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Phil Jackson says Kobe Bryant expects to play tonight

Kobe-bryant_325 The extra rest has apparently helped Kobe Bryant. It's not stunning news, but he plans to play tonight against Minnesota.

"He feels he's healthy enough to play," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said after the team's Monday morning shoot-around.

Bryant sprained his left ankle on Saturday during the victory over Dallas. He had 16 points on seven-for-19 shooting two days later against Orlando and hasn't practiced since then.

His activity level was understandably minimal Friday morning.

"Not a thing," Jackson said. "He's been laying on the [trainer's] table. We watched film together, talked about our game plan."

The Lakers are 10-1 since the All-Star break.

--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant receives a pass on the move against Magic guard Jason Richardson. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters


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Lakeraholics at a Wake...

So, I went to Rick Friedman's wake last night at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Boulevard.

Now, if you haven't been to the Rainbow Bar & Grill, you're not a true Los Angeleno/an in my book. It is one of the most iconic bar/restaurants in the world and a living monument to the history of Rock and Roll and Los Angeles' roll in the development of that cultural art.

Quite frankly, if you want to know Rock & Roll, don't go to the Rock & Roll History Museum in Cleveland. Go to the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

A little dirty Jon K. secret is that the place remains a location where women who have long hair fetishes go to hang out. Myself, having long hair, have used this to my advantage on more than one occasion. I love the Rainbow--strange, quirky place that it is.

It seems that Rick Friedman loved it too and his adoration for Rock and Roll seems to have been nearly as strong as his Lakeraholicism. Upstairs at the Rainbow is a club within a club called "Above The Rainbow" composed of dark woods, dark lighting, an oddly comforting nautical theme, a pit for dancing, and an attic-like enclosure above it named "The Lair of the Hollywood Vampires" where John Lennon, Ringo Starr, David Bowie, Keith Moon and others claimed as their own during the 1970s.

This is where those who knew and loved Rick gathered in his memory.

I arrived after work, a little late, to see a crowd of approximately 45 people gathered in his memory.

One by one, people would climb the stairs that leads to The Lair of the Hollywood Vampires and share their stories of Rick and his life. Rick was a successful television producer and many of the stories were from people who Rick mentored in the industry. It seems Rick's work touched a lot peoples' lives and that everyone who knew Rick immediately recognized him as a special person, not minimally in part because Rick had the exceptional gift of making other people feel special.

Rick was also a thoughtful communicator, as many knew him on this blog to be. Despite that, Rick was an extremely passionate and intelligent man, but he thought before he spoke, a quality less frequent in this day and age.

Among the people who spoke was our own Faith, who had printed out each and every blog post that Rick had brought to the L.A. Times Lakers blog over his long career. In fact, multiple people mentioned the blog and Rick's talent as a writer.

Those Lakeraholics in attendance were myself, Faith, Benjamin (who it turns out is Rick's cousin), Edwin Gueco (who drove all the way from Rolling Hills) and bob (who hasn't been around since the Michael Teniente-days of the blog AND just so happens to be a smoking hot woman. Who knew?)

It was nice to put faces behind the handles. Most were different than I thought except Edwin Gueco who was how I expected him to be: A extraordinarily friendly and warm gentleman. He gave me a big hug immediately upon meeting him.

Benjamin was younger than I thought, very intelligent, and interested in discussing philosophy, politics and the bigger picture.

Faith was a little more closed off than I expected. but lit up when gave her a big hug as she left.

Bob was well... smoking hot... and EXTRAORDINARILY passionate about the Lakers. It was awesome. She shared a story about how when we lost to Boston in the Finals she literally could not get out of bed for three days she was so depressed. Only the admonishments of her husband (yeah, I know, she's married, sucks) was enough to get her to start living life again.

We discussed, among other things, the blog and how it has become a real community.

There were critiques of the Kamenetzky Brothers, who everyone agreed were/are talented and entertaining writers, but no one seemed to care for the way they interacted with bloggers on the blog. Most felt they were haughty and acted like "they were better" than the community. Brian Kamenetzky received particular criticism and Bob even referred to him as "a Laker Hater."

Benjamin went out of his way to praise Mark Medina for his tribute to Rick Friedman and was so touched by it that he told me aside that "Mark could even run over my cat--and I love that cat--and I'd forgive him for it, after that. It really meant a lot to me."

