You’d better circle “October 29” on your calendar, Laker fans, as that’s the day the Los Angeles Lakers officially begin the 2013-14 season. It would be an easy start to the year, though, as the purple on gold will take on their semi-new-look crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to the O.C. Register’s Kevin Ding, the Lakers will face the Clippers at home on the first night of a back-to-back, then they’ll head to the Bay Area to face the Golden State Warriors on October 30.
The Clippers made some impressive moves this off-season, highlighted by the additions of Doc Rivers and J.J. Redick. The Warriors also improved on paper by signing star player Andre Iguodala.
It was revealed earlier today that the Lakers will get their first look at Dwight Howard’s Houston Rockets on November 7, and they’ll meet with the Miami Heat at Staples on Christmas Day.
Of course, nobody knows if any of these games will be featuring Kobe Bryant, who is still working his way back from an Achilles injury in April. While Bryant himself estimates that he’ll be back on the court in November or December, Lakers co-owner Jim Buss expects to see the Black Mamba return by the pre-season.
While Kobe will likely be itching to get back on the court and appear in these marquee match-ups, he’ll also have to take his time and make sure he’s 100% by the time he returns. I’m not worried about this, though: while Bryant is known for his competitive spirit and ability to push his body to the limit, he realizes how serious this injury is and how he needs to treat it with care to ensure he’ll be able to play at a high level in the NBA for a few more years.
UPDATE: Per Kevin Ding, the Lakers will face the San Antonio Spurs in their third game of the 2013-14 season.