(Eds: Adds photo link. With AP Photos.) By JOSEPH WILSON Associated Press With Dwight Howard gone and Kobe Bryant injured, Pau Gasol is looking to reassert himself as a leader of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Knees allowing, he wants to be the dominant player of old who helped Bryant & Co. win NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.
''I think I have the most uncertain period behind me,'' Gasol told The Associated Press on Tuesday. ''The team has suffered a lot of changes, but as far as me, I am back in the position of a lot of responsibility, which I like, and I'm just going to focus on getting healthy.
''Now with Dwight gone I am the reference inside and I am more like I was a couple of years back when we made the finals three straight times and won two straight championships,'' he added.
The Lakers enter a difficult point, with Howard snubbing the storied club to sign with the Houston Rockets. Bryant is still out indefinitely recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.
Gasol wasn't surprised ...