Lakers (13-35) ended a nine-game losing streak with a surprising double-overtime win over the Chicago Bulls (30-19), but still lost two of three through Week 14.
The initial news of the week was Kobe Bryant
opting for season-ending surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff. Bryant used a Super Bowl analogy to describe the frustration with the injury.
Denver Nuggets Coach Brian Shaw, a former teammate of Bryant's, said he
expects the Lakers' All-Star to return next season. New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony also predicted another comeback for Bryant.
Rival Paul Pierce, with the Washington Wizards, said Bryant's injury, "
saddens me." One report noted that Bryant considered joining the Wizards a number of years ago when he was a free agent.
Bryant is in the first year of a two-season $48.5-million extension, but the Lakers
knew the risks when they signed him to the lucrative deal. General Manager Mitch Kupchak said the extension was " 100%" the right thing.
Bryant's surgery on Wednesday should put the 36-year-old guard out for
nine months. Nick Young sprained his ankle in practice, missing games to recover.
The Lakers fell to John Wall and the Wizards,
98-92 on Tuesday, getting a strong performance from rookie Jordan Clarkson. Now starting at point guard, Clarkson has survived after being thrown in deep end.
Pau Gasol made an
emotional return on Thursday, getting a standing ovation from Lakers fans, as predicted by Coach Byron Scott.
10-game losing streak, the Lakers got the 123-118 win against the Bulls in double overtime. Jordan Hill may have had his best game of the season.
Nick Young was on the active roster on Sunday against the Knicks, but Scott believed he was still
limited by the sprained ankle.
The Lakers didn't fare well against one of the
worst teams in the Eastern Conference, falling 92-80 to the Knicks in New York on Sunday.
Still, both Coach Derek Fisher and President Phil Jackson are finding
times difficult with the woeful Knicks.
Meanwhile, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins
was named as Bryant's replacement on the Western Conference All-Star team.
Finally, second-year forward Ryan Kelly was
briefly assigned to the NBA Development League, scoring 30 points in a win with the D-Fenders. Email Eric Pincus at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.