Dave McMenamin spent five seasons as a staff writer for NBA.com in New York and Los Angeles before joining ESPNLosAngeles.com to cover the Lakers and the NBA.
As Paul Gasol enters the unknown this offseason, what is certain is that the center immersed himself in the reality of Lakers lore.
The Lakers have been injured all season, but the Game 2 loss magnified the issue.
After a Game 1 loss, it's up to Mike D'Antoni to make the adjustments for the Lakers.
Steve Nash's example is something most teams savor, but the Lakers don't seem to.
The reality of a final push to make the playoffs is settling in for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mike D'Antoni's short rotation left starters fatigued and reserves restless during the tail end of a back-to-back.
With all the drama the Lakers have endured, it's nice for L.A. to finally focus on the playoff chase.
Dwight Howard's strong play of late couldn't have come at a better time with a trip to Orlando looming.
The Kobe Bryant-Dwight Howard partnership might have finally been forged.
Despite the loss to the Thunder, the Lakers are still believers in their playoff push.
The reality of a failed season is starting to hit the Lakers fast.
The seven-game Grammy Trip was typical of the Lakers' difficult season
The Heat are playoff contenders while the Lakers are on the outside.
Mike D'Antoni's charge is to ensure the Lakers block out distractions
Dwight Howard's return to the Lakers' lineup did little to change L.A's fortunes.
Earl Clark has earned a lot of trust from his coach and teammates after becoming a regular in the lineup.
Pau Gasol's effort against the Wolves is a reminder of the kind of player he can be.
A three-game win streak is nice, but the Lakers will be defined by their upcoming seven-game trip.
After another loss, the Lakers' dud of a season seems close to a breaking point.
Kobe Bryant wants to take all the blame for the Los Angeles Lakers' failures, but it's not that simple.
Lately, Dwight Howard is reminding everyone why he's the best big man in the NBA.
The Lakers stopped the bleeding, but don't be fooled as things don't get any easier.
For Kobe Bryant, a return to Philly delivers a rejuvenation on his spirits and a Lakers victory.
Some forget how injured Dwight Howard was, but he's slowly making an impact for the Lakers.
Despite the doom and gloom after the latest loss in New York, the Lakers' problems remain fixable.
Coach Mike D'Antoni says it all about the Lakers: "Umm, you know, we're not very good right now."
Despite a loss to the Thunder, Kobe Bryant says he believes the Lakers are on track for good things.
Kobe Bryant has reached 30,000 career points, and it's his relentless spirit that sets him apart.
For this group of Lakers players and coaches, summer is a key time.
After two failed title runs, it's time for the Lakers to make changes.
Lakers must learn to finish if they expect to extend series with Thunder.
After two tough losses to the Thunder, L.A. has to dig deep to come back.
The Lakers are partly to blame for the emergence of the Thunder.
Despite being sick and weak, you can't blame Kobe for L.A.'s loss.
Andrew Bynum is no longer simply a luxury for the Lakers.
If the Lakers can avoid injuries and oddities, they just might have a chance.
Andrew Bynum controls Game 1 for the Lakers.
Andrew Bynum deserves to be awarded most improved player.
Another rout by the Spurs shows Lakers may not be title material.
Matt Barnes comes through when the Lakers need him most.
Bynum's 30 rebounds lift a leaderless L.A. squad over the Spurs.
Despite his recent missteps, Andrew Bynum remains the key for Lakers.
Derek Fisher returns to face a Lakers team that could use his leadership.
Ramon Sessions is earning plenty of praise and fast becoming Kobe-approved.
Mental lapses have prevented the Lakers from gaining momentum this season.
Ramon Sessions will take time to adjust, but when he does, he'll help the team.
With Andrew Bynum playing 'different' now, Lakers seem poised to make a run.
Kobe Bryant's trust in Andrew Bynum grows, and Lakers are rewarded.
The NBA's leading scorer has already faced a full season's worth of adversity.
Forget management. Kobe, Fish and Gasol are setting the tone in Los Angeles.
Bryant's statements didn't throw the Lakers off their game against the Blazers.
The Lakers are starting to become believers in their playoff potential.
Production from Andrew Bynum is no longer a bonus but a necessity for Lakers.
How many classics do these Lakers and Celtics have left as currently constructed?
