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Injuries just one reason for Lakers' 105-85 loss to San Antonio Spurs

Lakers Spurs Jan 12

In the immediate aftermath of the Lakers' 105-85 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, most of the focus was on how Kobe Bryant's back spasms caused him to miss the entire fourth quarter. In the grand scheme of things, fans and reporters alike (including myself) know Bryant's injury has more big-picture implications than it being just a factor in the Lakers' loss to the Spurs.

Even if Bryant were to suit up for tonight's game against the Dallas Mavericks, his injury nonetheless brings more fragility to a unit already greatly affected by injuries. Pau Gasol missed his fifth consecutive game because of a left hamstring injury. Both Ron Artest (right index finger) and Sasha Vujacic (right hamstring) have injuries affecting them day to day that stemmed from Tuesday's contest. And Adam Morrison missed the game entirely because of flu-like symptoms.

All those missing and moving parts obviously gave the Lakers a short hand. But it doesn't completely account for the Lakers' weaknesses, marking the team's fourth consecutive road loss, its third defeat in the last four contests and a 13-8 record against winning teams (above .500). Most importantly, the Cleveland Cavaliers (30-10) are closing in on the Lakers (29-9) for the league's top spot.

The Lakers committed 14 turnovers, allowed the Spurs to shoot 57.3% and yielded at least 100 points for the ninth time in 12 games. Among its starters, Bryant was the only one to shoot more than 50%, and Andrew Bynum's 23 points was the rare bright spot. Two other starters -- guard Derek Fisher and forward Lamar Odom -- combined for only 13 points on three of 10 shooting.

One game after Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar provided needed bench support against the Bucks, they couldn't bring the same production against the Spurs. San Antonio's reserves outscored the Lakers  42-20. 

And though the Lakers never led after the first quarter, they erased a 22-point third-quarter deficit to six with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter. But all that offensive execution without Mamba's presence was wasted as the Spurs outscored the Lakers 25-5 the rest of the way.

The Lakers are 10-6 without Gasol. And they could be even worse off if Bryant's back forces him to miss games or at least be limited in both production and minutes. In the loss against San Antonio, the Lakers once again missed a golden opportunity to show they can survive without their top players.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the LA Times Lakers blog on Twitter and email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant, taking aim between the Spurs' Keith Bogans and Tony Parker, scored all 16 of his points in the first half. Bryant injured his back late in the first quarter and left the game for good late in the third. Credit: Brendan Maloney / US Presswire

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It'd be interesting to see the starting lineup of: Brown, Farmar, Bynum, Luke, and LO while Kobe, Pau and Artest heal what ails them. Just a thought to ponder about.

They were just hitting their stride when Gasol and Artest got hurt. Once everyone is back, it will take awhile to get to that point again.

Best record is vastly less important than being healthy and "in synch" (not the band, phred) when the playoffs start, which I'm sure is how Jackson is approaching it.

Bynum played well last night, but Duncan outplayed him. Now would be the time for Bynum to step up and have some dominating type of games.

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At this time last year, we were 31-7; this year it is 29-9. The sky is not falling...

"Most importantly, the Lakers (29-9) are no longer the best team in the league, with the Cleveland Cavaliers (30-10) holding the top spot..."

If my math is correct, 29-9 (.763) is better than 30-10 (.750)

The last 10-15 games have been really disappointing. Injuries are cropping up, the bench is underperforming, and the defensive fire just hasn't been there. I take solace in the fact that I've seen it before... in the three-peat era. Come playoff time, this team will be firing on all of its healthy cylinders.

Come back soon, Pau (but not TOO soon). You truly are the glue of this team.

Go Lake Show!

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Our prayers are with you and your mother. Life trumps all.
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Snake - Yeah good catch. I reworded it a tad.

