The 2012 calendar year has come and gone, and even though a 17th NBA title wasn’t brought to Los Angeles, the Lakers still provided Lakers Nation with plenty of drama, news, and headlines. As the year began, the Lakers were still reeling from the disappointment of the
stolen failed attempt to obtain PG Chris Paul. They were struggling to learn and adjust to (then) new head coach Mike Brown’s first system, attempting to adapt to life without Phil Jackson (again), and trying to locate and establish a new identity.
10. January 3, 2012: Lakers- 108 Rockets- 99
Kobe Bryant notched 37 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, but the story of the game was ex-Laker Andrew Bynum’s first 20/20 (21 points, 22 rebounds) performance of his career. After a detailed off-season workout regiment that included workout sessions with legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach that saw his body fat percentage reportedly cut in half (down to 5 percent), Bynum was a man on a mission for large portions of the 2011-12 season.
9. January 10, 2012: Lakers- 99 Suns- 83
Kobe Bryant went on one of his vintage scoring barrages, as the two 7-footers played the background. Keep in mind, Bryant was enduring pre-game painkiller injections into his injured right wrist simply to be able to suit up. Current point guard Steve Nash was still sleeping with the enemy at this point, but even the efforts of the 2-time NBA MVP weren’t enough to overcome ‘Mamba Mode’ Bryant.
Next Page: D’Antoni Shows Up; Steve Nash Returns