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2009–10 Los Angeles Lakers season
Head coach Phil Jackson
Owner(s) Jerry Buss
Arena Staples Center
Record 50–18 (.735)
Place Division: 1st (Pacific)
Conference: 1st (Western)
Playoff finish

Stats @
Local media
Television Home: FS West HD

Away: KCAL 9 HD

Radio 710 ESPN
Los Angeles Lakers seasons
< 2008–09 2010–11 >

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 are attempting to defend their title. They currently spend the most money of any team on player salaries, totaling 112.7 million dollars ($91.4 million on player salaries and 21.4 million on luxury tax).[1]


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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]


Trevor Ariza chose not to sign when the Los Angeles Lakers offered the Mid-Level Exception (approximately $6 million per year).[5] 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.[6] The Lakers decided to release him to keep the roster to 13 players.[7] 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.[8]


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.[9] 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.[10]

The Los Angeles Lakers (Artest and Mbenga pictured) at the Luxor Las Vegas after a pre-season game.

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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] The Lakers used the Bi-annual exception to sign Brown. He has a player option to terminate his contract after this season.[14]

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:[15]

  • 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.[15] 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.[15]

On September 28, the Lakers signed four players to non-guaranteed contracts: Tony Gaffney, David Monds, Mickaël Gelabale and Michael Fey.[16] On September 30, the Lakers also signed Thomas Kelati to a non-guarnteed contract,[17] 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.[18] On October 21, Thomas Kelati was cut from the team.[19] On October 24, the Lakers cut Gaffney.[20]


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.[21] 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.[22] The Lakers traded both each for a future second-round draft pick and cash. They kept their final pick and selected Chinemelu Elonu.[23] 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.[24]

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


Los Angeles Lakers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. From
G/F 37 United States Artest, Ron 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 260 lb (118 kg) St. John's
G 12 United States Brown, Shannon 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Michigan State
G 24 United States Bryant, Kobe (C) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Lower Merion HS (PA)*
C 17 United States Bynum, Andrew 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 285 lb (129 kg) St. Joseph HS (NJ)*
G 1 United States Farmar, Jordan 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 180 lb (82 kg) UCLA
G 2 United States Fisher, Derek 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Arkansas-Little Rock
F/C 16 Spain Gasol, Pau 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 250 lb (113 kg) Spain
C 28 Democratic Republic of the Congo Mbenga, D.J. 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 255 lb (116 kg) DR Congo
F 6 United States Morrison, Adam 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Gonzaga
F 7 United States Odom, Lamar 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Rhode Island
F/C 21 United States Powell, Josh 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) North Carolina State
G 18 Slovenia Vujačić, Sasha 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Slovenia
F 4 United States Walton, Luke Injured 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Arizona
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: 2009-10-26

Season summary

The Los Angeles Lakers on October 23, 2009 at the Bob Wilson Naval Hospital gym in San Diego.

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.[25] 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, suffering a pinched in his back on November 16.[26] He is expected to be out for six weeks.[27] However, Gasol came back soon after and the starting lineup return to its normal lineup (with Odom returning to the bench):

  • PG – Derek Fisher
  • SG – Kobe Bryant
  • SF – Ron Artest
  • PF – Pau Gasol
  • C – Andrew Bynum
Brown and Bynum being guarded by Anthony Morrow and Chris Hunter.

Through the first 14 games of the season, the Lakers ranked 2nd in the league in defensive field goal shooting (41.7%).[28] They've also had to deal with poor play by reserve players.[28][29] Since Gasol's return the Lakers went 10–0, which included a game on December 4 where Bryant shot a 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Lakers past the Miami Heat 108–107.[30] Their 11 game win streak ended on December 12 against the Utah Jazz. On December 11, Bryant suffered a fracture in his right index finger in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves,[31] but didn't miss any time because of it. On December 16, Bryant made another game winning shot, this time against the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime. The Lakers were on a five game winning streak heading into their Christmas Day game at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They lost the game for only the third time at home. Later that night, Ron Artest suffered a concussion from tripping over a box and falling down a flight of stairs.[32] He is projected to return on January 5 after missing five games.[33] The Lakers since have struggled with his absence, giving up 100 or more points in four straight games. On January 1, Bryant made a three-point shot beat the Sacramento Kings as time expired.[34] It was the third time this season that Bryant made a game winning shot as time expired. On January 3, Gasol mildly strained his left hamstring in the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks and had to leave the game.[35] Artest returned to play the next game versus the Houston Rockets, and Odom almost achieved a triple double with 17 points, 19 rebounds, and 9 assists.[36] Since Christmas the Lakers struggled, going 6–5. Since then both Walton (28 games) and Gasol (6 games) returned from injuries and the Lakers played with a full roster for the first time this season against the Clippers on January 15.

On January 21, the Lakers began the second half of the season by playing eight consecutive road games in 12 days. Beginning with a rematch of the Christmas day game against the Cavaliers and concluding on February 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies, the defending champions also visited the White House to meet President Barack Obama.

