Last Updated on October 25, 2002 by Paulette Brown-Hinds
By G. Montgomery
Watching the Lakers pregame warm-ups preparing to play the Golden State Warriors, one had to wonder, where are the Lakers and who are these guys?
Thursdays nights rooster included seven players not on last years rooster. With injuries to Shaquille O ‘ Neal, Bryan Shaw, Robert Horry and Mark Madsen the lineup was stocked with young hopefuls vying for a final rooster spot. The 17,027 loyal Laker fans showed no signs of disappointment as the team took the floor. Rick Fox returned to the lineup after missing the first three-preseason contests with back spasms. Devean George played 20 minutes despite a strained left hamstring. Brian Shaw sat out resting a sore groin. Robert Horry didn’t play because of tendenitis in his right hand, and of course Shaq continues his recovery from off season surgery on his ailing right foot. The Lakers seem to have an above average number of pre-seasons injuries, but at this point show no major concern. With four games remaining on the preseason tour its still unclear what the opening day rooster will look like. The World Champions have little room on the current rooster. Several of the newly signed Lakers look impressive, including rookies Kareem Rush and Guy Rucker. The lesser known Rucker, a 6’11” Center/Forward from Iowa scored the winning basket on a dunk and blocked the final shot to preserve the win. With Shaq’s famous big toe still healing, the athletic Rucker might land one of those rooster spots.