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Kobe Bryant and the Lakers say they're ready for his return against Memphis

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Move over Mamba. There's a new show in town in the animal kingdom. And that title belongs to the gazelle, the animal Lakers guard Kobe Bryant compared himself to when talking about his left ankle.

"I feel fine," said Bryant, who said he would play Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing the last five games because of a sprained left ankle and a sore tendon. "I feel like a gazelle."

That's a dose of good news to an otherwise injury-riddled team. But with Bryant back in the lineup, the major injuries strictly revolve among the reserves, including Sasha Vujacic (right shoulder) and Luke Walton (pinched nerve in lower back). And though Bryant says his ankle is at about 80-85% recovered, he says he's comfortable being on the court "while I play to get to 100%."

Among the bullet points regarding his injury:

*His return revolves around a simple criteria ("It's just if it's ready to go. That's always been my stance.").

*The five-day period between last week's game against Boston and tomorrow's game against Memphis had zero influence on his decision to sit against the Celtics ("I just wasn’t ready to play. If I was ready to go, I would’ve went. Days off and the next day doesn’t have anything to do with my decision. It’s just all about how I feel at that point.").

*He acknowledges the Lakers' back-to-back games against Memphis and Dallas will present challenges, including his own injury ("That's the ultimate test to see how it develops.").

*And with the Lakers (42-14) holding a 4-1 record during Bryant's absence, he's not worried one bit about team chemistry being an adjustment ("Everybody is playing with a pretty good rhythm. The key is just to keep it going.")

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson maintained a wait-and-see approach regarding mostly everything involving Bryant's injury. He was noncommittal on how many minutes Bryant would play and if there's going to be any adjustment period. He didn't talk about the need for the team to maintain its team balance, acknowledging, "We'll assume it'll happen."

Jackson was open to the idea that forward Adam Morrison would see increased playing time because of the absence of Vujacic and Walton. And he made it pretty clear that the increased minutes from Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar during Bryant's absence weren't an indicator of increased minutes upon Bryant's return.

The Lakers welcomed the return, but stressed they must sustain the team balance and defensive performances that were present throughout their 4-1 run without Bryant. The five games featured at least four players each scoring in double digits and the team holding opponents below their points per game allowed average (96.21).

Forward Pau Gasol conceded maintaining those marks will be a challenge, saying Bryant's return "will be a little bit of an adjustment for us." But when a reporter asked forward Ron Artest how he thinks Bryant will do adjusting back into the lineup, Artest made his point abundantly clear: "It's how we're looking getting back with Kobe. Don't get it twisted now. This is the Mamba show and we're happy to have him back."

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will make his return Tuesday against Memphis after missing the last five games because of a sprained left ankle and injured tendon. Credit: Mark Weber/Associated Press.

 
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prob my fave Artest quote of the season! "Don't get it twisted now. This is the Mamba show and we're happy to have him back." love it.

I just realized something. We're one big Giligan's Island, with Faith and Zaira as Maryann and Ginger.


Can I be the professor? Still young, intelligent. He's probably the only one worth datingthoughg Anna Nicole would like Thursten.


Wes

Luke and sasha are both out!!!

Holy freakin toledos! Hide the women and children!! Its gonna get crazy up in here!!

Somebody pinch me please! Woooooohoooooo!!

Is it just me? Why can Nocioni get a DUI with no fanfare, but let a young black athlete get one--anywhere, anytime--and it's front page news on every sports.com?


Hmmm.


Wes

Wes?

Hu?
examples?

yellofever

LOL!!!!!!!!

DONT COME BACK AGAINST MEMPHIS . . .

A laker always gets injured every time

I do like Thriller's attitude.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

wesjoenixon:

You wrote: "I just realized something. We're one big Giligan's Island, with Faith and Zaira as Maryann and Ginger. "

Response: More like "One flew over to Cuckoo's nest". remember Nurse Ratched? hahahaha

Elizabeth you hear? I am coming to see you!!

Kobe sure is keeping his cards close to his chest in that clip. He doesn't want to give the competition anything to prepare for.

Oh, by the way, I've called Kobe "the Gazelle" for years, because when he's explosive he moves like a gazelle.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Is it only me noticing that Artest is the only guy who is excited to see Kobe back?What's with Pau, does he have issues with KB? Why there is always a jab at KB on all his interviews? I am not hating on Pau but he should stop this.

GO KOBE!!! GO ARTEST!!!GO LAKERS!!!

NBA & Fred,


Yeah, we're like Gilligan's Island. Two attractive women, a bunch of goons for men.


