Los Angeles Lakers: knee

With the New York media in town, Kobe Bryant made a rare pregame appearance before the media Thursday night, covering a fair amount of ground over six-plus minutes. Among the highlights:
  • Bryant again showed support for Mike Brown. "We all want to win for him, because you see how hard he's working."
  • On whether it's too early to say if this team can or can't win a title: "It's hard to tell. We've got to wait until we get everybody back, and then see what that looks like. I think Pau will feel like he has more space to operate, because he won't have to deal with guys that outweigh him by a great deal. I think Bynum will free up a lot for him."
  • Is he worried about it? "Not really."
  • He called his knee "As close to 100 percent as it's going to get... I'm 95 percent better. Just not going to say 100."
  • He talked about steering Yankees star Alex Rodriguez towards same knee therapy Bryant underwent last summer. Is he happy A-Rod decided to do it? "As a Yankee fan, hell yeah. Absolutely."
  • On using more cutting edge therapies: "[You do it] if it makes sense. You can't just try something just to try it. It has to make sense. It has to be something that you can back with research and study and things like that."
  • On learning about the option: "It's my job to know these things... You have people that you pay to know these things, that you keep around you to know these things. You sit them all down, talk to them, listen to their opinion, listen to the facts, the research, and then you make a decision."

Practice report: Details, conditioning, and trade rumors (VIDEO)

December, 17, 2011
12/17/11
9:16
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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And on Saturday, the Lakers rested.

After Friday's high-energy Galen Center scrimmage, Mike Brown decided his guys needed a day spent largely recuperating. Even as someone admittedly big on practice followed by even more practice, there are limits, especially during this compressed training camp.

"I gotta be careful utilizing two-a-days, because they might learn a lot, but I also could end up breaking them down in a short amount of time," said Brown. "They're elite humans, but there is a point to where enough is enough and their bodies need rest."

Thus, they watched a lot of scrimmage video, followed by some light workouts by most players. Brown liked a lot of what he saw during the scrimmage, singling out the performances of Devin Ebanks and Matt Barnes, and the way big men ran the floor. However, being the serious stickler he is, predictably there were areas where he wasn't satisfied. During the film session, poor transition defense was singled out, and the coach sounded only moderately pleased with pick and roll coverage. Bad possessions were rewound a few times to illustrate fully where the problems lie. And for Sunday, Brown promised at least one transition D drill, and the usual meticulous pursuit of perfection.

Still, all things considered, he's actually happy with what he's seen after barely more than a week of training camp.

"For where we are now, after six, seven days, I feel pretty good about where we are, knowing that this thing is coming up relatively quick."

(Read full post)

The Forum: Kobe Bryant's knee

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
6:38
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Kobe Bryant's health is always a concern to Laker fans, whether you're talking his finger, ankle, back, neck, or penchant for catching the flu. There's also his knee, which he claims is now almost "bone-on-bone" due to deteriorated cartilage. This offseason, The Mamba traveled to Germany for platelet-rich plasma therapy, a relatively new procedure still garnering a divided medical community opinion.

The early returns have been positive, but how will the rigors of a compressed season, plus his pledge to practice regularly, affect Bryant's knee?

For specialized insight, we brought in Dr. Robert Klapper, chief of Orthopedics at Cedar Sinai Medical Group and co-host of The Weekend Warrior on 710 ESPN. He, in turn, brought props. Fun!!!

Matt Barnes on Dwight-to-L.A., his health and the upcoming season (Video)

December, 2, 2011
12/02/11
7:16
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Never accuse Matt Barnes of being afraid to churn the rumor mill. In addition to Derek Fisher and Darius Morris (who appeared later on the PodKast), Barnes dropped by the El Segundo facility on Friday to get some work in. With the media already on hand to hear comments from Mitch Kupchak and Mike Brown, Barnes also found himself surrounded by mics and cameras. He provided an update on his knee ("98 percent"), plus some thoughts on learning a new system this season. Barnes doesn't think it'll be particularly complicated because, at the end of the day, everyone knows whatever the offense looks like, it will be run through Kobe Bryant.

Eyebrows were raised, however, when Barnes was asked about the swirl of trade and free agency reports now in full swing. As a rule of thumb, he doesn't pay attention to the gossip unless it pertains to his team. Or, as it turns out, unless it involves ex-teammates/current friends linked to his team. Which brings us of course to Barnes' one-time Orlando center Dwight Howard.

