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The Seams on the D-League Ball Are Blue and Other Things I Learned at Practice Tuesday

Today was the NBA mandated media training day for the team, in which players are tutored in the find art of massaging the screaming talking/writing heads/hands. Make eye contact, speak clearly and confidently, etc. Just in time, too for Kobe, who just seems so uncomfortable on camera.

(...thousand one...)

(...thousand two...)

That was a joke, people. Anyway, because the team had to go to school after their workout, the post-practice media confab consisted only of beat (or quasi beat, in my case) reporters, and lasted about seven seconds. But you'll get it all...

Asked what the Lakers needed to work on during this respite from game play, Phil Jackson pulled a list out of his pocket that at least covered today. "Weights. Run 'em. (Another drill that I couldn't hear because of background noise but it ended in "drill" and had "pass" in it) and transitions. That's what we were working on today, so that we play at a little better speed. Our conditioning I felt was limited in that period of time, eight games in 12 days. It was a pretty heavy schedule, but I thought we lost energy at certain points in ballgames."

Jackson said the team is still trying to achieve the number of possessions he was hoping for going into the year, and rebounding is key. "Our rebounding has been so-so. We've had a couple of games where I've been very pleased with our rebounding because it's given us extra possessions, but the last couple games — three games — I was disappointed in our offensive rebounds and extra possessions," he said. "I thought we had a real good thing going for us against Memphis because we got them turning the ball over, but then we matched them."

Jackson said as well that it does take a little while for trends to emerge in the league. "After you've seen 12, 14 opponents, you've played 16, 18 games or so, you start to see seeing a trend developing within a team." Part of that is creating a reliable rotation, which Jackson is still doing. "I have to figure out a substitute pattern for this team, and how we're going to play against certain lineups that other teams present us." Download phil_jackson1_11.14.mp3

Oddly enough, Kobe's knee was a topic of conversation. He did some working out this morning, therapy, lifted, and then limited himself in practice to be safe. It (the limited workload) is something he knew would happen going into the year to protect the knee. In the larger picture, Kobe and PJ have talked about pacing himself in general and adjusting his game to lengthen his career, though that won't preclude him from rejoining USA Basketball this summer.
Download kobe_bryant1_11.14.mp3

He talked as well about his (semi) new role of handling the ball and initiating the offense. "It helps us out as a unit. I've been playing in this offense for a long time and know how to set it up so guys will have a better feel for where their spots will be working from within the system," he said. It doesn't change the offense for him, because he can find any spot on the floor whether he initiates it or not. Download kobe_bryant2_11.14.mp3

So all of that, and blue seams. Who knew? And keep an eye out for some extra media savvy purple and golders in the days ahead. They've been trained.


Comments () | Archives (45)

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PJ's right about the rebounding. Bynum has already realized that all the glory is in calling for the pass to the low post and then making some spinning dazzeling move to the basket for a score. Looks like he's already given up on fighting for rebounding position on the offensive end.

Actually, I think more than knowing how to talk to the media, the players are given therapy sessions in order to deal ('breath, relax, ignore stupid question) with all the reporters and their "wonderful" questions. JK.


If, hypothetically, the session lasted an hour, I'd imagine at least 45 minutes would be spent on that (hahaha).



In an article written by Roland Lazenby regarding Tex Winters and Shaq, I found it interesting that during a film session Shaq once told Tex to shut the f*@k up, because he didn't like the mistakes Tex was pointing out regarding his play.

I also found it interesting that Shaq did NOT make Tex Winters top 60 players he would like to coach.


I imagine dealing with you guys(reporters in general) for what? 9 months? Would make someone go nuts, hahaha.


Okay, put some tape over your mouth before you read on. I don't want you to accidently put something in your mouth while you're reading and spit it out all over your keyboard when you start laughing. :-)

Here goes ....... With Chris Mihm out for the season, the Lakers could use another big man. I think the number of games and minutes are going to take a toll on Bynum about midway through the season. I doubt he's ready yet and we need him to be at his peak when playoff time rolls around. I'm not sure if there would be any interest on either end of this deal, but I'm wondering, (get ready, spit everything out.) if the Lakers might not contact Shawn\Sean? Bradley and see if he has any interest in coming out of retirement. (Okay.... I'll continue when you're done laughing.) Look, Bradley was never used to his potential. When he finished his career he was on a running team, not the best choice for a 7'6" guy. He's always been a decent shot "intimidator" in the middle and I think he could fit into the triangle rather nicely. He doesn't need to score, just play defense when needed.

