Lakers Notes: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash

The Lakers have been busy this offseason ever since falling to the Thunder in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs in May. By shedding dead weight and adding a few key pieces, Los Angeles has put itself in a position to challenge for a championship heading into 2012/13. Let's head to the Staples Center to catch up on the latest news and headlines surrounding the men in purple and gold…
  • Pau Gasol was a trade candidate last year and the Lakers were reportedly shopping him aggressively before the draft. Yet Kobe Bryant, once a critic of Gasol, seems firmly in his corner, saying, "As long as I'm there, he's going to be there," tweets Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. On the topic of Bryant staying in Los Angeles, the future Hall of Famer spoke about his future earlier this week and alluded to the fact that he may retire at the end of his current contract in 2014.
  • Lakers officials also have a renewed excitement about seeing how Steve Nash's playmaking ability can enhance Gasol's performance, tweets Marc Stein of Prior to playing with Ramon Sessions for the second half of the season, Gasol was forced to rely upon the skills of Derek Fisher and Steve Blake to get him the ball from the point guard position. 
  • Bryant understood that the Lakers needed to use Gasol as trade bait in order to obtain a point guard, but knows that Gasol isn't going anywhere given the team's acquisition of Nash, tweets Arash Markazi of

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