Turns out, Barnes buys the chatter about Howard's desire to don purple and gold, because he's heard the same from a pretty reliable source: Dwight Howard.

"You know, I've been hearing [rumors about] Dwight," acknowledged Barnes. "I've been hearing [rumors about] Baron [Davis in the event of getting amnestied]. I've been hearing stuff a lot lately. I've talked to both of those guys and they wanna be here, so we'll see what happens.

To quote Ace Ventura, "Reh-heh-heh-heally?"

Ever the salesman, Barnes talked up to Howard and Davis what it's like being part of this franchise. "A dream," he gushed when I asked how he describes playing here. "On the court. To be a Laker, there's nothing like it, to play in L.A. And to be ready to get a ring if you come here."

Barnes admitted pitching the Lakers to outsiders can be tough, since he's also tight with the guys who'd theoretically move in the event of a trade. But at the same time, as a guy who's played on eight teams in eight seasons, he knows rosters are always on the verge of getting flipped. Barnes is nothing if not down for the dudes currently in his locker room, but perspective must also be maintained.

"It's tough, because I have my teammates that I have a bond with now, but I think I know better than anybody this is a business," explained Barnes. "Everybody knows that now, from what we just went through. Friendships are always good, but you have to understand, you can't put your heart into these trades and cuts and acquisitions, because we have no control over them."

In any event, if Howard actually wants to be a Laker that wish doesn't in turn become guaranteed, but the odds are certainly increased. Particularly if a G.M. shares my opinion about the protocol for trading a superstar. Generally speaking, if a team knows its franchise player isn't long for the franchise, you're better off trading him earlier rather than later. It's beginning to look like Otis Smith is seeing the writing on the wall. Even if Howard doesn't end up a Laker, it's becoming harder to picture him a Magician considerably longer.

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How Kobe ended up at Drew League

August, 17, 2011
8/17/11
9:48
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
By now, everyone knows Kobe Bryant swung by Drew League on Tuesday, racked 43 points and canned a game-winning J. That events would shake out in such fashion for Kobe isn't necessarily surprising. The real surprise was Kobe literally on hand. And as hard as it would be to keep a Mamba appearance under wraps, it was even harder just figuring out how to get the busy superstar on the court during a busy lockout.

For the inside dope, I talked Wednesday morning with longtime Drew League Commish Dino Smiley. He shared some interesting nuggets on Bryant contacting the league, the serendipity that created a mutually agreeable time, and the arsenal of moves on display.

Andy Kamenetzky: How did this come about and was this an impromptu game? Your season ended last weekend.

Dino Smiley: We had our championship this past Saturday and prior to that, a couple days before, his representatives called and said he wanted to play Saturday. I wouldn't go for it. I'm like, "This is the championship and these guys have worked hard. We don't want to just put the #1 ringer into the game. We would love to have him there, but it would set back the league, the integrity."

But we talked about it, and I said, "You know what? We haven't set up an All-Star game. Why don't we do an All-Star game on a Sunday night?" He was gonna be leaving out early Monday morning and coming back. Couldn't do it. So finally, Sunday evening, I get a call. "Kobe wants to play the game, but wants to play at two o'clock on a Tuesday." I'm like, "Two o'clock on a Tuesday? We don't play Drew League games during the week."

It was ironic, because the team [playing against Goodman] was going to have practice that day at 6 pm. So I tell him, "The guys are coming down. Let me see if I can get them to come down early. I don't want to put it on Twitter and I don't want to put it out to the media or anything like that, and the guy doesn't show up. You guys gotta give me a 110 percent that he's coming."

And they were like, "No, he's definitely coming. He definitely wants to play. And he only wants to play in the Drew league in that gym. He doesn't want to play anywhere else." And I know it's because of LeBron [James] and [Kevin] Durant. They played and got a buzz. (Laughs) We were like, "Okay, let's try to make it happen."

