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There's nothing to see here. Seriously.

If it's possible to measure a team's quality by the quiet of its training camp, the Lakers may not lose a LO Layup game this year. Roughly two weeks in, we're very nearly entering tumbleweed territory. There aren't any significant position battles to monitor, no growth of a doe-eyed number one pick to measure, no KG/T-Mac Injury Watch! to document. This is great stuff for fans- drama/conflict/injuries/uncertainty are bad things- less so for the media.

That the Lakers seem unconcerned about our plight seems a little selfish, but what can you do?

Today was another bad day for those hoping for controversy. One of the big early narratives has centered around Lamar Odom and the potential distractions of his big pre-camp wedding, given the tabloid interest in the whole affair. To this point, though, it's been a non-issue. Odom's fitness coming in was, particularly by his standards, high, thanks to a summer of core work and boxing. Nor has any celebrity hubbub affected the team. "He's been just fine," Phil Jackson said after practice Monday afternoon in El Segundo. "Absolutely nothing (in terms of distractions). He's been upbeat and very productive in practices."

No question, Odom's wedding raised some eyebrows for all sorts of reasons, some more valid than others. Talking to the media today, whether intentionally or not, Odom gave a reminder that in all things context matters, and it can be very personal.

"I've been through a lot worse than getting married, you know? Even though some of it was whirlwind, things happen fast. In my life, they've always happened," he said. "Ever since I was 12, then 16. Having my grandmother then not having my grandmother. Then children, and going through things. (Note: This is a reference both to his living children and his infant son who died in 2006) Who knows? You want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. As a man, stepping into manhood, I just try to be prepared for everything that comes my way. I think I was able to do that this summer, just to prepare myself."

There was a long, quiet pause as Odom thought about what he'd just said, while we finished writing it down and wondered if he'd say anything else. "Damn, that was good," he smiled. "I'm outta here!" He pretended to head to the locker room, ready to leave on a high note of maturity and wisdom. It was another example of Odom's unique personality. The seven or so minutes he spent with the media started with some friendly New York vs. LA smack talk regarding the upcoming Yankees-Angels ALCS, moved on to personal fitness, became more introspective as he spoke not just about his history but also his relationship with Jackson (see the video below) and ended with a joke rather than leave things on a heavier note.

Whatever you think of Odom or his nuptials, concerns that his Hollywood life would scuttle his work and the team's along with it appear in the early going unfounded, with no indication that'll change. He certainly sounds like someone who understands what's in front of the squad. "We want to think like an experienced group of guys. Ready and willing for anything. We feel like we are," he said. "We took pride in (the fact that) not too many teams that lose in the championship can get back and win. But now we expect (to win). We're the Lakers. We won a championship, and now you want to feel that again. And again, and again, and again, and again, and again. We want to get back to that point where we can stay and play on a championship level every game, every minute, every possession."

That's at least one contract extension's worth of "agains" in there, by the way, if you're keeping score. 

In other news...

  • DJ Mbenga practiced again today, a welcome addition to PJ's practices. "He's running better," PJ said. "He'll get it back by tomorrow. He changes our practices around. He gives us a physical aspect, he's a contesting defender, and that makes it tough for (players in scrimmages)." Barring injury, it won't likely translate into more PT for Mbenga when the season begins- "I don't see how that would happen," Jackson said- because the minutes just aren't there. But it gets to an important point about the role of LA's bench players, something that to their credit the team's top end players make sure to mention whenever possible: Guys like Mbenga and Josh Powell may not play much, but they make practices far more competitive, improving the production of the guys who do. Depth isn't simply about who gets put on the court, it has a few different utilities. 
  • Regarding Sasha Vujacic, PJ said there were signs of improvement with his shot,but there's a lack of consistency. "That's something that comes and goes. We're looking for the rest of his game to improve."
  • Jackson took an opportunity to crack on Luke Walton, when asked about how he's looked so far. "Luke's been good. We always know that Luke hurts himself in training camp, so we're watching him closely. He doesn't have one (right now), so don't talk about it."

VIDEO:

Odom on his fitness:

Odom again, on his relationship with Jackson. It's an interesting clip.

