The game preview will be up a bit later. So, while we wait here are some links and random musings to hold us over…
*With Kobe passing Jerry West as the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history, features have been popping up everywhere paying tribute to the careers of Mr. Clutch and of Mr. Bean. Our own Gatinho weighed in with a fantastic piece on the parallels between these two Lakers greats. And Sports Illustrated has also penned a nice article on some of the history between West and Bryant. Both are well worth the read, if only to recount some of the stories that shaped the careers of both men.
*Speaking of stories, Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles has some to tell from the Lakers eight game roadie that just concluded. Some nice nuggets in his diary of the 11 days he spent with the team on the road.
*Obviously, we know that the Lakers’ road trip did not end as well as we all would have hoped. Many fans were not only dissappointed with the loss to the Grizz but downright angry. No one expects the team to win every game, but every game is winnable. Being a fan of a championship contender can be complicated that way. However, Kelly Dwyer reminds us (as Kurt has many times before) that it’s the journey that should be savoured and fans of contenders should embrace the bad with the good. It’s those moments of rough patches that can make the finish line that much sweeter and survive in our memories for years to come.
*In some non-Lakers news, Paul Pierce has injured his foot and now joins the M*A*S*H* unit that is the Celtics. Chris Paul is on the shelf battling a knee injury that may force him under the knife. Carmelo Anthony hopes to return tonight after a bad sprain of the ankle. And he’s the envy of Tony Parker who, while battling the same injury, will likely be wearing a suit when the Spurs start their yearly rodeo road trip. Meanwhile in the Pacific Northwest, Brandon Roy is fighting hamstring problems that have had him in the lineup once in the past ten games. I have no other point than to say that injuries suck. I may be a Lakers fan and seeing major contributors for other teams on the shelf may help our cause for the best record in the West and (hopefully) the entire league. But, I’m also a fan of this wonderful game and I hate to see so many great players wearing jeans and sport coats on the sidelines.