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LOS ANGELES LAKERS VIDEOS

October 20, 2014 Updates

In the days before LA acquired Nash, sources say, the point guard wanted to hear from Bryant that the Lakers' star was amenable to having Nash control the ball much of the time -- a key tenet of the D'Antoni offense from the Suns days. When Lakers brass asked Bryant to call Nash, Bryant failed to do so, saying he preferred that Nash call him. The pettiness took days to resolve and nearly scuttled the deal. ESPN.com

While the Lakers were going after Anthony in vain, they quietly pursued Chris Bosh as well, but he preferred the carcass of the Heat. Paul George, Angelino through and through, had once been the team's safest choice. But sources say one reason the two-way star had re-signed with the Pacers in the fall of 2013 instead was that he was turned off by the thought that Bryant would police his efforts. ESPN.com

Sessions has been somewhat evasive as to why, but he has been quoted as saying it was "definitely different" playing with Bryant. Internally, the Lakers were rattled by his departure and came to believe that Kobe was the key. It meant little as a transaction but everything as a sign of how players with options view this team. "Peek behind the banners," says one longtime NBA agent, "and it's rotten." "Kobe is like the big rock in their front yard," says an agent who has had a Lakers client in recent years. "You can't mow over it, so you just have to mow around it." ESPN.com

"I just never felt like the Lakers put as much effort into the building-the-team part of it," says an agent who once had a free agent decline a Lakers offer. "I saw some things in the players' parking lot. Conversations between Bynum and his people and some people with the Lakers. It got pretty rough and heated." "It's horrendous. It's evil. It's a hard drug to quit when you're winning," says a front office executive from a rival team who knows everyone involved well. "Kobe has cost the Lakers dearly in human capital. Kobe has hurt a lot of people. In some cases jeopardized careers." ESPN.com

The view in the Lakers' front office is that any real rebuild will have to wait until after Bryant's retirement. "This has finally come home," says a Lakers insider. "Major players don't want to play with Kobe, and Jimmy is waiting for him to leave. ESPN.com

In most ownership groups, nobody is relying on the team as the prime revenue stream; the team is the high-risk end of a much bigger portfolio. In LA, the team is the linchpin supporting six heirs. And there is no more important income than the 20-year, $3 billion Time Warner deal to broadcast Lakers games locally. One well-placed source who has reviewed Lakers team finances says the Lakers' annual income from that deal hinges on ratings, which tend to go up when Bryant is on the court. If the team had jettisoned Bryant and tanked the past season in the name of a high 2014 draft pick, the resulting low ratings would have smacked the business of the Lakers hard. ESPN.com

Randle said he isn't concerned about his uneven start with the Lakers. "I'm not frustrated at all," Randle said. "I work too hard. I know eventually I'll have success and I'll figure things out. "Instead of being frustrated and down, when my name is called, [I'm] excited, ready to go, ready to bring that energy, bring good vibes." Los Angeles Times

Before LeBron James opened up one of the most anticipated training camps of his celebrated career, there was a phone call he wanted to make. James might have been preparing for his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he knew that some 2,400 miles away Kobe Bryant was preparing to make a return of his own -- back to NBA action after playing just six games last season because of a torn Achilles in his right leg and a fractured bone in his left knee. "I love Kobe," James said Friday before the Cavs hosted the Dallas Mavericks. "I love his competitive nature. I love competing against him. I talked to him before the season just to say it's great to have him back. Like I said about [Kevin] Durant and a couple of guys, our league doesn't seem right with certain guys not in uniform." ESPN.com

It hasn't been a triumphant return thus far, however, as the Lakers are 1-3 in their exhibition schedule. They dropped their past two games by an average of 37 points. And despite Bryant's positive production, he is shooting just 39 percent from the field. "I know that he doesn't enjoy the rebuilding phase, especially at this point in his career," James said. "But one thing about him -- he's going to give it his championship effort every night, and you have to understand that when you're competing against him." ESPN.com

October 19, 2014 Updates

Scott said he hasn’t talked with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti about Kelly’s timetable, but it seems likely he will not play in any preseason games. The Lakers have three other exhibitions on Tuesday (vs. Phoenix at Staples Center), on Wednesday (vs. Portland in Ontario) and on Friday (vs. Sacramento in Las Vegas). Los Angeles Daily News

"It was a time for me to go through some bumps and some hurdles and learn how to grow," Lin said in retrospect. "When I first got there, I was supposed to be the guy and they were supposed to kind of hand the torch to me. And I ended up getting traded away basically for nothing. Actually, they had to give up a draft pick to convince someone else to take me. Pretty much given away for nothing. Definitely not how I envisioned it." Los Angeles Times

October 18, 2014 Updates

Another person with high expectations for Randle is Kobe Bryant, who compared Scott’s decision to rest Randle in the second half to when Bryant broke his wrist in 1999, which caused him to miss the season’s first 15 games. “I think that’s all part of the process,” Bryant said. “I remember a big year for me (was) when I got hurt in Phil’s (Jackson) first year here and I had the chance the chance to watch and observe and sit next to Tex (Winter) and really study the game from that perspective. So there are myriad ways to learn. It doesn’t just have to be on the court.” NBA.com

A full offseason to recover proved not enough for Lakers forward Xavier Henry to heal from a surgically repaired right knee. So Henry will travel to New York City and Germany for additional treatment, ensuring that will stay sidelined for the Lakers’ four remaining preseason games. The Lakers estimate Henry will return Oct. 24, four days before the Lakers’ season opener against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. Henry will see Dr. Keith Pyne in New York City for a second opinion. Henry will then see Dr. Jens Hartmann in Dusseldorf, Germany sometime next week and undergo Regenokine treatment, a non-invasive procedure that Kobe Bryant has undergone numerous times in recent seasons. The treatment will entail blood being removed from Henry’s knee and spun in a centrifuge. Doctors will then create a serum and inject it back into his knee to fight off proteins and molecules that cause inflammation. Los Angeles Daily News

 

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