BK

 
Comments () | Archives (36)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Charley Rosen rates all 30 NBA coaches in his latest column. He gives PJ an A+. Personally, I would have left it at an A; A+s are for show offs and brown nosers.
btw, I have it on good authority that Mike T will provide definitive proof in his next journal that Kwame Brown will be a much better NBA coach than Derek Fisher. His proof is extremely well documented; lot's of conjecture involving string theory, parallel universes and quantum gravity. Also something about an inverse correlation between hand-eye coordination and the mentoring of young talent. Very compelling stuff.

forgot the link

http://tinyurl.com/ygwc7zq


BK,


Excellent post. It was reassuring to get your positive take that Lamar is handling his newfound notoriety all in stride. I have grown to love and respect Lamar as a person as well as a player. I also learned long ago that when friends say they’re in love never do anything but support them. My experience is that you just can’t logically predict which couples will work out and which ones won’t. Anyway, is it just me or doesn’t it seem as if Lamar has been acting and sounding more mature?
-
Excellent points about the value of the bench in giving the starters some competition. Players get better playing with better players. I still remember Bill Walton responding to a reporter’s question of who was the toughest center he has faced when he was in college. Walton’s response was Sven Nater, his backup center when he was UCLA. In D.J.’s case, I am sure he plays and fouls as hard in practice as he does in the game. That is good in a way because it toughens the team against physical play.
-
I don’t know whether anybody else has had this experience but Friday night I clicked on a justintv link in a search window for the Lakers-Warriors pre-season game and was treated to a virus that killed my office PC and forced me to watch the game on another employee’s computer. What was worse, I had to work all day today out in a cubicle where I could barely read the blog much less post comments. Frankly, those working conditions were completely unacceptable. Give me a corner table every time. My back against the wall and my computer screen visible only to me. Death to cubicles. LOL.

Tom

"You want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

Dang, that in the 70's would be categorized as heavy.

LakerTom,

Buy a Mac :) You must see the Mac vs PC ads LOL

So are you a bay area resident??

Laker Tom-

It's not that I necessarily approve of everything Lamar has done (I find the notion of a televised, reality show wedding to be a little distasteful, am uncomfortable with the idea of money changing hands selling pictures and TV rights, and don't really think it's wise for anyone to marry someone they've known for such a short time, particularly when that person has children) but what I've tried hard to do is not judge her and their relationship simply on the grounds that she's a Kardashian. I don't know her, I know nothing about her (other than what the tabloids tell me, and I don't read them much). I don't know anything about their relationship, and the like. I'm inclined to take it at face value when anyone says they're in love. I'm not going to assume she's awful, or will ruin him, or whatever. That's not fair.

If at some point any of this seems to impact his play or the team as a group, I'll say something, but I don't consider this a basketball issue, just like I haven't really said much about the thing with Kobe's maid, or other off court things that excite the tabloids.

BK

Tom -

Now I feel wary about JustinTV. Maybe I'll stop going to their site directly and only go to the links already posted (and presumably previewed)on the blog?

Kobefan in Cupertino


LOL. I like Macs but like many businesses, the one I work for runs on PCs. I live in Mill Valley. You should join us for the opening game at a sports bar in SF. Not too far from Cupertino. I’ll add you to our list. We’ll settle on details later.

Tom



BK,


I understand and applaud your position. It’s too bad that your journalistic brethren don’t share the same standards that you and AK have always persevered. Too many reporters and analysts give in to taking the cheap shots to get attention, hits, or comments. I’ve always respected that you and Andy have consistently avoided doing that. It speaks well that you were brought up to have high standards.
-
I was actually speaking more from the experience of having personal friends fall in love with someone who you don’t like or don’t think is good for them. I remember once when a good friend of mine told me he was finally divorcing a woman that I did not like at all. I stupidly clapped him on the shoulder and told him I was glad he had finally come to his senses. Yeah, you guessed it. They reconciled next week and have been happily married ever after and my comments hurt my friend and our friendship.
-
Lamar is responsible for making his own decisions and while they may not be the same ones that you or I might make, it really is none of our business – unless as you say, it suddenly affects the team. Love is a strange animal and who is to say that marrying Khloe might be the best thing in the world for Lamar and her. I consider every Lakers player as my friend and wish every one of them well.


Tom


dave,


I feel the same way naturally. I went to the blog and clicked on the line someone left and that was fine. Of course, I couldn’t do it on my computer as it was immediate toast with dozens of anti-virus ads instantly popping up like ambulance drivers. I have always believed there is a greater connection between the hackers hitting us with the malware and viruses and the guys selling the software to fix it. I mean the ads almost pop up the second the viruses attack. I’m just waiting now for the other shoe to drop and my boss to decide to clamp down on web access for non-business purposes. Think it’s time that I got rid of my old broadband card and get something faster before I get busted at work. LOL.


Tom


[Warning: This has nothing to do with basketball, but something to do with previous negative posts I've made about Northeast Ohio.]

Wow. I just saw DJ Tiesto play at a club called Metropolis tonight.

