UPDATE: Media day featured a lot of what you’d expect, a huge media circus around Odom who couldn’t and wouldn’t talk about the wedding, a lot of photos of Sasha’s new hair and everybody saying all the right things. Maybe the only bit of news was Andrew Bynum saying he will need to wear a knee brace for the rest of his career. This quote from Kobe sums everything up pretty well:
“You got to come with it. We have the talent to win another one. If we don’t, it’s because our lack of focus or an injury.”
Best line of the day was overheard by the always sharp BK of the LA Times Lakers Blog:
Ron Artest to the Dodgers folk taping scoreboard spots: “You want ME to do the Code of Conduct?”
• You may have seen by now, Kobe went to Houston to work out with Hakeem Olajuwon and learn some of his post moves. For our younger readers who don’t remember, Olajuwon was maybe the smoothest players this league has ever seen in the post (and one of the quickest). He was one of the two guys taken in front of Michael Jordan, but was the one nobody looks back on saying “that was a big mistake” (and he finished his career with two titles). He is often overlooked as one of the games great centers.
Olajuwon said his style of play in the paint is really suited for a guy like Bryant.
“In my mind most of my moves for a guy (with) that agility can use it better than the big guy,” Olajuwon said. “Because my moves are not really for the big guy.
“It’s for the guards and small forwards. So he would benefit most on the post because of his agility.
“It was so much fun because how he picks it up. I worked with him for two hours, step by step.”
I think this fits into what we have been saying — look for a slower, half-court Lakers team this year that will work to exploit its length in the post more. Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Artest, Walton and Kobe all can play out of the high, mid or low post and the Lakers are going to exploit that a lot this year. If they can steadily knock down threes to keep the floor spread they will be very, very tough to defend.
• Thursday (Oct. 1) the NBA will be streaming live video from the Lakers training camp online at NBA.com starting at 10 am, then will air it later on NBA TV at 3 pm. We’ll be watching to see if we can glean anything, but really it would be more fun to just watch Phil make the team run suicides until they puke. That’s always fun when it’s not you doing it.
• I’m not that worried by the Dodgers crappy play of late. Baseball is the one sport where how you play going into the playoffs has little bearing on what happens when you get there. Especially with all the backups getting playing time right now.
• ‘Tis the season for previews, and there will be a lot of them. One often discussed figure around here, John Hollinger, has the Lakers winning the West by 10 games. That means for the next half an hour, many Lakers fans will think he is brilliant because they agree with him.
• Media day is a nice start, but man I want to see some real games.