Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  October 3, 2012

Here we are, the middle of the first week of training camp. Say it ain’t so. There have been far too many good articles to keep up with. Rey and Philip have been rolling with their excellent media day interviews and other sites are in high gear as well. If there’s any commonality from the Lakers coverage I’ve read, it’s that the team has its work ethic on and one goal in mind. This is not your last year’s Lakers and it is not your last year’s NBA. It’ll be a full training camp, a full exhibition season and a full 82-game grind. And after that comes the playoffs and nobody but nobody is going to accept another second-round exit – that ship has sailed.

J.A. Adande for ESPN, on the Lakers A-type personalities, with a nod to the wisdom of Steve Jobs.

There was a fair amount of reporting on Kobe’s ‘It’s my team’ statement but the statement itself was not one of hubris. Melissa Rohlin at the L.A. Times gives a good factual accounting of it.

It’s an interesting enough story to expand on, via Ramona Shelburne from ESPN Los Angeles.

Ken Berger at CBS Sports gets a frank assessment from Pau Gasol, about the road ahead for former teammate Andrew Bynum.

Kevin Ding at the OC Register reports on Dwight Howard’s first substantial training camp practice with the Lakers.

Jeff Miller at the OC Register brings us the greatness that is Metta World Peace, Care Bears-style.

The Lakers roster expanded even further on the eve of training camp with the signing of Chris Douglas-Roberts. Ben Rosales at Silver Screen & Roll has the story.

There were a number of ‘Lakers look good on paper’ opinions a few weeks back. Eric Pincus for Hoopsworld spins the concept.

Andy Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers reports on the Princeton offense and Mike Brown’s take on it.

Arielle Moyal at Lakers Nation goes one-on-one with training camp invitee Reeves Nelson.

From Grantland, Jalen Rose offers his take (via video) on the night Kobe went off for 81 versus Toronto.

Last week we enjoyed a spirited debate vis-a-vis an Aaron McGuire article at Gothic Ginobili. Yesterday, Aaron wrote about Lebron James, through a very personal context. I think it’s well worth the read.

***

The bright lights were evident in El Segundo on Monday and as big a draw as the Lakers are, the lights were also evident at 29 other team facilities across the country and north of the border. As the season begins and then progresses, there will be obvious arcs and storylines and some teams will prosper and some will fail. For the Lakers however, the media’s glare will be especially hot, all season long. For whatever is said, considered or rationalized, the expectations are high and the stakes are great. Coach Mike Brown had a firsthand taste of the scrutiny last season. That was just a warmup act. Believe it.

- Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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12 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. I’m curious how many of these borderline players are doing serious preparation for life after basketball. Anyone have a feel for that? It seems like most of the post-basketball stories you hear are negative; is that due to the media’s (not including the writers here) tendency to over-emphasize the negative, because it sells more, or is that because that’s the reality?

  2. Seeing the footage of the team’s first practice was surreal. I know there was a great piece on this site the other day saying it. But it bears repeating. The Lakers have Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard on their team! It didn’t really sink in for me until I watched that practice video.

    Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard up front? That should be illegal. Steve Nash dishing and Kobe Bryant finishing? That has to violate several U.S. and international laws.

    I can’t wait to see these guys take the floor together.

  3. According to ESPN.com, the NBA will begin to enforce penalties on players it determines tried to deceive refs by flopping. The first offense will be met with a warning. The next (6) offenses will incur fines of $5000 apiece. After accumulating a total of $30K in fines, the offending player would face suspension. Any fines would be contingent on post-game video reviews. I’m sure that this will become a hot button issue during the season.

  4. I apologize for some misinformation in my previous comment on flopping. I got the amounts associated with the fines wrong. The fines would increase with each offense from $5K to $30K. And the suspensions would start after 5 incidents.

    The NBA now defines flopping as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.”

    Interesting stuff that is certain to have a profound effect on the league.

  5. Off topic question.

    From a recent LA Times story, Time-Warner is asking $3.95/subscriber from other providers to grant them access to the Laker feeds (English and Spanish). It looks like this will go down to the last minute as my provider, Dish, is not even indicating they are in negotiation to add the channels. From the Times story, it would seem none of the other providers are either. For people not in the Time-Warner cable areas, this is pretty much the end of their extra Laker access.

    Where can I go to find out about what is going on and how I can add my voice to this situation? Can someone please give me a link. I know this was provided in at least one earlier thread, but I can’t find it.

  6. exhel, I have a feeling that the vast majority of NBA borderline players have decent lives following their brief stints. I mean, they’re some of the most motivated individuals in the world. And with twitter and other social media outlets, I think we’re starting to learn how smart many players are.

    Also, I don’t understand people’s reaction to the Earl Clarke interview. He’s chilled out so therefore he’s neither motivated or got the killer instinct? Lamar Odom was the ultimate chiller, and he was a beast for most of his career in LA (’07-’10 playoffs anyone?). Dwight Howard’s not biting any heads off and scowling out the gates, and people repeat the same baseless speculation about him. Why must we read waaaay into these sound bites?

  7. It took great play from Lin to get the deal done in NY. Fans who don’t have time warner will likely miss a few games.

    Great to see Dwight went through a full practice. He’ll have the itch to play but shouldn’t until he is 100% healthy. Lakers have dealt with centers missing time to start the season before hope he doesn’t rush it.

    Pau sounded like he has doubts about Bynum being the man in Philly in that piece. “More pounding, physical fatigue, more double teams”. We wish the best of luck to Bynum.

  8. Kevin,

    Bynum was already dogging it at the end of most games. If he’s absorbing more contact, playing more minutes, being demanded to be more active on both sides of the court, I could see it really wearing on him… or he’ll get more conditioned, if that’s even possible.

    I’m really optimistic that he pulls it all together and becomes a dominant force. Thankfully he’s on the 76ers who are a pretty average playoff team, so unless he goes nova, there’s not much of challenge to the Lakers.

  9. dave m: chop liver is someone we refer to of no consequence. in this case we’re talking about metta world peace, aka ron artest.

    barring a miraculous change, doesn’t seem to get much press lately nor much recognition considering chop liver will be filling out the starting five for the los angeles lakers this upcoming season.

    here’s hoping metta world peace, aka ron artest has the fortitude to forego all the hype afforded the “magnificent” foursome and continue to be the force to be reckoned with when it comes to toughness, steadfast defense and the occassional open set shot. would also like to see the dribble drive he was once adept at when given the opportunity this upcoming season.

    just saying.

    Go Lakers

  10. @dave h – this is one of the storylines that I am most looking forward to this season. I think Metta has a remarkable opportunity this season to do the little things, to enforce, agitate, frustrate, etc.. And, I think refs are going to really eyeball him.

  11. No doubt.

    If the Metta that harassed KD into like 35% shooting shows up this season… oh man.