Lakers Daily Links: Monday

Kobe Bryant enjoys touching tribute from Pau Gasol in his final game at Chicago: As a kid growing up in Italy, Kobe Bryant would mimic any and all players after watching the tapes of NBA stars his grandfather mailed him. Later, Bryant refined the focus of his education. -- The Orange County Register

After long wait, rookie D'Angelo Russell set to start final 25 game: D’Angelo Russell had been extremely careful over the past two months. When it came to the matter of whether he started or came off the bench, the 19-year-old insisted he was happy either way. “I don’t really care,” he reiterated Sunday on the Time Warner Cable SportsNet broadcast following a 126-115 loss to the Chicago Bulls. -- The Orange County Register

Three Lakers score 20+ points, but it's not enough against Bulls: It was an active day for the Lakers, a checklist almost filled in the span of a few hours. Kobe Bryant played his final game at the United Center, the arena made famous by one of his heroes and, indeed, career-long targets, Michael Jordan. -- Los Angeles Times

Pau Gasol helps put on tribute for former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant's last stop in Chicago: Pau Gasol recently played in his sixth All-Star game, filling in for injured teammate Jimmy Butler while reminding everyone of his rare skill set for a 7-footer. Especially Kobe Bryant. -- Los Angeles Times

Kobe Bryant lauded, D’Angelo Russell rises as LA Lakers lose to Bulls: The uncertainty included something more than how Kobe Bryant handled his dislocated middle finger in his right hand. The excitement went beyond Bryant going on a scoring binge in his last game here. The buzz went beyond endless chants for Bryant to play. -- Los Angeles Daily News

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant details Michael Jordan’s influence: he video scoreboard pinpointed a moment that Kobe Bryant remembered vividly 20 years later. On Dec. 17, 1996, Bryant squared off against Michael Jordan for the first time in his life. But despite spending a childhood studying Jordan “exclusively,” Bryant could not prepare for the first in-person interaction. Then, Jordan drove past Bryant baseline for a dunk. -- Los Angeles Daily News