Lakers Today: 12/18/07

The Lakers may have defeated the Clippers handily on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean it’s all smiles for Coach Phil Jackson. Even though Kobe scored 32 points and Andrew Bynum had 14 points and nine rebounds, a Los Angeles Times article said that Jackson was not particularly enamored with the efforts of his starters.

“I didn’t enjoy how the first unit played,” he said. “The ball stopped too often. They didn’t have good movement, didn’t play together, did a lot of individual stuff with the ball. As a result, there were turnovers and steals that lost us our momentum in the third quarter, which was difficult to watch.

Kobe seems unfazed by the inevitable media storm he will likely face in the next 24 hours as the Lakers take on the Chicago Bulls later tonight. The Bulls were at the heart of the rampant trade speculation with many insiders revealing that Bryant’s preferred destination was Chicago.

“It’s no different than any other game,” he said. “We’re going to get ready to go out there and punch the clock.”

The Knicks may have Stephon Marbury, Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry on their roster, but it is Andrew Bynum who will be the biggest star in New York when the Lakers travel their to complete their four game road trip.

“I’ve got 38 tickets out there so that’s going to hurt the pockets a little bit,” he said. “But it should be fun.”

Bynum may only be 20 years old, but according to a Daily News article, he already respects the level of competition in the NBA, expressing caution as the Lakers head out on a four game road trip that will see them play four teams with losing records.

“We had a nice lift-off game,” Andrew Bynum said of beating the injury-ravaged Clippers. “(But) we won’t take anybody for granted because anybody can beat anybody.”

Orange County Register writer Kevin Ding thinks that the NBA’s new rule requiring certain players and coaches to wear microphones during nationally televised games is great for the league since it provides fans with unprecedented access into the inner workings of their favorite teams and players. However, Phil Jackson doesn’t quite share in Ding’s enthusiasm.

“For people to be in the inner sanctum, where emotions are high and things are happening, is threatening to us,” said Jackson, whose Lakers get spotlighted again Thursday night in Cleveland by TNT.

Derek Fisher, president of the NBA Player’s Association, said that the league pushes annually for players to wear microphones with players still maintaining the option of whether or not to wear the device if requested.

“I don’t think that’ll be something players will ever get wholeheartedly behind,” Fisher said.