Now bloggers come and go and I've asked many bloggers, including Faith and Bob--as well as many of the Class A bloggers who spend more time on the renegade chat than they do on this blog--why they don't post as often.

The answer: Trolls.

Most of the die-hard fans want to talk about the Lakers and share tidbits of their own lives. The problem is that by sharing tidbits of one's own lives, taking a strong stance on a particular issue with the Lakers and/or receiving praise from other bloggers somehow attracts scorn and attacks from Trolls... and quite frankly, a lot of people get sick of that quickly.

As the most troll-attacked blogger in the long history of the blog I have one piece of advice: Get over it.

Lakers fans were recently described in an article as "among the worst fans in sports." Why? Because a lot of people masquerading as fans are just bandwagoneers. When the Clippers make the playoffs next year, they'll be popping Blake Griffin jersies instead of popping Kobe Bryant jersies and shouting out such brilliant insights at sports bars as "Yo, Kobe! Shoot de ball!"

And when the Anaheim Royals make the playoffs eventually, they'll be popping some player from that team's jersey. Banwagoneers. aka "Losers masquerading as winners."

Well, some of us aren't bandwagoneers. Rick Friedman wasn't a bandwagoneer. I had the pleasure of speaking with his cousin (Benjamin's dad) after he gave his eulogy and he told me about the pleasure of watching Elgin Baylor play and his spectacular rebounding ability. Awesome.

Some of us are going to be like that. 30 years from now we'll be talking about Kobe, Shaq, Pau, Ron, Lamar, Andrew, Derek, Horry...

And, in this strange world, some of the trolls and bandwagoneers will hate us for that.

Screw 'em.

Listen, we expect our Lakers to be mentally tough. Actually, we DEMAND that they be mentally tough. And in some ways they have to be mentally tough because we expect excellence from them year after year, night in, night out.

And when the Lakers win, we shout, "WE WON!!! WE WON!!!"



Well, my fellow beloved Lakeraholics, it's time to embrace a little mental toughness of our own.

A lot of people read this blog each day. Instead of breaking into histrionics because some 13 year old kid in a dark room in Canada is throwing insults at us, ignore them and get back to what we do best--discussing and celebrating the Los Angeles Lakers.

I think that's how Rick Friedman would have wanted it to be.

And the last thing before I left was introduce myself to his son and offer my condolences. He asked me to carry on Rick's spirit on the blog and to live by Rick's example of being an intelligent, dedicated, faithful and respectful blogger.

And this is something I hope to do and ask for all of us to continue on in Rick's example.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


@Jon K - Thank you.

Good news about Kobe's ankle. If nothing else, it means that it has gotten better. Looking forward to him playing about 25 minutes tonight as the Lakers blow the Wolves away.

@JON K.... Thank you for a great post and for sharing your experience at Rick’s wake. Rick’s passing makes those of us who are older acutely aware of our own mortality. I think your advice about trolls makes a world of sense. I also remember Bob from the early days. Hopefully, she’ll stop by and drop a post once in a while. How great to see Faith too. Is Benjamin the same guy who used to post under that name? I believe he was a psychologist or involved in that field. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your experience. As Lewsters says, this is the Friedman season.

Duh! Winning!

Of course Kobe's playing tonight.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



Benjamin (Friedman) used to post under the handle "Benjamin"

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


@JON K.... Thanks for the update re Benjamin. I’ve had many great conversations with him over the years. Good to know he was Rick’s cousin. He was always a very sensitive and intelligent blogger. Hope to hear from him as we head into the stretch run for this SEASON OF THE AGES.

Jon K, that was awesome. Thanks for representing our blog community there. I myself was thinking about going there and meet you guys...but a sore back prevented me to do so.

Long live Rick Friedman
Long live the Lakers blog community.

Posted by: Jon K. | March 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM

@Jon K.

You and I have had disagreements in the past and I may not agree with some of your post politically or philosophically but I have always respected your basketball opinions and thought you are one of the must reads. That was a great post, well written and intelligently laid out. Thanks for sharing those stories about Rick a truly classy and unique man and a fellow Lakerholic. I agree people need to agree to disagree then move on, it's not that serious.


Kobe's playing? Now that's a surprise!