Wes

Kobe showing off his tongue in this thread: a) looks like he belong to Maori tribe of NZ; b) a feeling of accomplishment similar to Bode Miller's reaction after his gold medal run; c) another imitation of MJ facial expressions.

Since this is the Lakers Blog where opinions are synthesized and make a big deal out of it, please don't waste a post in giving a knee jerk reaction in defense of Kobe or riding on it as a negative comment.

Nowadays, we are scaring a lot of fans both domestic and international to come and post in our blog because of our uncanny or smart-alecky attitudes with one another. I wish we can emulate more of Mamba24 or WesJoe with light entertainment that is not threatening to the other type of Laker fans.

Two more things. Manny hinting he'll retire after this year is another clue that his best year were roids years. First he comes back from a drug suspension a fraction of the hitter he was before he stopped juicing, and now a sudden departure form the game. Wasn't he the best hitter in baseball just over a year ago?


And has anyone ever destroyed his legacy like Iverson has? He's about to get cut form the Sixers, after really embarrassing himself with Memphis and Detroit. I've never had a problem with him before, but the way he's acted these last two years has been shockingly selfish to me. I've never seen someone so remorsefully selfish--and this coming form a Laker/Kobe fan.


Wes

staples 24

Kobe knows how to pace his shot taking! Kobe is what he is a alpha baller aggressive at all times not Lebron who looks great for 41/2 qtrs then shrinks in the clutch not Kobe he has taken us to 6 finals with his style. Phil was out coached both times we lost in the finals because he refused to make adjustments
or because of his Luke, Chris Mihm fetish. Kobe is capable of playing with all of his teammates the question is can they play with him? Recall Olympics as a point of reference Coach K entrusted Kobe to use his skill sets to bring them the gold and he did that!

Posted by: chuck23 | February 22, 2010 at 05:57 PM
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Recent Posts
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers say they're ready for his return against Memphis | February 22, 2010, 4:42 pm »
Kobe Bryant says he will play Tuesday against Memphis | February 22, 2010, 2:12 pm »
Caught in the Web: Lakers aware of their competition | February 22, 2010, 10:15 am »
Back to back games is a familiar concept for the Lakers | February 22, 2010, 8:03 am »
Caught in the Web: Injuries continue to be an issue with the Lakers | February 21, 2010, 11:56 am »

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RE: Kobe Bryant says he will play Tuesday against Memphis | comment by chuck23

RE: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers say they're ready for his return against Memphis | comment by wesjoenixon

RE: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers say they're ready for his return against Memphis | comment by Jeanette

RE: Kobe Bryant says he will play Tuesday against Memphis | comment by mclyne

RE: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers say they're ready for his return against Memphis | comment by Jon K.

RE: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers say they're ready for his return against Memphis | comment by Fred G. Sanford


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Thanks Edwin, but our differences make us great. Even though people argue, I think the level of respect and civility here is pretty darn high, especially when I compare this room with my other fav chat the stltoday rams chat. That place is a dungeon with about 4 brain cells spread out among 200 people. I mean neanderthals wth no manners raised by wolves, taught to tpe and let loose online.


Wes

from: http://tinyurl.com/yfrpeel

The Los Angeles Times reported the NBA has told teams the center won’t be allowed to return to the Cavaliers, based on evidence there was a prearranged deal. The Cavs traded Ilgauskas and a No. 1 draft pick for Antawn Jamison(notes) on Thursday, and many in the NBA – including Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers – insisted they believed Ilgauskas was always destined to return to Cleveland.

------------------

This makes me less concerned about the Cavs

check that.

http://tinyurl.com/yhnbty3

An official within the NBA told The Associated Press on Monday the league has not threatened to stop a potential reunion between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

wes - Nocioni got a DUI? Seriously - I have not heard a PEEP about that. Ridiculous....


hobbit - the NBA will NOT block Z going back to the Crabs??? Has there ever been any more OBVIOUS cheating in the NBA??? If it has anything to do with Darth Stern's favorite princess, it seems like it's all good. Stern and his slimy band of minions make me wanna scream... make me lose my cool...

Laker Tom -


Come on at half time. It's slower when the game's not on, and I promise we'll go easy on you!

The Cavaliers are 0-3 without Zydrunas Ilgauskas............does that mean big Z is MVP?

Laker Tom -
Come on at half time. It's slower when the game's not on, and I promise we'll go easy on you!
Posted by: justanothermambafan | February 22, 2010 at 07:01

It would be great to see you there LT. Marky Mark leaves us to ourselves during halftime and we are all on our best behavior. Join us for a bit. It actually slows down quite a bit during the break.


