Archive for the 'Luke Walton' Category

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Walton Out with Foot Injury

Prior to Sunday’s game against Portland, Lakers spokesman John Black said that Luke Walton will miss the game with sesamoiditis in his right foot. Walton has an aggravation to the two small sesamoid bones, located in the joint where the big toe connects to the foot.

He will see Dr. Ken Jung, a foot specialist, on Monday morning, and more details will be available subsequently. Walton is listed as day-to-day.

In other injury news, Sasha Vujacic has tonsillitis, but will play.

Walton Putting in Work

I’ve been trying to track Luke Walton down for almost two weeks now. I just need 10-minutes or so, a little window of time to find out where his head’s at.

It should be easy for me, right? After all, we work for the same team. I see him almost every day, either after practice, after shootaround, or before or after Lakers games … But I literally haven’t been able to talk to him for more than a few seconds since early in November.

Why? Because Luke Walton is working his butt off.

By the way, when you see the purple print, that means it’s an active link. I think most people get it, but this means you, Dad.

Thursday Practice Report

Here’s a summary of Phil Jackson’s post-practice chat with the press, which we captured on video for your viewing pleasure:

  • When prompted about Wednesday’s victory over the Hornets, Jackson explained that the box score looked fine the next day, but that he was concerned that his team got itself in jeopardy by not executing offensively and by letting down defensively.
  • As a visiting scout told me last night, one thing the Hornets started doing was running David West along the baseline, which was pretty effective.
  • When asked about having 7-of-8 games at home, Jackson gave the old “one game at a time” answer. He doesn’t worry at all about his team’s motivation to play against some of the poorer teams record wise, like New Jersey, Chicago and Sacramento, in the least.
  • Most of the starters except for Vladimir Radmanovic and Lamar Odom sat out of a late scrimmage in practice to rest.
  • Jackson expects the Pistons to have some good and bad times after acquiring Iverson, but explained that Iverson’s activity level is going to increase what Detroit’s able to do.

    In Other News

  • I spent a few minutes talked to Sun Yue about Yao Ming, with whom he spent a little time when the Rockets were in town. Sun said that while Yao is certainly the great guy that we often hear about from anyone who knows him, his celebrity is so insane in China and other places around the world that Yao can seldom go places with the rest of the team. Sun also admitted that he’s occasionally been called “Yao!” by random people in America.
  • Luke Walton, after going through a tough practice, was still running sprints and going through shooting drills with Jordan Farmar 45 minutes after practice ended. I was going to catch up with Luke, but decided to wait until later since he didn’t seem interested in stopping any time soon. It’s of course good to see the guys who aren’t getting many minutes at a certain stage of the season to be working extra hard in practice … and after practice.
  • Stay tuned for a full interview with Pistons.com as I tried to learn what I could about the Detroit team heading into STAPLES on Friday night, Allen Iverson and all.

  • Walton Feeling “Great”

    After participating fully in Wednesday’s open practice at STAPLES Center, Luke Walton told me he’s feeling “great,” and is hoping to participate in L.A.’s two games this weekend.

    Just as he’s gaining strength in his ankle, Walton said he’s starting to feel comfortable and confident as he searches for his rhythm on the floor. Here’s the video:


    1-on-1 with Luke Walton

    Luke Playing Well, Sasha Still Out

    Sasha Vujacic spent another day away from live action as he nurses the sore ankle that he suffered early in training camp. Vujacic put up some shots today but wasn’t able to get in any of the scrimmages with his teammates.

    Luke Walton on the other hand is progressing nicely. “Luke’s playing. He’s playing pretty well,” said Head Coach Phil Jackson. Walton could be available for this weekend’s shootout at STAPLES Center.

    Wednesday Practice Summary

    Which Laker do you think hit the game-winning shot in the final contest of five-on-five drills during Wednesday’s practice at L.A.’s facility?

    Yup, it was Kobe.

    For the first time this preseason, we watched the final 20 or so minutes of practice before hearing from a few of the guys and head coach Phil Jackson afterwards.

    Quick teaser – Check back tomorrow to hear what Lamar Odom thinks about the WWE, 50 Cent mixed tapes and v-neck shirts. But until then, here’s a quick A through E summary from today:

    A) Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton both competed in practice, and both looked improved on their respectively hurt ankles. Vujacic in particular was moving quite well laterally and up-and-down, and told assembled media after practice that he would be with the team in Fresno on Thursday.

