Lakers Take Off For European Tour

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Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers aboards American Airlines 777 aircraft at LAX. (credit: CBS)

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers aboards American Airlines 777 aircraft at LAX. (credit: CBS)

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP/CBS) — Pau Gasol has traveled to Spain twice during previous NBA preseasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, so the 7-footer knows all about being a tour guide for a bunch of American hoopsters.

Gasol says his third trip back home is a whole lot bigger. After all, he’s with the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers now.

The Lakers interrupted their training camp Thursday to fly to London for an eight-day tour packed with public events, private gatherings, exhibition games in London and Barcelona — and a few practices, if they can find the time.

First games will be played in the 02 Arena in London against the Minnesota Timberwolves which will be televised on KCAL 9 at 7PM .

Kobe Bryant expects to play in both exhibitions, although his minutes will be limited as he ramps back up from offseason knee surgery. Coach Phil Jackson expects to use him in eight-minute bursts.


(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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