming from having to keep his right arm in a rigid, 90-degree position for more than a month now. The tear is healing, but the muscles around the elbow have atrophied.

The 11-year veteran wore a heavy protective brace on his right arm virtually non stop since suffering the injury but has graduated to a softer, more mobile brace as he continues to ramp up his on-court workouts.

Blake said he would be re-evaluated when the team returns to Los Angeles on Jan. 27 following its seven-game Grammy trip but was hesitant to circle any potential return date.

"I don't want to jinx it," Blake said, knowing full well that he is one of five players along with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry, that is currently injured after playing point guard for the Lakers this season.

Henry still at least a week away

January, 14, 2014
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- Xavier Henry will be sidelined at least another week because of a bone bruise in his right knee, the Los Angeles Lakers announced after Henry was examined by Dr. Stephen Lombardo before Tuesday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Henry will travel on the Lakers' seven-game "Grammy" trip with the team, beginning Wednesday in Phoenix, and will be re-evaluated Monday in Chicago or Tuesday in Miami, according to a team spokesman.

Henry underwent an on-court workout full of basketball-related activities Sunday for the first time since suffering the injury in the first quarter of the Lakers' eventual 111-104 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 29.

However, the fourth-year veteran experienced soreness after Sunday's practice and downgraded his regimen back to non-weight-bearing workouts.

Henry is also dealing with an abnormality of the lateral meniscus in his right knee. Henry alluded to the abnormality when asked if he was feeling any pain after going through his practice session Sunday.

"Pain, no," Henry said. "But there's still some issues that only get better with time. So, I think I'm close to being back and I'm not sure how long [it will take], but it's feeling better."

Henry, 22, is averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists on the season and would resume his role as the team's back-up point guard whenever he is cleared to play.

Farmar hoping for quick return

December, 13, 2013
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
OKLAHOMA CITY -- It was a bit of an incongruent scene at the Los Angeles Lakers practice facility Thursday as coach Mike D'Antoni lamented his team's lack of any healthy point guards while Jordan Farmar simultaneously shot swish after swish on the court behind him.

While Steve Blake (elbow) will be out at least six weeks and Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) doesn't even have a timetable of when he could get back to game action, Farmar's return could be just around the corner.

"I think, I hope, I come back way ahead of schedule," Farmar told ESPNLosAngeles.com after shootaround in Oklahoma City on Friday.

Farmar has missed the Lakers' last three games after suffering a tear in his left hamstring against the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 1. The 27-year-old guard received platelet rich plasma therapy on the tear and was initially expected to be out approximately four weeks, according to the team.

Farmar had his hamstring re-evaluated this week and the ultrasound showed "healing and improvement" according to the Lakers but still had "a ways to go." Farmar said Friday that he does not feel the tear at all any more when he goes through his rehabilitation exercises, but he has yet to push it through sprinting or other basketball activities at full speed.

Could he play during the Lakers road trip which includes four games in five nights through Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Atlanta and Memphis?

"I don't think they'll let me," Farmar said, adding that the team has to be smart and consider his health for the long term. "There's still 60 games left to the season, there's a lot of basketball to be played."

Farmar will be re-evaluated when the Lakers return to L.A. next week and if he is cleared to play, could be back in the lineup on Dec. 20 when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves, essentially missing three weeks (and seven games) with the injury instead of four weeks (and 12 games).

Farmar, who left more than $3 million on the table in Turkey to return to Los Angeles, is averaging 9.2 points and 4.4 assists on the season for the Lakers, improved numbers from the 7.2 points and 1.5 assists he averaged in his last season in L.A. in 2009-10.

Nash may not attend upcoming trip

December, 10, 2013
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers' depleted point-guard situation does not figure to get any better in the immediate future.

Steve Nash, sidelined for the Lakers' last 12 games because of nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings, may not travel with the team on its upcoming trip through Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Atlanta and Memphis, according to coach Mike D'Antoni.

"I don't know for sure," D'Antoni said before the Lakers played the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. "We're still in the process of seeing how he feels."

Nash was at Staples Center for the game but made a brisk trip through the locker room without discussing his health before tipoff on his way to go work out, which D'Antoni says is pretty much all the 39-year old does these days.

"He's still trying to get there," D'Antoni said. "He's doing everything possible. He works out 85 times a day and he'll get back as soon as he can."

Not that Nash would play all that much on the trip if he made his return anyway. D'Antoni's policy to save wear and tear on the 18-year veteran has been to only play him on one night out of two when the Lakers play a back-to-back. L.A.'s four games on the trip come on two back-to-backs.

Nash is averaging 6.7 points and 4.8 assists while shooting 26.1 percent from the field in six games this season.

The Lakers' other ailing point guard, Jordan Farmar, will join L.A. on the road but still has "a ways to go" before he is able to play, according to a Lakers spokesman.

Farmar has missed the Lakers last three games after suffering a tear in his left hamstring against the Portland Trail Blazers. Farmar visited Dr. Luga Podesta on Monday to receive an ultrasound on his hamstring, which showed "healing and improvement," according to the team.

While Nash's plans are yet to be determined, Farmar will travel with the team so he can continue to rehabilitate his hamstring with treatment from the Lakers' training staff.

Farmar is averaging 9.2 points and 4.4 assists on the season for the Lakers, improved numbers from the 7.2 points and 1.5 assists he averaged in his last season in L.A. in 2009-10.

D'Antoni talks comeback dates for Nash, Bryant

December, 1, 2013
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- Sunday marked the 10th straight game that Steve Nash missed because of nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings, but Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said he expected to have him back when the team returns to practice Tuesday after an off day.

Nash spent last week in Vancouver, British Columbia, working out with his longtime personal trainer, Rick Celebrini, while the Lakers were on a three-game trip through Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit.

"I think he made some improvements, but we'll see," D'Antoni said of Nash.

Nash, 39, is averaging 6.7 points and 4.8 assists this season while shooting 26.1 percent from the field. L.A. went 6-3 in its first nine games since Nash went out, thanks in large part to Steve Blake (9.8 points and 7.6 assists per game) and Jordan Farmar (9.7 and 4.6).

"They're playing great and I thought they would, as long as they have enough time and space," D'Antoni said before Sunday's game. "They were playing well with Steve too, so it's not crazy that they're doing well."

Before Farmar left Sunday's game because of a moderate left hamstring strain, ending his night early, D'Antoni was asked about the possibility of Nash coming off the bench when he is ready to return to game action.

"We'll see," D'Antoni said. "We haven't got there yet."

Similarly, D'Antoni said he had yet to discuss the Lakers' next game on the road Friday against the Sacramento Kings with Kobe Bryant as to whether that will be the date Bryant makes his long-awaited return to the court followed Achilles surgery in April.

Like Nash, D'Antoni expects Bryant to be a part of the team's practices Tuesday through Thursday leading up to the Kings game.

"Three days of practice, then we'll evaluate it," D'Antoni said. "It might happen, it might not. The only way we'll be able to evaluate it is let these three days go by and check it out. I have no idea how he'll respond to practice -- if he has to back off, if he can turn it up, if he's ready. After those three days we'll decide and it will either be or not be. But, I don't have the slightest clue whether it's Friday or not. No clue whatsoever."



Kobe Bryant
22.3 5.6 1.3 34.5
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.0
AssistsK. Bryant 5.6
StealsR. Price 1.6
BlocksE. Davis 1.3