Kobe passes Shaq en route to 5th all-time in scoring but he wants a sixth ring.
One of the Lakers' consistencies so far is their inability to give effort on the road.
The Lakers and Pau Gasol find what they've been searching for.
To solve woes on offense, Lakers must resist urge to let Kobe Bryant run loose.
If L.A. can't win away from Staples, it will get more road games in the playoffs.
The Lakers face some big challenges during their current six-game stretch.
Bryant continues torrid pace with 48-point barrage against Phoenix.
Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant share a determination to overcome injury.
Lakers' center says he's only just beginning
Lakers show encouraging signs, despite their opening night loss.
Mike Brown brings a different coaching style to practice, and players notice.
Odds are better that potential talent could help L.A. more than an aging superstar.
The NBA's tentative deal might hurt in the future, but L.A. has a title shot again.
The great Carrier Classic wasn't immune to talk of the continuing NBA lockout.
Four concessions the players and owners could make that would end the lockout.
Flirtation with Virtus Bologna distracts from business at hand
Rules. Limits on salaries. Some kind of cap. How will it affect the Lakers?
Based on the coaching candidates, L.A. could go in very different directions.
Can the Lakers cure what ails them in an uncertain off-season?
Lakers know what needs to be done, but the question is, can they do it?
Lakers have fallen short all season; Game 3 was no different.
Everyone -- even Pau Gasol -- is concerned for the Lakers' power forward.
The Lakers let the Mavs do exactly what they planned against them in Game 1.
23 reasons to watch Lakers vs. Mavs, in honor of their last postseason meeting.
The message has been sent to the NBA: the Lakers aren't taking it anymore.
After his Game 5 performance, maybe it's time to trust Kobe Bryant.
All attention will be on the Lakers' star and his bum ankle versus the Hornets.
Chris Paul poses problems for the Lakers in a way only superstars can.
Ron Artest has quietly become the most versatile player on the Lakers.
Pau Gasol broke out of his slump just in time to put Game 3 out of reach.
By switching Kobe to guard Chris Paul, the Lakers limited the Hornets' leader.
The Lakers beat the Hornets in Game 2 thanks to everyone but Kobe and Pau.
Lakers' confounding Game 1 loss is an extension of a strange season.
All signs point to the Lakers being able to roll over the Hornets.
Dave McMenamin justifies his first NBA postseason awards ballot submission.
Andrew Bynum's latest injury puts the Lakers' recent issues into focus.
Mired in a five-game losing streak, the Lakers find their playoff spot at risk.
Phil's upset, and the Lakers are in a shambles. Haven't we heard this before?
Phil Jackson turns a meeting into a self-examination of man and career.
L.A. sets its sights on West's best record, once a far-fetched notion.
Kobe and Dirk share much in common, aside from on-court team success.
Former Laker Trevor Ariza looks to help carry his new team to the postseason.
Lakers' Lamar Odom is makes a good case for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Kobe Bryant overcame his cold shooting streak when L.A. needed him most.
Lakers have managed to stay healthy in contrast to teams like Portland.
Despite success this season, the Wolves' Kevin Love has struggled against L.A.
Andrew Bynum is smiling a lot lately, and the Lakers couldn't be more pleased.
For the Lakers, it's quite simple: Go out and beat the Mavs
The Lakers' ability to deal with adversity is what separates them from the Heat.
Andrew Bynum relishes his new role and L.A.'s recent success.
The Lakers surpassed all expectations in their dismantling of the Spurs.
The Lakers ultimate test -- again -- will be their ability to beat the Spurs
By cutting his news conference short, Phil Jackson is preventing a fire.
The big stage of New York is always a welcome sight for Kobe Bryant.
Kobe skewered Boston's defense in the second half, sealing the Lakers' win.
Not even the Melodrama could tarnish the importance of Lakers-Celtics.
Zach Randolph and Lamar Odom: two lefties deserving All-Star consideration.
Sure, the Lakers lost to another elite team, but this effort was a worthy one.
Pau Gasol fell back into his old habits by letting the Celtics push him around.
In the final analysis, Lakers-Celtics will still be decided by the big men.
With almost two years since Kobe's last 50-point game, points aren't the priority.
With the Melo drama in the air, no one wants to talk about Lakers vs. Nuggets.
Defense is again the Lakers' undoing in Dallas, and something needs to change.