    B) At the end of practice, the Lakers split up into three teams (purple, white and green) and played games to 15 by ones and twos (winner stayed). The purple team featured Bryant, Odom, Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar and Vladimir Radmonivic, with Andrew Bynum rotating between the purples and the whites. That white team also included Vujacic, Trevor Ariza, Josh Powell and Brandon Heath, while the greens featured Walton, Coby Karl, D.J. Mbenga, Sun Yue and C.J. Giles. Needless to say, the purples won the two games we watched. Bryant’s game winner over the greens came from about 20 feet out with Sun defending.

    C) Pau Gasol grabbed a mop to wipe some perspiration off the floor. That was fun.

    D) If you had no idea who anyone was while watching a Lakers practice (like if you were from Wasilla), it would still take about 10 seconds to figure out who runs the show. It’s Kobe. Mentally, physically, vocally – Bryant sets the tone. And guess who won the wind sprints at the end of practice?

    E) Videos of Jackson, Bynum and Vujacic after practice are available on lakers.com. The Lakers are in Fresno tomorrow to face the Clippers, and we’ll be there live with a running game diary. Later.

    No Timetable for Walton

    Luke Walton participated in some aspects of today’s opening of training camp, but there is still no timetable for his full return to action.

    Walton had ankle surgery in mid-July to remove bone spurs and scar tissue and to clean up some cartilage debris from his right ankle.

    Head coach Phil Jackson indicated that Walton stayed in for the first two-thirds of today’s practice session, but could still be a week away from being able to fully participate.

    Friday Roundup

    Walton Surgery
    Luke Walton had surgery to remove bone spurs and scar tissue as well as clean up cartilage debris from the right ankle that bothered him the majority of the season.

    The recovery process is expected to take six weeks, which would be the last week in August, giving Luke plenty of time to be right for training camp in October.

    Full Press Release

    Turiaf a Warrior
    As was widely suspected, the Lakers did not match the lucrative offer sheet extended to Forward Ronny Turiaf meaning that #21 will be suiting up as a member of the Golden State Warriors next season.

    All the things Turiaf brings to a team can not be summed up in the 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, but the dollars (a reported $17 million over 4 years) were just too much.

    Ronny becomes apart of the new look Warriors who acquired free agent Corey Maggette after losing face of the franchise point-guard Baron Davis to the Clippers.

    Ariza Working Out
    Forward Trevor Ariza visited the team’s training facility this afternoon to get some shots up and run a few drills.

    Since the season ended Trevor has been focusing on strengthening the ankle that caused him to miss time during the season and relaxing, recently returning from a trip to the Bahamas.

    Player Capsule: Luke Walton

    Contract Status: under contract

    Minor injuries nagged Walton all season long, resulting in a seven point, four rebound average that was well below the career marks he set the year before as one of the primary offensive weapons for the team. Despite his often inconsistent play, Coach Jackson showed a lot of faith in Luke, still opting to have him on the floor during some of the most critical moments of this year’s Finals run. Walton rewarded him by his much improved play down the stretch, proving why he was an excellent fit within the Lakers’ vaunted passing game.

    After a full offseason of healing, Walton should return for the 2008-09 season ready to make a more regular contribution to a bench that will rely on his diverse playmaking abilities. Although he is known to fill up the stat sheet, the soon-to-be fifth year forward still has several weaknesses in his game that needs to be addressed, starting with his still inconsistent outside shot and his overall defense.

    And With the 58th Pick…

    … in the 2008 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select…..

    Barring any trades that will be the only time you hear NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver speak the Lakers name (Silver normally announces the second round picks after David Stern wraps up the first round).

    The Lakers first round pick this year was conveyed to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the deal that landed Pau Gasol. Thus the Lakers hold only the third to last pick in the draft, a situation that has made it tough on the front office in trying to evaluate players.

    “Because we don’t have a first round pick, agents will say, ‘Well why are we going to send him to work out for you when you don’t even have a pick.’ So it’s difficult for us,” explained General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We really have to scramble to get players to come in, we have to look at a lot more tape and film, and then we have to travel to workouts to hopefully see these players.”

    Good fortune has found the Lakers in the second round. Key bench contributors Luke Walton and Ronny Turiaf were both drafted after Stern had left the stage.

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