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Your Lakers medical update

Stethoscope Monday's practice centered mostly around learning injury statuses for various players, a task that later received a surprise goosing with news that Luke Walton is expected to miss a minimum of six weeks with a pinched nerve in his back.  A very unwelcome whammy, as the injury bug continues to make its presence felt in L.A.  On the plus side, the other principles are somewhere between "not gonna miss any time" and "fingers crossed, PT may be nigh."

The former description was for Kobe Bryant, who looked considerably more comfortable at the tail end of today's scrimmage than during Sunday's fall against Houston (which featured a 5-20 clip from the field).  Turns out, my eyes weren't deceiving me.  A full participant in practice, 24 responded well to the treatment on his strained right groin, which was cranked up after last night's loss.  "I went at it a little more aggressively," explained Kobe.  "(The pain) went away, but I just pulled it again, so I had do jump on it." 

Taking the groin by the horns in 'round the clock fashion led to a "long night," but the results will hopefully speak for themselves, even if occasionally voiced through gritted teeth.  "It's still there," said Kobe of his discomfort.  "But I can play through it." Bryant was asked if a increasingly heavy workload for Gary Vitti (Kobe, Pau, Andrew Bynum's elbow, now Walton) was a source of frustration, especially this early in the season. Just comes with the territory, according to the thirteen year vet.

"That's part of the season. Everybody has bangs and bruises. You just gotta treat 'em and get your ass back out there."

Presumably after the dirt gets rubbed in, of course. 
Kobe_eagles Another funny moment with Kobe. Asked by a reporter what "bothered" him most about Sunday's loss, he answered, "nothing."  Obviously, dude wasn't thrilled by the "L," but realistically speaking, stinkers are unavoidable over 82 games and playoff change and it's a mite early in the season to panic. A bigger picture perspective must be sensibly maintained.  "The key for us is to stay steady," insisted Kobe. "To constantly improve, to constantly get better."  

Pressed further about the "mood" at practice (nothing out of the ordinary), Bryant was told of doom and gloom settling over Los Angeles due to a weekend where a USC loss gets sandwiched by identical results from the Lakers.  "Oh, you've got to be kidding me," said Kobe while shaking his head.  No, Mamba.  It's true.  A playful grin slowly formed over Kobe's face. "Let 'em suffer, man." 

Of course, Kobe soon learned how losses hurt when the shoe's on the other foot.  Reminded his beloved Eagles also came up short, Kobe suddenly found the whole discussion less amusing. "Oh, you're just an ass," he told the writer as he abruptly wrapped the Q & A.

Note: Before this report gets twisted and blown out of proportion, Kobe WAS NOT actually angry upon getting razzed about Philly.  He "stormed off" purely for comedic effect. If the rumor mill goes into overdrive regarding a hot-headed Bryant tearing into a hapless scribe, don't blame me. My journalism remains responsible.

(For his part, when asked about the most disappointing part of the Houston loss, Phil Jackson cited a fourth quarter sequence where three offensive rebounds were surrendered, the second and third to the shrimpy Kyle Lowry, who drew a foul on Andrew Bynum while putting back the latter board and earning the "and one" trip.  "That kind of was emblematic.  They wanted the ball more.")

As for Pau Gasol, he took limited part in both half court and full court action this afternoon, the run actually increasing his confidence about a light at the end of his hamstrung tunnel.  "It felt pretty good," said Gasol of his troublesome hamstring.  "I was happily pleased with everything that we did today  I think the hamstring responded, so now we have to see how it feels tomorrow.  How it digests the work we put the work that we put in today."

Unfortunately, Pau's taken a recent drive on "Taking Part In Practice" Road before, only to get caught in a metaphorical speed trap that is a setback.  What makes him confident that a repeat letdown isn't waiting in the wings?  "I've learned to see how it feels, " explained Gasol.  "The hamstring, this injury, how it develops and the time of injury, and the symptoms.  So this time, it felt different.  It felt better.  Less discomfort.  I feel Ice-Cube-It-Was-A-Good-Day-DVDRip pretty confident that tomorrow will be another good day."

A "good day," as in "feel no side effects/suit up tomorrow against the Pistons/die hard Laker fan Ice Cube is stoked enough to record a remix?"  Well, not quite.  Gasol will definitely be in street clothes come Tuesday, but considered a debut 48 hours later against the Bulls "possible."  Optimistic, to be sure, but that guarded nature remained intact, along with a plan to exercise a couple days' worth of test runs.  "I didn't get this far to take another (step backward), because I was trying to do too much too quick," insisted Pau.  He'll see how the hammy feels tomorrow, with the goal to practice "fully" on Wednesday.  Fingers crossed, Hump Day isn't chock full of curve balls, but rather the final step in a return anxiously awaited and definitely needed.

