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Category: Gary Vitti

NBA lockout: Kobe Bryant still to play in 2012 Olympics

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony

*We will have a live chat today at 4 p.m.'s David Aldridge reports that Kobe Bryant will play in the 2012 London Olympics regardless of what happens with the NBA lockout.

--CBS Sports' Ben Golliver compares and contrasts Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer rips Michael Beasley and Matt Barnes for their on-court altercations in summer league games. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk to Lakers forward Matt Barnes about his rehab on his surgically repaired right knee.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller describes Arvydis Sabonis as Shaquille O'Neal's sidekick.

--The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz argues Lakers center Andrew Bynum proves to be the league's "most intriguing and powerful trade chip."'s Mike Trudell reports trainer Gary Vitti will be honored Sept. 10 by Team HEAL (Helping Enrich Athlete's Lives).

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NBA lockout: Will many NBA players go overseas?


We will have a chat to start off the week at 4:30 p.m. Bring your questions!

--The Times' Bill Plaschke enjoys Ron Artest's standup comedy.

--ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard's highlights Deron Williams' contention that any collective bargaining agreement that would leave players such as Kobe Bryant making $11 million a year could prompt many NBA players to go to Europe.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky argues it's not necessarily a bad thing that Bryant is arrogant.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reports that Ettore Messina joined the Lakers' coaching staff as a consultant partly because of his strong relationship with Mike Brown and his fondness for Bryant.

--Hoops Hype's Roland Lazenby explains with great detail why the Lakers' front office sees Andrew Bynum as it's franchise player. 

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford highlights the Lakers hiring Messina as a coaching consultant.'s Mike Trudell talks to Lakers trainer Gary Vitti about Magic Johnson.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark provides a player report card on Pau Gasol.

Tweet of the Day: "Considering Kobe has yet to comment on Mike Brown being named the Lakers coach, what are the chances he talks about his dad's new job?" -- ArashMarkazi (ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi)

Rick Friedman Comment of the Day: "His knees still aren't 100% He had no lift on those 3-point attempts. Lol. He's looking good though. I'll say that with a long, productive summer and plenty of rest, Kobe will at least be back to like 90% of this prime." -- Ryan Hopkins

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Just last month Derrick Williams was shaking hands with David Stern as the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft. Now that he and the commissioner are on opposite sides of the lockout, Williams has time to comtemplate finishing his bachelor's degree or running some basketball camps. Credit: Mike Stobe / Getty Images.

Dissecting the final moments of the Lakers' 93-88 Game 4 loss to New Orleans


Overlook Kobe Bryant's scoreless first-half performance. Forget about Chris Paul's triple-double effort. And accept the Lakers' nearly three-quarter stretch in which they didn't grab an offensive rebound.

There's plenty of blame to go around for the Lakers' 93-88 Game 4 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday, forcing the Lakers to return to New Orleans for Game 6 Thursday and adding further stress to a series they should have controlled.

The Lakers could have secured an ugly win if not for numerous lapses in the final 3:30. There were certainly some key plays in those final minutes that went the Lakers' way, but too many of them were executed the wrong way. Below is a play-by-play account of what went wrong in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

3:23-2:57. After Derek Fisher hit two free throws to cut the deficit to 83-79, the Hornets' Paul hoped to take advantage of his superior quickness on Fisher in the next possession. But it didn't happen. Hornets center Emeka Okafor tried setting a high pick on Fisher, with Pau Gasol ready to switch on Paul. But Fisher fought through the screen and immediately marked on Paul. Okafor set a screen again at the top of the key, but Fisher spun around the screen and stayed in front of Paul. Once Paul dribbled right, Fisher cut off his penetration and then quickly backed so he wouldn't get beat off the dribble. After Paul dribbled to his left and between the legs, Fisher swiped at the ball. Paul picked up the loose ball, but he had to settle for an off-balance three-pointer that hit off the backboard.

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Lakers' injury list exacerbates concerns over play following 102-93 victory over San Antonio Spurs

60858930Folding his arms across his knees and burying his head down, Lakers center Andrew Bynum sat on the court.

He had just lost his balance while trying to track down San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair, a sequence that caused his left knee to slip underneath him. Bynum then grabbed his right knee, a discomforting visual for any Lakers fan, considering Bynum's well-documented injury history. But Bynum stood up and walked off the court as Lakers forward Pau Gasol patted him on the head. Soon enough, Bynum walked toward the locker room with trainer Gary Vitti following.

