Lakers can begin using practice facilities Thursday (Web links)
* We will have a live chat at 11:30 a.m. And finally, it has nothing to do with labor negotiations.
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes that NBA players can start using team practice facilities beginning Thursday.
--The Times' Broderick Turner profiles the Lakers' D-League team, the D-Fenders.
--NBA.com's David Aldridge details the players' process of re-forming the union.
--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding reports the Lakers will probably have preseason games against the Clippers, with the first on Dec. 19. Ding also explores the impact the Lakers' Time Warner Cable deal will have on the organization.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky looks at who can back up Kobe Bryant.
--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe explains why fans and the media shouldn't look at the 1999 lockout-shortened season to predict what might happen in the 2011-12 campaign.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin wonders whether Bryant can delay Father Time.
--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen argues Lakers forward Luke Walton will be cut via the amnesty clause.
Tweet of the Day: "Union has begun collecting cards players must sign to re-form union, source says. Must do this first, then negotiate new full CBA." -- ZachLowe_SI (Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe)
Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I don't feel they will coast, but ... I think they will be forced to use the regular season more as a preseason/practice with MORE emphasis on developing chemistry for the playoffs. Seeding will be low, complaints will be high from us fans. Maybe some more black and blue for our guys in the purple and gold because of the compressed schedule. But ... it will be the right strategy, if ... the Lakers want to go far in the playoffs." -- Fatty
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: New York's Chauncey Billups, left, and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, right, look on as the Lakers' Derek Fisher, president of the NBA players' union, speaks at a news conference Nov. 14. The players must recertify as a union before they can vote on a new labor deal. Credit: Seth Wenig / Associated Press