Pau Gasol unsure if he will play this season

Lakers' Pao Gasol smiles a a young fan in the front row as he waits for a freethrow against the Denver Nuggets at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, January 5, 2014. 1st half.  (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Lakers’ Pao Gasol smiles a a young fan in the front row as he waits for a freethrow against the Denver Nuggets at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, January 5, 2014. 1st half.
(Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Pau Gasol stepped out of the Lakers’ practice facility with a stoic demeanor.

He will sit out when the Lakers (25-54) host the Memphis Grizzlies (47-32) at Staples Center, marking the 10th game in the past 11 contests he will miss because of vertigo. Gasol will travel with the Lakers for the last two games in Utah (Monday) and San Antonio (Wednesday), but it’s very well possible he won’t play again this season. Gasol also is aware he may never wear a Lakers uniform again considering he plans to test the free agency waters beginning in July.

“It’s always difficult not to be able to play, especially in the situation we’re in and the possibilities this offseason,” Gasol told this newspaper. “I would’ve loved to be able to play no matter what. But it’s hard to at this point. The season has been difficult.”

Gasol first experienced symptoms three weeks ago in the Lakers’ win over Orlando before missing the second half and being taken to a hospital after having three bags of intravenous fluids pumped into him. Gasol nearly returned a week later in the Lakers’ loss to Portland, where he looked noticeably sluggish, posting nine points on 4 of 9 shooting, four rebounds and seven assists. Gasol reported his health declining the next day in Sacramento. Gasol had completed his daily ritual of who rotating his head and eyes in a spinning motion to simulate dizziness before his symptoms resurfaced.

“I felt worse. I started doing my regular exercises and routine and my system was overwhelmed and overloaded,” said Gasol, . I had to lay down and everything was spinning again. I aggravated my situation by trying to come back too soon, too fast.”

Since then, Gasol has sat out for the past five games, completed an individual workout on Thursday, taken antibiotics and continued his spinning exercises.

“It’s been a slow process and frustrating. I was hoping I’d be able to recover and be back to normal a lot quicker,” Gasol said. “I started to find out from people who got in touch with me that it’s going to take a while. It’s not easy to recover from and it could be a bigger issue than people might think.”

The Lakers also field other injuries. Both Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back) and Chris Kaman (strained right calf) will not play against Memphis. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni reported Jordan Hill feeling a migraine, though he is expected to play.

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Nick Young sees no benefit in tanking

With each mounting loss securing their worst season in L.A. franchise history, the Lakers’ future indirectly looks brighter.

The defensively maligned Lakers may have deprived their fans of free tacos, but they have helped their position in the NBA draft lottery. The Lakers (25-54) enter tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies (47-32) at Staples Center with the sixth worst record in the NBA, ranking ahead of only the Milwaukee Bucks (15-65), Philadelphia 76ers (17-63), Orlando Magic (23-56), Utah Jazz (24-56) and Boston Celtics (25-55).

That standing gives them a 6.3 percent chance of securing the No. 1 pick, which could be used for a number of top prospects, including Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embidd and Duke’s Jabari Parker should he declare for the draft. The Lakers have showed otherwise. Yet, The Lakers’ chances for the top pick improve if they finish last (25 percent), second-worst (19.9 percent), third-worst (15.6 percent), fourth-worst (11.9 percent) or fifth worst (8.8 percent).

Yet, Lakers forward Nick Young saw little benefit in chasing those odds, admittedly for selfish reasons.

“We’re not going out there just to lose for the draft because I think we still want to be in the league,” Young said. “These guys are coming in to take our spots, so, I’m not about to give up for somebody else to come in and take my spot.”
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Gasol, Nash, Kaman listed as doubtful vs. Memphis

In a storyline that will play out only one more week, the Lakers (25-54) enter Sunday’s game against the Memphis Grizzles (47-32) at Staples Center fielding a flurry of uncertainty surrounding injuries.

Pau Gasol (vertigo), Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back) and Chris Kaman (strained right calf) are all listed as doubtful against Memphis. Gasol and Nash sat out of Saturdays’ practice, which was described as nothing more than a short film session and walk through that lasted about 30 minutes. Kaman participated in what the Lakers described as “limited basketball related activities.”

Kaman said this week he’s hoping to return for the Lakers’ two-game trip to close out the season with stops in Utah (Monday) and San Antonio (Wednesday). The Lakers have conceded the possibility both Nash and Gasol will not play in any of the three remaining games, but are currently listed as day-to-day.

