Today, the Lakers were supposed to open their NBA season against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Obviously, with no Collective Bargaining Agreement in place, we’re scheduled to miss basketball at minimum until December 1st.
Instead of fixing fantasy basketball lineups, worrying about Kobe’s knees, and arguing over how successful the Mike Brown era will be, we’re stuck waiting to see when the next bargaining meetings will begin, constantly updating our Twitter apps to see if an NBA beat writer has any news on terms like “BRI”, “mid-level exception” and “amnesty clause”.
So here at Laker Nation, we want to take you back. Back to a time when your NBA news wasn’t snippets of economist theory or legal jargon, back to a point when NBA players wore jerseys, not suits.
For the time being, every day will feature This Day in Laker History, a recap of an important game, record or piece of news that happened on that day years ago. We understand that it’s not the basketball you may have been hoping for, but for the time being, it’s the closest we’ll get to reading about the Lakers on a basketball court.
NOVEMBER 1, 2009
ATLANTA HAWKS 110 – LA LAKERS 118
After a 1-1 start following their NBA Finals win over the Orlando Magic, the Lakers played their third game of the 2011 season at home against the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks.
Kobe Bryant would drop 41 points in the contest as the Lakers continued to work in recent free agent addition Ron Artest. It would be Bryant’s 97th 40-point game of his career. The forward formally known as Artest, lauded and signed for his defensive skills, would limit Atlanta’s Joe Johnson to nine points in the final three quarters after Johnson put up 18 points in the first quarter against a slew of Laker defenders.
Pau Gasol would miss his third straight game recovering from a hamstring injury during the preseason, allowing Andrew Bynum to put up 21 points and enabling Lamar Odom to narrowly miss a triple-double by two assists. The Lakers would reel off win streaks of five, six and 11 games, coasting into Christmas with a 21-3 record following their win over the Hawks.
Quote of the Night: “Joe started early, but Kobe is able to keep it going. He just made Kobe mad, which is not very smart.” – Andrew Bynum