Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Lakers have mixed assessment of European trip

56580290

The NBA had hoped the Lakers' trip to Europe would help showcase the league's best talent before an international audience. Instead, fans from London and Barcelona saw the defending champs lose to the Minnesota Timberwolves and FC Barcelona.

This trip included plenty of sightseeing for the Lakers -- but also 11-hour flights, a travel alert in London because of perceived terrorist threats and multiple NBA Cares events.

The Lakers' visit to Spain marked a homecoming of sorts for forward Pau Gasol, a Barcelona native who, with all the activity, seemed to feel more drained than inspired.

"It was more or less what I expected," said Gasol, who visited with family and friends and had, as well, numerous publicity and media obligations. "That's why it was filled with mixed feelings."

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson already had called training camp a "bust" because the European trip would interfere with the process of implementing team concepts and solidifying team chemistry. Gasol had predicted earlier he'd feel stretched thin with all the responsibilities surrounding returning to his native country. And the entire team found out how much energy it required to help promote the NBA.

"This is entirely different," Jackson said in comparing other preseasons with this one. "But it's OK. It is what it is. We got this out of the way, and now we can focus on our business."  

The first order of business? Jackson ran a three-hour practice that all attended, with the exceptions of  Kobe Bryant (right knee), Andrew Bynum (right knee) and Luke Walton (right hamstring). The team has an off-day Sunday, "surprisingly" as Gasol put it, and then practice Monday and Tuesday before the exhibition game Wednesday in Las Vegas against Sacramento. That's followed by home games at Staples Center against Denver on Saturday and an undetermined opponent on Sunday, a matchup with Utah on Oct. 19 at the Honda Center in Anaheim and a pair of exhibition games against Golden State Oct. 21 and Oct 22 in San Diego and Ontario, respectively. 

The Lakers hope that a schedule void of promotional appearances and heavy travel will begin to make up for the lost time overseas.

"It's been a demanding trip, exhausting a little bit," Gasol said. "We didn't have a lot of time to make improvements as far as our preparation. Now we're looking forward to get to work here and settle down and be able to get in a normal rhythm."

Here are some highlights from the trip, courtesy of Jackson, Gasol and Ron Artest. 

Jackson: "The guys had a good time. I think Barcelona was enjoyable. In London, we were still getting our feet on the ground, and there was lots to do. The soccer game on Sunday with Chelsea versus Aresenal was probably the highlight for the guys on our trip."

Gasol: "Everybody was thrilled about being [in Barcelona]. They liked the city and what they saw. ... I tried to make some room and time so the guys could go to dinner and enjoy ourselves a little bit and enjoy a little bit of the city."

Artest: "Spain was unbelievable. I didn't know everybody was able to speak English as well. There were a lot of English-speaking people out there. It was great. It was a city you'd actually want to go to."

Here are some of the down sides.

Jackson: "We were out of focus a little bit. We didn't have a lot of practice time in Europe."

Gasol: "We spent more time on the bus in London than I probably did in my life."

Artest: "Our training camp has been weird. Practice, then on the road, then back to practice, then jet lag, then jet lag on the road. I don't know if we're in shape or not right now."

Jackson doesn't think they're in great shape. He has said that Lamar Odom is the only player in  "basketball shape." Fresh off a stint with Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Championships, Odom already looks to be in midseason form. He led the Lakers with 17 points in 27 minutes against Minnesota in the team's exhibition opener and followed with a double double (12 points, 18 rebounds) against FC Barcelona in 41 minutes.

Aside from that positive development, the Lakers still have issues. Bynum continues to recover from his surgically repaired right knee, and he's not expected to play at all during the preseason. Jackson expects Walton to be out another week with his strained right hamstring. And Jackson believes Bryant lacks strength in his right leg after seeing him go two of 19 in two games.

"He's not feeling well. I didn't like the way he looked on the floor, personally," Jackson said of Bryant, who logged 25 minutes against FC Barcelona. "He wanted to be competitive and tried to keep the game competitive. He's entirely not ready to play. Yet, he went out and gave an effort, which is nice. But I'm going to have to talk to him about some of the progress as we go through this training camp."

The Lakers essentially have two weeks left before the regular season starts Oct. 26 against Houston to fully address Bryant's recovery and the team's overall readiness. But for now, Jackson just wants incremental improvement, a development he had deemed absent during the European trip.

