- For the fifth time in his 18-year career, Kobe Bryant will miss a season opener for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant, 35, is still rehabilitating from a torn Achilles’ tendon that occurred last April, leaving him to watch from the bench tonight when the Lakers take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. For the record, the Lakers are 4-0 in season openers without Bryant. No timetable has been set for his return.
- The Lakers plan to keep a close eye on veteran Steve Nash and his playing time this season. Nash, 39, is also entering his 18th season and leg and back injuries limited him to 50 regular-season games a year ago. One possibility the Lakers are considering is resting Nash on the second of back-to-back games this season. The Lakers play at the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night and the Clippers and Warriors are expected to be near the top in the Western Conference standings this season.
- Darren Collison will make his regular-season debut for the Clippers, despite a bruised left kneecap that kept him out of the final preseason game Friday and the birth of his son, Kinston, on Monday night. Collison, who signed with the Clippers in the summer after playing last season in Dallas, is a Southern California native who played at UCLA. He’s expected to serve as the primary back up to Chris Paul.
- New to the Clippers’ starting lineup this season is small forward Jared Dudley and shooting guard J.J. Redick. Both are expected to boost the perimeter element for a Clippers team that tied for 15th in the league in 3-point shooting last season (35.8 percent). Dudley is shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc for his career, Redick is shooting 39 percent. Both came to the Clippers in a three-team offseason trade that sent starting forward Caron Butler and back-up point guard Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix Suns.
– Dan Arritt