From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Los Angeles: Tuesday we learned that Kobe Bryant thought Dwight Howard was mean enough, just not mean enough, enough of the time. “Dwight, to be a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, you’ve got to have a little of that dog in you,” Bryant said on Tuesday. “It’s just a matter of him digging deep and just pulling it out. But it’s already there. It’s just a matter of him having it become habit.” But in yet another sign that Howard and Bryant are off to a pretty decent start in this budding relationship that pretty much has to work for the Los Angeles Lakers to make good on their potential, Howard seems as if he took Bryant’s comments pretty well.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: The quiet motor in Devin Ebanks hardly yields much insight in interviews. A man of few words yet at the same time gracious, Ebanks has let his actions on the court give testament to his ongoing development entering his third season with the Lakers. Whether it was under Phil Jackson or now with Mike Brown, the coaches have loved how Ebanks stays within his lane, devotes time to his craft and minimizes mistakes when given an opportunity. It’s also part of the reason why the Lakers re-signed him to a one-year deal this off-season for a little over $1 million. And the early signs of training camp suggest Ebanks may be on the verge of having a bigger role.
From Janis Carr, OC Register: The cheers were slight and there might have been a few quizzical looks in the stands, but at least Jodie Meeks wasn’t booed when he was announced as the Lakers’ starting guard. The boos came when public announcer Lawrence Tanter said that neither Kobe Bryant nor Dwight Howard were playing Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Bryant sat out the Lakers’ 93-75 loss to Portland after suffering a strained right shoulder in a dunk on teammate Antawn Jamison in Tuesday’s practice. Bryant called the injury “a little pinch” and said he would be healthy enough to play in Saturday’s exhibition against Utah at Staples Center. He is listed as day to day. He said his shoulder stiffened up late Tuesday and informed Coach Mike Brown his shoulder was bothering him shortly after arriving at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
From Daniel Burge, Lakers Nation: You know what makes America great? Well, besides all the hot dogs, interstate highways and freedom. That very important line in the Constitution that declares you’re considered innocent until proven guilty. That’s a pretty important sentence if you think about it. It’s what separates us from the animals. And Canada. Anyways, the point here is that the group of individuals that drafted the greatest document of law in the history of our species felt it was important never to rush to judgment without first letting the legal process play out. Unfortunately, this mentality hasn’t translated to the world of professional athletics quite yet. In today’s reactionary world fans demand change before even seeing the entire story play out. They feel they know more than the men and women who are actually paid to make some of these decisions, which in most cases is simply untrue. So why the rant on the Constitution and such? It’s simple, really. Mike Brown.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: For all of his countless support during the past four years as a Laker, Pau Gasol will be honored with the “Courage to Care” award Oct. 20 at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ gala titled “Noche de Ninos” at The Event Deck in L.A. Live. Gasol has appeared at Children’s Hospital more than 10 times since joining the Lakers in 2008, and the visits went beyond photo opportunities. As a former medical student at the University of Barcelona, Gasol viewed three spinal surgeries, including one I caught on video this past summer. He has also struck a close friendship with Dr. David Skaggs, the chief orthopedic surgeon.
From Mark Travis, Silver Screen & Roll: It may appear as if constructing a defensive gameplan around someone like Dwight Howard is an impossible thing to screw up, and I agree, but Brown’s inability to get the Lakers to maintain a solid defensive effort last season, as well as the possibility of Howard being a bit tentative to start the season because of his back injury, gives me pause about expecting the Lakers to be a defensive juggernaut this season. Once they’ve had some timed to gel together, a Nash-Kobe-World Peace-Gasol-Howard line-up should rank amongst the league’s better defensive line-ups, if used correctly.
From Anthony Sulla-Heffinger, New York Post: At least one Yankees fan didn’t think Joe Girardi pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez was a slam-dunk move. Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, a Yankees fan, was allegedly upset that Girardi pulled Rodriguez in favor of Raul Ibanez, according to ESPN reporter Arash Markazi. “I don’t like that. That’s not good for the chemistry of the team. I’m going to have to call A-Rod,” Bryant said.