Amidst the media horde at STAPLES Center for the first day of full availability, we spent some time with various Lakers and Magic players, plus Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, to offer a summary of the event.
First, Kobe Bryant (2:49) and Jackson (2:33) spoke from the podium (CLICK HERE): The nine-time coaching champ addressed how his team looked in practice this week, talked about the meaning of Orlando’s regular season wins over L.A., the motivation caused by losing last year’s NBA Finals and more. Bryant, meanwhile, expressed a state of calm focus, referred to the determination felt by his team and talked about what it would mean to deliver Jackson’s 10th ring.
Afterwards, we sat down individually with Josh Powell, Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton, videos that can be seen by CLICKING HERE. Powell, protected by a ball rack, talked mostly about hip hop music; Farmar talked about returning to the Finals and being great at video games; while Walton let everyone know that his phone will be off throughout the Finals.
Finally, we heard from three Orlando players – Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson and Anthony Johnson – to sum up the visitors’ perspective, which can be viewed HERE. Nelson remains questionable (shoulder), but did explain that if he does play, it will be in limited capacity. He was looked to as a scorer in the regular season before hurting his shoulder on Feb. 2, keyed by a terrific shooting rhythm that he said simply isn’t back yet. As such, if he plays, Nelson will serve as more of a facilitator off the bench.