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The 2009–10 Los Angeles Lakers season is the 64th season of the franchise, 62nd in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and 50th in Los Angeles. Coming off a Championship in 2009, the Lakers will try to defend their title. They currently spend the most money of any team on players salaries, totaling 112.7 million dollars ($91.4 million on player salaries and 21.4 million on luxury tax).

Key dates



The Lakers came into training camp with no serious injuries. All players were expected to be healthy enough to play in the season opener. After having surgery one his knee last season, Andrew Bynum was told that he has ligamentous laxity, which will require him to wear a knee brace for the entire season.

During training camp, D. J. Mbenga was not able to participate fully in practice due to a "malalignment of his hips/hip flexors". The imbalance was causing him pain in his abdominal, groin and hip flexor areas. He made a full recorvery and played on opening night. Pau Gasol injured his hamstring during a preseason game and missed the first 12 games of the season. In December Ron Artest revealed that he suffered a shoulder injury during the Lakers' opening exhibition game. He kept the injury quiet so it wouldn't seem like he was making excuses, telling neither the media nor his coaches.


Trevor Ariza chose not to sign when the Los Angeles Lakers offered the Mid-Level Exception (approximately $6 million per year). When the Lakers chose to look towards other free agents, Ariza agreed to sign with the Houston Rockets for slightly more money.

The Lakers had a team option on Sun Yue to pick up his contract for one year paying him $736,000.The Lakers decided to release him to keep the roster to 13 players. Sun eventually signed with the New York Knicks.

Assistant coach Kurt Rambis left the Lakers to pursue a head-coaching position with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rambis was believed to have been the potential replacement to Phil Jackson upon Jackson's departure in the coming seasons.


The Lakers had team options to exercise contracts on Josh Powell and D. J. Mbenga. The Lakers decided to bring back both, paying Powell and Mbenga $959,000 each.

Kobe Bryant also had an option to terminate his contract this offseason, which would pay him approximately $23,000,000 for the season and $24,800,000 for the season after. He chose not to opt out of his contract and will sign a 3 year extension worth between 80 and 85 million dollars.
Ron Artest is the first player to sign from another team this offseason. On July 2, Artest told that he agreed to a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Artest decided not to pursue a more lucrative contract from his former team (the Rockets) and signed a 5 year deal worth $33 millions on July 8. The Lakers used their Mid-Level Exception to sign Artest. Artest had wanted to play for the Lakers for years and was looking forward to playing with Kobe Bryant and childhood friend Lamar Odom. Artest changed his jersey number from 96 to 37 when joining the Lakers in honor of Michael Jackson's album Thriller which was the #1 selling album for 37 weeks. Jackson died 13 days earlier.

Shannon Brown agreed to a contract with the Lakers on July 6. Brown turned down a more expensive offer from the Indiana Pacers and agreed to a 2 year $4.2 million contract. The Lakers used the Bi-annual exception to sign Brown. He has a player option to terminate his contract after this season.

Lamar Odom was the last Lakers free agent to resign with the team. Before previous season ended, Odom said he'd be willing to take a paycut from the $11.4 million he made in his final year of his contract (which was actually 14.1 million under the Lakers salary cap because the difference was paid upfront as a "trade-kicker when he joined the Lakers). Early in July, the Lakers presented two offers to Odom:
  • A four-year deal for $9 million a season, worth up to $36 million, but only three years and $27 million was guaranteed, with the Lakers' buyout in the fourth year worth $3 million.
  • A three-year, $30-million deal that would have paid Odom $10 million a season.

When Odom and his agent didn't respond quickly enough, owner Jerry Buss pulled both deals off the table. Since then the Miami Heat tried to persuade him to come play for Miami. Heat President Pat Riley met with Odom in Los Angeles and Heat guard Dwyane Wade was also in Los Angeles making his pitch to get Odom to return to Miami. Odom then spoke with Buss. His agent and Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak kept an open dialogue. On July 30, Lamar Odom agreed to a four year deal, reportedly for $33 million, with a team option for the final year. Odom said he didn't want to leave Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Derek Fisher and the rest of the Lakers, especially Kobe Bryant.