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Nothing is more depressing than seeing Kobe hobbled now with a bad back as well as his broken fingers.
The silver lining is that it is January and not June and all that really counts is having everybody healthy and playing well when we go into the playoffs. Fully loaded, we can win even without home court advantage.
Bottom line, the silver lining may be that Kobe is forced to take some time off to get healthy. There is only one player whose presence is absolutely necessary for the Lakers to win the championship and that is Kobe.
Seems like the rumors of Tim Duncan’s early demise were not correct. Last night’s version of Timmy looked like the Hall of Fame version – at least on offense. I thought Drew played extremely well last night, showing again that he can hold his own against one of the best players in the game. His footwork and shooting off the glass were superb. Overall, the Spurs were unconscious from the field, especially Tim, hitting almost every jump shot he took. It was good to see Drew block his shot and hold his own.
The other promising sign was how the Lakers fed Drew and Ron in the post to get back into the game in the third quarter. If they could do that every game instead of launching long jumpers, we would be unbeatable. But it was great to see Ron punish the Spurs. He was the bull in the China shop last night. Bravo, Thriller.
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Guys, I hate to say this but we need a trade. Someone that can come in a lesson the scoring load and give kobe time to heal. It's really hard watching this team right now. I do have to say I was completley wrong last year when I wanted to trade Odom for Artest. I thought there is no way we would loose with his defense and scoring, Buy was I wrong. Either this guy has put on too much weight or Muscle or he has slowed down considerably. He can barely get to the rim. He looks like he has no hops. I would rather of had Trevor at this point. I hope i'm wrong about him. Last it really upset me that the radio said the Lakers were no match for the Spurs. What is going on with our team. Cleveland is cruising and of course shaq is along for the ride; What a Loser. We need some kind of spark. Any sugestions?



(01) FAITH – OWNER - Nemaia, strength to you and your family in this your time of need. In a perfect world the Lakers will gift you another championship to get your mind off your troubles. Let's keep the faith :-
(02) CARLOS DEEP – DRIVER - Nemaia Faletogo Forza Nemaia! Those of us that have gone through it share your grief . This blog is almost like our second family so our prayers are with you and your beloved Mom. Thank you for sharing your love with our LAKERS (despite all that is going on in your life) and for your always positive comments. Keep the faith and May the Peace be always with you and with your loved ones.
(03) VMAN - - Thanks for sharing your mother's story with us. Our prayers are with you. Such a love should be celebrated. We're lucky to have each other as sad as moments like yours now, can be. It puts all troubles, Laker or otherwise, back in the small stuff category.
(04) #4 - NEMAIA, much love to you & your family. Get back to caring for your mother. God Bless
(05) MAMBA24 – DRIVER – Nemaia god bless you & your family. Stay strong brother your Laker blog Family’s prayers are with you.
(06) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - Nemaia - I am so sorry to hear of the tragedy that you are currently experiencing. Death surely is the human family's greatest enemy. The prayers of your Laker family are with you. Stand firm - your faith will always be rewarded.
(07) CHIC-N-STU - Be Strong for your loved ones Nemaia. Much Love Brother.
(08) LADYGEM24 - First off, Nemaia Faletogo, may you find comfort in knowing many of us are caring about you, your mom and your family, and we hope good health will be restored to your mom soon. I hope that this laker blog community gives you some comfort during this difficult time.
(09) HOBBITMAGE - Nemaia Faletogo, re: family. I'm sorry for you. I just got back from a funeral this past weekend. Be Well!
(10) FEARLESS - Nemaia Faletogo, My family has your family in our prayers. Having gone through a similar situation with my mother (she was only 49 when she finally passed) in 2001, we know your pain. I know it is trivial, but you can fellowship with Lakers fans here on the blog and hopefully get your mind off things 2.5 hours at a time. Little consolation, I know, but we offer it just the same.
(11) JON-K. - Nemaia Faletogo, I'm so sorry about your mother. This must be an extremely difficult period for you. God bless you.
(12) WALLACE - Nemaia: I'm going through a similar situation with my mom as well right now therefore, I know exactly how you feel. Nevertheless, just want to let you know that I'm always with you all the way. In my case, I make peace with myself and reassure my mom every single day that she is loved and will be in our memory forever. I only talk to her only about the good times we had. In the meantime, we're trying to make her as comfortable and pain free for the the time she has left....
(13) JOHNNYP - Nemaia, Love to you and your family from your Lakers family.
(14) LAKERTOM – Nemaia Our prayers are with you and your mother. Life trumps all.

LakerTom, I agree with your sentiment on Duncan. He's still quite good. Bynum did well against him.