Since Rick was such a lover of music, I wanted to list the songs dedicated in his memory here a few days ago:

U2 - Walk On (JovBatz)
U2 - Where the Streets Have No Name (mclyne)
Grateful Dead - Brokedown Palace (Noah)
Diana Ross - Missing You (LRob)
Grant Green - Idle Moments (Mark G)
Puff Daddy - I'll Be Missing You (ChicNstu)
Pearl Jam - Man of the Hour (Cap's Goggles)
R. Kelly - I Wish (utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER)
Boyz II Men - It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday (Lewstrs)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (Laker Lass)
Michael Jackson - Gone Too Soon (G. Money)
Beatles - The End - (63 Footer)
Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings (ms)

Oh by the way Jon K. did i say...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR? OH I did? Well you deserve a 2nd one...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!! KUDOS!!!

Michael Jackson - Gone Too Soon (G. Money)
Beatles - The End - (63 Footer)
Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings (ms) Posted by: LRob | March 18, 2011 at 01:35 PM
WOW LRob!! I'm sorry but you also are going to have to get an...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!! KUDOS!!!!

JON K. for that wonderful Tribute/Report, even I have to say I forgive you and good on you.


Your tribute is in line with Rick's wake. After the eulogies ended, a DJ played a series of song that Rick loved and the televisions played the videos of those songs, they included the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Rush, The Guess Who and Linkin Park.

Among the stories shared was Rick Friedman being beside himself when he met Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Jon K,
Thank you for that thoughtful tribute to Rick Friedman and to us the community that is the LA Times Lakers blog.
Although I mostly lurk and rarely write, the blog is a real community to me, a Laker fan since 1978.
I've been a fan through the good times and the bad times and after all those years I know I am going to be a fan, just like Rick, even after I am dead and gone from this mortal life.
I appreciate being a part of the community and the trolls can come all the way to Belize, Central America and kiss my behind for all I care.
They can't spoil things for me because the more they kvetch, the happier I am.

I hate to be a bit behind the 8-ball or insensitive, but who first found out about Rick's passing and how? I thought there was a certain amount of anonimity here and was surprised about it. Anyway, anybody know?

Jon K SUCKS!!!!

Great reporting Jon K.



I'm not sure who found out first,

Rick knew several of us in real life.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Hi folks. I've been reading this blog for a couple years now, but have been inspired to start posting by Jon K.'s tribute. Grew up in LA, currently living in Costa Rica and following Laker games on NBA broadband (which is actually a step up from living in Utah where they black out some games).

I'm optimistic about LA's chances this year. Nothing different from every year. I remember being optimistic when we were down by fifteen to Portland game 7 in 2000 and I still thought we were going to pull it out in those five minutes. I was right that time, haven't been right every time...

Anyway, some thoughts: seems like if there is a "switch" on the Lakers, it's in Bynum. I think he was holding back on the effort a little before the All-star break- justifiably so- worried about hurting himself the same way he has every year. When February rolled by without an injury, he's decided to pick it up. I think it's that more than him "finally getting it"- Bynum seemed hesitant earlier in the season to jump for loose balls- not worth the risk, I guess. I think he'll keep up the effort into the playoffs, though. I'm not worried about him slacking off, I think he's making up for lost time. Still a little worried about him getting hurt- again.

Can any0ne tell me WHY Kobe's playing against the T-wolves? I know he's Kobe- die-hard competitor and all that, but still- I think the Lakers could handle Minnesota without Kobe, and he's risking another chronic injury. I admired his guts playing through the broken finger, but I suspect he wouldn't have arthritis in it if he had rested at least some (of course, the Lakers might not have a championship, too). I wish Phil or someone could get him to take a game off, so that I'm not worried that he'll get some other injury compensating for the ankle. I know the standings matter, but still- I'd rather have a healthy Kobe for the playoffs, thank you.

Besides 'he is a warrior' reasons for Kobe playing tonight:

Maybe this game is as good as anytime to get in some shooting practice?


by the way- did I pick this handle because I'd seen it before? someone let me know if I'm copying another person's blog-o-nym and I'll choose another.

16 to 3peat- Go Lakers!

Kobe should sit this game out. Its the twolves for petes sake. Phil the general should make kobe sit out. This is why the lakers are dsyfunctional because you have foot soldiers running the joint. If this was doc he would say kg, pp, or rondo will sit out x number of games cause u have to protect the season. But perhaps kobe is just jealous of the attention the beast is getting and wants the light to shine on him.