This is my first post on the blog even though I've been following for over a year or so, so I guess I'm an official 'newbie'.

Anyhoo, glad to read that KB will be returning to the lineup tomorrow. The team has played very well during his absence but we true Lakers fans always want the Black Mamba on the court ready to play at gametime.

Looking ahead to the offseason, I'd really like to see Mitch try to get Mike Miller from the Wizards. I think his contract is up at the end of the season and I think he'd fit right into the triangle. He's a high energy guy who hustles, can shoot the three, is unselfish, and plays pretty good defense.

Btw, to all the old skool Lakers fans, does anyone remember Jim McMillan back during the '69 championship season? He was one of my favorite 'unheralded' Lakers players back in da day.

Oh well, let's get revenge on Memphis tomorrow!

LOL pfunk - I believe it does. No wonder the princess looks so upset. Not only did she not win the ASG MVP, but now her season MVP is not looking like it's in the bag either!

G in DC,

Try to post more, we need newbies like you.

With your suggestion of Mike Miller, he's getting 9.7M w/ the Wizzards, I doubt if he'll go down to 2M bi-annual contract. You see Lakers are in the luxury threshold, so whoever they sign is equivalent to 2x even after eliminating all expiring contracts. A 9.7M contract would mean trading LO or Artest + Walton just to Miller's salary scale unless of course, he'll sacrifice the salary in lieu of less playing time and less pay too.

Sorry, I meant the '71-'72 championship season.

Pfunk36,

On your Z' comments, it is similar to Lakers lost to the Celtics because they missed Luke Walton.

Ronnie Brewer aquired four days ago via trade from Utah and already suffered a partially torn hamstring.

Looks like the Memphis hex backfired on them.

Edwin, it's true that the blog isn't as zany as in years past. But it's bigger! And bigger is better, right? Right, Edwin? Edwin? Hello?

"Is it only me noticing that Artest is the only guy who is excited to see Kobe back?What's with Pau, does he have issues with KB? Why there is always a jab at KB on all his interviews? I am not hating on Pau but he should stop this. "

Jeanette


It's not only you because I see it as well. Pau suffers from a distinct psychosis that renders him helpless to introspection. It is a similar condition to that of Phil Jackson but I know Phil's experimentation with the hallucinagen LSD in the 70's greatly contributes to his........but I have yet to figure out the source of Pau's.


Suffice it to say Pau is totally out of touch with reality and this malady he suffers from is only exacerbated by the inane questions of this local media.

I mean think about it......Kobe has rescued this guy from the abyss and helped him to 2 Finals and 2 all-star games (even when he didn't deserve it) Kobe has made this guy relevant when he was irrelevant in Memphis and what does Pau do?

He continually questions the hand that feeds him.......this behavior is peturbing at best and at worst shows signs of sleep deprivation, bipolar disorder or something even more sinister.

Pau just refuses to realize that if he wants to stomp with the big dogs he'd better get off the porch..........and when he gets off the porch there is no time for thinking or intellectualizing..........it is incumbent upon the little dog to adjust to the big dogs............and Kobe is the big dog.

Hey Pau Kobe doesn't adjust to YOU.........YOU adjust to him! Get in where you fit in and stop all this parallel reality escapism that exist in your brain.


Like Ron Artest said so eloquently and succinctly......" "It's how we're looking getting back with Kobe. Don't get it twisted now. This is the Mamba show"!


By the way Pau.......Ron is the only other big dog on the team........If I were you.....I'd listen

Hey guys. Don't get it twisted lol. I didn't take Gasol's comments as an indirect jab at Kobe. If anything it was the opposite. These are the words he said. "That will be a little bit of an adjustment for us. But we're excited to have him back." Gasol is saying the team will likely go through an adjustment phase, not Kobe. I've always thought the inconsistent team chemistry this season mostly was a combination of injuries that overlapped each other/Kobe's want/need to carry the workload/team passivity for accepting that as Kobe's role. But Pau is suggesting more that the team has to make the adjustments, not Kobe. Obviously Artest's quotes are even more complimentary but that's just in Ron's nature that extends beyond Kobe. Because of his poor reputation at the beginning of his career, Artest is making a very concerted effort to be a good teammate/say the right things/set an example. So take those comments under that context rather than Artest is praising Kobe and Gasol is indirectly dissing him.

