I can only assume he's referencing "Die Hard," "Pulp Fiction," or even the underrated "Fifth Element" Bruce Willis, not "Bonfire of the Vanities," Seagram's Wine Cooler commercial Bruce Willis. The latter two? Not so tough.
Either way, though, a) Kobe Bryant says he's fine after tweaking his left knee in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's 111-108 win over the Thunder at Staples, and b) it's always interesting to hear him shoot down any conversation at all about health problems. Nobody stays on point about physical issues better than Kobe. There will be no complaining, end of story.
More news below the jump...
Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles looks at Lamar Odom's role on the squad: "...When L.A.'s bench is starting to lose grip of a game, Odom is the type of player who is talented enough to gain the momentum back on his own. Odom said he knows he can get his points, but he thinks those points would help the team more in the long run if they were distributed among the rest of his second-string comrades. There's a reason he's averaging less than 10 points per game for the first time in his career. It's not the cumulative wear and tear that 11 seasons in the league have had on his 30-year-old body, either. He's been accused of being too unselfish in the past, for not attacking with his 6-foot-10, 230-pound, 7-foot-1 wing-spanned body, but this time the passive play is anything but. It's an active decision by Odom not to score..."
Mark Heisler of the LA Times notes the improvement of this year's Lakers team over last.
Pau Gasol's extension will become official today, and Luke Walton probably a few weeks away from a return, but should be back on the floor practicing relatively soon.
The Lakers were named Franchise of the Decade by Sports Illustrated, narrowly edging the Clippers for the top spot. I kid. About the Clippers part.
ESPN Los Angeles chats with Jeannie Buss.
Silver Screen and Roll asks if LA's offense will come back around: "...the struggle goes far beyond Artest. Ariza shot the ball better than Artest has, but not by a wide margin (Ariza's eFG was .511, Artest's is .498). Ariza did attack the rim more, and had better success at the free throw line than Artest has, but that can't explain all of the Lakers' offensive problems. No, the Lakers issue is far easier to diagnose. They can't shoot. Across the board, the Lakers are struggling to put the ball in the basket, with one extremely notable exception, Kobe Bryant. Kobe is having his best shooting year ever, in large part because much more of his shots are being taken from 15 feet and in, but he's also shooting the worst from 3 pt range of his entire career. Pau Gasol is struggling with shots he normally makes, stuff close to the rim, Lamar Odom is shooting well below his career average. And the bench ... well, the bench shooting couldn't get much worse. As a team, the Lakers eFG is below 50%, and that will not get it done..."