Amazing. Fricking amazing. It had all the energy of a religious revival, but significantly better. People were screaming out of their skins with enthusiasm and (practical) rapture. Seriously, it was amazing energy.

Contrast that with the experiences I've had in the club I work at that plays primarily Rap and "New" R&B where the people are surly, mean, rude and shallow... it was a different world.

Ethnically mixed, friendly, happy, enthusiastic, joyful, kind, generally respectful... and dancing like no one was watching. I never thought I'd see that in Cleveland. I've seen it in California and other parts of the country, but I never thought I see it in Cleveland. I did. And it was as good, if not better, than the large majority of amazing shows I've seen in Los Angeles. I'm still kind of taken aback by it.

The sonic fabric of DJ Tiesto's music is fricken sublime. It's otherworldly. I'm truly impressed and I'm a total music snob.

When I compare the effect that Rap has upon people to the effect that Techno/Electro has upon people it's like comparing Hell to Heaven, respectively.

Ohio sucks and I'm getting out, but it was such a wonderful experience to see that even in this place there are people who are friendly, kind, enthusiastic and joyful. It kind of gives one hope in the bigger picture.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Whats with all these transplanted Lakers fans in the bay area? Tom add me to this list as well, but out of curiosity why a bar in SF? what about us South bay residents?! thats a 60 plus mile drive!

I did find that clip about Lamar's relationship with Phil Jackson to be interesting.

I love Lamar, but for a lot of reasons it seems like he hasn't had a strong male presence in his life to instill discipline, which has lead him to be a bit immature in certain ways (e.g. substance abuse with marijuana).

I think Phil recognizes that and has compensated by probably being a little too tough on Lamar, but that is something that Lamar needs.

Anyhow, Lamar has won a Championship and now he's married. He's a man now. Truly. Let's see how Lamar the man expresses himself this season. I'm hopeful.

If Lamar wins the Sixth Man of the Year Award, it will be past due.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

By the way, how the hell did Bill Walton grow up a Celtics fan? How does that happen living in San Diego and going to UCLA? How does that happen?

[By the way, we should all let go of the "sins of the fathers" doctrine and stop picking on Luke Walton.]

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Laker Tom,

" I remember once when a good friend of mine told me he was finally divorcing a woman that I did not like at all. I stupidly clapped him on the shoulder and told him I was glad he had finally come to his senses. Yeah, you guessed it. They reconciled next week and have been happily married ever after and my comments hurt my friend and our friendship."

Been there. Done that.

It's difficult when a friend choses someone he should not be with. You want to help out, but, curiously, that is not a part of a healthy friendship. It's odd.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Not only is there nothing to say now, but there won't be much to say during the season either. Certainly nothing new.

The Lakers' talent level this year is so far ahead of any other team that it's just ridiculous. (As is their payroll.) On those occasions when they choose to compete to the best of their abilities, no other team can play with them.

But we also know that although certain individual Lakers have very large egos, they also have very little pride and very little dedication to the team and to their fans. And one of them, in particular, is a prima donna whose interest in his own brand comes far before his interest in the Lakers as a team. (Don't listen to his words: Watch what he does on the court.)

Which means, just like last year, that most of the time the Lakers will not play anywhere near their best. They will certainly not play with anything approaching their highest level of effort. They certainly will not play strong defense most of the time. They will not play like a team most of the time. And guaranteed that they will play down to the level of their competition just about all of the time.

In fact, much of the time they will play like crap. Just like last year. And most of the time play just well enough to win. Just like last year.

So that we, as fans, will be pissed off during a large part of most every game at how little effort they are showing. But many of us will be bought off by the victory that will come at the end of most games.

You can write your stories now. Or even just recycle ones from last year. Because this year, the future will repeat the past almost identically.

Well, I work for the guys who make the Macs..... so PC is big NO-NO where we are :)

Btw, Charley Rosen's comment made me think - Isn't it true that Nate McMillan is trying to make multiple Nate McMillans by being head coach of Blazers?

All is quiet because all is well.

As defending champs with the lineup set, the Lakers should come out of the gate strong while a lot of teams are working in new pieces, new systems, etc.

Starting with a home-heavy schedule will make the Lakers start even easier.

The real tests will come later, as other teams gel and the Lakers take to the road. As inevitably injuries come along.

I expect a very strong start because this team is strong, set and at home.

Tom D.

LakerTom,

"I remember once when a good friend of mine told me he was finally divorcing a woman that I did not like at all. I stupidly clapped him on the shoulder and told him I was glad he had finally come to his senses.."