They might be struggling, but Dallas can still match the size of L.A.
The Lakers notched their best win of the year by beating the Thunder.
The next test begins this week as the Lakers navigate a series of playoff teams.
Don't let the Cavs' record fool you, the Lakers can't seem to beat bad teams.
Two players facing off on Sunday share a common path to the NBA.
Focus and commitment to a new defense could be Lakers' ultimate salvation.
Returning to fundamentals could be the best option for a Lakers team off track.
The Lakers don't learn from their mistakes and suffer another tough home loss.
Odom and Bynum give the Lakers some desperately needed spring in their step.
If the Lakers expect to snap out of their funk, they better start talking.
LeBron James and Kobe Bryant share quite an interesting dynamic.
His numbers weren't dazzling, but all the Lakers were better with Bynum back.
The president met most of the Lakers last year at the White House.
Nothing would make the Lakers happier than getting Andrew Bynum back.
The Lakers fell into the same defenseless pattern in their loss at Chicago.
All closers, even the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, need a night off now and then.
As Matt Barnes' presence increases, Artest is taking the team approach.
The issues are beginning to pile up while the Lakers figure out how to win again.
There are chinks in the Lakers armor, yes, but good luck finding any real holes.
The scariest thing about the Lakers these days is that they have grown a bench.
Kobe says winning is his only motivation, but some think it's more than that.
After stops in Milwaukee, Detroit and Minneapolis, L.A. looks pretty good.
Despite early talk of record-breaking, Phil Jackson isn't counting his chips yet.
Lakers benefit from Shannon Brown's quickness and precision on opening night.
The path to a Lakers' three-peat will likely run through the Spaniard in the paint.
As the curtain rises, the Lakers' show is as compelling as ever.
Jerry Buss' induction into the Hall of Fame is a testament to his humility.
With USA Basketball, Lamar Odom takes on the role of leader quite easily.
Derrick Caracter has slimmed down and has a shot at making the team.
The Lakers are working on their roster and can go in a number of directions.
The Clippers rookies showed flashes of brilliance, but are a work in progress.
If Derek Fisher leaves for Miami, he risks tarnishing his image.
Lakers' Ron Artest has his ring, a new single, and he's ready to party.
Reflections on the Lakers' title run and the moments we won't forget.
The Lakers' bench finally stepped up in Game 6. Now it needs a similar effort.
By playing with urgency, the Lakers force what promises to be an epic Game 7.
The Lakers abandoned their defensive mantra, and now are in danger of losing.
Tony Allen has taken Kobe out of the game when guarding him in the Finals.
Fisher, Odom, Artest & Co. stepped up when Bryant couldn't in Game 3.
Eight misses and three turnovers were the Lakers' undoing in Game 2.
Lakers hit "Easy" button en route to Game 1 win.
The Lakers have to play tougher than in 2008 if they want to beat Boston.
Artest may get the glory, but the Lakers' win goes to the whole team.
Kobe Bryant cited the Lakers' lack of defense as the reason for their losses.
Suns shoot 42 free throws (20 by Stoudemire) to the Lakers' 18.
Andrew Bynum forgoes knee surgery to finish a playoff run he missed last year.
Ron Artest's recent numbers prove he's a better fit for the Lakers than Trevor Ariza.
Kobe Bryant didn't deserve so much criticism four years ago.
Lamar Odom's Game 1 performance shows why the Lakers need him.
All the Lakers needed to do is step up to erase their cloud of issues.
The Lakers became surprisingly proficient from the 3-point line in Game 3.
Lakers' Fisher has seen and conquered adversity on and off the court.
The Lakers have quickly become a team that won't let injuries get in the way.
Lakers' Ron Artest puts his experience against Deron Williams' speed.
Bryant showed L.A. and the Jazz his teeth and grit in the Lakers' Game 1 win.
The Lakers had their struggles, but defense carried them past the Thunder.
The big question for Game 6 vs. Thunder? Which Lakers team will show up.
Not knowing which team will show up each game is part of the Lakers' charm.
Problems have piled up quickly for the Lakers and there's growing concern.
The Lakers played three good quarters, but poor play at the end lost the game.
Powell, the end-of-the-bench reserve, is a Lakers team leader.
Kobe Bryant returned to fundamentals in the Lakers' Game 2 victory.
