Notes from Phil Jackson’s post-practice media session on 10/03/08
Although Pau had a busy summer schedule with the Olympics he isn’t in peak physical shape like Kobe Bryant. “When he took off, he took off,” said Phil Jackson. “He needs the conditioning work, but he doesn’t need to grind it out. We’ll have another break for him soon.” Gasol was sat down for most of yesterday’s morning session, but was back at it this morning.
Luke Walton has been getting a lot done in the morning non-contact sessions, but is still not 100%. “He’s got a little twinge when he comes to a stop and has to make turns off of it or brace bodies in contact areas. I think he’s pretty close to stepping it up. Maybe early next week he’ll start to be able to do somethings.”
In previous years Jackson has leaned on Walton to play a variety of roles, something that Walton excels at because of his high basketball IQ. This year with so many options at small forward would Jackson utilize Walton less? “I don’t know. We really have to see how this team’s going to fit together. That’s really one of the things that makes basketball interesting, the chemistry that makes the game right. It’s not like baseball where you just plug somebody in a spot and he goes out and pitches.”