The game was scheduled for 2 pm, and then there was a call [Monday] morning that there was an NBA Players Union meeting at 1:30, so that threw everything off. So I said, "Okay. Well, this plan isn't gonna happen. I'm glad I didn't put it on Twitter and Facebook and the web." They said, "No, no, no! He wants to play, but he wants to play after that at 4 o'clock. The meeting should be over at 2:30, three o'clock. It shouldn't be that long. We still wanna play. Check with your players." They said they were fine, because some of them were going to the meeting also. So we set it back to four o'clock. We had people coming from everywhere at one o'clock looking for the two o'clock game and we had to push that back.

That's how all that took place and it ended up started around 4:45, 4:30.

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Kobe puts up 43 and the game-winner at Drew League

August, 17, 2011
8/17/11
11:04
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
If Kobe is sweating allegations of a San Diego church altercation, frayed nerves weren't evident on the hardwood. Bryant dropped by the Drew League gym on Tuesday, then dropped 43 -- I talked to league commissioner Dino Smiley, who disputed the Internet/Twitter tally of 45 -- along with a buzzer-beating game-winner while matched up against James Harden. Smiley said Bryant, whose offseason has included plasma-rich platelet therapy, looked quite good at Washington Park.

“He was fresh,” said Smiley. “His spring, his jump shot was nice. Getting to the basket. His jab steps and his foot work. Everything was very good.”

Obviously, the real proof comes after a season's worth of wear, tear and grind. Still, for those concerned about Bryant's ability to maintain health and effectiveness during a presumed 2011-12 season (my hand is raised), the Mamba looking like the Mamba is a welcome sight. And the sequence drifting left to gain separation was undeniably slick.

It was also pretty awesome seeing fans mob Kobe after the shot, even if I couldn't help but picture some overzealous Mamba-ite accidentally wrenching Bryant's newly PRP'ed knee, then living the rest of his life on the run under an assumed identity. According to Smiley, this explosive reaction was a Drew League first.

“We’ve had guys hit game-winners where their teammates run on the floor. Some of their friends may run on the floor. But that right there was mind boggling. That trumped everything.”

PodKast: Matt Barnes, lockout talk and Rise of the Planet of the Apes

August, 6, 2011
8/06/11
3:51
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
There are three things Lakers fans can always count on: Death, taxes and Ear Candy. Brian and I would like to think we're the most enjoyable item. Among the talking points:

PODCAST
Andy and Brian talk with Lakers forward Matt Barnes about his knee, the Lakers' playoff fizzle and his charity golf tournament. Plus, thoughts on the lockout and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

Podcast Listen
- After establishing that Trey Johnson will in fact be playing in Italy next season -- as opposed to India -- we discuss why he felt inclined to commit in August to an overseas gig: The lockout. The mood has grown so tense, what with the NBA's recent lawsuit and such, Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter declared that were he a bettin' man, his money would be on a canceled 2012 season.

Of course, it's important to remember public negotiations rarely use the media to convey sunshine and lollipops. Even if both sides felt confident about avoiding Armageddon, they'd never cop to it, on or off the record.

- Having said that, if you take Hunter at his word, it's not just the owners and players standing to lose a substantial chunk of change. David Stern could be out ten figures, according to recent reports. Considering the league is crying poor, should Stern's salary raise eyebrows? And how would fans feel if, in the event of a missed season, he served as Commish for a Euro league?

- With "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" coming out this weekend, we lament how scientists in movies clearly never watch science fiction movies. Otherwise, they'd have learned by now that creating a super "pick your animal" always leads to disaster!

- Finally, our conversation with Matt Barnes, who joined us earlier that day. Topics include the status of his knee, his thoughts on the Lakers' playoff fizzle and his charity golf tournament. Unfortunately, we spoke right before he slugged an opponent during a San Fran Pro Am, so we couldn't ask about the incident. Hopefully, our interview didn't put him in a bad mood.

Matt Barnes: Knee feeling better, involved in Pro-Am altercation

August, 5, 2011
8/05/11
9:29
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Those two things, by the way, are only tangentially related.

It just so happens that on the very same Thursday we spoke to Matt Barnes for the podcast and ESPNLA On Air, he found himself in a scrap during a San Francisco Pro-Am game later that night. Barnes reportedly threw a punch, and didn't seem terribly remorseful for having done so.

PODCAST
Lakers forward Matt Barnes talks about the condition of his knee, what went wrong last season, and his charity golf tournament.