Oh, and speaking of a debut hopefully on the horizon, Pau also quickly reminded us that his CSI: Miami episode aired Tuesday night.  Remember how I floated a theory about using his injury to build buzz for the appearance, and that it would look awfully suspicious if he just happened to emerge healthy right after the Nielsens were in?  I'm just saying...


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Thanks for the update, AK. And funny stuff regarding your "theory." Just a quick question...Do you think with Luke being sidelined for close to two months we may see a possible LO sighting at the SF position? I would guess, like it was mentioned by you or BK, that AMMO would get some run as the backup and of course Kobe will see some time at the 3 as well. But, if Morrison doesn't work out well do you think PJ might be more inclined to try the big lineup of Kobe, Ron, LO, Pau and Bynum? I'm curious how you or BK feel about how the backup SF position will pan out in the next two months.

In all seriousness, how does a pinched nerve take six weeks to heal?

I've had pinched nerves before. They suck, but they're gone in a couple of days with proper stretching.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


"The key for us is to stay steady," insisted Kobe. "To constantly improve, to constantly get better."

Exactly. At least you get it, Kobe.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


They killed Pau! Those bastards!!

It's time to panic, people!! This team obviously peaked three games ago against Phoenix, and it's all downhill from here.

Kupchak should trade Kobe while he still has some value (as the last two games have shown, clearly his age has caught up to him), Bynum before he gets hurt again, Artest before he blows up, and Pau 'cuz he can't even stay healthy on a crappy show like CSI!

Our players can't avoid being lured by Hollywood, however this is not the time to take two jobs or multi-tasking. Focus on the objective of the Lakers repeat whether starter or a sub. The way I look at it, our Lakers are just at par with a lot of teams and have not found a distinct dominating advantage in 1/8 games played of a young season. There are health issues, chemistry issues, in sync or slump issues and athleticism or speed issues, and yet they are 7-3, decent performance for middle of the road teams but not good enough for defending Champ.

Again, the message is stay focus on the prize.

I'm sure Pau is very familiar with the life of the Spanish Catalan hero, Antoni Gaudi. He battled rheumatism, ridiculed by his peers, lured by Barcelona politicians, avoided publicit. Yet, he never wavered on his focus on the prize i.e. the building "La Sagrada de Familia" whose work is still being continued to this day. As a famous architect, he could have been as wealthy as Pau Gasol but preferred to live like a pauper, saying in his death bed: "I belong here with the poor." Gaudi's work is the centerpiece in Barcelona. Your trip in this Mediterranean city will not be complete without seeing the magnificent work of the master architect.

To all our players who are being lured by Hollywood, here is a fan's message to Kobe, LO, Luke, Drew, Ron-Ron and lately, Pau....whatever side jobs you are lured, you are still identified as a Laker. Your success and failure in NBA will be measured not as an actor, advertiser, charity work but as a Laker player. There is a time for everything and today you have all missions to devote more time, more concentration, more passion, therefore focus on that mission.

Good morning,

Frankly, I just don't know what to expect tonight. The Lakers have lost two consecutive games to teams that wanted it more and seemed better prepared. The Nuggets and the Rockets are better teams than the Pistons, so that should be a plus. But the Lakers' will to win and play disciplined basketball are still suspect.

I think I'm with those of you who'd like Fish to volunteer to come off the bench. But my choice to start is Farmar, not UPS. Shannon is just too shaky as a point guard. Jordan knows how to get the ball to Andrew and Kobe. With the starters on the floor, he'll be less likely to take low percentage jumpers that lead to scoring by the other team.

Fish playing with the second unit will give it some stability on the floor. This will make a difference, especially with Luke out for six weeks. Putting Fish on the floor with Shannon at the 2 will give UPS more opportunities to use his scoring abilities and his athleticism.

Swapping Fish and Farmar will bring more discipline to both units. Each will be able to maximize his contribution.

Sure, things will be better when Gasol returns to the lineup. But there are 12 other players on the roster. The team is not firing on all cylinders, despite its winning record. The team as it was set up in 2008-2009 doesn't seem set to meet the challenges of the NBA in 2009-2010. Evolution is required. Resistance to change is a prescription for disappointment. I'm far from panicking. But I think the Lakers can benefit from a reset. JMHO. Let the brickbats now fly. Go Lakers!

On a side note...

