On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers returned to their El Segundo practice facility for the first time in over a week. Steve Nash, who lasted less than two minutes against Sacramento, was unable to practice, and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed Nash was not likely to feature on Tuesday night. However, D’Antoni would not rule out the 39-year-old point guard.
On a more positive note, D’Antoni was confident that Kobe Bryant would play against Dallas. Despite playing through bone spurs in his left ankle, Bryant only sat a few seconds against the Kings. To doubt the Mamba would not be wise, but hearing that he is not even questionable the day before a game is welcome news for fans, teammates, and coaches alike.
Also at practice, Dwight Howard talked to the media about Tuesday’s halftime ceremony retiring Shaquille O’Neal’s number 34. Howard offered an awkward pause before praising Shaq’s accomplishments as a Laker.
Triple Threat asked Howard to rank his favorite Lakers centers of all time, and Howard offered Wilt Chamberlain as his personal favorite.
“Wilt’s my favorite of all time, but I think Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] is probably the center who had the most,” Howard said. “[Kareem] had everything. He could shoot. He had the hook shot. He had the best offensive repertoire out of all the bigs that are up there.”
“Why was Wilt my favorite?” Howard thought out loud. “His personality, he loved to have fun.”
Before practice concluded, another Lakers big man met with the media—Pau Gasol.
Gasol talked about his unorthodox double-double against the Kings. The 7-footer recorded 10 assists but only managed two rebounds. Gasol admitted that he took on more of a role as creator with Nash unable to play, and the Spaniard looked comfortable in that role.
With Nash likely to miss out again on Tuesday against the Mavericks, the Lakers may look to keep Gasol as a primary offensive creator alongside Bryant.