Should you ever wind up in STAPLES Center a few hours before a game (if you can sneak past security … not recommended) you’ll see each and every Lakers player warm up in his own way. Everybody shoots, but certain player more than others, and all with varying degrees of intensity. Perhaps that’s obvious, but it remains interesting to watch the subtle differences.
Kobe Bryant likes to get in early and finish up before most people even get to the building; ditto Trevor Ariza; Sun Yue and D.J. Mbenga often go really hard, especially if they’re expecting to be on the inactive list; Luke Walton always gets a three-point shooting game in with assistant coach Brian Shaw.
A better explanation: Shaw, who like the other assistants is charged with warming up each and every player, spent a few minutes with me before Sunday’s game against Toronto to detail the differences between player workouts, the role he plays and how to play the three-point shooting game that’s been around for years.
Pregame Interview Wrap
In the locker rooms and tunnels of the Lakers, we heard from Raptors forward Chris Bosh and Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. Here are a few notes:
There has been some chatter around the league due to comments from Bosh last week, when the NBA’s third leading scorer (27.7), fifth leading rebounder (10.5) and league leader in minutes played (42.3) said he’s shooting for the MVP. Speaking to a Fox reporter on-camera, Bosh said that he’s very conscious that an MVP doesn’t just “score lots of points,” but contributes in many other areas as well. That’s where he’s been trying to take his game this season, and it’s been a fair argument thus far.
Moments later, Phil Jackson added that Bosh’s experience in the Olympics was an obvious boon for his confidence about “what he can do and his impact on the game.”
Two other thoughts on Bosh:
1) He’s obviously very smart. By mentioning his interest in becoming the MVP so explicitly, Bosh’s name is now going to be mentioned far more often that it would have been in that discussion once talks heat up. He gets it. Being among the league leaders in scoring, rebounding and minutes may have helped him get mentions anyway, but he just made sure…
2) I talked to Kris Humphries, Toronto’s backup forward who plays against Bosh in practice every day, in more detail about the former Georgia Tech star, and will get into that in the running diary.
Phil Jackson Pregame