From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Los Angeles: Robert Sacre was already on to the part where he needed to get his mind right to deal with all the sympathy texts. Missouri point guard Marcus Denmon had been chosen by the San Antonio Spurs, 59th overall in the 2012 NBA draft and the Los Angeles Lakers, a team he’d never even worked out for, had the last pick. Sacre’s one-year-old son Quinton was tired and ready for bed. His family had gathered at his grandparents’ house in Villeplatte, Louisiana started getting concerned. That’s probably it, Sacre thought. “But I figured I’d been watching for the last four and a half hours, might as well finish it out,” Sacre said. “Mentally, I was already preparing for all the sympathy texts like, ‘Don’t worry, everything is going to be alright’ and trying to get my head right.” And then he saw it. Or heard it. Who remembers the details now? The Lakers took him with the 60th and last pick in the NBA draft.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: For a Lakers team expecting to win an NBA championship, here’s a rather unnerving statement from the coach: “None of the backup spots are set,” Mike Brown said Saturday night before the Lakers’ third exhibition game. A week and a half into camp, the Lakers don’t know that much about the bench that they hoped to upgrade substantially from last season. And it’s NBA reality that a bench really understanding its roles is just as important as a bench with really good talent. Antawn Jamison did show something Saturday night at Staples Center in the Lakers’ 99-86 loss to the Utah Jazz with nine points and some uncharacteristically active defense. He’s not the type of player who is going to wow anyone considering his vertical leap is even less than hefty Metta World Peace’s circa 2011, but Jamison is the closest thing the Lakers have to a sure thing off the bench.
From Elliot Teaford, LA Daily News: Antawn Jamison needed a job last summer. The Lakers needed to fill a vacancy for a veteran backup forward. So, it seemed natural the Lakers would sign Jamison to a one-season, $1.3 million contract. But there was another reason Jamison decided to give the Lakers a try, and it wasn’t only because he’s in search of his first championship ring after 14 seasons. “He was one of the reasons I wanted to come here,” Jamison said. “He” was not superstar guard Kobe Bryant, although it could have been just as easily the reason Jamison signed. Nor was it future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash. Nor was it center Dwight Howard. Nor was it Pau Gasol. Nor was it Metta World Peace. No, Jamison referred to Lakers coach Mike Brown.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but Metta World Peace hardly hesitated sharing the message his name entails. The Lakers forward had just stripped the ball away from Utah’s Gordan Hayward before it dribbled out of bounds. World Peace then ran out of bounds and retrieved the ball from a young woman sitting behind the basket. Before he hopped back onto the court, World Peace leaned down and kissed the woman’s hand. “I just saw in her eyes that she liked the hustle,” World Peace said after the Lakers’ 99-86 preseason loss Saturday to the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. “I saw it in her eyes. We made eye contact.”
From Ben Rosales, Silver Screen & Roll: Aside from the big names, we have been treated to a veritable panoply of subsidiary actors who have made an impression on us for good or ill, and transformed the discussion for who should stay on the final roster from a straightforward issue into one much more difficult and complex. Injuries create opportunities, as the absence of Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill has opened the gates for the likes of Robert Sacre. Other players on the roster have also made their efforts to move up in the rotation. The most surprising candidate, however, so far in the preseason has to go to a more familiar face who has backed up the oldest of training camp cliches of being in the “best shape of his life.”
From Mark J. Spears, Yahoo Sports: These days, Ramon Sessions finds himself a long way from the bright lights and star-filled locker room of the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s traded a starting job on the NBA’s glamour roster for one on the NBA’s worst team – and somehow that’s just fine with him. Sessions could have returned to the Lakers this season, but instead opted out of the $4.5 million final year of his contract to test the free-agent market. A concern of the Lakers trading him, a desire for more contract security and a chance to play near home have made Sessions comfortable with his decision to sign a two-year, $10 million deal with the Bobcats. “It wasn’t hard,” Sessions told Yahoo! Sports. “Myself being around the league for six years or so, five different teams, it is what it is. I’m not worried about [what people think]. As long as the name is still on the back of the jersey, that’s what I’m worrying about.”
From Kobe Bryant, Facebook Page: Leadership is responsibility. There comes a point when one must make a decision. Are YOU willing to do what it takes to push the right buttons to elevate those around you? If the answer is YES, are you willing to push the right buttons even if it means being perceived as the villain? Here’s where the true responsibility of being a leader lies. Sometimes you must prioritize the success of the team ahead of how your own image is perceived. The ability to elevate those around you is more than simply sharing the ball or making teammates feel a certain level of comfort. It’s pushing them to find their inner beast, even if they end up resenting you for it at the time.