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Xavier Henry expected to be fully healthy by training camp

The Lakers expect Xavier Henry will fully recover by the beginning of training camp after he had surgeries on Friday to repair both a torn ligament in his left wrist and cartilage abnormality in his right knee.

Dr. Steve Shine performed Henry’s wrist surgery, while Dr. Steve Lombardo completed his knee surgery. Both doctors are at Kerlan-Kobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

Henry became a pleasant surprise for the Lakers, morphing from a training camp invitee toward a solid wing player boasting plenty of athleticism. Henry averaged a career-high 10 points in 21.1 minutes, though his injuries limited him to 43 games.

Henry will become a free agent in July, and has expressed interesting in re-signing with the Lakers. He made just under $1 million after having three uneventful seasons in Memphis and New Orleans after being selected 12th overall in the 2010 NBA draft.

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Mike D’Antoni concedes possibility Pau Gasol could miss rest of season

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol shoots over Denver's Kenneth Faried during the first half of an NBA preseason game, at Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario. (John Valenzuela/Staff Photographer)

Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol shoots over Denver’s Kenneth Faried during the first half of an NBA preseason game, at Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario. (John Valenzuela/Staff Photographer)

The numbers just don’t add up.

Pau Gasol will sit out when the Lakers (25-53) host the Golden State Warriors (48-30) on Friday at Staples Center because of vertigo, an ailment that has sidelined him for eight of the past nine games. Gasol completed an individual workout on Thursday, but he has yet to receive medical clearance.

The Lakers play their final home game on Sunday against Memphis before a string of road games in Utah (Monday) and San Antonio (Wednesday). They also currently only have one more practice scheduled on Saturday. So it’s fair to say Gasol won’t play again this season, no?

“That’s common sense. They’ll talk,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I’m with you. I don’t have an answer for you.”

D’Antoni then referred to Lakers trainer Gary Vitti and Gasol.

“I’ve heard he wants to play,” D’Antoni said, “but he hasn’t been cleared yet.”

D’Antoni also listed Steve Nash as likely out after feeling his hamstring flare up in the Lakers’ loss Tuesday to Houston. Chris Kaman (strained right calf) also remains out, along with season-ending injuries to Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Kent Bazemore (torn tendon in right foot) and Xavier Henry (torn ligament in left wrist, cartilage abnormality in right knee).

The Lakers haven’t lost a season series to Golden State since the 1994-95 season, a realistic prospect considering they lost both games in Oakland by an average of 25 points. Yet, the Lakers beat Golden State in Novemeber amid a much healthier roster.

With nothing else to play for beyond a flurry of role players showcasing their worth once they become free agents this offseason, the Lakers are touting themselves as potential spoilers. Golden State holds only a one-game lead over Phoenix (47-31) for the Western Conference’s sixth playoff spot.

“That puts some intrigue into it,” D’Antoni said. “The biggest thing is to go out, compete, have fun and get better and see if we can mess somebody up. That should be our motivation.”


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Gasol, Nash considered doubtful vs. Golden State, Kaman to sit out

The Lakers listed both Pau Gasol and Steve Nash doubtful to play Friday against Golden State because of respectively persistent injuries involving vertigo and nerve irritaton.

Gasol completed an individual workout on Thursday, but Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he has not received medical clearance to play. He has missed the past nine games because of the illness. D’Antoni reported Nash “feels a lot better” after feeling what he called “a bite” in his hamstrings in the Lakers’ loss Tuesday against Houston. So much that D’Antoni said Nash “maybe” will play in one of the last four games.

Meanwhile, Lakers center Chris Kaman ruled himself out both Friday against Golden State and Sunday against Memphis after sitting the past four games because of a strained right calf that he said stemmed from landing awkwardly during the Lakers’ loss last week to Portland.

Kaman completed elliptical exercises on Thursday and expressed optimism he could play in the Lakers’ last two games in Utah (April 14) and San Antonio (April 16).

“I’m battling back and forth,” Kaman said. “I don’t want to go backwards at all. I want to make sure I go in a forward direction.”

Lakers guard Jordan Farmar reported no setbacks in his appearance Tuesday against Houston after missing the previous seven games because of a strained right groin. If if Nash sits, D’Antoni said he plans to stay cautious with Farmar so he doesn’t reinjure himself.