Sorry for the mess on your keyboard, but I warned you. :-)


I had to writing something that started with your name followed by a comma for blog unity's sake. I'm OCD like that.

Blue seams huh?

Sorry, that's all I've got.

Laker Larry,

The Lakers absolutely cannot sign Shawn Bradley. I simply don't have the energy required to write that many inevitable jokes that are gonna come from him being on the court. It's exhausting just thinking about it. haha



For a few million a year, I could learn to live with it.

Laker Larry-

Dude, you're paying for my repair costs.



Read your article in the newspaper.


C'mon, look at all the fresh material you'd have to work with ..... wow!

Laker Larry,

Just... can't... do... it. haha


Interesting note from looking at the current standings:

The Pacific Division is currently 3-10 on the road and 17-4 at home.

The Lakers aren't the only Pacific team with their home teams stacked at the beginning of the season and as a division, we're a lot better at home than on the road.

I just thought that was weird.

Speaking of knee problems, Darius Miles is gone for season. Micro Fracture Surgery has raised its ugly head again. Didn't someone on our blog insist we need Darius? Gee, I wonder what person would've suggested such a silly emotionally thing?

Am I the only one who thinks Kobe's knee is a lot worse than he is letting on? Maybe he won't be able to resume his dominance and he has already passed his prime? Think Marshal Faulk and all the minor knee surguries and now his carreer is over,steady decline. Might we have seen the best that Kobe will ever be and his decline has begun??


I think the fact that the Pacific Division is so much better at home just points out how many young guys are based out here. Young teams are ALWAYS terrible on the road. If you want to win on the road, you need some vets on your team. Period.


It's so sad when you're scoreboard watching for the Clippers & Warriors and hoping they lose. Gone are the days when they weren't a threat in the division.

The Jazz are getting some separation from the Clips in the 4th Q. Up by 15.

5 minutes left in the first and all 7 of the Raptor points came off of free throws.

Can't wait until Friday...

Clippers are going down to the Jazz tonight. Down by 20 - 3 mins left. The Jazz look to be for real.


You deserve kudos for that thread. Mucking awesome.

Did I mention we need to cut a point guard (yes Aaron McKie and Mo Evans are mucking point guards!) and pick up a veteran center.

By the way, I think cutting Maurice Evans would be insane.


Mark Eaton would be cheaper than Shawn Bradley.

Okay, according to the Times, Vlad the Impaler only has a sprained ligament in his hand. Why have people been clamoring for surgery?

Praise God! Vlad the Impaler will be ready to reek his vengeance upon all that which is not Lakerdom before the end of the season!

Seriously, I am very happy right now.


I don't think the Lakers are looking to add a center to their roster. But if they were how about Marcus Douthit? I think he might work out better than Shawn Bradley. If we wanted an old timer, maybe Horace Grant has something left.

well BK/AK, if you have already secretly held your All-Lakers Fantasy draft and not even told the blog about it i would at least like to know which brother got which players haha

I'm thinking there will be a bit more parity this year than last

Shawn... Bradley? The guy had the worst sense of balance that I've ever seen in a center - he was always falling down. If they're looking for another big body on the cheap, they might think about Pete Cornell who was in training camp a few years back. He's played in a ton of different minor league systems and doesn't make too many mistakes.

Dave M

Random comment:

For those fans that aren't lucky enough to have FSN and KCAL to see all the Lakers games, CBS Sportsline online I think has the best live view of any of the others I've seem (ESPN, Yahoo, Website is

Ok, back to whatever you all where talking about.

This audio is part of why I love PJ as a coach.

He's a guy not afraid to experiment with lineups early in the season and try to identify trends with players and player groupings.

So what if aren't playing our peak in the first-half of the season, it's about the post-season anyway!

If we really wanted to win every game possible, we could play our starters the most minutes (like the Pistons did last year) and never give any of our role players a chance.

The thing is by giving players and personnel groupings an opportunity to flourish, you create a sense of responsibility and opportunity within the team.


Two words: Hell No!

I'm asuming you haven't watched too many games because from the couple that I've been able to catch, he's coming along. He was playing at 70 percent or below when he came back, that's real early. You gotta be patient and he will no doubt blow us all away again, and not only for this year but for years to come. He's far from done, barely hitting his prime, and still has massive potential that he and coach PJ will tap.

The most interesting thing I keyed in on in PJs audio clip was him talking about the rotations and figuring out how to lighten LOs load at PF with Ronny being the key to that. Playing Ronny at PF alongside Bynum on Sunday was something I noticed and likely a test to see how comfortable Turiaf was out there playing the 4 when he's been putting in so much time at the 5 lately. If so, hope Ronny is up to the challenge of defending against Bosh, Brand and Boozer in the next 3 out of 4 games. Too bad Kwame is so uncomfortable at the 4.

