From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Pretty much any fan of the Los Angeles Lakers will tell you that the last three seasons haven’t been very fun, with the 2012-13 season falling much closer to painful than joyful on the experience scale. “We were stacked and it was an epic failure,” said Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist and Lakers super fan, Flea, in a recent podcast with LandOLakers.com. “For me, it was the most disappointing Lakers season of all time and not even close to any other season.” From the embarrassing ending to Phil Jackson’s final campaign, to the uninspiring Mike Brown era (L.A. topped 100 points just 24 times in the 71 regular-season games he coached), to the utter disaster of last season, the return on investment of time, money and emotion spent by Lakers fans has not resulted in any sort of payoff. I know what that life’s all about, having grown up as a Philadelphia sports fan. Losing and frustration and disappointment come with the territory.
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The Lakers signed free-agent forward Marcus Landry to a contract Monday. Landry was a standout on the Lakers’ summer league squad in Las Vegas, averaging 15.2 points and 4.2 rebounds a game. While a deal wasn’t signed until Monday, Landry and the Lakers had reached a tentative, unbinding agreement on a “make-good” contract in late July. The 27-year old, 6-foot-7 forward tweeted his intentions almost two months ago. Landry will make $788,873 for the season, if he makes the team.The Lakers now have 15 players on the roster, the maximum allowed for the regular season. The team is expected to bring 16 to 20 players to training camp, including second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly (48th overall). Landry previously played for Coach Mike D’Antoni in New York for the Knicks during the 2009-10 season.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Kobe Bryant’s psychology is such that when his teammates struggle on offense he quickly fills that void — he believes he is a better offensive option even if the defense is focused on him than a passive or cold teammate. That has led to some bad choices and miraculous shots over the years. Now at age 35 coming off an Achilles injury, can Kobe change is ways? It’s not me asking that question (well, not alone anyway), it is Laker legend, broadcaster and Hall of Famer James Worthy. He spoke with Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “One of the biggest challenges for Kobe this year is, can he step back?” Worthy said. “He’s been in the league for 17 years, has a lot of miles on the body and has had a lot of injuries. Can he find a game that will allow other guys to flourish?”
From Matt More, CBS Sports: The big question for the Lakers, and one of the biggest questions for next season period, is when Kobe Bryant will return. Bryant has been aggressively rehabbing his torn achilles after surgery last spring in typical Bryant fashion. Kobe has said in recent days that the Achilles tendon feels “really, really good,” but also that he’s not sure if he’ll be ready for the season opener. Now the LA Times reports that while Lakers doctors say he’s “progressing,” the plan is for Bryant to miss all of the preseason, so his absolute earliest return would be opening night, October 29th vs. the Clippers.Kobe Bryant continues to move forward in his rehabilitation from a torn Achilles’ tendon, though the Lakers are unwilling to put an updated timetable on his exact return. “He’s progressing well and has met all the targets and milestones of his rehab, and we expect him to make a full recovery,” Lakers spokesman John Black told The Times on Monday. “One of the key issues is to make sure he builds up strength and endurance not only in his Achilles but also in his legs, knees, back and core.”