A few hours before the Super Bowl started, the Lakers were finishing up a practice session in Memphis, offering some knowledge on the Grizzlies before revealing whether they were casting respective lots with the Packers or Steelers.
In the past two seasons, as it were, the Grizzlies have earned the respect of L.A.’s players and coaches, particularly after consecutive home and away wins over the Lakers this season. First was a narrow 98-96 victory in Memphis back on Nov. 30, and more recently a 104-85 victory at Staples Center on Jan. 2 that was a game of redemption for the Grizz, particularly after the Lakers blew them out 124-105 in the fourth game of the season on Nov. 2.
Monday night’s game will be the fourth and final contest between the two teams, and at least drawing even in a season series is always a focus of Phil Jackson’s, no matter who the NBA opponent. After some further discussion about the Grizzlies, Jackson revealed that he doesn’t actually have a pick.
“I don’t have a pick,” he said. “I’m hoping for the Packers, but I don’t have a pick.”
His players, on the other hand, were another story.
Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, Steve Blake and Joe Smith all said they thought the Steelers would either win straight out or cover the +2.5 spread, before heading back to the team hotel to watch the Super Bowl as a group in a banquet room.