From D.J. Foster, ESPN LA: The Los Angeles Lakers are a team on the rebound. The recovery process after Dwight Howard’s departure may not be brief, and it probably won’t be painless. Time will likely heal all wounds, but it’s hard to imagine the Lakers will be better off in the short-term. But what holds true for the team doesn’t necessarily apply to the individual. Even though they occasionally flirted with great chemistry as a pair, Pau Gasol might actually be better off without Dwight Howard this season. Part of that has to do with Gasol likely being better off, period. Last year, Gasol languished through 49 injury-riddled games, averaging career lows in points per game (13.7), field goal percentage (46.6), and PER (16.7). If he’s healthy, you’d assume there would be some return to the mean.
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: New Lakers guard Nick Young is happy to be back home in Los Angeles — and a regular this off-season at the team’s practice facility. On Wednesday, Young will be at Robertson Park at 4 p.m. to help support education with a school supply giveaway. Young held a similar event last September, before joining the Philadelphia 76ers for a season after spending a few months with the Clippers (following a March 2012 trade). The Lakers signed Young as a free agent in July on a two-year deal at the veteran’s minimum. Young will make $1.1 million this coming season. He has a player option on his second year for $1.2 million. Young went to Cleveland High School in Reseda. He spent three years at USC before getting selected with the 16th overall pick by the Washington Wizards in the 2007 NBA draft.
From Ryan Cole, Lakers Nation: On April 29, 1970, ‘Mr. Clutch’ delivered another classic moment in the NBA Finals. With one second left to tie the score against the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, West made a 63-foot heave from beyond half-court to send the game into overtime. Despite the fact that the Knicks would end up winning in overtime and eventually be crowned NBA champions later in the series, this moment stands out as one of the greatest memories in the NBA Finals history for the Lakers franchise.
From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: Pau Gasol is one of the few NBA players who might be just as closely associated with his national team as he is with playing for one of the league’s most iconic franchises. Gasol has been playing for the Spanish team in international play essentially since the moment he was eligible, and along with tennis star Rafael Nadal, he may be his country’s most recognizable athlete. All of that is a good place to start if you’re wondering why Madrid has appointed Gasol as one if its spokesmen in order to try to win a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.