Some quick tidbits
Just got back from the madness. We're gonna get some copy from various players up ASAP, but just wanted to throw out a few observations in the meantime.
I wouldn't read anything into Kobe being the last player to enter the gym. From what I heard, he was getting his physical. But even if that weren't the case, walking in 20 minutes after your teammates doesn't really "say" much of anything, given the back story and context. If you wanna make a statement, don't show up at all. Even taking into account Kobe's proclivity toward decidedly odd logic, if anyone tries to create a large issue of this, I'm not buying it.
Andrew Bynum looks bigger. BK thought Brian Cook looked decidedly more lean (in a good way). Cook told him he didn't so much lose weight as redistribute it and shed a little body fat.
Hair update: Kwame Brown's now braidless. Vlad Radmanovic and Jordan Farmar have buzz cuts. Sasha Vujacic is sporting a shaggy mop that could have landed him a gig as an early-era Beatle. Finally, LO has (and this is not a joke) a couple stars shaved into his bald dome, symbolizing the All-Star season he plans on having.
Recovering from hip surgery, Phil Jackson is still walking with a cane, which made me nervous during his time surrounded by a swarm of reporters. I kept picturing one guy losing his balance, knocking into a writer and creating a domino effect that ends with the Zen Master bedridden and coaching via text messages to Kurt Rambis.
Coby Karl is a dead ringer for the ex-Daily News Lakers beat writer Ross Siler, who now covers the Jazz. I realize this will mean nothing to most of you, but every member of the media found it rather amusing.
Smush Parker did not appear to be missed.
More to come ASAP.
Couple minor things to add:
My first impression of Javaris Crittendon is that he's a very solid kid. Well spoken, said the "right" things and seems to be taking nothing for granted. Nice to see. And he screams "athlete." How all of that translates into results in his first year remains to be seen, but there are minutes to be had behind D-Fish, and if he shows some aptitude defensively, he could grab some.
Chris Mihm told me he's never been this excited to start a training camp. Normally, the grunt work that goes into it isn't exactly enticing, but given what he's gone through, the chance to get out and play overshadows anything else.
Bynum told me he's put on about five pounds or so, but much more has been redistributed. Cook, as AK mentioned, was definitely leaner and more athletic looking. No net gain in weight, but he's shed some "unnecessary" fat. Hopefully it'll translate to increased quickness on the defensive end. Should that be the case, that p.t. he wanted last year could get more consistent in '07-08.