Haven't heard much from Mitch proclaiming 'we aren't going to make any moves' as he did last year. That may indicate there is some action going on behind the scenes.


u little pathological and hypocritical homophobe

because U R a man, please live up "those" expectations: u have a screen name referring to the best player ever and u r the one who badmouthed him: kinda swishy or maybe wishy-washy?

stick to your lists, propaganda. and don't forget to point out the obvious.

Mamba24 - wow - I seem to have lost my "saying" that was top of the list before the actual ROOOLLLLLL CAAALLLLLL. I guess I've been replaced....

Well - as long as it's still all about the love, I will survive - I will survive - yeah yeah... :)


haha, Ron Ron has no hops he needs spring loaded custom shoes

Interesting how none of the bloggers said a word when JonK told me he would like me to repeat what I blogged regarding Fisher one on one in an alley. Which sounded like a threat to me. and then when on to insult me on more than one occasion. While his blogs have been totally mean spirited and nasty towards me, I have been totaly lighthearted. I really enjoy this blog, and I'm very suprised to see how some of the Laker fans are much more knowlegeable than I anticipated. I hope can I continue to participate, and I think you are doing a great job.
Posted by: DFish | January 13, 2010 at 08:13 AM

DFish, Jon K is a pretty good guy and has been part of the blog here for many years. His passion for the Lakers is enormous. Once you have the opportunity to get to know him more, I think you may change your mind about him.

Your comment about the intelligence here is one that I agree with. I have seen Laker Tom (another in the long list of intelligent loyal bloggers here) post about the very same thing. I have to summarize because I can't recall it verbatum: The knowledge here is like a Post Graduate undertaking. It has to do with what LT calls "Blogsynch" or something like that.

In effect, we debate and make observations here and when talked through and digested, there is a common thinking here that is intelligent and profound. I'm not sure I have ever seen anything like it. I simply appreciate it. I didn't post here and just read the posts for years and really, I learned alot!

In addition to all of this, we have Laker poems, songs, bandwagons, and an incredible roll call! I mean come on, this is an exciting community here.

If I know anything about Jon K, I would guess that if you chose to talk basketball instead of attack him, you will have peace with him. I've never seen any indication of him being mean spirited.

Dfish, live up to the name you have chosen. Fisher is a favorite son around here even though his star is dimming. I mean, even James Worth declined dramatically during his last season with the Lakers. Fisher is doing MUCH better than that!

I hope it is just a spasm and not a disc problem for Kobe. The amazing thing about this team is that despite all of the injuries to many key palyers, we will have the best record in the NBA.

I don't mind if Kobe takes some significant time to heal up the back and the finger. I also want Pau to give his hamstrings a real rest. We don't need to have the best record in the NBA going into the playoffs, but we do need to have a healthy team by then. We can play .500 ball with Pau and Kobe out. Then when they come back- healthy - we can go on a streak to close out the season.

Oh and crzy fan: Ron has a right foot problem, it is affecting his lift and his speed. If he can get it right, he should be back to being dominant again. Remember, before he went out with the head injury, the Lakers were playing great D, better than last season.

@ #4

"Haven't heard much from Mitch proclaiming 'we aren't going to make any moves' as he did last year. That may indicate there is some action going on behind the scenes."

Which leads me to believe that the Bosh for Bynum will not happen. Mitch has been under the radar regarding trades.

I agree with the Blogger about RonRon -- he is easily inept offensively as Fish and Lamar..and yeah, he can't get up off the floor to save his life! I think he needs to leave the mass of muscle alone and lean it up some -- something!

We are pretty much unwatchable right now -- content on shooting jumpers and cannot shoot them with any consistency -- when something down low is working with Drew, we don't do anything to get him the ball like we should ...We just look bad without Kobe and Pau -- really really bad..Lamar doesn't want to shoot, for fear of missing and not wanting to be "that guy", Ron will shoot without consciousness as does Fish and Jordie and instead of making the right play, they drive the lane and charge and get offensive fouls and turn the ball over. They look like a D-League team without our two TOP players and that's not being harsh, that's real TALK.

So I agree, we need an UPGRADE, Hell, something!


