Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/10/14
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 par...
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