"The Road" starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce looks like one heck of a movie. There aren't too many 'one man stands alone' films made these days, especially with great and gritty cinematography. The trailer of this one harkens me back to the days of the first Rambo. Let it roll!

I had forgotten that David Caruso gets his arss kicked by Rambo in that baby. An added bonus indeed.

And though Guy Pierce and Robert Duval get top billing in The Road, they're no where to be seen in the trailer, which leads me to believe they have great, surprise character roles, like everything else those two do.


"How it digests the work we put the work that we put in today"

Aww, ain't Pau so sweet ... still if it takes a soft heart to keep him killing 'em softly in the post, then so be it ... we need u out there champ but u've earned d rest so take ya time

Kobe, umm idk ... i salute him for continuing his iron man streak ... but i'd be lying if I didn't say i'm worried about the injuries he plays with at his age ... then again i ain't him, i ain't the one putting in the work ...

I'm with Ex. Time to PANIC!

"It's ironic, I had the brew she had the chronic
The Lakers beat the Supersonics"-Ice Cube

Does rappin get any better than that?

I don't think so.

Too bad for Kobe and his Eagles. lol

Go Lakers!
Go Chargers!

AN ODE TO LUKE(An unsung Hero)
It’s time to start a streak again, but without Luke it won’t be easy friend
Forget about when is Pau coming back, Without Luke we have no attack
He know’s the system and the flow, when Kobe needs advice it’s to Luke he does go.
Bynum leans on Luke for advice, and Pau learned his moves from Luke to be precise
Phil calls Luke his coach on the Floor, they listen to Luke and Kobe they ignore
Most Laker opponents shiver with fear, when in the line-up Luke does appear
The slashing, the dashing, the jab step too, Kobe learned from you know who
But being the modest man he is, He let Kobe take the credit that is rightfully his
Whenever luke is out for a spell, The Lakers never do as well
So face it you haters you might as well admit, Luke is the one that giveas the Lakers grit
He taught Ron-Ron the meaning of tough, Ron fears him in “Practice” cause he’s so tough.
Kobe scored 81 and people yelled and screamed , but Luke scored more than 2 teams.
So no more bad mouthing Luke from you, Luke is an Icon who the ell are you.

Rick Friedman,

"I think I'm with those of you who'd like Fish to volunteer to come off the bench. But my choice to start is Farmar, not UPS. Shannon is just too shaky as a point guard. Jordan knows how to get the ball to Andrew and Kobe."

My good friend, Rick you preferred Jordan, going against the grain of most Laker fans here who loved Shannon to jump start the Lakers. However, Phil feels more comfortable with the veteran, Fish. I can see his rationale from the point of stability and maturity in handling the ball, tho' Fish sacrifices speed and shooting accuracy (as of this time). He is in slump and we're familiar with his shooting trends in the last 12 years. Shannon gives the Lakers a renewed energy and another threat that the team can rely on. He does follow ups, rebounds and a good defender. Farmar is a good passer but inconsistent from game to game. His fame suddenly diminished after some time of watching him, in fact even the front office would not budge any early commitment on his contract. Being a Laker, we wish his progress and turn around, opinions are formed not because of him but more of his overall performance as a point guard since the departure of Smush. To this very day, he is just good as it gets, not spectacular and leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, that is just my opinion too.

How in the heck do they come up with 6 weeks for a pinched nerve? Maybe if he was laid up in the hospital on life support I might believe it but 6 weeks...hahahaha..Classic Luke!

Why couldn't Fish have a 6-week pinched nerve?

PJ still bashes Bynum of all people after that Houston game. I noticed he didn't mention Fish or LO but had to mention Andrew. Take away game 4 in the finals and D. Fish basically sucks as a PG...can't shoot and his man always looks like a All-Star and LO is in another world now being married. Last year was the first time LO had been focused since he has been here and now I am afraid we have the old LO back...happy go lucky and not focused.


"Iverson would even agree to come off the bench if he signs with a championship-caliber team."

Imagine he and Lamar running a break for the second the unit. Ooohhhweeeee!

Quite an upgrade over Farmar, no?

Compare the two from last season.

I say sign him up and watch the wins pile. Or the team implode. Great drama either way.

So apparently Boston gets Nocioni, Sacto gets Dalembert and Jr Giddens and Kenny Thomas, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine to Philly.

"Sources told that the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings, in considering the feasibility of a Samuel Dalembert-for-Kenny Thomas swap, have discussed expanding that concept with Boston by trying to draw in the Celtics on a potential three-way deal that would land Andres Nocioni with the Celts.

