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Lakers' Week 20 in review

Los Angeles LakersKobe BryantPhil JacksonOklahoma City ThunderNBAMike D'AntoniNew York Knicks

For the Lakers in Week 20, what happened off the court was far more interesting than the road losses against the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.

It wasn't surprising that the team fell to the top teams in the NBA on successive nights.  The Thunder beat the Lakers 131-102 and the Spurs had an easy night with a 119-85 victory.

On Wednesday, the team announced that Kobe Bryant will be out for the rest of the season.

Bryant had said he was frustrated by the slow progress of his knee injury, which has kept him out of action since mid-December.

In a news conference, the Lakers' All-Star guard called out Lakers management, saying he fully expects the team to put together a contender for next season.

News also broke that Phil Jackson was near a deal to join the New York Knicks, instead of staying with the Lakers in some capacity with fiancée, Lakers' owner/executive Jeanie Buss.

Magic Johnson ended his cease-fire and questioned the Lakers' leadership without Jackson and Bryant.

The Lakers have had a terrible season and Bryant and Johnson were quite critical, although Bryant might want to take some of the responsibility himself.

If the Lakers intend to rebuild quickly, during the two final years on Bryant's contract, they would need to start by trading their 2014 second-round pick, in July.

Coach Mike D'Antoni said that Steve Nash is also done for the season. D'Antoni also noted that he doesn't stop to think about his job security.

Meanwhile, the Lakers were the first NBA team to be eliminated from playoff contention.

The NCAA revealed its tournament field on Sunday, which could have some bearing on the Lakers' future.

Kansas center Joel Embiid, suffering with a back injury, could fall in the draft -- perhaps to the Lakers' draft range.

NBA executive Joe Borgia reflected on Robert Sacre's six-foul night.

Finally, Bryant unveiled his latest commercial, featuring the "Kobe light bulb."

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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