“I don’t think about it. We have several days of rest [after the season],” Farmar said. “What happens happens, If Nash plays or not, I’ll be ready. Whenever Mike tells me to come in, I’ll be ready. I don’t think too much about it.”

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Nick Young “very confident” he will reach agreement to stay with Lakers

Lakers forward Nick Young will likely opt out of his $1.22 million player option. But he said he is "very confident" he will reach an agreement to stay with the Lakers

Lakers forward Nick Young will likely opt out of his $1.22 million player option. But he said he is “very confident” he will reach an agreement to stay with the Lakers

A hefty offseason project awaits the Lakers, but it appears they may one measure of clarity surrounding at least one roster spot.

Lakers forward Nick Young said that he’s “very confident” that he will stay with the Lakers even though he plans to opt out of his $1.22 million option.

“I think we’ll come to some kind of agreement,” Young said Thursday after practice. “Hopefully it happens. We’ll have to see what they’re going to do. I know Kobe’s going to want something.”
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Mark Jackson wishes Steve Nash surpassed his assists during Lakers-Warriors game

Lakers#10 Steve Nash gets a high five from Lakers#20 Jodie Meeks after making his 4th assist on the night. The Houston Rockets traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in a regular season game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA. April 8, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers#10 Steve Nash gets a high five from Lakers#20 Jodie Meeks after making his 4th assist on the night. The Houston Rockets traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in a regular season game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA. April 8, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

With each pass pushing Steve Nash past him atop the NBA’s all-time assist ranking, Golden State Warriors Mark Jackson hardly uttered the words that turned into a memorable catchphrase during his ESPN broadcasting gig.

Jackson resisted yelling “hand down, man down” on the television screen each time Nash made a play. Instead, the Warriors coach actively rooted for Nash to replace him at the No. 3 spot in the Lakers’ loss Tuesday to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.

“I respect his greatness and it was good to see,” Jackson said Wednesday in an interview with this newspaper. “There was no side of me pulling against him. At any point, my day will come and go and whatever I accomplished will fade away.”

Still, Jackson conceded he wished Nash would have broken his record when the Lakers (25-53) host the Golden State Warriors (48-29) Friday at Staples Center.

“I would’ve blown a timeout and congratulated him,” said Jackson, who ranks fourth overall with 10,334 assists. “In an ideal world, Steve would have done this the same time we were on the floor. I would be sitting, watching and appreciating it all.”
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Steve Nash doubts he will play again this season after feeling pain during record-setting performance

Lakers#10 Steve Nash passes the ball around Rockets#1 Isaiah Canaan in the first half. Nash would go on to become the 3rd all-time leader in assists later in the first half. The Houston Rockets traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in a regular season game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA. April 8, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers#10 Steve Nash passes the ball around Rockets#1 Isaiah Canaan in the first half. Nash would go on to become the 3rd all-time leader in assists later in the first half. The Houston Rockets traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in a regular season game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA. April 8, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

His passes showed Steve Nash’s brilliance. His movement showed how Nash has maximized greatness out of a 40-year-old body. The “bite” that he described feeling in his hamstrings revealed his fragility. His uncertain future revealed the never-ending frustration surrounding Nash’s roller coaster through two seasons with the Lakers.

On the same night Nash eclipsed Golden State coach Mark Jackson for third place on the NBA’s all-time assists list, he also revealed that this might mark the final game of a failed Lakers season that entailed a 145-130 loss Tuesday to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.

“Because I had a pretty good setback today, I probably won’t play again,” Nash said. “If I get a good recovery over the next week, I’d love to play again. A big goal for me was not to go into the summer injured. The fact that I had a setback today was frustrating.”
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Lakers extend Mitch Kupchak to multi-year deal

The Lakers have plenty of unanswered questions, ranging from Mike D’Antoni’s coaching status, who they will draft with their first-round pick and whether Kobe Bryant will ever fully recover from his fractured left knee.

But the Lakers took care of one issue that they hope will prove an instrumental part of their rebuilding. They signed Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak to a multi-year deal, a move made to ensure he wouldn’t enter lame-duck status next season in the final year of his contract.

Kupchak has overseen four NBA championships since succeeding Jerry West as the Lakers’ general manager for the 14 years. He has served an executive role since retiring as a player in 1986.

With the Lakers’ 145-130 loss Tuesday to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center ensuring they will finish with the worst season in franchise history since moving to Los Angeles 54 years ago, Kupchak’s extension reflects the Lakers’ trust he will help restore the team back to championship prominence.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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