Kinda like how you felt when telling us Andrew was king, and then he got injured, and then we lost to the Celtics because he wasn't man enough to play through the pain, and then he put up a meager playoffs in the championship run, and even though he barely made a difference against Dwight and you still almost had the balls to try to tell us that he "could've" and "will be" Finals MVP.

Kinda like that?


LMAO.

This is too funny!

Jamie Sweet,

"I wish Ariza well, good aluck and all, but can't help but feel that this will end badly for the plucky small forward from LA."

Don't worry kobe's still his big brother and hopefully he's still a mamba faithful as well (pls keep rocking the #24 shoes Ariza). All he's got to do is follow big brother's advice, i.e. keep working on his game. The rest will come eventually.

As for the specific incident causing you to worry, well Adelman has a point regarding Ariza being hesitant at times, those of us that watched the team all season long know this. I'm all for his new coach pushing him to think less and trust his instincts. I'll also place some faith in the likes of Shane Battier keeping his spirits up and letting Ariza know to just listen to his coaches and play ball but not worry.

Lastly Kobe made a comment about how he got Ariza to stop worrying in the playoffs, something along the lines of "Let all the pressure be on me, you just go out and play ball". Big bro got Artest for christmas, pls dont be mad at him for that Ariza. Just ask him to keep taking some of that pressure off you by helping you out with your game, so dont get shy and don't stop asking for pointers. And if he ain't picking up ya calls, tweet about it and the sheriff's office will put him on blast.

The NBA might be a business but our love for the game and the players that bleed/bled purple and gold ain't. We love you boy. Good luck in houston.

From latimes.com
[Reserve forward Luke Walton has logged a total of 17 minutes in two exhibition games. Jackson said not to read too much into it. "Luke's very good," Jackson said. "We always know that Luke hurts himself in training camp, so we're watching him closely." Walton has been slowed by various injuries the last couple of exhibition seasons.]

Pfunk36 where art thou ... PJ described Luke as being "very good" ... I believe you finaly have the evidence to impeach the dude

jimjoyce25 -

Wow....

With fans like you, even the trolls on here are more welcome.

JohnnyTwoTimes -

Why are you starting up with LakerTom again?

You've got nothing better to do?

I've got an idea - go play in traffic... or run with scissors... or maybe both at the same time....

Sheesh... same old digs.

He's got what is called ENTHUSIASM. Apparently it's not a word you're familiar with. Try a dictionary. It's the word with LakerTom's picture beside it.

Taliq -

Good to see the sherrif out patrolling!

I agree about Trevor - I really want him to do well in Houston. And I'd love to see him in a Laker uni again. I miss him already and it's only preseason....

Oh well - I guess we need to move on to Thriller. Not a bad change from what I can see so far. I'm really excited about this team - they have the potential to be really un-freaking-believable this year!!!

Let's get it on!


Boba,


>>> what about us South bay residents?! thats a 60 plus mile drive!


Glad to add you to the list. Let’s see how many we get and we will choose a central spot. OK?


Tom


"You can write your stories now. Or even just recycle ones from last year. Because this year, the future will repeat the past almost identically."

In other words, the Lakers will beat their Eastern Conference opponent 4 games to 1 in the 2010 NBA Finals. Thanks for your prediction, JimJoyce!

Jim Joyce 25,

"certain individual Lakers have very large egos, they also have very little pride and very little dedication to the team and to their fans. And one of them, in particular, is a prima donna whose interest in his own brand comes far before his interest in the Lakers as a team."

~~Have not read your posts for quite sometime, it is nice for old posters to come back and post again. I go along with what you said about our Lakers. Yes, they are of superior caliber but it does not guarantee future success if there are no efforts, no determination to succeed and lastly humility in winning. At an early onset of this preseason that trait has been exhibited in the first two games with the same young team. The first game was no match and the second game was on autopilot and lost it. It is only preseason yet the Laker disease of overconfidence, lackadaisical attitudes, unmanageable egos are manifested at early stage. That attitude permeates to its fans in this blog. What happened after we won the Championship, we celebrated and we continue celebrating to the point of ridiculing others and capabilities of young teams to be contenders. We also ridicule fans who don't believe and preferred different opinions. We have the fantasy that we are always in cloud nine. My point here is let the 2004 season be the post mark reminder. Lakers have 4 superstars and best role players yet they came short of Championship. History always teaches a lesson that it can repeat itself if the actors don't will it for a change. Which history would we want to repeat the back2back in 2001 or the debacle in 2004. Preseason means honing skills for those players who came up short last year. It's time to build camaraderie that will bring good chemistry, not just massaging egos of superstars or future stars. Everybody should be in equal footing and work harder to reach the greater glory.

