KEY POINTS

  • Trevor Ariza has become the first player of the Lakers to be listed as injured
  • Frank Vogel says there is nothing to be concerned about at the moment
  • An NBA author compares the Lakers' current lineup to an aging rock band

The Los Angeles Lakers are undoubtedly the team to watch although some pundits prefer to keep track of the health of some of its aging players.

It appears the first one to be reported on the injured list is now known, and he is none other than Trevor Ariza.

Returning to the Lakers with hopes of winning another NBA title, Ariza did not participate in Thursday’s practice in what was described as right ankle soreness by head coach Frank Vogel.

Vogel added that the injury is no cause for concern.

Aside from the 36-year-old veteran, the rest of the team participated in the two-day practice session of the Lakers that started on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Ariza was part of the 2009 Lakers champion squad that was led by the late Kobe Bryant. He has since bounced from one team to another and remains potent.

He agreed to a $2.6 million one-year deal to play for the Lakers this 2021-22 season.

The Lakers are under the radar due to their lineup of players over 30 years old. However, the team is shrugging off those concerns and plans to prove critics wrong.

For American sportswriter and author Roland Lazenby, the Lakers star-studded roster is more like a rock band.

However, he cautioned that even with heavy credentials, no one is spared from the so-called wolfpack metaphor.

The said term is something he associated with the Ben Simmons situation. This tied up with the heavy criticism that the Australian cager has received following the Philadelphia 76ers’ elimination during last year’s NBA playoffs.

“I’m a skeptic. I think they have outsmarted themselves a bit. They have gotten some of their fluidity in defense and they have obviously tossed off role players. It if was a rock band and you are dealing with names and everyone can watch, everybody can take a solo, cheer and go crazy. But this is not a rock band. This is cut-throat competition," Lazenby said when he appeared on the Sports For Bytes PH podcast last September 24 with Filipino journalist Brian Yalung.

As far as the Lakers are concerned, Lazenby is interested to see how the team can protect the “old wolves.”

"Back to the old wolfpack metaphor. You know what happens to old wolves. They become breakfast and get eaten alive,” he stated. ”Can the Lakers protect their old wolves? Maybe. They have very long teeth though. It will be interesting. There will be a lot of older people if they [Lakers] do,” Lazenby quipped.

Trevor Ariza #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers Trevor Ariza #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers Photo: Getty Images | Harry How