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Lakers Notes: Kobe, Upshaw, Russell

On Sunday night, Kobe Bryant played a season-high 36 minutes and helped lead the Lakers to a 97-85 win over the Pistons.  However, playing those kinds of minutes at the age of 37 doesn’t come without consequence.

I’m not looking forward to walking to the car right now,” Bryant said, as Baxter Holmes of writes. “Seriously.”

The sore and achy Bryant will take off Monday’s contest against the Suns but he should be ready to go against the Raptors on Friday night.  Here’s more out of Los Angeles:

  • Phil Jackson made waves in September when he predicted that Bryant might continue playing in 2016/17, but not with the Lakers.  When asked about such a possibility, the future Hall of Famer was adamant that will not be the case.  “I’m a Laker for life,” Bryant said, as Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops writes. “I’m not playing anywhere else no matter what. It’s just not going to happen. I bleed purple and gold and that’s just how it’s going to be.
  • Lakers D-League prospect Robert Upshaw has battled with substance abuse problems in the past, but he firmly believes that he’s now on the right path, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times writes.  “I just surround myself with the right people,” said Upshaw of his lifestyle changes and battle to stay sober. “I’ve always been a yes-man, I still kind of am to this day, but I have people around me to help me with that. It’s tough man, I still struggle with it. I’m not perfect. My thing is, I got the help that I need and have people around me. I’m doing really well right now. I’m making all my meetings and everything. I’m just laying low and that’s pretty much what I had to do.”   Upshaw was waived by the Lakers prior to opening night, but he knew that would be the case before signing on with L.A. and he’s not presently considering any overseas opportunities.
  • Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton of (Insider sub. req’d) wonder if rookie D’Angelo Russell is the right guy for the Lakers and if this team might be holding him back.

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