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Lakers week in review

By Eric Pincus

9:20 AM EDT, August 19, 2013

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Kobe Bryant was a popular topic last week, opening up to Jimmy Kimmel for an hour of conversation on Thursday in front of a packed house at Nokia Theatre.

The Lakers All-Star guard told Kimmel he isn't sure if he'll play on opening night (Oct. 29), although he had said in recent interviews that his surgically repaired Achilles tendon feels "really, really good."

Shaquille O'Neal chimed in to say he sees Bryant trying to be ready for the season opener.  Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak admitted, "Kobe is a big question mark."

Bryant also sees a return to Pau Gasol as a return to winning.  He's also not a fan of how ESPN ranked the Lakers in the Western Conference.

Robert Horry recalled a confrontation with Bryant that ultimately helped the two bond.

New Lakers player development coach Larry Lewis said Bryant is a basketball genius.

A Lakers fan's donation to the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation resulted in a meet and greet with Bryant before the event with Kimmel.

Lakers owner-executive Jim Buss said Dwight Howard was never really a Laker.  Kupchak admitted the transition from Mike Brown to Mike D'Antoni was clumsy, especially in how it involved Phil Jackson.

In perhaps the oddest story of the week, Jackson tweeted advice to rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Kupchak also said he doesn't see a reason for the Lakers to tank for the lottery.

Although a deal was struck in July, the Lakers finally made the signing of Gonzaga forward Elias Harris official.  Undrafted forward Nick Minnerath tweeted that he'll join the Lakers as a camp invite.

Nick Young and Wesley Johnson put up shots at the Lakers' practice facility.

Lakers legend Magic Johnson celebrated his 54th birthday on Wednesday.  World Poker Tour will hold a tournament in honor of the late Jerry Buss.

Director of scouting Bill Bertka said his proudest Lakers moment was the drafting of Jim McMillian, which  helped lead to the franchise's NBA record 33-game winning streak.

Former Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons joined Larry Drew's staff on the Milwaukee Bucks.

Finally, the Lakers let the trade exception for Christian Eyenga expire.

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