Lakers vs. Clippers: Lakers celebrate ring night with a victory
They got their 2008-09 championship rings during a pre-game ceremony and then the Lakers turned their attention to the 2009-10 season and defending their NBA crown.
They all said it would be an emotional night, but that they would find a way to collect themselves to play the season opener against the Clippers at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
And the Lakers did, beating the Clippers, 99-92
Four Lakers scored in double figures and two of them produced double-doubles.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 33 points and eight rebounds.
Andrew Bynum had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Lamar Odom 16 points and 13 rebounds and Ron Artest had 10 points.
For the Lakers, it was a two-man show in the first three quarters.
It was Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum carrying the offensive load for the Lakers, the pair helping the Lakers take a 76-75 lead over the Clippers after the third.
Bryant had 26 points and Bynum had 23.
But for the Lakers to be successful this season, they'll need a more balanced offense.
It appeared as thought Andrew Bynum was on a mission, as if he was out to prove himself. In the first half, he helped the Lakers open a 59-49 lead. Bynum had 17 points and six rebounds in the first half. He was six for 10 from the field.
The Lakers celebrated their 10th NBA championship in Los Angeles, 15th overall, by bringing back players from the '70s, '80s, and earlier this decade, players like Jerry West, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Rick Fox and Robert Horry.
All the Lakers and the coaching staff were given their rings for the 2008-09 championship and then Derek Fisher said a few words before the championship banner was unveiled.Pre-game notes
Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who missed the last six exhibition games with a strained right hamstring, was placed on the inactive list for Tuesday night's season opener against the Clippers.
It meant that third-string center DJ Mbenga was on the 12-man active list.
Jackson said the team hopes Gasol can play Friday when the Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks.
"He's still fearful about it," Jackson said about Gasol's injury. "So he needs to rest it."
-- Brad Turner