Podcast Listen
Barnes caught flak in the same league last season for slapping the coach of another team. In the grand scheme of things, Thursday's incident means very little except Matt Barnes apparently takes basketball games- all basketball games- very seriously and that he has a temper, both things we already knew. Lakers fans, though, should be more concerned about the state of Barnes' knee, one of the subjects we kicked around in the interview (at right). Given their relative lack of depth at small forward and the low level of production from the 3 during the '10-'11 season, the Lakers can't afford a setback for Barnes. He's not a star, but before the injury was outplaying Ron Artest. Other topics of conversation include what went wrong for the Lakers against the Mavs, whether Barnes would consider playing overseas during a protracted lockout, and his charity golf tournament coming up next week.

Here are some highlights...

On the state of his knee: “It’s starting to come along. There were some complications that we kind of kept to ourselves on my comeback [during the regular season]. I ended up pinching a nerve in my back, on the same side as my knee, and it ended up making my knee swell, and really hurt. I just couldn’t do anything. I was icing constantly and at the same time trying to strengthen it, but if I strengthened it I started to swell. So I really couldn’t do too much once I came back during the season. We were hoping in the playoffs it would feel better, but it felt even worse. Needless to say after my injury, my season was basically over.”

“We took about 10 weeks off after the season, got all the swelling out, all the pain out, and now we’re starting to rebuild it. Everything’s feeling a lot better now.

On a scale of 1-10, where are you? "I’m about an eight, which is a good thing. And I definitely don’t want to be locked out, but taking advantage of this time being off; it’s allowing me not to have to rush back and have to do anything extreme to make my knee right. It’s going to be able to naturally heal.”

(Read full post)

New Podkast w/Dave McMenamin: Lockout issues, Kobe and Wilt

July, 30, 2011
7/30/11
8:07
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
It's always fun when our buddy Dave McMenamin swings by. Among the talking points:

PODCAST
Andy and Brian talk with ESPNLA.com's Dave McMenamin about CBA matters, Kobe's knee and whether the Players Association is weakened by superstars going overseas.

Podcast Listen
- We discuss Derek Fisher's most recent comments about the lockout. For now, Fish doesn't anticipate the union decertifying, which is good for those who'd prefer this process not get bogged down even further by court battles and legal red tape. Plus, the players know decertification would allow owners to void contracts, which could leave many players vulnerable. Frankly, Jerry Buss might be tempted to take action. The Lakers have a fair amount of contracts, whether Luke Walton or Ron Artest or Pau Gasol or even Kobe Bryant, hamstringing payroll flexibility. As I joked, they may decide to go scorched Earth, then build around Devin Ebanks and his dirt-cheap contract.

- Fisher also shared an update on Kobe's health. According to the veteran point guard, The Mamba's knee is resembling the version from a few seasons ago. Is there any chance a recent PRP procedure will allow Kobe to turn back the clock on his body? I'll more than happily eat a seven-course meal of crow if wrong, but I'm skeptical. However terrific his knee may feel now, I doubt it's a reliable indicator of how it'll feel deep into the rigors of an NBA season. After all, Kobe's mileage is the equivalent of almost 19 seasons and these injuries have nagged for a while. One way or another, Father Time typically wins these battles, however valiant the soldier.

Mind you, even with these issues, Kobe's an elite player and at times, still looks like the NBA's best player. But on a day-in/day-out basis, he's grown slightly less effective and this trend will likely continue. However, whether or not he's better at nearly 33 than a still-in-his prime Dwyane Wade isn't particularly important. What matters is a credible debate remains possible, and that's a credit to Bryant's greatness.

- Does players heading overseas crank up the pressure on the owners, a common school of thought? Or does an exodus, particularly involving elite players, actually create the appearance of a weak front where the rank and file get thrown to the wolves? And in the court of public opinion, is a willingness to play overseas for far less money the equivalent of noses cut to spite faces?

- Finally, we attempt to do "the math" with Wilt. Talk about having to "carry the one."

Matt Barnes will return next season, shares thoughts on Mike Brown

May, 31, 2011
5/31/11
6:43
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
During Matt Barnes' exit interview, the small forward all but said he planned to exercise the player option in his contract and remain a Laker. By showing up to a press conference formally announcing new head coach Mike Brown, Barnes made his plans even more evident, since nobody attends an event like this while uncommitted to his current team. (For that matter, Barnes was actually the only Laker on hand.) Thus, it was only fitting he finally went whole hog and vocalized what everyone already knew.