The return of Andrew Bynum lifted the Lakers around him in Game 1.
As the NBA playoffs begin, Kobe Bryant has already had to overcome a year's worth of bumps and bruises.
With the playoffs looming, it's a chance for the Lakers' bench to rise again.
The Lakers might be struggling, but Pau Gasol is ready for the playoffs.
The numbers can tell much of the story when it comes to the Lakers.
The Lakers' switch-flipping confidence might spell trouble in the playoffs.
The Lakers are struggling with their execution of the triangle.
Lamar Odom doesn't let his injury shoulder any of the blame.
Kobe Bryant the passer is always appreciated by the Lakers.
Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis learn as much from losing than winning.
The Lakers' assistant unplugged. Talks Lakers, Kobe and the triangle.
Lakers look to pick up the pace heading into the NBA Playoffs.
Lakers finally take their cue for urgency from quite an unlikely source.
Kobe Bryant calls the last-second win over the Raptors 'garbage.'
Figuring out the Lakers' struggles is a lesson in conflict.
In this Finals rematch, Lakers suddenly are the ones with something to prove.
After losing big at Charlotte, a lot of teams would panic. Not the Lakers.
The Lakers' rivalry with the Nuggets has grown into an all-out battle.
Despite what numbers might say, Kobe Bryant always gets the last word.
Lamar Odom has plenty of unfinished business in the Olympics.
Pau's younger brother was not a throw-in in the trade that brought Pau to L.A.
The Lakers finally lost without injured Kobe Bryant and there are lessons.
Ron Artest has been slow to pick up the Lakers' playbook, but is improving.
Rumors of Lakers' trades don't make sense when you crunch the numbers.
Pau Gasol kept to his non-flashy productive style in his 6th All-Star Game.
Shannon Brown wants to be known for more than just being a dunker.
Some Lakers will be busy this weekend in Dallas for the NBA's All-Star Game.
Pau Gasol's intellectual approach has boosted the Lakers in Bryant's absence.
Lakers pundits need to start trusting Kobe Bryant on his playing status.
The Lakers had every reason not to win at Portland but somehow did.
Mamba's misinformed medics need to stop doubting Bryant
Phil Jackson passing Pat Riley in the record books signifies mended wounds.
For Kobe Bryant, eclipsing Jerry West highlights a record-setting year.
The Lakers' inability to slow quick guards remains a major problem.
The big question is whether the Lakers need to be tough to beat the Celtics.
With his feet feeling better, Ron Artest has one his best games as a Laker.
Andrew Bynum should be on this year's substitute All-Star list.
Inspired by the president's speech the day before, the Lakers dominate.
The Lakers' visit to the White House was an emotional honor for team, family.
The Lakers are better off with Kobe Bryant, broken finger and all.
Pau Gasol put a bad night behind him and helped the Lakers beat the Knicks.
The Lakers continue to have trouble winning games against physical teams.
Kobe Bryant becomes the youngest NBA player ever to reach 25,000 points.
The Lakers-Magic NBA Finals rematch was upstaged by a couple of backups.
Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol prove they can be a dynamic force for the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant gets a lot of credit for being tough, but so should Derek Fisher.
The Lakers finally became a team Wednesday night in Dallas.
After another road loss, it's hard to know who the real Lakers are.
Trading Andrew Bynum doesn't add up for the Lakers.
Blazers forward Martell Webster gets to defend his idol Kobe Bryant.
Imagine: The Lakers learned something from the Clippers on Wednesday.
Rockets GM has a theory about height -- it's overrated.
The Lakers' defeat of the Mavs was a true team win.
Kobe Bryant's hot streak could not have come at a better time for the Lakers.
Elton Brand has no hard feelings toward the Clippers.
Ron Artest may be a distraction through no fault of his own.
The Lakers were without Ron Artest on Monday, and it showed.
On a court full of seven-footers, Kobe rises above them all.
Does this Lakers team just not remember what it is like to be tested?
Lakers versus Cavaliers is not a rivalry game.
If Kobe follows Gasol's lead, Lakers could have foundation for multiple titles.
Versatile Lamar Odom's most important role is as the leader of the Lakers' bench.
Lakers take four out of five on their first big trip of the season.
Magic Johnson tops the list of the 50 greatest L.A. Lakers of all time.