The Lakers' 102-93 victory Tuesday over the Spurs at Staples Center gives them a clearer look at the playoff picture, considering that L.A. can secure the No. 2 seed with a victory Wednesday at Sacramento and/or a Dallas Mavericks loss Wednesday against the New Orleans Hornets. But here's something that even has bigger implications: An unhealthy Bynum will severely dampen the Lakers' hopes to three-peat. Of course, the Lakers will have a better idea about the severity of Bynum's injury once he receives an MRI Wednesday, skipping the team's flight to Sacramento. But given Bynum's injury history, it's more realistic to expect a prolonged absence than a short one, even if he insists otherwise. 

"It's not really that bad," Bynum said while walking down a Staples Center hallway after the game. "It was painful right when it happened, but it's not that bad right now."

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NBA senior photographer Andrew Bernstein discusses 'Journey To The Ring'

JourneyHiResCoverLakers Coach Phil Jackson has routinely said he sees "the journey" to the NBA championship more important than the actual accomplishment.

"Journey to the Ring," a collaborative book between Jackson and NBA senior photographer Andrew D. Bernstein, vividly shows why that proclamation carries so much meaning. The book, which is scheduled to be released on Nov. 10, documents the Lakers' quest for the 2010 NBA championship, beginning with the first day of training camp and ending with the Lakers' victory parade.

Bernstein's black-and-white photography provides an intimate snapshot of all those trials and tribulations, with photos ranging from action shots, portraits and behind-the-scenes images. They're complemented with Jackson's captions, which features his witty and insightful recollections to the stories and circumstances behind each snapshot.

Bernstein shared his thoughts with me on the project as well as the concept behind some of the photos in the book.

Can you take me through how this project got started and how the idea came up?

Bernstein: After the 2009 championship and looking ahead toward the 2009-2010 season, there were rumblings that Phil might retire after that year. I had a really great relationship with him over the years having shot up to that point 10 championships, including six with the Bulls and four with the Lakers. I knew that it might be cool to do something on him as it being his last season with a behind-the-scenes documentary from beginning to end, whether it ended with a championship or not. It would be more of a record of Phil's last year. I proposed that to him and he in his non-committal way kicked around this thought and we kind of dropped it. Then once training camp started, I brought it up again. Of course he didn't say anything about it being his last year or anything, but he gave pretty much the green light to do behind-the-scenes coverage than I normally had done, which is a lot. He was able to give me a little bit more access and I went on a couple of more trips with them. As the year came together about midway through the season, it became apparent that this was more about the team and their journey then about their beginning of the season through however it was going to end. Whether or not it was going to be about Phil and his last season or the team, I wasn't really sure. But it started to gel more as a team-oriented project. I talked about that with him. Phil never said anything about this being his last year or not and we were all up in the air about it. So I didn't want to put my eggs in one basket, either.

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Caught in the Web: Lakers ready to fly to Europe


--The Times' Mike Bresnahan presents some travel tips from Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding shares his observations from Wednesday's practice.'s Nick Jhabvala wonders whether it was worth it for Andrew Bynum to go to the World Cup.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky catches up with Lakers forward Derrick Caracter.

--Fox Sports' Kalani Simpson argues that the NBA has story lines other than those featuring the Lakers and Heat.

--Fox Sports West's Matt Smith believes that the Lakers will be fine without Bynum.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford highlights the possibility that Kobe Bryant will be limited on the European trip.'s Mike Trudell has a full practice report and an interview with former Laker James Worthy.

--Silver Screen and Roll's wondahbap sizes up how Sasha Vujacic will do this season.

--Lakers of Fire's Garrett Wilson looks at whether the Phoenix Suns could be a threat to the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "I HAVE TO MANY FREAKIN CLOTHES!!!! lol 4get this i will pack last min like i usually do, 4 sum reason wen i do that its goes faster.GYM FLOW" -- DevinEbanks3 (Lakers forward Devin Ebanks)

Reader Comment of the Day: "One of my favorite rookie stories was when the Lakers were at LAX and heading out on a roadtrip when they decided to have Sun Yue go to In-N-Out to go pick up some burgers ... if memory serves, he ended up missing the flight!" -- Jefe101

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Lamar Odom gets ready for a video shoot during media day on Saturday at the Toyota Sports Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times



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