With time healing all wounds, Kobe Bryant's eyes lit up surrounding Shaquille O'Neal's jersey retirement ceremony when the Lakers (38-36) play tonight against the Dallas Mavericks (36-37) at Staples Center.

"It's going to be great," Bryant said following the Lakers' win Saturday over the Kings. "It's well-deserved, beyond well-deserved. I'm very very happy for him and proud of him."

Bryant practiced Monday and plans to play against Dallas despite nursing bone spurs in his left foot and a sprained left ankle. Coach Mike D'Antoni said it's "doubtful" Steve Nash will suit up against the Mavericks missing Monday's practice because of a strained right hamstring.

Neither Bryant nor Nash talked to reporters Monday. But following the Lakers' win Feb. 12 against the Phoenix Suns, Bryant provided a surprising revelation regarding O'Neal.

"Shaq and I have a really, really good relationship now. We appreciate each other more now than ever," Bryant said. "The further you get away from the history that you had together, the more you put perspective on it on how dominant we were."

Bryant will provide such perspective in his taped message during O'Neal's half-time ceremony. Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Lakers executive vice president of business operations Jeanie Buss will also speak. And a highlight video will feature showcase how O'Neal won three of his four NBA championships with the Lakers , averaging 27 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 blocks in eight seasons.
D'Antoni, who coached O'Neal one season in Phoenix, believed he "changed basketball."