Also, before Kobe went off the floor, i was watching him instructing the guys on the floor where to be on the court, pointing here, gesturing there -- he does soooo many things for this team BEYOND SHOOTING which many on here want to DIS him for, he is a floor leader and he is the one player aside from Pau that allows for cohesiveness on the court...So when he's not out there -- everything is pretty much scattered and disjointed and plenty indecision!

Charles: first off, glad you're back in some capacity.

I do agree with that Bosh/Bynum sentiment. It was suspect from the time the thought entered Peter Vecsey's mind.

I do, however, believe that something might occur with the bench players. Jordan's been looking good as of late, and he was not signed to a contract extension.

Even if he isn't traded, I think he's the chip that's being tossed about.

This is an amazing place. We even have prayers. I saw a movie once (I'm big on symbolism) and it cenetered around a Rock Band. They were young studs and there came along a new guy that was a little different than what they were used to.

The members started attacking him and had trouble accepting the new guy because he was sensitive and insightful and his energy was just really different. The leader stepped in and talked to the others and said "Every group needs a poet and he's ours."

We have everything here. We are a lucky bunch.

Peace and love out to N Faletogo.

The game last night sucked. But I really don't feel all that bad about it. It looked like the Spurs were giving it everything they had. Being that the Spurs were healthy and the Lakers were not, I'm not concerned about future matchups with this team.

It was actually nice to see Tim Duncan play like his old self. He stepped up to the Bynum challenge, although Bynum still had 23 points.

Of course Kobe's injury is the real story. I remember a good post written by puddle a few days ago about the importance of fully healing Laker injuries instead of going out there and playing at less than 100%. I think the Lakers should take heed to those words in regards to this back injury to Kobe. I do not want to see this injury linger through the playoffs, even if it means losing a few games in the process.

If Kobe misses time, and Gasol misses more time, Bynum will have the opportunity to be the main option on offense. That will be very interesting to see. We know Bynum can drop 20/10 every game, but can he be a go-to guy in the clutch? Can the Lakers win with Bynum as the #1 option? That is something I'd like to see. If anything, that experience would be invaluable for Bynum come playoff time.

Go Lakers!
Go Chargers!

Just got on the blog and learn about Nemaia's loss of his beoved Mom. There are lot of memories attached to it so I wish the blog family will say a prayer for the repose of her soul as well as the surviving family in grief.

Yes, I read what Lakerfan said that we are aide-camp of LakerTom, not bad at all. I often thought I was a nemesis of my good friend but perhaps because of my several typos and missing words in my posts and bad grammar too (sigh), it has been misconstrued and misunderstood. Anyway, I would fully accept a follower of anybody, as well as Mamba 24 my idol and the only true god-blog.

I am also sorry to Mark Medina for jumping on the gun on other LAT new ventures. However, being a baby boomer we belonged to a confused generation of all new things around us. I was just composing my thoughts on Windows 95 mode, suddenly 98 was introduced, then XP, then Vista, Windows 7 etc. etc. life has been too fast and too quick, we are not ready for such changes. We love to cling on what was working in the past. I also know that there is a thin red line that differentiates Bernard Madoff and Bill Gates.

Passion is never hurried or forced, it is ingrained in the soul to attain contentment. Your social networking is best offered in a participated democracy where it is promoted to the community on those who want to join and participate like Rick F. and many others, not dictated by a policy of another new sheriff. We are still adjusting to the post KBros era, we have been inundated by new names daily from Barry to Mike, to Brod, to Houston back to another Mike j until finally M/M now TP. I like what we have where we maintain our privacy yet belong to a community with similar wants and dreams. We are wary to give in to our self as well as our true identities to the world beyond.

We also understand the pressure on your end, you don't own this site to be ever charitable to everyone but ours is more sublime because it's purely Lakers passion and without the Lakers most of us will not be here. If there are idiots who insist in stealing identities by posting our names, please publish their email address and we'll reserve a space in the hall of shame in this blog.

We're 4 long, leg weary months from the second season.

Phil is a master at working rotations to max April peak but he may not have a vote in the "should Kobe take a break" debate. Hopefully he rests.

Let the kids have it. Let the "other guys" roll. Let Lamar break out or not, Andrew step into the light, Shannon add to the ESPN top 10 highlight reel.

Sorry to say, these games matter, but not really.

