Posted October 29, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Los Angeles Lakers
Disappointing playoff outcomes led the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks to retool their rosters in hopes of again rising to the top of the Western Conference.
Each team, though, surrounded its long-standing - yet ailing - superstar in different manners.
Kobe Bryant's status is up in the air and Dirk Nowitzki won't play as these new-look squads open their seasons Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
The Lakers were bounced in five games in the second round of last season's playoffs by Oklahoma City, the eventual West champion that swept Dallas out of the postseason the previous round.
Bryant averaged 27.9 points in the regular season for the Lakers (41-25) - finishing one-tenth of a point behind scoring leader Kevin Durant - but he was critical of teammate Pau Gasol in the postseason and seemed to have the desire for more help.
General manager Mitch Kupchak made a pair of big offseason acquisitions, getting two-time MVP Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix before parting with Andrew Bynum - among others - in a blockbuster four-team trade to land Dwight Howard.
With Bryant, Gasol, Nash, Howard and Metta World Peace, the Lakers seemingly have one of the most formidable starting lineups in the NBA supported by a bench that includes acquisitions Chris Duhon and Antawn Jamison.
"Everybody on the starting five has led their own team and been the go-to guy, the best player on a team," World Peace said. "We've all been the man somewhere else, and now we're together. It's unbelievable. They're all rock stars, but everybody has a great attitude. It's a great time, great time for us."
Howard is recovering from offseason back surgery but is expected to play Tuesday, while Bryant's status is unclear after missing the final preseason game with a bruised and strained right foot.
"I know he's hurt and I don't know what exactly that means," coach Mike Brown said. "He's a tough guy and one of the toughest guys I've ever been around."
Bryant also is aware Los Angeles must develop some chemistry before being labeled as a serious contender, evidenced by the club's 0-8 preseason record. No team has ever reached the NBA finals after a winless preseason.
"We're going to be a really good team, but we've got a lot of work in front of us right now," Bryant said. "We're not close to a finished product, and the teams that we want to compete with have all had their main groups together longer.
"We've got to keep improving every day, every week, and learning how to play together."
Dallas may have a more difficult time adjusting with its eight newcomers, especially with Nowitzki missing at least the first 10 games after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
The Mavericks (36-30) courted Dallas native Deron Williams in the offseason and may also have inquired about Howard, who reportedly listed the Mavericks as one of his preferred destinations during his saga with Orlando.
Dallas, though, struck out on each and opted to acquire a multitude of players, including Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones and Eddy Curry.
"We had some big fish available and we didn't get them. So you can do either of two things - blow the whole thing up and start over, or keep signing guys to short contracts to stay a player in the free agent market the following year," Nowitzki said. "For basically saying we still want to be a player next summer, we still put a decent product out there. We're going to compete and see what happens."
The start of the new season likely won't be easy, though, as Dallas also will have to contend with injuries other than Nowitzki's. Kaman is nursing a strained right calf and probably won't play in at least the opener, likely forcing Curry - who has played 24 games over the last four years - into a starting role.
The Mavericks waived point guard Delonte West on Monday after he was suspended twice in less than two weeks for conduct detrimental to the team.
The Lakers won all four meetings with the Mavericks last season.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
IT WAS HIS 'RESAMAY'
Delonte West, who was waived by the Mavericks on Monday, took to Twitter to get his name out there for any NBA teams trolling social media looking for a player.
According to The Dallas News, the Dallas Mavericks have waived guard Delonte West. NBA teams were to submit their final rosters and for the Mavericks, Delonte West was not on that finalized list. With that said, Delonte West’s stint with the Mavs is officially over. West was actually suspended by the Mavs twice in the last couple of weeks. The team did not state why he...
Delonte West has had so much promise throughout his nine-year career, but his off-court issues continue to haunt him.
West was waived by the Mavericks on Monday while the team cut its roster to 15 players according to the Dallas Morning News. West had been suspended by Dallas twice in the last two weeks, first for a locker room outburst and again for conduct detrimental...
Kobe Bryant has really been active on Facebook. That was a great sight to see as he posted pictures and status updates during the 2012 Olympics in London. With the NBA season opening tonight, the media was speculating if Kobe would play or not due to his foot injury. As the LA Times pointed out, Kobe posted on his Facebook to give the media something true to talk about. The...
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant did not practice Monday, and it's uncertain whether he will play in Tuesday's regular-season opener against the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Times reported. Bryant has not played or practiced since he suffered a strained right foot in an Oct. 21 preseason game. Bryant did not speak to reporters Monday, and opinions within the...
NORWAY, Maine – The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have waived former Boston Celtics guard Delonte West from the team. West, who has had two stints with the Celtics during his eight-year career, had been suspended by the Mavericks twice during the month of October for conduct detrimental to the team. According to ESPN [...]
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, whose status was uncertain heading into the team's opener Tuesday night, was in the starting lineup against the Dallas Mavericks. Earlier Tuesday, Bryant said he was 85 percent sure he would play. Before the morning shootaround, in which Bryant participated, the 14-time All-Star had not played or practiced since he suffered a strained right...
Will Kobe Bryant play the season opener or not? Los Angeles Lakers’ fans and social media users were asking this question at a high enough frequency to make ‘Kobe’ a trending topic on Tuesday. After the future Hall of Fame guard hurt his foot in a preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on October 21st,...Read the Rest...
Tweet After two preseason suspensions and a bit of drama, the Dallas Mavericks have officially waived guard Delonte West, per multiple sources. West was suspended for a second time during training camp Thursday October 25 and took to Twitter to express his feelings about the situation: The Mavs later claimed center Eddy Curry off of [...]
EL SEGUNDO, CA -- What would a Laker season be without some Kobe Bryant drama at some point?
This year it came a bit earlier than the team and its fans expected.
Content with his newly rebuilt team of Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison, Bryant seemed very happy throughout the preseason, averaging 20.4 points, 4.8 rebound and 3.4 assists in just 28 minutes per game. While...
Kobe Bryant has missed the last week of practice with an injury.
His teammates still don't know their new offense. And the Los
Angeles Lakers just finished the first winless preseason in
Was this a surprise to anybody?Los Angeles Lakers star shooting guard Kobe Bryant has announced that the chances of him playing in tonight's season opener has reached 85 percent. Sam Amick, among various NBA writers, tweeted the following.Kobe Bryant says at shootaround that the odds of him playing tonight in the season opener against Dallas are "85 percent."— Sam...
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant expects to play opener vs.
Dallas Mavericks despite sore foot.
ESPN Dallas is reporting that the Mavericks have officially waived Delonte West. After suspending Delonte twice within a two week period for conduct detrimental to the team, they have officially waived him. The move will allow them to keep Eddy Curry on the roster as a fill in for Dirk until he recovers from knee surgery.
Sources said the Mavs were concerned that West was negatively...
In the "preseason" edition of Marc Stein's NBA power rankings just released by ESPN, our men in green have landed in the #4 spot. The C's have actually moved up two places from #6 since Stein's "training camp" rankings on September 28th. He dropped Oklahoma City from 3 to 5 after the James Harden trade; but also has clearly seen something of...