It's unclear exactly when Dwight Howard will make his debut in purple and gold. Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports the All-Star center has backed off earlier remarks that he was hopeful he would play in the preseason, and though Lakers coach Mike Brown in impressed with the way Howard looks in practice, there's still no timetable for his return from back surgery. Howard quipped with reporters who asked if he might sit out the regular season opener, saying, "You're not going to trick me into that one," Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. While we await word just when he'll be playing, there's other news surrounding Howard and his new teammates.
- About the blockbuster trade that brought him to Los Angeles, Howard said, "This is one of the best things that has happened in my life," SB Nation's Mike Prada notes, via Twitter (hat tip to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel).
- Howard had a relationship with Kobe Bryant long before the trade that brought the big man to L.A., as SI.com's Sam Amick writes. "What people don't know is that this is one of the guys who I've been talking to for about four years now," Howard said of Bryant. "And he has been an amazing help to me, just pushing me in ways -- secretly because we played in the Eastern and Western Conference. But it's been him just talking to me, showing me how to do certain things with my team and things like that."
- Steve Nash is forming a bond with Bryant as well, who says he's happy to let the former Sun manage the Lakers offense, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports. "He just makes the game easy," Bryant said. "It's a joy for me. I've had to facilitate and score my entire career. I don't have to do that now and I'm pretty happy about it."
- Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register takes a look at how Nash is already making his new teammates better.
- Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson hinted that he'd like to return to the NBA in a front office capacity on ESPN Chicago's Waddle and Silvy radio show, saying that coaching would be too taxing on his 67-year-old body (transcription via Steven Cuce of Sports Radio Interviews).