I like this assessment PJ gave about Vlade in Bresnahan's article today:

"Two things working against him — he's injured his hand and the fact he hasn't found a comfort zone on the floor," Jackson said. "I've been trying to force-feed him in games, and it's hurting us and it's hurting him."

If Vlade can't get right without surgery as was reported earlier, I'd rather see him get it fixed now rather than live with his less than 100% contribution all year. Let him get the surgery and Cook can take his minutes this season.

Everything I've heard is that Vlad's injury is a TORN ligament in his shooting hand (today's LA Daily News). I don't know how he's even playing with that kind of injury. I know he's wearing a foam protection, but I would think surgery is needed.

Hey guys I don't know if this has been posted yet:

7. Los Angeles Lakers (5-3) -- One of the surprise teams. Andrew Bynum is growing up quickly. Is he ready to be the next great post-up center? It's interesting that their record is better without Kobe Bryant. They have hit on something with Lamar Odom as their point forward. If he can continue that while integrating Kobe, they could be very scary.

From Power rankings

What's the deal with the Memphis fan's lawsuit against Kobe? It seems like Kobe probably just went into the stands for a ball and the guy got hit. Does anybody remember this instance? Was it malicious at all? Is this guy trying to recoup 75 grand because he realized what a colossal waste of money season tickets to the Grizzlies are?

bmurph, I read that too. Always something. Soon as Kobe tries to get his image cleaned up a bit, here comes MO CHYT!

Now this is the funniest thing I've read in a while:

"9. During the course of the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles

Lakers, Kobe Bryant left the basketball court and entered the spectators' section where Bill Geeslin

was sitting and landed on Mr. Geeslin. While Defendant was on Mr. Geeslin in the spectators'

section, the Defendant committed assault and battery and engaged in extreme and outrageous

conduct when the Defendant, without provocation, violently struck Mr. Geeslin with the Defendant's

elbow, causing Mr. Geeslin injury and damages."

What's so funny is how he says:

"the Defendant (Kobe) committed assault and battery and engaged in extreme and outrageous

conduct when the Defendant, without provocation, violently struck Mr. Geeslin with the Defendant's


Now that is funny. I mean if a guy is going to get "extremely outrageous, and violent in his conduct, wouldn't he target something other than his elbow? I mean, if those are my emotions and intentions wouldn't I go for the face? It just goes to show that the intent, as described in the petition by accuser, has no merit.

He might have had a case, on other grounds, if he hadn't used those words. But since he did we can only conclude that it was an accident. The target of Bryant's rage is his elbow? LOL!


Mike T,

The claim states that the defendent (Kobe) used HIS elbow to strike Mr. Geeslin. Not that Kobe struck him in the elbow.


It looks like the lawsuit is saying that Kobe used his own (Kobe's) elbow to strike Geeslin in some unspecified area.

So are D-League balls called "Blue Seamers"?

Umm, Mike T? The Defendant in this case is Kobe. Dude is saying Kobe hit him with Kobe's elbow. Not that his elbow had been hit.

LakerLarry, thanks for the warning. I know it was meant for BK, but I needed it. Now, there's a sight I'd never even imagined before. Bradley in purple and gold...

Dude. Defendant = Kobe. Nice hustle, though. Good effort.

Oh, I see it now. My bad! Reading too fast, again.


Mike T -

Time to get that Evelyn Wood refund. You're right about one thing, though, the point of contact of the elbow is the key to the case. If Kobe's elbow touched Mr. Panty-waste in a manner consistent with just getting back up and returning to the court, then there is no case. Likewise, if Mr. Panty-waste can't prove the concomitant motive for anything other than just getting back up, whether carefully or not, then no case. Court-side seats carry a basic assumption of the risk of being run into by the players. I doubt he has the ability to prove the intent for an action on Kobe's part to overcome that assumption. If I were the judge in that case, I'd make Mr. Panty-waste obey.

Mike T,

The story is actually pretty funny if it was about Kobe attacking someone's elbow.

Another frivolous lawsuit to get the media attention. Very soon Mr. Geelin will write a book on his enounter with Kobe, that's the American jurisprudence, anyone could file a lawsuit without any basis. Dismissal will come later when legal costs have mounted.

If i were the Grizzlies, I'd ban that sorry fan from the arena. and if I were David Stern, I'd ban that guy from ALL NBA events.



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