Barack Obama speaking with the Los Angeles Lakers team on January 25, 2010 at the White House.

Against the Memphis Grizzlies, Bryant surpassed Jerry West to become the Lakers all-time leading scorer. The Lakers finished the road trip 5–3. In February Gasol was named winner of two of the three most prestigious annual awards given to European players, based on performances during the 2009 calendar year for both national and club teams. On December 27, Gasol was announced by the Italian magazine Superbasket as the winner of its Mr. Europa award[37] and on December 28, Gasol was announced by the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport as the winner of its Euroscar Award.[38] On February 6 against the Portland Trail Blazers, an injured Bryant sat out for a game for the first time since 2007. Odom matched a career high with 22 rebounds in the Lakers win, the first time they won in Portland since 2005.[39] Gasol produced 21 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks in a February 8th win against the San Antonio Spurs, joining five other players to accomplish the feat.[40] The Lakers head to the All-Star break on a three game win streak. All three victories came without Bryant and the final two without Bynum.

Bryant was voted as a starter for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, but sat out due to injury. Gasol was selected as a reserve for the West and logged 13 points and six rebounds in 20 mintues.[41] Brown entered the dunk contest, but was defeated in the second round.

Bryant returned from injury on February 23 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers went 4-1 without Bryant. Bryant made a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to lift the Lakers to a 99-98 victory. However the Lakers have been 4-4 since Bryant's return.[42] Since the All-Star break the Lakers have struggled, recording a 5-5 record including the first 3 game losing streak since Gasol was traded to the Lakers 2 years earlier.[42]

Season standings

Pacific Division    W L PCT GB Home Road Div GP
Los Angeles Lakers 49 18 .731 30–5 19–13 11–2 67
Phoenix Suns 41 26 .612 8.0 25–9 16–17 11–4 67
Los Angeles Clippers 25 43 .368 24.5 18–15 7–28 3–8 68
Sacramento Kings 23 44 .343 26.0 17–16 6–28 3–9 67
Golden State Warriors 18 48 .273 30.5 14–20 4–28 4–9 66
# Western Conference   
1 Los Angeles Lakers 49 18 .731 67
2 Denver Nuggets 45 22 .672 4.0 67
3 Dallas Mavericks 45 22 .672 4.0 67
4 Utah Jazz 43 24 .642 6.0 67
5 Oklahoma City Thunder 41 24 .631 7.0 65
6 Phoenix Suns 41 26 .612 8.0 67
7 San Antonio Spurs 39 25 .609 8.5 64
8 Portland Trail Blazers 41 28 .594 9.0 69
9 Houston Rockets 34 31 .523 14.0 65
10 Memphis Grizzlies 35 32 .522 14.0 68
11 New Orleans Hornets 33 35 .485 16.5 68
12 e-Los Angeles Clippers 25 43 .368 24.5 68
13 e-Sacramento Kings 23 44 .343 26.0 67
14 e-Golden State Warriors 18 48 .273 30.5 66
15 e-Minnesota Timberwolves 14 53 .209 35.0 67

e - eliminated from playoff contention

Game log


Regular season

2009–10 season game log
2009–10 season schedule

Player statistics


  • Updated through February 10 (54 games).
Ron Artest 50 50 33.3 .424 .395 .682 4.4 3.1 1.0 0.3 11.6
Shannon Brown 54 2 19.8 .449 .330 .795 2.0 1.3 0.6 0.2 7.8
Kobe Bryant 51 51 38.6 .461 .327 .814 5.3 4.6 1.7 0.3 28.0
Andrew Bynum 50 50 31.3 .568 .000 .745 8.2 1.2 0.5 1.5 15.1
Jordan Farmar 54 0 18.3 .443 .369 .736 1.7 1.8 0.8 0.2 7.6
Derek Fisher 54 54 27.1 .386 .350 .866 2.3 2.5 1.2 0.1 7.3
Pau Gasol 37 37 36.7 .524 .000 .809 11.2 3.5 0.5 1.8 17.2
D. J. Mbenga 31 2 7.1 .460 .000 .333 1.8 0.2 0.1 0.7 2.0
Adam Morrison 21 0 7.6 .377 .267 .500 1.3 0.5 0.1 0.1 2.5
Lamar Odom 54 25 31.3 .451 .290 .705 9.9 3.6 0.9 0.8 10.1
Josh Powell 41 0 9.3 .355 .429 .867 1.7 0.5 0.1 0.1 2.9
Sasha Vujačić 50 0 7.6 .408 .368 .900 1.1 0.5 0.3 0.0 2.5
Luke Walton 24 0 8.3 .385 .500 .500 1.3 1.2 0.4 0.0 2.4


Awards and records



  • Kobe Bryant was voted to his 12th consecutive NBA All-Star Game as a starter.
  • Pau Gasol was selected to his third NBA All-Star Game.




Los Angeles Lakers

Players Added

Via Draft

Via Free Agency

Players Lost

Via Trade

Via Free Agency


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External links


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