On September 28, the Lakers signed four players to non-guaranteed contracts: Tony Gaffney, David Monds, Mickaël Gelabale and Michael Fey. On September 30, the Lakers also signed Thomas Kelati to a non-guarnteed contract, bring their total player roster to 18 players. By the beginning of the season, they had to reduce their roster to a maximum of 15 players. On October 10, the Lakers cut Mickaël Gelabale, David Monds, and Michael Fey, bringing the roster to 15 players. On October 21, Thomas Kelati was cut from the team. On October 24, the Lakers cut Gaffney.


The Lakers traded their first round draft pick (#29) to the New York Knicks for $3,000,000 and the Knicks 2011 second round draft pick. The Lakers traded their second pick (originally from the Charlotte Bobcats for the Kareem Rush trade) for cash.


The Lakers originally had three picks entering the Draft. Their 29th pick was used to pick Toney Douglas from Florida State, and chose Patrick Beverley from Arkansas with their 42nd pick, a pick which they got from a previous trade with Charlotte. The Lakers traded both each for a future second-round draft pick and cash. They kept their final pick and selected Chinemelu Elonu. The Texas A&M center earned All-Big 12 honors last season after averaging 9.8 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds and 53 blocked shots. He set a school record by making 66.5 percent from the field and was named the Big 12's most improved player.

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 29 Toney Douglas Guard Florida State
2 42 Patrick Beverley Guard Arkansas
2 59 Chinemelu Elonu Power Forward / Texas A&M


Season summary

The Lakers opened the season at home against their intra-city rival the Los Angeles Clippers. Before the game the remaining Lakers on the team from last year received their 2009 Championship rings. Pau Gasol missed the first 11 games due to his hamstring injury, therefore Lamar Odom moved to power forward and was placed in the starting lineup. The season opened with the starting lineup being:

The Lakers have started off strong going 7-1, but then lost two in a row. Luke Walton was another player who was injured, but Gasol came back soon after. The starting lineup return to it's normal lineup:

  • PG – Derek Fisher
  • SG – Kobe Bryant
  • SF – Ron Artest
  • PF – Pau Gasol
  • C – Andrew Bynum

Through the first 14 games of the season, the Lakers ranked 2 in the league in defensive field goal shooting (41.7%). They've also had to deal with poor play by reserve players.

Season standings

Game log


2009 Pre-season Game Log: 6–2 (Home: 6–2; Road: 0–0)
# Date Visitor Score Home OT Attendance Record Recap
1 October 7 (in Anaheim, CAmarker) Golden State Warriors 101-118 Los Angeles Lakers 13,156 1-0 [808962]
2 October 9 (in Inglewood, CAmarker) Golden State Warriors 110-91 Los Angeles Lakers 17,505 1-1 [808963]
3 October 15 (in Las Vegas, NVmarker) Sacramento Kings 92-98 Los Angeles Lakers 14,741 2-1 [808964]
4 October 17 (in Los Angeles, CAmarker) Charlotte Bobcats 87-91 Los Angeles Lakers 18,422 3-1 [808965]
5 October 18 (in Los Angeles, CAmarker) Los Angeles Clippers 108-114 Los Angeles Lakers 17,932 4-1 [808966]
6 October 20 (in Ontario, CAmarker) Golden State Warriors 107-113 Los Angeles Lakers 10,410 5-1 [808967]
7 October 22 (in Anaheim, CAmarker) Denver Nuggets 89-106 Los Angeles Lakers 15,206 6-1 [808968]
8 October 23 (in San Diego, CAmarker) Denver Nuggets 119-105 Los Angeles Lakers 13,586 6-2 [808969]

Regular season

Player statistics



Awards and records





  • On November 6, Kobe Bryant moved past Allen Iverson into 16th place on the NBA's career scoring list.
  • On November 6, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player (31 years, 75 days) in NBA history to score 24,000 points.
  • On November 19, Kobe Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,276) for second place on the Lakers' career scoring list.


Los Angeles Lakers

Players Added
Via Draft Via Free Agency
Players Lost
Via Trade Via Free Agency



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