MM

The Zydrunas trade is a huge error, they blinked when the moment of truth arrived. Read what I've been writing on this blog since the trade was made, JAMISON is NOT AMAR'E! Danny Ferry probably just blew the Cav's chances. This was a trade to match up with east teams, probably specifically to counter the Magic's Rashard Lewis or the Celtics Pierce.

This trade WEAKENS the Cav's against the Lakers and their bigs. I don't want to repeat what I've written here a couple times before, Jamison is simply an ill fit for the Cavs, same as Richard Jefferson is on the Spurs and several other instances (the Mav's trade was actually pretty good one though). The Cav's just made the Shaq-to-Suns mistake, Danny Ferry repeating the Steve Kerr mistake to cave into public pressure - in the Suns case it was trying to match the Pau-to-Lakers heist.

As I wrote, this is only acceptable if Jamison is for free, if they get Ilgauskas back. Jamison is a fine backup, but his starter days are about 3 yrs past - at least on a championship-aspiring team. But now the league is blocking Big-Z from returning? Beautiful. I don't know about the morality of blocking a move and 'creating' a rule mid-season like that, specifically to block a team from doing what has been done many times before.

But if this is true, now the Cav's are $%^&ed.

As for the Black Mamba, or is it the Gazelle - WELCOME BACK KOBE, WE MISSED YA!!!!!!!!

M2 & Jeanette,

>>> Is it only me noticing that Artest is the only guy who is excited to see Kobe back?What's with Pau, does he have issues with KB? Why there is always a jab at KB on all his interviews? I am not hating on Pau but he should stop this.

Whatever Pau meant today, he has in fact on numerous occasions made comments that can be interpreted as zingers toward Kobe. As much as I hate pre-fab soundbites made for the cameras, they exist for a reason. In all and any organizations, dirty laundry should never be on display to the public.

Considering ill-advised past comments from Andrew, Jordan, and Pau, I believe it is incumbent on John Black to school these guys. Nothing uttered in public should ever give comfort to the enemy.

Sure, we bloggers all lap these comments up and write post upon extended post interpreting, analyzing, conjecturing, posturing, and all the rest. But pro athletes should make their statements on the court and in the locker room.

That still leaves plenty to talk about in pre- andpost-game interviews. Explain what happened on a given play. Talk about your own mis-steps. Talk about your opponent. But never criticize your team mates or your coaches on camera. Ever.

I'm glad Thriller goes out of his way to show he's a good team mate. It's a cue I'd like all the Lakers to follow.

To all those great souls who were crowing with semi-Lebron-love when we won 3 games w/o Kobe:

You were saying that even without Kobe we're able to win games, so he is not the MVP, and Lebron deserves the MVP because Cavs can't win without him.

Well, since Zydrunas was traded, the Cavs have NOT won a single game (they're 0-3). So, does this mean that he is the MVP??

And all you Kobe haters are going to spew hatred once Kobe comes back and (i) either drops 40, or (ii) shoots badly... Start getting your arguments ready for anti-Kobe stuff despite what he does tomorrow!!

Guys a new post is up.

Rick, as far as your proposal regarding John Black telling the team to tell everyone to be on page is entirely realistic. No doubt, the NBA, the Lakers and their PR staff do media training and keep them well versed on how the media works and how to cultivate a good relationship. But to suggest that members of the Lakers will entirely listen and be on the same page is implausible. Every person has its own self interest to protect and wants to give their points of view. Here's an example. While the lakers organization may want a player to represent the team well, that player's agent or publicist wants that player to represent himself well. Sometimes those interests clash. Inevitably team conflicts arise and differeint viewpoints will come out. Sometimes that happens on an individual basis (player having problems with playing time, contract negotiation, coach having problems with front office or player, etc.). Sometimes it's calculated (when a problem arises, a team may have a captain or a team leader speak on it on behalf of the team and so the message isn't muddled; or a player's agent or the front office may leak something they want to get out) While every person of an organization will think in the back of their mind to be congizant to think before speak, it's impractical and to be quite, honest, dictatorial and absurd to demand that everyone be on the same page.

There's a clear difference between demanding unity when speaking to the media and unity when playing together as a team. Obviously teammates want to avoid conflicts and resolve issues behind closed doors. But we don't live in perfect world, so to expect those results aren't really realistic.

MM

Dave M,

Sorry for my delayed reply, blog is interfering with my Olympic prime time on Pairs Figure Skating. hehe.