Barnes will be in purple and gold next season.

"I'm gonna pick up my option. I'm gonna be a Laker next year," smiled Barnes. "I wanted to be back. I still feel, granted what happened in that Dallas series, we have a very talented and very good team and I want to continue to try and get that ring."

As I noted in Barnes' report card, this wholly expected outcome is a good thing for the Lakers. Before injuring his right knee, Barnes was enjoying a surprisingly strong inaugural season in L.A. He meshed well with a roster I don't expect to radically change next season, and increased time with his teammates should only create more fluidity and comfort.

Even more encouraging is the medical update on his knee. "It doesn't hurt no more, which is a good thing," nodded Barnes. There's swelling still, but it doesn't hurt, which is my main thing. I'm still like a month out from being able to run and jump. But slowly but surely, it's starting to feel like my left knee now."

Among other points raised by Barnes:

- Don't read negatively into the small forward providing the lone presence among players. For starters, a lot of guys are out of town and as much as Matt was there to a show of support for Brown, he also happened to be in the neighborhood after a rehab session. "L.A. traffic, you gotta have good timing," Barnes joked.

- Barnes got to know Mike Brown a bit last summer while making a decision about which team to join. Cleveland was among the potential destinations, and at the time, Brown was still the coach. Barnes obviously ended up with the Lakers, but still gained a good impression of his new coach:

"We spoke on the phone a few times. I got a chance to know him, he seemed like a really good guy. With that being said, he's our coach now. What he does and what he's going to do, that's yet to be determined. I just wanted to let him know he has my support. I'm sure he has the rest of the guys' support."

Barnes also offered some quality advice for creating as smooth a transition as possible for Brown:

"Just buy in. Even though we have the greatest player in the world, the coach is the leader. You know what I mean? Like he said, we need to buy into what he's bringing to the table. If we do that, we should have a really good team."

- If you happen to miss a game during the NBA Finals and want the skinny on what happened, Matt Barnes is the wrong guy to ask. The sour taste of getting swept by Dallas still lingers heavily in his mouth, and as a result, he's way out of the NBA loop. "I haven't watched a second of basketball," admitted Barnes. I ain't watched no SportsCenter, because I know basketball will on there. I'm still hurt thinking about it. One, the way we exited, and two, be not being able to help."

Defending, or at least understanding, Andrew Bynum

September, 29, 2010
9/29/10
7:00
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
During our ESPN LA.com Media Day broadcast, there may have been no more interesting -- and potentially controversial -- exchange than one involving Andrew Bynum. By then, it was old news his offseason knee surgery revealed more damage than expected and his anticipated absence during the preseason could extend into the regular season. Bynum is targeting late-November for his return. Delaying surgery until mid-July to accommodate an overseas vacation was endorsed by Phil Jackson and the front office alike, as all signs pointed towards a relatively minor procedure and rehab.

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Andrew Bynum missing games has become as inevitable as death and taxes.



But we wondered, knowing what Bynum knows now, if he would have altered his time line? He said he wouldn't:

"Nope. I had to have the surgery when I was ready for it. I was coming off the emotional high of going out and winning your second championship. I just kind of needed a little me time. Me and the family. I just took it from there. I went to go see the World Cup, it was a great time for me, one of the best of my life. I got to stay on safari. And then when I got back home, I took care of business."

This unfiltered wasn't what either of us expected to hear. We debated the issue the following day during a Sunday broadcast of ESPNLA.com On Air, my brother somewhat undecided on how he felt and me okay with the decision. Since then, Brian has expressed unhappiness with Bynum's call.

I remain okay with the decision.

Before I present my opinion, I want to make clear my expectations of being in the minority, along with my awareness of the legitimate reasons for displeasure with Bynum's statement. The Lakers are attempting to keep this championship train rolling, and Bynum is a big piece of the puzzle. These missed games could affect the team's overall record, which could jeopardize home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Bynum has already missed considerable time due to injury throughout his career, which has possibly affected his growth as a player and without question limited his comfort level playing alongside Pau Gasol. These are legitimate issues.

