The dynamics at hand are intriguing. It’s an understatement, really. The Lakers starters have all been headline acts in their time, and each in different ways. Their personalities are distinctly disparate, even archetypal. Darius wrote earlier about getting the most out of MWP this season. Metta’s in a unique position, a role player among All-Stars, a guy whose own path has sometimes been rocky and questionable. Yet he seems to have found a sense of purpose in Los Angeles. Apart from the elbow to Harden, apart from random goofy behavior and sometimes questionable shot attempts (and he’s certainly not alone there), there has not been the distraction that some supposed when he landed here in 2009. Somehow, Metta, Ron, whoever you call him, has fit in, has found his level of peace.
While it’s far too early to make any real judgments about the roster as a whole, there does seem to be a certain fit and comfort level. Questions from the media seem to be more about whether the team will work on the court as opposed to how they relate to each other, or whether there will be a return to the famous conflicts of old. It’s somewhat telling that one of the biggest stories this week is Dwight Howard’s calm, measured and long overdue reaction to one of the key components of the old Star Wars – a man whose time has passed. Segue the links:
From Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports, Dwight Howard finally fires back at Shaq, “Your time is up’.
Helene Elliott at the L.A. Times writes about Metta and his new look on fitness.
Mike Trudell for the Lakers Reporter examines Steve Nash’s leadership, off the court.
Dave McMenamin at ESPN Los Angeles brings news of Steve Blake’s return to practice ahead of schedule. Blake famously managed to step on a parking lot spike strip barefoot, about ten days ago – said deep puncture has now healed.
Brian Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers offers a podkast, on Kobe’s team, flopping and endorsements LeBron doesn’t want.
C.A. Clark at Silver Screen & Roll offers his 2012-2013 Lakers season preview.
Our own Emile Avanessian also offers a Lakers season preview, on his excellent Hardwood Hype blog.
Mark Whicker at the OC Register has an interesting article on Robert Sacre. He gets to Sacre in a roundabout way after righteously tearing Time Warner a new one, but the whole thing kind of works.
Arielle Moyal at Lakers Nation interviews that really, really tall guy, Greg Somogyi.
The first week of training camp has mostly passed. Sunday brings the first opportunity to see some preseason action against the Golden State Warriors (for those not caught up in the Time Warner mothership manipulations). Irrespective, the long road starts here. There will be roster cuts, debuts, speculation and the white-hot media glare. And most of all, as it is all across the league for teams and their fans, a season that begins, full of promise.
– Dave Murphy