Kobe's Dream Shake
Hoping to gain some insight into what Kobe Bryant learned working with former Rockets great Hakeem Olajuwon this summer? Sorry.
"I don't talk about my appointments with the master shogun. Those are sacred," he said with a smile at practice Wednesday afternoon. The Dream has said his moves are well suited for agile guard/forward types like 24. Whatever he learned, and my guess is it's a lot, Kobe will have ample opportunity to put his new moves to use. "I'm a post player anyway," he said. "As a guard. 80% of the time I'm in the post."
Asked why he sought Olajuwon out, his answer was simple. "To learn." Another potential response: "Because he was really *#()@*&$ good." Kudos to Bryant for keeping it clean. Anyhoo, look for some of this once the season kicks off.
In other news, Kobe says defensively this has the potential to be the best team on which he's played.
Click below for some Bryant video, as well as words from Phil Jackson, Ron Artest, and Derek Fisher.
Last week, Jackson talked extensively about the process of integrating Artest into LA's offensive and defensive systems during training camp. Today, he said the more complicated work in that effort comes on offense.
Fisher talks about the increased maturity and "calm" he's noticed in Artest over the past few seasons, guessing that some of it has to do with the type of serious family issues that can make a guy grow up fast. Certainly Fish can identify. It all continues to support my position that, despite all of Artest's eccentricities (they're real) and his passion for media, fan interaction, and promotion (it's genuine), the concerns about Artest tearing a hole in LA's well woven fabric are overwrought. That's not a guarantee that he'll fit, but if Artest doesn't pan out this year, it'll be about how it didn't mesh on the floor. Just sayin'.
UPDATE: Players aren't the only ones who show up to camp hoping to earn a job, or at least build a reputation that'll help land one down the line. One interesting thing I forgot to mention- among the assistant coaches brought into camp is 1987 Rookie of the Year Chuck Person. The Rifleman himself. (Nicknamed that not only because of his reputation as a gunner but also, I'm guessing, because his middle name is Connors. I'm not making that up.)
Person is one of a small group of coaches who will be with the team through the month. Whether he has a job after that remains to be seen, but it's an interesting wrinkle to camp of which I really hadn't been aware until now. Kevin Ding of the OC Register has more here.