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Weekend sightings in Lakerdom

August 29, 2010 |  9:53 pm


Wish I had more time to develop something a little more Mark Medina-ish, but as I was doing my weekend duties (which include a lot of copy editing and photo editing for the Web), I came across some images that I thought I'd share with you Laker-holics.

Kobe_250 Now, there's some good news. Like Lamar Odom (pictured above) becoming a central figure in Team USA's bid to win the FIBA World Championship tournament. The Americans actually look really good in opening pool-play 2-0, particularly on defense and in transition. LO has had something to do with the former as he's been a pain to opposing big men.

And there's some news out of left field: Kobe Bryant on a baseball diamond with his family. Yes, that took place this weekend when Kobe's daughter Natalia threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Angel Stadium on Saturday. Kobe and wife Vanessa got a close-up look (pictured at left).

We all knew that Kobe was a huge soccer fan, but his interest in what used to be the national pastime? We all know it's football across America these days, and basketball here in L.A., of course.

So I had to Google why the Bryant family was making an appearance at Angel Stadium. It seems that Natalia was on the mound, so to speak, as part of the Angels' celebration of Girl Scouts.

And now for the not-so-good news.

Shaq_150 Yep, that's the Big Fill-in-the-Blank at UFC 118 on Saturday night at TD Garden in Boston. Shaquille O'Neal has popped up at various MMA events before, but never as a Celtic. I've never been a big fan of the self-proclaimed nickname, but I know many of you are or used to be.

I guess Shaq wanted to get a look at a couple of guys older than him who still compete at a high level. Possible inspiration for the upcoming NBA season? Well, 47-year-old Randy Couture certainly was up to the task as he pummeled the outmatched James Toney, a 42-year-old former world boxing champion, for about three minutes before Toney tapped out in their heavyweight bout.

Ah, the rich pageantry of life. Hope you enjoyed the view, Lakers fans.

-- Dan Loumena

Photo credits: (Lamar Odom) Jeff Haynes / Reuters; (Kobe and family) Lori Shepler / Associated Press; (Shaquille O'Neal) Al Bello / Zuffa LLC via Getty Images