The Lakers go to the movies

What's a basketball team to do on an off day in Oklahoma City?

The Los Angeles Lakers made the most of one on Thursday, combining a trip to the movies with a history lesson by going to see Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

In jest, Kobe Bryant said the team certainly could use a history lesson or two.

"I don’t know what kids are studying in history class nowadays," Bryant said. "I don’t know. I know we studied Lincoln. I don’t know how many guys on the team actually knew who he was (laughing). So, I think it lent some good historical perspective."

Bryant went on to extend the joke and took another playful shot at some of his younger teammates when a reporter asked him if his teammates knew about Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, before seeing the film.

"I’d be curious to see, if you took a poll, who knew," Bryant said. "Maybe it came as a great shock to them that Lincoln died at the end of the film."

Dwight Howard said that the American history lesson was lost on his Canadian teammate, Steve Nash.

"I know Steve fell asleep at one point," Howard said after shootaround on Friday. "He was snoring super loud. Actually there was a guy who looked just like Steve in the movie. But, it was a pretty good movie. I liked it. I learned a lot about how Abraham and everybody else abolished slavery. It was pretty good. It was very informative. Just long. Really no action."

When told about Bryant's quip about his teammates not knowing who the guy on the $5 dollar bill was, Howard smiled and said, "I wouldn't be surprised."

All jokes aside, several Lakers players give the film high marks.

"We've watched "Lincoln"! Very good movie! It describes one of the most important moments in the history of the USA. Highly recommended!" wrote Pau Gasol on Twitter.

Added Bryant: "It was cool. I enjoyed it. Daniel Day Lewis’ performance was incredible. Sally Fields was incredible. It had an all-star cast. It was well done."

Gasol also tweeted on Thursday that the movie would be a good team bonding experience, but Bryant wasn't so sure.

"I guess," Bryant said. "You get in the movie theater and everybody just kind of is set in their own corners anyway."

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.