LOS ANGELES (AP) — While the entire basketball world focused squarely on Miami for the past three months, the Los Angeles Lakers waited quietly across the continent, polishing their rings and enjoying the show.

For a team with two straight titles, the league’s largest payroll and the most successful coach in NBA history beginning possibly his final season, the Lakers exhibit remarkably few signs of pressure. Miami is drawing all the Heat early on, and that’s just fine with the champions.

Los Angeles begins the regular season on Tuesday night with starting center Andrew Bynum sidelined and superstar Kobe Bryant still not back in top health, yet the Lakers seem comfortable and confident, buoyed by their past successes and optimistic about their future once everybody is together.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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