OMG Bryant please don't "Strap your boots on to play" this is getting psychotic! I am seriously worried now.


Mamba24 - wow - I seem to have lost my "saying" that was top of the list before the actual ROOOLLLLLL CAAALLLLLL. I guess I've been replaced....Well - as long as it's still all about the love, I will survive - I will survive - yeah yeah... :) Posted by: justanothermambafan | January 13, 2010 at 09:46 AM

How the %%$## could I leave out the head of my family. JAMambaFan forgive me for I have sinned. It's a biatch submitting Rollcall you just don't know Bro. Strange things happen words become rearranged lines get dropped. but I accept full responsibility. I promise sir it will not happen again and if you want to banish me from the Mamba family I will understand. LoL. Sorry bro. it won't happen again. Just like the Lakers I had a bad posting streak. Lol!

I just got caught up with the many posts this morning.

Wallace, God bless you and your family.

I hope you join us tonight on the game chat, as usual.

Mamba24, Great job sir!! I love your posts and your ability to comfort us in times of need.

Kobe MUST sit for a week. We can live with a couple of losses, we need him in the playoffs if we want to win it all.

I have one and only one necessity: that our medical staff KNOWS all that is requested.
I am not in crazy mode for these physical struggling because it's january. But some of the injuries that are plaguing us are of that vicious kind that heals temporarily and stay struck along, sneaking at the very moment we would be' ready to cancel them from our perspectives.

I don't care about trades and I don't want rush people in. Let's play our second lines. In the general boards, we might lose occasional battles, sure. But once we will be' back as a compact and healthy unit, given Kobe and Pau and aron time and space to' heal, we will still be the top team.

I don't care about Crabs record. Look what they Made of it last year.


Ammo: you please may put aside your flu like symptomes and help the ship sailing back in a good wind direction? Fine.

In these days, unless your flu symptomes don't imply a partial paralysis of your upper or lower body, sorry but you gotta play.

PDfish, live up to the name you have chosen. Fisher is a favorite son around here even though his star is dimming. I mean, even James Worth declined dramatically during his last season with the Lakers. Fisher is doing MUCH better than that! Posted by: JohnnyV | January 13, 2010 at 09:53 AM
We have everything here. We are a lucky bunch.

JohnnyV you are a diplomat as well as a scholar and great sports intelllect. I salute you sir. you are also one last thing...OUT FREAKIN STANDING. I'ts a pleasure being a part of your blogging family

PDfish, live up to the name you have chosen. Fisher is a favorite son around here even though his star is dimming. I mean, even James Worth declined dramatically during his last season with the Lakers. Fisher is doing MUCH better than that! Posted by: JohnnyV | January 13, 2010 at 09:53 AM
We have everything here. We are a lucky bunch.

JohnnyV you are a diplomat as well as a scholar and great sports intelllect. I salute you sir. you are also one last thing...OUT FREAKIN STANDING. I'ts a pleasure being a part of your blogging family


i've seen you happily signed up last night on the chat. and u don't agree with it and at the same time u r asking everyone to get in line

i know that the jabber box is the most fun of this site. so why don't U suggested something like:

Comments and Feedback
We welcome your comments and suggestions about and the Los Angeles Times.
• For technical questions or comments about our website, use our convenient comment form.
• Send a letter to the editor.
• For questions about journalistic standards, practices and accuracy, contact the Readers' Representative Office by e-mail, phone (877) 554-4000 or fax (213) 237-3535.

where we all can complain about this terrible thinking by the God Blogger, Terry Pierce, and him imposing his technical thinking and shortcomings on all of US.

the references have complain forms for technical issues, readers issues and also if one does't want to write, conveniently they can all a free number or a local one.

where is Mamba24 when you need him for serious issues. where is the technical issues bandwagon. or he just want to suck up to LAT and MM to be able to post his 4 page non-sense. how about a worthy cause?????????????

i know activism is never convenient for americans. voting like sheep, YES, WE CAN


Dfish, live up to the name you have chosen. Fisher is a favorite son around here even though his star is dimming. I mean, even James Worth declined dramatically during his last season with the Lakers. Fisher is doing MUCH better than that! Posted by: JohnnyV | January 13, 2010 at 09:53 AM

JohnnyV you are a diplomat as well as a scholar and great sports intelllect. I salute you sir. you are also one last thing...OUT FREAKIN STANDING

SWISH - I Have bigger fish to fry so just "Swish" your lil self along now dear here! SWISH, ROFLMAO!!! HAHAHHAHAHA


have a solution for you. Get a MAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stick to your lists, propaganda. and don't forget to point out the obvious. Posted by: just another "index" swish | January 13, 2010 at 09:45 AM

What is the obvious Swish? Come on please enlighten me.

