Suggested Reading

Kurt —  September 29, 2005

Well, I’m in the middle of Polysyllabic Spree and it’s entertaining and a great chance to find out about authors I might not otherwise have read, but that’s probably not what you came here for. If you’re looking for some Laker news and stories in the days before training camp opens, there are a few things I can point you in the direction of (think of this as a lazy bloggers way to come up with a new post).

• The Los Angeles Weekly has a wonderful in-depth profile of Phil Jackson, where the “Alpha coach” talks about his spiritual beliefs, the triangle, politics (and his future in it), Joel Goldsmith, the book, things he would have done differently, Garrison Keillor, dreams and much more.

Now, in summer, the dreams have renewed. They may even have intensified, because three weeks before signing point guard Aaron McKie, Jackson dreamed that someone entirely new was trying to take the ball upcourt, trying to orient the triangle offense — a player whom he gradually recognized to be Oprah Winfrey.

Jackson does not take long to interpret this dream as his imagination’s ode to the difficulty of finding roster spots for possibly mismatched talents. Also, it was about “trying to coach basketball skills to someone who was completely not a basketball player.” Arguably, of course, that is coaching at its purest. But neither Jackson nor his audience is used to seeing him in so ultimate a test.

• Speaking of Phil, he sat down with the rest of the media yesterday and the main topics were Kobe (if you read JA Adande, who used more quotes from the past than the present) or lowering expectations for this coming season (if you read the AP version). As I said before, the media this season will focus more on the Phil/Kobe relationship and if Phil can deal with not being a championship contender this season, both of which I think will pan out to be non-stories. On the court issues will be pushed to the side for the soap opera. (I really need to work on letting this issue go.)

• In Laker news, Vlade’s situation is up in the air, according to his agent. Apparently as a potential backup the Lakers have worked out the Corie Blount, who didn’t play last season after an 11-year journeyman career. Not that the Lakers are desperate for big men or anything. (Update: In Friday’s LA Times Blount’s agent said his client would sign with the Lakers for the vet minimum of $1.1 million and the deal would be done before camp opens Oct. 4.)

• Celtic Blog is one of the premier NBA blogs out there, and Jeff recently put together a list of the blogs that have upgraded their looks during the off-season (FB&G included). It appears just about all the top blogs did some refurbishing this summer.

• Hoopsanalyst has interesting breakdowns on the Eddy Curry situation and NBA team attendance (not much interesting stuff on the Lakers because they almost always sell out, but for other teams it is).