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Lakers Notes: Bryant, Nash, D’Antoni, Gasol

The health status of Kobe Bryant's Achilles' tendon has been the focal point this summer and that didn't change as the Lakers went through their annual media day this past Friday.

After getting off a transcontinental flight from a promotional trip to Dubai, Bryant told ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin, "I don't think we really have a particular timetable as far as where I should be right now, but I'm feeling good."

Here is more from the Lakers, including updates on  Steve Nash and Pau Gasol:

  • Bryant also told McMenamin, "Everybody was really concerned about this injury, and so was I, but the procedure and the therapy right afterwards and things like that really got me ahead of the curve." Bryant added, "so it feels like the hard part's over."
  • As to whether Bryant will play in the preseason or even make the opener on October 29th against the Clippers, head coach Mike D'Antoni wasn't sure. "I'm not expecting anything," D'Antoni told ESPN on Saturday. "I don't know. He's going to do everything he can to try to get back as soon as he can. No one knows. He's day to day."
  • D'Antoni will be under a lot of pressure this season in his first full year as the head coach. When asked by Los Angeles Daily News scribe Mark Medina whether he felt he was on the hot seat this season, he answered "Hopefully I can make it to practice this afternoon" (Twitter).
  • D'Antoni also told Medina, via Twitter, that in an attempt to keep Nash rested and healthy this season he's been debating between resting him on back-to-backs or limiting his minutes all together. 
  • McMenamin also found time to speak with Pau Gasol, who told him his knees will be fine despite being unable to participate in the start of Lakers' training camp next week. Pau is continuing to recover from procedures he underwent on both knees this offseason: "We're going to get into practices and get a feel of how the knees react and get into training slowly," Gasol said. 
  • The Lakers big man was cleared by Dr. Steve Yoon of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic this week to continue to "ramp up" his workouts. Gasol told McMenamin, "I haven't done really a lot of basketball stuff. I haven't done a lot of contact yet. So we'll see how it feels. But the goal is to be ready for opening night, and whichever way it takes to get there, that's what we're going to do."
  • D'Antoni told McMenamin, "Pau's probably the best offensive center in the league." The Lakers' coach added  that "[Pau is] the most talented big guy in the league. So, all of a sudden he's in his natural position where he'll feel good about it."
  • The Sporting News' Sean Deveney spoke with new Lakers center Chris Kaman about Bryant's health. “With a healthy Kobe, if everybody stays healthy, I think we have a great opportunity to make a run at the playoffs,” Kaman said. 
  • Kaman added, "Are we going to be one of the top three or four teams? I don’t know. The big thing—obviously everybody knows, everybody is talking about it, and they’re going to continue to keep talking about it until he comes back—everybody knows a big part is when Kobe returns. That’s a huge added bonus, and the quicker the better.”


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