K-Bros, I think you have to evaluate your own blog too in this preseason. Remember where you came from and the fruits of success where you are now. Many of your old bloggers are no longer posting, why? perhaps the environment has changed a lot. Maybe, it is no longer conducive to express one's passion for a path has been laid out to have only one opinion, fans are afraid of being ridiculed by the wise. Freedom to express one's views is also gradually dissipating, it is becoming an ideologue blog - "Lakers are great and nobody is greater than us." While you allow this freedom of expression, it has to be implemented with limits too, imbued with respect and harmony with the many Laker fans: young, old and international quality, free thinkers of another formula, not only to the vision of the few or turf holders. I hope you continue to imprint the K-Bros brand the way you started this blog five seasons ago. We have gone to many Laker nation building, it would be nice if we go back to being kinder, nicer and more accommodating. Everyone should be equal in your blog. As moderators, you have to stick with your legal spiel as specified by LA Times or at least recommend a proper decorum in blogging we have suggested before the Virginia Shea's Core Rules of Netiquette. Thank you
http://tinyurl.com/6k5bg

"jimjoyce25 -

Wow....

With fans like you, even the trolls on here are more welcome."

Baaah. He ain't no fan. JimJoyce25 is part of the original band of trolls from the Steven/Tarugo "Trade The Cancer (Kobe)" era of Lakers Blog. Don't sweat him.

Utz - I'm still waiting to be "flamed" whatever that is.

It's time to build camaraderie that will bring good chemistry, not just massaging egos of superstars or future stars. Everybody should be in equal footing and work harder to reach the greater glory. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | October 13, 2009 at 09:23 AM

Edwin do I have to say it?...OUT FREAKING STANDING!!!!!!!!

The NBA might be a business but our love for the game and the players that bleed/bled purple and gold ain't. We love you boy. Good luck in houston. Posted by: Segeboy fka Taliq | October 13, 2009 at 07:44 AM

DAMNN!!!!! Sherifff you done touched my heart. Do I have to say it?
OUT FREAKING STANDING!!!

Utz - I'm still waiting to be "flamed" whatever that is.

Posted by: stillhavethoseballoons? | October 13, 2009 at 09:55 AM

Utz, no need to answer this troll....he's a Boston fan, he knows how to wait a LONG time!!

Not worth it. 99 problems and a balloon guy ain't one...

Utz, no need to answer this troll....he's a Boston fan, he knows how to wait a LONG time!! Posted by: chicken little | October 13, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Hahhahhahaha!!! You aint no chicken little son, you a full grown Chicken Hawk!!!! They eat chickens and green Leprechauns and Bald headed freaking Lunatics with the initials K.G. for an appetizer.!!! and for the final time today do I have to say it...OUT FREAKING STANDING!!!!

SICK WATCH 2009


Here in Southern California it is raining, off and on, the first tender drops of 2009. Lamar is adding some gangsta speak "That's why I respects him...", gaining power and strength and seems to have an even mellower outlook on life. Winning it all has a way of verifying one's belief in one's self. To his detractors in regards to his penchant for off-season rest. Let us not forget the torn up shoulder he played with while almost single-handedly taking us past Phoenix 4 years ago. Let us not forget the lump the size of a grape fruit that he played through last year and to which much discussion on this video is about.

Segeboy FKA Taliq


Agreed, I do hope that the return of Battier takes some pressure off of Ariza and with those two on the court at the same time, I would expect the Rockets to play a defense heavy, fast-break style of ball. If Ariza can play well until T-Mac gets back, they could be an extremely deadly team. I've just about always rooted for ex-Lakers who move on and sign bigger contracts than they ever could have with the team. The exception that comes immediately to mind is Shaq, although now I don't have an opinion one way or the other about him. I respect his legacy, I did not respect his attitude his last two seasons here.


Giant Squid

Interesting to see Mike D'Antoni so low seeing as he pretty much inherited the Larry Brown/Isiah teams of futility. Chuck Rosen might have it in for him seeing as he gave Phil fits for a few years. I give D'Antoni a pass until next season. That squad was loaded with bad, immovable contracts that will start to be filtered out this season, next and still the season after that. I fully agree with his assessment of Mike Dunleavey.

Can you please use better spacing in your blog entries. Perhaps it seems hip to not indent or have blank lines after paragraphs. It's just tedious and tiresome to read. I find myself skipping your blog sections, only due to how hard it is to follow because of look.

I'm hoping this is a technical issue, because if not then I have to question your journalism choices.


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