From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Given the Lakers and media were together in a room only 12 hours earlier, that Monday’s post practice chat session was relatively brief wasn’t a surprise. Kobe Bryant, not surprisingly a non-participant in today’s practice (instead opting for strength work and treatment for his surgically repaired right knee) didn’t stop to talk. Phil Jackson spoke for, by my count, 82 seconds, basically long enough to lay out what he didn’t like about Sunday’s loss to Utah. “I wasn’t pleased defensively with our individual defense and our team defense,” he said. “I thought our offense kind of stalled and didn’t have the rhythm and continuity we like to have.” Certainly the Lakers started slowly Sunday, scoring only 20 points in the first quarter and shooting under 35 percent. Really, save a short burst just before halftime and Kobe’s 19-point outburst in the third, the Lakers weren’t very good offensively all night. Interestingly, though, Jackson wasn’t terribly concerned about the team’s 20 turnovers on the night, even on the heels of a 21 giveaway night in Saturday’s win over Denver. This sort of thing is par for the course, he said.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: Heading into his first practice since straining his right hamstring two weeks ago, Lakers forward Luke Walton on Monday took an evenhanded approach. He participated in a full practice, and plans to increase the intensity in each ensuing day. Both Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and Walton are leaning toward his sitting out the Lakers’ exhibition game Tuesday against Utah, and are hoping he could play Thursday against Golden State. And after going through an off-season in which he’s rehabbed his back, Walton hopes to reach that fine line between continuing to strengthen it without causing negative effects.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: It’s one of the few unspoken postscripts to the Lakers’ championship run last season, nothing short of a fallacy in some basketball circles. Should Pau Gasol have been the MVP of the NBA Finals instead of Kobe Bryant? Detractors of the facts — that Bryant won the award over Gasol because of a 7-2 vote by media members — point to Bryant’s six-for-24 effort in the Lakers’ Game 7 victory against Boston, while Bryant’s supporters eagerly present his overall stats in the Finals — 28.6 points, eight rebounds and 3.9 assists a game overshadowing his 40.5% shooting. The past being what it is, unforgiving and unyielding, Gasol will have a chance to prove himself throughout this season, starting almost immediately as Andrew Bynum sits out because of off-season knee surgery and Bryant gradually returns to being Bryant while recovering from knee surgery of his own.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: For once, Andrew Bynum couldn’t wait to talk about his recovery. “I’ve been cleared,” the Lakers center said late Sunday night, repeating it a couple of times for added emphasis as he walked briskly down an empty corridor at Staples Center. “I can start running next week, and then maybe start practicing in two to three weeks. But the important thing is the doctor cleared me.” He then added the latest timetable on his return from off-season knee surgery. “Hopefully, I’m back playing games by late November,” Bynum said, smiling. It’s a schedule Lakers followers would embrace, since Bynum told The Times this month that he wouldn’t be back until December. For now, Bynum is allowed to start doing non-basketball activities, working to strengthen the area around his right knee after undergoing surgery in July to repair torn cartilage.
From Elliot Teaford, LA Daily News: Opening night is a little more than a week away, and Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he would soon turn his attention to establishing his regular-season rotation. How many minutes go to which players remained uncertain as of Sunday night, however. Derek Fisher will not be playing more than 30 minute per game this season, but it wasn’t immediately clear how much work Steve Blake might get as his backup. It’s also possible that Shannon Brown could take a turn at point guard. Jackson wants to use Brown against bigger point guards, including Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz. Jackson said he doesn
From Mike Truddell, Basket Blog: Lakers training camp invitee Trey Johnson has now been a teammate of Kobe Bryant’s for 23 days, taking special care to soak up lessons throughout the three plus weeks of preseason. And while he’s watched Bryant for years from afar, seeing No. 24 drop 19 points in Sunday’s third quarter was a wholly different experience. “Just as good as he looked on TV, he’s better in person,” said Johnson. “I already knew he was the best player in the game, but to watch him do it in person and to see the work he’s put in is just amazing. It all makes sense.”
From Daniel Buerge, LakersNation: The greatest Lakers player of all time, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson has announced the sale of his share of the Los Angeles franchise today. Johnson announced the sale to Dr. Patrick Shoon-Shiong, a long-time Lakers season ticket holder and dedicated Lakers fan. Dr. Shoon-Shiong is the Chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, and the Executive Direct of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute, as well as a variety of other impressive notches on a legendary resume. Lakers majority owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, released a statement today regarding the sale of Johnson’s share of the team. Dr. Buss stated that the decision to sell Johnson’s share was purely a business move, and didn’t change the relationship between the legendary Laker and their owner.