From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The Lakers brought in forward Antawn Jamison in the off-season to help bolster the team’s bench. Jamison is a 14-year veteran with career averages of 19.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. As a Laker, he’s been relatively quiet as a reserve, scoring just 4.3 points per game in just 16.8 minutes. “I’ve never been the one who tried to rush into anything,” said Jamison. “I just kind of go with the flow of things and eventually things will start to click. You know, I’ve been hearing it, ‘You gotta be aggressive. You gotta be aggressive,’ but I’m just going to stay within the flow of the offense.” So Coach Mike Brown is urging him to be more aggressive? “It’s my kids, my mom,” corrected Jamison. “Nah, the coaches, they know what they want me to do. Coach has tried to get me on the box a little bit more in the past game or two. It’s going to take time.”
From Mark Medina, LA Daily News: With all the confusion the Lakers have experienced this season learning the new elements of the Princeton offense, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed. Kobe Bryant scores at a prolific rate. Sometimes he’ll delegate, such as his 15-point performance in the Lakers’ 108-79 victory Sunday over the Detroit Pistons. Sometimes Bryant will dominate, such as his 40-point performance in the Lakers’ 105-95 loss Friday to the Clippers. Regardless of the circumstances, Bryant has maintained his shooting efficiency. Through four NBA games, Bryant ranks fourth overall in the NBA in points per game (26.8) on 59.7 percent shooting. Bryant has also shot 52.9 percent from 3-point range and has gone a combined 16 of 19 from the free-throw line. These aren’t earth-shattering numbers. Bryant has averaged 25.4 points per game in his 17-year career. But his shooting percentage bodes a higher significance. Consider Bryant’s team-leading 27.9 points per game last season came on a 43 percent clip – his lowest shooting mark since his second NBA season.
From Janis Carr, OC Register: The mood at the Lakers’ training facility was understandably a bit brighter Monday, one day after notching their first victory. The Lakers’ 108-79 drubbing of the Detroit Pistons not only improved their record to 1-3, but seemingly gave the team a psychological boost. Dwight Howard came out of the training room after Monday’s light practice with a huge smile and declared that Sunday’s lopsided victory was “the best thing ever, we got a win.” Even Coach Mike Brown, who rarely is seen without a smile, seemed happier with his team’s one-game turnaround. “It’s not a sigh of relief for me,” Brown said. “It’s just a thing to help us to believe.”
From Andy Kamenetzky, ESPN Los Angeles: Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard has recently been tweaked by future Hall of Fame big man Shaquille O’Neal for not being enough of a traditional, back-to-the-basket center, but he is decidedly old school in another way. He’s not in favor of the new All-Star Game format which eliminates the center designation from the ballots. Beginning this season, fans will simply vote for three frontcourt players, rather than two players slated as “forwards” and one player as a “center.” “I don’t like it at all,” emphatically stated the three-time defensive player of the year. “We work just as hard as anybody else. I don’t think it’s fair to take away a position which has been here for life. You need a center on the court. So I don’t think it’s right. That’s like taking away a guard. That’s how I feel.
From Mark Travis, Silver Screen & Roll: I think we all knew that it was going to be very tough for Kobe Bryant, one of the most relentless competitors in the history of sports, to hang ‘em up at the completion of his contract like he has said he would, and now we know that he’s having second thoughts. In fact, Bryant says he wants to play an additional five seasons after next season (when his contract expires). Bryant said that in an interview with CNN Turkey that he has a set a new career goal: To play until he is 40. From the interview (translated by TrendBasket):
From Rey Moralde, Lakers Nation: First reports had Nash missing a minimum of one week. It sounded a bit funny because it IS a little fracture on the leg. Those take a little bit of time. And then, last night, it was mentioned that Nash could miss up to a month. Now we have this report that he could miss 7-10 days. Basically, it was mentioned that he’s going to miss only the original minimum. At the very least, we know that Mike Brown is not going to rush Nash back, which is very wise. Here’s what he told Sporting News