Plus, for many fans, there is a principle involved. Yes, Bynum isn't even 23 yet, and most folks have a lot of growing up to do at such a tender young age. However, they're typically not offered an eight figure salary as an incentive for rapid maturity. Players making $14 million are expected to be accountable professionals, which in this case means exhibiting a thorough concern for the team employing them. At face value, I understand why fans might label Bynum's willingness to delay the surgery, even in the face of games missed, as something showing questionable dedication to the Lakers.

But looking deeper, I'm reminded of Bynum gutting through the playoffs on one leg last season. And I'm compelled to examine Bynum's words explaining himself; how he needed to be "ready" for the surgery, how he expressed a desire for "me time" after coming off an "emotional high," and talked about the importance of being with family and about taking "care of business" once he returned home.

I'm sure Bynum felt a World Cup and European jaunt would be a unique and fun experience, but I wonder if the trip may not have been about indelible memories as much as it was about what he needed to forget:

Basketball.

(Read full post)

Andrew Bynum's knee surgery date set

July, 20, 2010
7/20/10
2:19
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
ESPNLA.com's Dave McMenamin is reporting a date of July 28, if you're looking to send a gift or just spend the day praying to the basketball gods.

During Drew's exit interview, he indicated a penciled-in time frame of mid-July to meet the knife. I'm not sure why Bynum opted to go later in the month, but I wouldn't worry about it. His injury wasn't as much serious as simply difficult to play through, especially compared to Bynum's other injuries. Save an unforeseen setback, I'm guessing rehab will continue as planned and he'll be in camp on time and ready to roll.

Also, Lakers.com scribe Mike Trudell says Drew's strained Achilles, which cost him several regular season games down the stretch, has healed up nicely. Fingers and toes crossed, 2010-2011 marks the season where Bynum finally gets through a campaign of big minutes without a hitch.

UPDATED: Andrew Bynum says his knee is feeling worse (Practice video)

May, 15, 2010
5/15/10
4:06
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Before running for the hills like a crazed savage with no regard for the safety of women or children, Andrew Bynum stressed the injury itself, a right knee meniscus tear, hasn't worsened. From a structural standpoint, as David Byrne said, same as it ever was. (Granted, status quo wasn't anything to write home about, but maintaining it is preferable to pining for it.) The knee began bothering him more around third or fourth game against Utah, he said, and despite the extended break this week he's still unable to avoid residual effects, namely swelling.

“It’s just worse. A little worse, but I’m still able to play through it so I’m going to keep pushing ahead. Keeping more swelling [out]. Not like the structure, but it’s creating more swelling because I’m playing with an injured limb, so it’s just something that I’m just going to continue to treat, continue to try and pump the swelling out, milk it, and take it from there.”

Bynum will likely scale back his work during tomorrow's practice, but unless something really strange happens, he has no plans to miss Monday's Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. How effective will he be? “I’m gonna do what I can,” Drew said, believing whatever he's able to contribute can offer a positive effect. "I think I’m there for my teammates and that’s the biggest thing. Whatever it is, having to go out and just guard somebody for a couple plays so people can take [some] rest, just being that guy in the rotation is enough to help this team get through.”

One funny note: Drew, who's teaching himself Spanish through instructional tapes, was asked by Lakers Spanish language broadcaster Pepe Mantilla to give an en Espanol update on his knee. Bynum said he's not advanced enough to answer outside his native tongue. In an effort to help, Mantilla suggested the knee was "bien." Drew's response: "No, it's not bien. It's malo."

(Read full post)

Kobe sits out against Denver, Bynum plans to return at start of playoffs

April, 8, 2010
4/08/10
8:19
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Kobe Bryant is inactive for tonight's game in Denver, with Sasha Vujacic taking his place in the starting lineup. The official explanation from the Media Relations Department is "right knee swelling." Specifics beyond that weren't readily available.

Before the game, Phil Jackson said he'd consider resting players before the playoffs in order to have the roster as fresh as possible. He also felt Kobe's legs - unrelated to the earlier season ankle injury- were the chief issue with his recent shooting struggles, as opposed to the fractured finger. Guess he was offering everyone to read between the lines.

More on this situation as information surfaces.

On a related note, Andrew Bynum doesn't expect to appear in the remaining four games of the regular season, but has targeted the first game of the opening round as his return date. He's currently out with a left Achilles strain.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
22.3 5.6 1.3 34.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.0
AssistsK. Bryant 5.6
StealsR. Price 1.6
BlocksE. Davis 1.3