Kobe Watch 2007 may have taken most of Sunday off, but rest assured, it was back in full swing for this morning’s 10:30 a.m. practice. With only one day to go before the Lakers take on Yao, T-Mac and a vastly improved Rockets club, the team feels they are ready to go even if common sense says otherwise.
The entire team practiced minus Vladimir Radmanovic who is day-to-day with a fever and sore throat. Kwame Brown’s injured ankle is still an issue for the center when he is forced to jump off one foot, but being named the starter at the five spot for opening night should certainly ease the pain a little.
Coach Jackson ran the team a little longer than usual, building on the positive nuggets gained in the Lakers pre-season finale win over the Kings. The team ended practice in a united “DEFENSE” chant; Starting tomorrow, we’ll find out if anyone was listening.
Continue reading ‘Practice Wrap-Up: Monday 10/29/07′
We’ve posted a new splash page for the new season that should get everyone fired up about opening night and the 60th anniversary season.
Check it out here or click the picture below.
News was light yesterday as the team got the day off from Head Coach Phil Jackson. The team will be back at it today at the practice facility as they tune up for tomorrow’s opening night tilt against the Houston Rockets.
Lamar’s out, Kobe has a tweaked wrist and isn’t happy, but Andrew Bynum had a strong pre-season, has all of this really become business as usual? Apparently so.
Also some good info on rookie guard Javaris Crittenton:
He has watched “Always Showtime,” a highlight video about Johnson, too many times to count. Now he is hoping to eventually create a few highlights of his own.
“I want to be rookie of the year,” he said with sincerity. “With that said, you need playing time, and it has to be earned.”
Some of the things Javaris has said can come off as cocky when read off a page, but to hear him say it is a completely different thing. He’s got an air of self-confidence about him that comes off more respectful than boastful. He’ll be fun to watch this year no matter what his role.
Expectations among pundits haven’t been this low in a long while and maybe that bothers this Lakers team… or maybe it doesn’t.
More trade talk coming out of the Chicago area.
For those of you wondering how the Lakers are being perceived in the Phillipines, check this out.
Since the Lakers are already being written off by pundits, can they use the snubs as motivation? “Sure,” Bryant said. “They said that a couple years ago, and we had a great run in the postseason. We weren’t supposed to make it last year either, and we managed to get in there despite all the injuries we had. It’s kind of been the case every year. I don’t think anybody particularly cares about what’s being said.”
Spolier Alert: It’s pretty much the same as in the States.
Saturday’s post-practice remarks (you can watch them on our Video Page) caused a stir among the press. Here’s the latest from the beat.
Kevin Ding’s blog speaks to the point that Phil Jackson is not a man that is wasteful of his words. Phil’s words are always pointed and usually directed squarely at a target. For the first time it’s clear that Jackson’s fortunes aren’t directly tied to those of Bryant’s.
An overview of the situation can be found in the here and here.
The Daily news checks with an article here and a blog entry here.
ESPN’s Chris Sheridan says the Lakers and Bulls talk daily. Sheridan predicts that the Lakers will finish second in the Pacific Division, but miss the playoffs in ESPN’s Daily Dime Preview. Opinions on the how and why vary, but none of the pundits have the Purple and Gold finishing better than the 7th place finish they turned in last year and some have them finishing as low as 10th in the Western Conference. The average predicted finish of 8.4 would leave the Lakers on the outside looking in.
Forum Blue and Gold also has a preview that answers some of the pressing questions.
A secondary media day was held after practice today. I guess you could call it more of an “entertainment day” as LakersTV, FSN, & KCAL were in attendance. This second go around gives those outlets a chance to round out their green screen needs that weren’t addressed in the midst of the madness that was October 1st.
I hung out around the LakersTV booth watching each Laker take their turn reading various PSAs and answering questions for the “My Laker Profiles” that run on the big screen’s at STAPLES before the games.
Continue reading ‘Media Day #2′
Kobe Bryant didn’t join his teammates in Las Vegas last night, but he was back with them today in El Segundo… well at least in the same building.
Bryant received more treatment on his still sore sprained right wrist as the rest of the squad took to the practice floor in preparations for Tuesday’s opener against the Houston Rockets. The 14 guys that practiced today also seemed to be having a lot of fun last night and it was apparent to Phil Jackson, “I think they’re enjoying their time together right now. I think they liked the game. I think they had a good time together last night, and it was good for them.”
Jackson also seemed to have be more concerned about Bryant’s mental state than his physical state and what bearing that could have on the team’s younger players, noting that most of them haven’t been through something like this before.
Continue reading ‘Practice Wrap-Up: Saturday 10/27′
The majority of my 20th birthday was spent at home watching the Lakers beat the Kings in Game 2 of the 2001 Western Conference Semifinals and cramming for the Econ final I had the next day. Andrew Bynum’s will be spent on the practice floor of the team’s practice facility after a night in which he received a birthday cake from seven attractive women and then bashed those same Sacramento Kings for 18 points & 7 boards in just under 23 minutes of play. He’s better than me.
Bynum’s play this pre-season has also been better than his performance in the second half of last season and, as Mike Bresnahan writes, is reminiscent of his play from last pre-season. Most Laker fans will take that as a sign of the things to come as last year’s strong pre-season translated into an exceptional start that buoyed the Lakers as they dealt with injuries in the middle.
Andrew’s per 40 numbers on the pre-season translate out to an eye popping 22 point & 13 rebounds with 2 blocks on 66% shooting. This isn’t a pace anyone expects him to maintain that production, but with his new sculpted look it’s not hard to imagine him making another jump this season.
Continue reading ‘Lakers Today: 10/27/07′