Although Pau Gasol is showing "improvement" from a concussion he suffered this week, the Lakers haven't cleared him for basketball-related activities.
The Lakers forward saw neurologist Dr. Vern Williams on Thursday on the team's day off, and will do so again this morning in hopes he can play tonight when the Lakers (15-20) host the Oklahoma City Thunder (27-8) at Staples Center.
"I keep recovering but I haven't been cleared yet," Gasol tweeted Thursday afternoon. "Rest and patience are important right now."
Under the NBA's concussion policy started last season, each player has to pass a series of tests symptom-free before returning to the court.
Those steps, according to an NBA official, include the following exercises: stationary bike, light jogging, running, jumping and agility drills and team drills with limited contact. Should a player complete those tests while remaining symptom-free, he'll then be cleared to play without restrictions.
The Lakers lost at Houston (Tuesday) and San Antonio (Wednesday) during Gasol's absence, coinciding with other injuries to Dwight Howard (right shoulder) and Jordan Hill (left hip).
Gasol suffered the injury in the Lakers' loss Sunday to the Denver Nuggets when Denver center JaVale McGee accidentally elbowed him in the nose.
Kobe Bryant suffered a concussion last season in the 2012 NBA All-Star game after Dwyane Wade accidentally elbowed him in the nose. Bryant managed
to pass the tests three days after the concussion and didn't miss any games.
Few would mistake Metta World Peace's goofiness for Derek Fisher's eloquence.
But Bryant has recently asked World Peace to fulfill the same role Fisher once had when he won five championships with the Lakers.
"I encourage Metta to speak up because he's been through adverse situations," said Bryant, while also crediting the former Ron Artest for helping the Lakers win the 2010 NBA title. "He plays with the energy, passion and intensity that we need, so that it becomes infectious."
World Peace has become a stabilizing force during this uncertain season. His peak conditioning and hustle has contributed to World Peace ranking third in team scoring (13.8 points per game), his highest output in his four seasons with the Lakers.
"When I first got here, there were 14 champions and all I had to do was listen," World Peace said. "Now I have to take more of a leadership role."
"Kobe is not going to talk much. He's not a vocal leader. He leads by his play. Pau and Steve (Nash) lead with their smarts," World Peace said.
"Dwight (Howard) leads by being a force on the glass."
World Peace has spoken to children as part of his mental health advocacy in an introspective albeit rambling nature. That contrasts Fisher's ability to speak in paragraphs. That's why World Peace compared Fisher to a "professor" and considers him his "idol."
"A couple speeches when I talked before the game, I saw it rub off," World Peace said. "With the way I play the game, that intensity is how we need to play. Hopefully I don't sound selfish, but I think every five guys that are out there should be playing that way."
What does he say?
"It's a consistent positive message," World Peace said. "I never judge or point fingers."
Most Popular Stories
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- UTEP Water Recycling Project Wins Venture Titles
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Austin Startup Compare Metrics Raises $3.5 Million for Expansion
- Why So Many Top 'Car Guys' Are Actually Women