The Los Angeles Lakers offseason may have been a bit quiet lately, but a recent surge of news has injected some life into what has been a painful summer for fans of the Purple and Gold.
There’s some positive information on Kobe Bryant’s much-anticipated recovery from a torn Achilles, there’s a bit of buzz surrounding Mike D’Antoni’s latest assistant hire and—of course—the national television schedule was released and will feature a ton of Los Angeles-based contests.
Let’s take a look at all of that in today’s Lakers news roundup.
Bryant Shattering Rehabilitation Timetable
Kobe’s trip to China has been chock-full of great news, as the Black Mamba revealed he has literally “shattered” the normal timetable for recovery from an Achilles injury.
According to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, Bryant underwent an innovative, aggressive surgery in order to get ahead on his rehabilitation, and the “calculated risk” has paid off.
NTD.tv noted that Bryant did not elaborate on whether or not he was feeling healthy enough to play in the impending preseason.
Regardless, it should be a relief to fans in L.A. to know that Bryant is ahead of schedule and doing whatever he can to get back on the court as soon as possible.
Lakers Get 29 Games on National TV
The 2013-14 NBA schedule has been released and—as usual—the Lakers are going to be one of the most commonly seen teams on the national television slate.
According to Sean Highkin of USA Today, the Lakers have a whopping 29 games scheduled to be broadcast across the country.
Should the Lakers have this many nationally televised games?
That is more than the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, who will play just 27 during the upcoming campaign. Only the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder will receive more airtime.
Even though the Lakers may struggle at times—likely less than most pundits are calling for right now—the team is still a big enough draw for the league to warrant this impressive amount of coverage.
Expect fans from all over the world to tune in when the Lakers play the Heat on Christmas Day, when the team takes on Dwight Howard and his Houston Rockets at the Staples Center on Feb. 19, upon Kobe’s return and more.
Kurt Rambis Ready to Improve Team
Rambis is the latest addition to head coach Mike D’Antoni’s staff, and he may be the most important hire since the former Phoenix Suns and Knicks coach arrived in town last year.
The former player, assistant and executive earned eight rings with the Lakers organization and understands the significance of—and more importantly how to accomplish—putting a winning product on the floor.
Rambis took the time to speak with Sean Deveney of Sporting News and spoke about how he plans to help improve the squad in 2013-14:
Obviously there is enough offense out there, there is enough versatility out there. You can look at Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol, and you can see them playing together, one of them on the court at a time. There is an opportunity to play bigger, there is an opportunity to play smaller with different units. The speed is not going to be there—this team is not built for speed. Clearly, they must do a better job laying defense, everybody must do a better job to make up for the players they lost.
Rambis, a former protégé of Phil Jackson, also noted that he might be willing to implement some of the triangle offense within D’Antoni’s system.
The triangle helped the Zen Master to win 11 NBA titles as a coach and has worked in L.A. with Bryant, Gasol and Co. before.
If Rambis can effectively and successfully implement it, the Lakers may not be in as much trouble as we thought.