I don't know whether blog became bigger or better because of so many threads, it has been chop-chop with similar posts and almost same story of thread with a little tweaks. I also missed a lot names like: Pete, AZ, Xodus, Faith, Shady, Gaznabi, Tulley, Mitch, Zakee, RayRay, Fatty, Arnie, Cbuck, TwoonOne, Guy O, naila, Lamarshow, Zach, The guy from England, bloggers from Philippines, Australian bloggers, oldest blogger, miguelinho, purplengold, Hariyahu, Kiwi, the two Michaels, Stargazer, Jorema, JJ etc. etc. and of course the most controversial who is equivalent to 100 blogger that's Mike T. They are no longer blogging but the conversation at that time are friendlier except during KL era, passionate too but less self-serving, more matured in the sense they don't have to justify ineptness except when the best basketball mind speaks about his Kwame. Overall, I say the blog shrunk in number of posters, I don't see anymore 500 posts a day even if you combined all the threads produced by MM but I'm sure there are more ticks and visits than before. Today, there is more respect of the Lakers Blog from the LA media because the topic of conversation are based on blog topics of the day. I guess during that time there so much to discuss about the agony of having Smush, Kwame, Cookie and the rest of the scrubs for two successive years.lol! While at this time, it has to be Drew, Fish, Farmar, Luke and Kobe to engage in endless debates. I just can't follow who will say the last word and declare the debate has finally ended. LMAO!

We can say it became better because Dave M is blogging in two sites. Did I say the right words in the end?

G in DC,

"This is my first post on the blog even though I've been following for over a year or so, so I guess I'm an official 'newbie'."

Welcome!

"to all the old skool Lakers fans, does anyone remember Jim McMillan"

You bet I do! McMillan was a great Laker and the starting SF alongside Happy Hairston and Wilt on the front line, and he had a sweet jump shot. He was Elgin Baylor's replacement in the starting lineup when he retired and was part of the famous 33 game winning streak and the Lakers first championship season in LA.

Edwin, hear hear! I'd also add Sonny B, the original Ken, Lakers_sth, so many more... Complex brotha shows up every now and then, good to see James Katt and some of the other real earlies on rare occassion... haven't seen Pig in a while... oh well, at least you, LTom and Jon are keeping it strong. As for the Olympics, they're definitely cutting heavily into my blogging time... I watch events and am transported back to years past. Hmmm... I seem to be stuck on a reacurring theme, ha ha.

Send this to DREW... http://tinyurl.com/ye3agwt

dave m,

The zaniness quotient is WAY DOWN which is troublesome to me as zaniness is one of the key elements that keep us from gourging each others' eyes out.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Job,

Thanks, that was a good article!

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | February 22, 2010 at 08:00 PM

G in DC,

Try to post more, we need newbies like you.

With your suggestion of Mike Miller, he's getting 9.7M w/ the Wizzards, I doubt if he'll go down to 2M bi-annual contract. You see Lakers are in the luxury threshold, so whoever they sign is equivalent to 2x even after eliminating all expiring contracts. A 9.7M contract would mean trading LO or Artest + Walton just to Miller's salary scale unless of course, he'll sacrifice the salary in lieu of less playing time and less pay too.
````````````````````````````````````
````````````````````````````````````
Gee,thanks for the warm welcome Edwin, and for explaining why it's unlikely the Lakers could acquire Mike Miller from the 'zards...I'm not good at figuring out matching contracts and such.

````````````````````````````````````
````````````````````````````````````
Posted by: aztronut | February 22, 2010 at 10:32 PM

Welcome!

"to all the old skool Lakers fans, does anyone remember Jim McMillan"

You bet I do! McMillan was a great Laker and the starting SF alongside Happy Hairston and Wilt on the front line, and he had a sweet jump shot. He was Elgin Baylor's replacement in the starting lineup when he retired and was part of the famous 33 game winning streak and the Lakers first championship season in LA.
`````````````````````````````````
`````````````````````````````````
aztronut

Thanks for the welcome.

I'm glad you remember him. He did indeed have a sweet jumpshot and I always felt he never got the recognition he deserved.


Posted by: wesjoenixon | February 22, 2010 at 05:08 PM

Is it just me? Why can Nocioni get a DUI with no fanfare, but let a young black athlete get one--anywhere, anytime--and it's front page news on every sports.com?


Hmmm.


Wes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Definitely feelin' you on that one, Wes.


Hey dude, this is a really useful blog for me as I’m a mad basketball shoes fan who loves basketball more than anything else. I also have a really comfy pair of Converse UK, Vans Trainers, because it helps to improve game performance. So imagine my surprise at finding a blog that talk about them!


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