Pregame Notes – Lakers vs. Blazers

About an hour and 15 minutes prior to Tuesday’s season tipoff against Portland, Phil Jackson addressed a large collection of media members in the STAPLES Center press conference room. Among the highlights:

  • Vladimir Radmanovic is starting at the three, as expected.
  • Lamar Odom is comfortable with his current role off the bench. He’s “always been a team player,” said Jackson.
  • Jackson’s confident that other teams are going to have to match up with his two seven footers, as opposed to the other way around. He said he won’t be surprised to see teams putting smaller fours out there to try and draw Pau Gasol out to the perimeter, but it’ll be L.A.’s job to take advantage of the mismatch on the low block.
  • Portland is to Jackson a feisty team that had a great run last December, and likes the talent they have put together … He suggested that they could develop into what the Hornets were last season.
  • Jackson first expressed concern with L.A.’s defense and rebounding last January after Bynum went down, not just in the NBA Finals. He was actually very proud of his squad for getting past two gritty teams like Utah and San Antonio for that reason.
  • Jackson was not at all concerned with the popular youtube video featuring Andrew Bynum’s birthday party, chalking it up to “youth” and a lil’ celebration. Jackson came upon the video by accident while watching 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary’s postgame presser that a friend tipped him to. He added that Bynum told him the money he threw out was only about $100 – all one dollar bills.

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    Josh Powell, Farmar in the locker room:
    A few more quick notes obtained before the game:

  • Josh Powell’s hamstring is just fine, and he’s “good to go when my name is called,” he told me.
  • Jordan Farmar is going to attack tonight. Sure, that’s how he rolls in general, but he really wants to get to the basket and make things happen on the floor. He’s willing to risk making a mistake, telling me that he’ll “error on the side of trying to make a play.”
  • Farmar said he wears about 20 pairs of shoes throughout the season, including a new white and yellow version for tonight.