@LakersFanInExile, first off welcome to Lakers Blog and Lakers Nation! As far as I know the handle has not been used before. It's a cool handle though, many of us in Lakers Nation feel like we are in Exile. Lakers nation spans the U.S. and the world as you probably well know and many of us are not located in California or L.A. Anyway welcome aboard and nice posts. Keep them coming.

Island Priest is a Freaking Troll and should stop telling Kobe and the Lakers what to do!!

The Mamba is the MAmba and does not need this trolls Stinking, Slimy, Substandard, wannabee criticism wrapped around sarcasm!!!

Island priest, you are a piece of crappy work!!!!


Mrs. Laker the Priest only engages in sensible debates. Call me troll all you like you cross dressing hermaphrodite. I know look it up summer's eve.

Yeah this is typical kobe always thinking about himself first before the needs of the team. Spend two hours shooting after the miami game but unable to practice with the team. kobe is just mecentric. The priest doesn't like it at all.

Mrs. Laker sometimes the black mamba acts like a mama.Kobe is just plain selfish with a capital S. Kobe should wear a S on his chest. Not for super but for Selfish. Introducing from Lower marion high school at 6' 6" and 205 pounds Kobe "Selfish Man" Bryant. He didn't how up for jerry west statue unveiling. No excuses.

island priest and Mr. Laker,

Let's try to keep this civil and on the topic of basketball. I have deleted each of your previous posts regarding Kobe Bryant (and each other).


Dan Loumena
Assistant Sports Editor
Los Angeles Times

Jon K,

What a wonderful post you wrote today that I am moved to tears. Your description of Rick Friedman's wake was both poignant and humorous. I wish I'd known Rick better . May he rest in peace.

Kobe is selfish because he wants to do what he is getting paid to do. Kobe is jealous of Andrew Bynum's attention. Kobe needs to sit so he won't hurt his ankle worse for the playoffs. It's amazing so many people know what Kobe needs to do and how he feels. I'm going to trust Kobe knows what Kobe needs to do.

@island priest - he practiced in miami before he got injured. It's amazing how you don't won't him to play in the game, but you want him to practice.

Do you really think Kobe is jealous of the attention Andrew Bynum is getting in the last two weeks. This is his 15th season. There have been 100's of Andrew Bynum weeks in his career by various players. Every year someone is supposed to be making Kobe irrelevant, but he's still here. He's not at the top of his game, but he's consistently 5. Top 5 is still a great player.

Thank you Kobe for going to work tonight. There's nothing worse than spending $600 for your family to attend a game and have your favorite player not dress for the game. Every game I attend I've run into that family that this is their moment - their kid's first game, their grandmother's first game, their first Laker game, etc. I'm sure if no one else appreciates Kobe going to work, they do.

Let's go Lakers. Let's destroy the Wolves early so everyone can be happy. Kobe plays and then rests.

Mr. Loumena The Priest apologises for being baited by Mr. Laker and sinking to his level. But I felt I had to defend himself from unwarranted personal attacks. Because you know i am a priest, not a saint. But I am the most electrifyimg person on all sports blogs. If we all just sang the 3 peat crap everday it will be to sum it up in one word, boring. Persons don't like the Priest's comments but yall want me on this blog yall need me on this blog. Who is going to bring excitement you mud, sean or hobbit? The priest loves the lakers and kobe but he will, at a drop of a dime, layeth the most scathing criticism when warranted. KB I am saying that kobe put on a show that he is so obsessed with winning last week after the miami game but refuses to practise with his team.

@island priest,

While I will neither condemn nor condone your opinions, I appreciate your passion and prose. And the fact that you acknowledge you veered off the path of purposeful and correct correspondence. Varying and dissenting opinions are the true course of public debate and nobody is here to stop that from happening.

Thanks much.

@Dan Loumena...

i.p. didn't retract anything. You deleted his comments about Kobe, but he repeated them in his so-called apology.

Hey bronxlakerfan, good to hear from you.

The offensive portion of his post was not repeated. He veered off subject about Kobe's personal life, then Mr. Laker got personal with him.

As for the Kobe selfish comments, that's an opinion and while some might disagree or be offended by those thoughts, it's still an opinion.

Been a long, long day and it's going to be a long, long weekend of work in here. Until that big Blazers-Lakers contest, you guys take care.



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