Pre Training Camp Thoughts

Kurt —  September 25, 2007

Just some Lakers and NBA thoughts as we are just days away from training camp in Hawaii. Well, by we I mean the Lakers, I get no paid vacations in Hawaii. Not that I’m jealous. Nope, not at all.

UPDATE: For now, all things Marion are being discussed in the comments on this post.

• Maybe the biggest concern for the Lakers heading into this season is health — it derailed last year’s team and this year’s squad can again not deal with missing games from key players. Which is why these notes from Kevin Ding in the OC Register are of concern:

Lamar Odom is behind schedule in recovering from shoulder surgery, will be limited in training camp and might not be ready for the Oct. 30 start of the regular season. Odom postponed surgery last season to play the Lakers’ final 23 games. Then he had the tear in his labrum in his left (shooting) shoulder repaired May 15.

The Lakers hoped he would be ready in time for the start of camp, but the rehabilitation has been a slow process. Odom also had surgery in 2004 for a separate labrum tear in that shoulder.

Kwame Brown is recovering well from his shoulder and ankle surgeries and has already been going full speed on the court, albeit with some discomfort. Fellow center Chris Mihm, who missed all of last season after ankle surgery, is also not yet 100 percent but has no limitations.

• The first, second, third, fourth and likely one-thousandth question asked at next week’s media day will be about Kobe and his off-season demands. There is no way to fully put this behind him — every time the Lakers go into a new city on the road another story will be written on the topic (plus when an NBA columnist needs an easy topic one day) — but Kobe needs to say something that will at least keep the media storm at bay to a degree. Then his teammates and team management need to read from the same playbook. The way to deal with this is make it a non-issue, as much as that can be done. Repeating the same short quotes over and over pretty much will do that.

• Camp hasn’t even opened and I’m sick of the what’s next for Kobe stories. Even the good ones.

• I hope Barron Davis stays healthy for an entire season. He may be my favorite player to watch in the NBA, when he is healthy.

• How good was Kobe in at Lower Marion High School? Pretty damn good. But who were the best of the best in high school?

• Regular commenter Renato Afonso wants to put together a Forum Blue & Gold fantasy basketball league among the regulars here for the NBA season. What say you?

• For those of you who follow the sports blogging universe, very interesting stuff that Jamie Mortram, the man behind the powerhouse AOL Fanhouse blog(s), is taking his magic to Yahoo!. To my untrained eye, Yahoo! has long had the position and power to be the 800-pound gorilla of sports blogging. They are starting to head down that road.

• By the way, over the summer I think Tom Ziller has been the most prolific, creative and smart NBA blogger out there.

• I’m looking at the schedule and thinking about what Lakers tickets to get, but what I really need to figure out is how to get USC/UCLA game tickets in hoops. That is going to be fun this year.

• Be warned, with actual basketball camps and news about to start, my tolerance in the comments for unsubstantiated trade speculation will shrink dramatically. Comments could just disappear, like guys who owe Peter “Shakes” Milano money.