Sources further stressed over the past 48 hours that this should be classified as an ongoing conversation as the teams involved decide how much they like what’s on the table.

But the full deal as it stands, if it eventually gets that far, would send Nocioni to Boston, Kenny Thomas, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine to Philadelphia and Dalembert and J.R. Giddens to Sacramento."

Luke showed mettle out there the other night. It was Kobesque to watch Luke walk over, get his digit put back into place, and then proceed to play.

I would have thought his injury was related to this, but it's a pinched nerve? And the 6 week timeline? This does sound suspect to me... sort of how in the preseason and first week of the 91-92 season a certain hall of famer was out due to "the flu", and then we learned the truth.

These people that poke fun by saying it's time to panic remind me so much of hollywood. Twisted views so that their message makes no sense, but when viewed through their twist, it's actually humorous. Who on this blog has panicked since the Kobe to Chicago rumors? Pretty much no one.

Like any other time, winning or losing, things can always get better. I'd like to see more #1 and less #2. I'm with Rick regarding the starting unit, but I see UPS as fitting in well with those players also - I see #2 as fitting in the least right now. If he can't play D, can't pass, and can't pass, we're better off with Sasha in there because at least he'll hit half his open shots.

Call it a slump if you want to, or just name it the same thing that I named it: age.

an ode to Luke Walton??
without him we have no attack??

no MAMBA24, noo
so unnecessary!

can we just rest the whole 1st unit and start our bench
until everyone is healed.
Vitti needs to pass around the 'Roids so we can get everyone back pronto!!

I meant to say can't play D, can't pass, and can't SHOOT...

But, I AM in panic mode when it comes to 70 wins. That ride is totally getting repossessed, but I'm as bullish as ever on the post season where it counts. The win total thing was just for fun and entertainment.

As much as I am an advocate for patience and playing a whole season with the team, there is only so far you can go some of the bench guys.

What the bench guys are, are overachieving late first rounders with expiring contracts. We will still rack up wins with the guys we have, but it might be time to consider talent and veteran leadership a priority.

IMO, none of the bench mob will grow past what they are now. They are great with great players, but will never be gamers. There are, and will be a host of free agents and unsigned veterans available. I understand that Mitch or whomever works everyday to see what deals are out there, but I'm only presenting my opinion that certain players have peaked or have past their usefulness. Its time to cash those chips in.

Ex, not one to panic, advocates trading Kobe, Pau, Artest and Andrew (before he gets hurt again, which is obviously day to day) , but what good would that do if you don't fire Phil? His hip could go again at any minute.


True, but Gaudi got hit by a tram and the doctors assumed he was a homeless drunk who wouldn't be able to afford medical treatment.By the time they figured out who he was it was too late and he died without his obsession finished.

The moral of the story?
Pau should keep his hair tidy.

no MAMBA24, noo so unnecessary!Posted by: zach from san diego | November 17, 2009 at 09:04 AM

Just a lil satire to lighten up the day Zach. Don't worry I haven't completely went off the deep end yet. Lol!

Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Just doesn't have the ring to it. Bring back the Seattle Supersonics so we can have more good days in LA!

How in the heck do they come up with 6 weeks for a pinched nerve? Maybe if he was laid up in the hospital on life support I might believe it but 6 weeks...hahahaha...Classic Luke!



I got a pinched nerve reaching for the remote one time and I couldn't walk like a normal person for almost 6 months. I could hardly get the toilet paper near the nether regions for the first week, and little things like turning over in bed almost became impossible. I was lucky to find a movie that ran on a loop on my VCR, because there was no getting out of bed to adjust or change anything. It must have been 8-10 days of me and Clint Eastwood in that bed (Pardon the pun) with him trying to escape from Alcatraz and me trying to find a way to turn over. It was shocking how bad it hurt and it only quit acting up when I lost 30 pounds and started running regularly.

The sad thing is Luke seems to be echoing the same injuries as his dad, with the feet problems and now the back problems.

I hope he has some good movies at home.


Pts 3.7
Reb 1.7
Ast 1.9
To .7

Luke Walton will make a good coach someday... soon.


It's time to panic, people!! This team obviously peaked three games ago against Phoenix, and it's all downhill from here.

Kupchak should trade Kobe while he still has some value (as the last two games have shown, clearly his age has caught up to him), Bynum before he gets hurt again, Artest before he blows up, and Pau 'cuz he can't even stay healthy on a crappy show like CSI!

I TOTALLY AGREE! I also think that we should null and void Phil's contract, switch locker rooms with the Clipper's at Staples and maybe even contemplate a return to the Forum before they knock it down and put up a Staples.



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