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April 17, 2014 Updates

While the Lakers (27-55) played their season finale, Kobe Bryant was already beginning his off-season, leaving for France either Tuesday or early Wednesday with family members, The Times learned. A team spokesman said he was unaware of the situation and referred a reporter to Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, who could not be reached for comment. Bryant later sent a tweet from overseas, saying how bad this season was: "Flush it. Forget it #amnesia Next Season will be epic." He added hashtags with the word "blackout," a reference to his famously difficult workouts, and "bussfam," a supportive nod, if not nudge, to the Buss family. Los Angeles Times

Mike D'Antoni might have coached his last game with the Lakers on Wednesday. Or he might return for the final guaranteed year of his contract. It'll be the biggest subplot of a Lakers off-season sure to feature twists and turns. "We'll sit down with Mitch and Jim at the end of the year and reassess everything and see where we are and see what their thoughts are," D'Antoni said Wednesday, referring to Lakers executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. "I don't have any thoughts yet. The biggest thing was trying to get to the end of the year and we got that done. Now you go to the next step. Nothing has been talked about or said or looked at." Los Angeles Times

April 16, 2014 Updates

Kobe Bryant has been cleared to resume running and shooting and will begin an intense, six-month training program next week upon his return from a short family trip to Europe, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN. Bryant has been ramping up his activity level in recent weeks as he continues to recover from a fracture in his left knee suffered during the Lakers' victory Dec. 17 at Memphis, just six games into his return from a ruptured Achilles. ESPN.com

"The next step will be to sit down with Jim (Buss) and all them and Mitch (Kupchak) at the end of the year and talk things out, see where things are," D'Antoni said after shootaround Wednesday morning. D'Antoni is scheduled to have his exit interview with team management Friday. He has one year remaining on his contract with the Lakers worth $4 million, plus the Lakers have a team option for the following season. ESPN.com

The Lakers and Gasol are both lukewarm about reuniting. The Lakers will not pay Gasol near the $19.3 million he made this season. Despite Gasol’s versatility, the Lakers also believe his best years are behind him. Gasol will not return if he fields offers from championship-caliber teams and/or D’Antoni is retained. Still, Bryant’s support and Gasol’s affection for this franchise could ensure he has not expended his nine lives with the Lakers. Los Angeles Daily News

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