Prayers and blessings to Nemaia Faletogo and his family during this most difficult time, lifting you up with love and prayer, brother. Love always.



Prior to Christmas injury, RonRon was an explosive guard and rebounder, today he's sleepwalking and going to the process. I think he's still healing and we should be thankful that he's playing out there in lieu of Gasol and Kobe. Sometimes, it is best to rest them and tank our chances of winning with the 2nd team. If we kept on playing an injured or half composed player, we are also risking a greater injury in the end like what happened to Michael Redd who just came back from injury too. On the other hand, I'm sure PJ realizes that we are short handed, the young ones cannot handle the talents out there, it is still our Bigs that carries this team.

where is Mamba24 when you need him for serious issues. where is the technical issues bandwagon. or he just want to suck up to LAT and MM to be able to post his 4 page non-sense. how about a worthy cause?????????????Posted by: just another "index" swish | January 13, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Guilty on all counts Swish. I always said I was the court Jester my man. Suck up? If expressing admiration for someone's talent is suck-up, again guilty as charged. I guess since I'm the jester you must be the Dark Sith Lord because all of your post seem to be on the Dark side. One last thing Bro, please don't mistake my persona on the Blog and think you know me. that would be a terrible mistake. Well I guess i'll go now and fry my other fish. Bye bYe

Just another index swish,

I have no problems perhaps that's a problem for techno blogger so introduce a problem. Mac or no Mac, it is another jingoistic tool. Try to minimize your hustle and enjoy what is working.

Also, be nice to Mamba24, he's not available in the evening and he is not aware of any issues that you are talking about. If he remains silent, that is his preference.

CHICK-N-STu Thank you and the pleasure is all mine sir

Edwin Gueco, sorry that was my fault for not being more clear in my post. His mother is suffering from cancer and is in the last stages. SORRY FOR ANY CONFUSION I CAUSED TO YOU OR THE BLOG.

Well, if it was not a loss then there is still hope. I am acquainted to a lot of people who survived from this disease in their last stages. I will promote our little hospital in the Valley that worked miracles on cancer patients - City of Hope in Duarte, CA.

Therefore, a little adjustment to our prayers, I'm sure the good Lord will understand our intentions. Thanks for informing Mamba24.

man, i've got crazy crap going on or i would have posted something sooner, but Nemaia, i'm really sorry to hear about your mom. thoughts and the prayers and everything for you and your family.

@Edwin Gueco:

Great input..I am def thankful to have Ron out there because injured or not, he changes others approach to attacking us..I am just acknowledging that he has no lift and that his shot is off...its noticeable to all..

I think Swish has been hitting the sauce early. Congrats on the "least coherent post of the day" award. Better dust off your mantel.

Go Lake Show!

What have you been watching for the past 5 years. Bone head Baby "
I can play anywhere" Bynum has only gone to the bench. He stinks in the final 5 minutes of a game. How many games has the Lakers won against winning records when Bone head is in the final minutes-ZEROOOOOOOOOOO


Bynum hasn't even had a chance in crunch time. Kobe and Pau take most of the touches. That's my whole point, I want to see Bynum in those situations.

You think Bynum is a 'bonehead', I think you're wrong. Bynum has shown that he's a very smart player. He usually makes the right plays and is in the right positions.

Hopefully, we'll get to see Bynum as the #1 option so you'll be proved wrong.

Go Lakers!
Go Chargers!

Ok seriously?!


Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Sasha Vujacic, Ron Artest, Adam Morrison. Wtf?!

I think Bynum is on deck

Anyways lakers are gonna start losing all the games if they don't get pau gasol and sasha healthy. Also kobe needs to stop with back spasms

Mamba24 always great posts, dead on point.



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