"We just want to make progress," Jackson said. That's all." 

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant watches, with a smile, during the game against Minnesota. Credit: Dylan Martinez / Reuters

 
Comments () | Archives (30)

The comments to this entry are closed.

*___________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY - BANDWAGON *___________________________________________________________________*
(01) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray
(02) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil
(03) MAMBA24 - DRIVER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil with the Magic Skills, you are the best sir!
(04) #4
(05) phred - RIDING SHOTGUN1 -
(06) LAKER LASS – RIDING SHOTGUN2
(07) KBBLITZ - SECURITY
(08) RICK FRIEDMAN –
(09) FAN OF THE MAMBA -
(10) LROB
(11) LEWSTRS

Happy Birthday, Magic Phil 10/10/10
What a combination Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson !
Good Morning to all Lakers family.
What's up Mamba24?

Do my eyes deceive me? It might be, it could be, it is!! A gilbert battung sighting! How are you sir? My Goodness! Magic Phil's birthday, Ron, Ron stops drinking and a Gilbert battung sighting!! Now that is a Freaking 3-peat. Gilbert good seeing you post sir and when can we expect that profile? Go out and make it a spectacular Lakers day bro.!
*
*
*___________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY - BANDWAGON *___________________________________________________________________*
(01) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray
(02) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil
(03) MAMBA24 - DRIVER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil with the Magic Skills, you are the best sir!
(04) #4
(05) phred - RIDING SHOTGUN1 -
(06) LAKER LASS – RIDING SHOTGUN2
(07) KBBLITZ - SECURITY
(08) RICK FRIEDMAN –
(09) FAN OF THE MAMBA -
(10) LROB
(11) LEWSTRS
(12) GILBERT BATTUNG - Happy Birthday, Magic Phil 10/10/10


I'll throw some birthday cheer Magic Phil's way... or is that birthday spirit? Or just spirits? Whatever - have a good one!

Happy Birthday Magic Phil! Hope you have a fantastic BBQ today. :-)

*___________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY – BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
Thanks for the Bandwagon. I'll buy a lottery ticket this morning and see what's gonna happen...
BBQ DAY!!!! @MAGIC PHIL
*____________________________________________________________________*
(01) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray
(02) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil


(11) LEWSTRS - Magic Phil -Happy Birthday my brother...May you have a fantastic day with your family and a great celebration...
(12) GILBERT BATTUNG - Happy Birthday, Magic Phil 10/10/10
(13) 63 FOOTER - I'll throw some birthday cheer Magic Phil's way... or is that birthday spirit? Or just spirits? Whatever - have a good one!

Good Morning 63 Footer, Caliphilosopher, Lewstrs! Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Good dang Lakers morning to you mamba24! I am furiously working on an outline rewrite, then later have to round-table movie poster ideas for a film. Somewhere later than that... vodka! And such a beautiful day today. A great Sunday to one and all.

Here is a question I've been wondering about...

I saw the jet that the Laker flew in to Europe...It was A British Airline jet, with NBA Europe on the side...

Do the Lakers still have their private jet with the Lakers logo on it...

I thought that was one advantage the Lakers have over the league...Dr. Buss had his own jet for the team...

MM if you could find out...that would be 'fantastic'...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up....

*___________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY – BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
Thanks for the Bandwagon. I'll buy a lottery ticket this morning and see what's gonna happen...
BBQ DAY!!!! @MAGIC PHIL
*____________________________________________________________________*
(01) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray
(02) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil


(11) LEWSTRS - Magic Phil -Happy Birthday my brother...May you have a fantastic day with your family and a great celebration...
(12) GILBERT BATTUNG - Happy Birthday, Magic Phil 10/10/10
(13) 63 FOOTER - I'll throw some birthday cheer Magic Phil's way... or is that birthday spirit? Or just spirits? Whatever - have a good one!
(14) CALIPHILOSOPHER - Happy Birthday Magic Phil! Hope you have a fantastic BBQ today. :-)

What do you make of the NBA GMs picking the Lakers to win it all again? I haven’t studied their predictive accuracy in depth, but this is the 3rd or (4th ?) straight year they’ve picked our heroes. And of course, they’ve been right the last two years. Also, they like Kobe over Wade as a SG. Do you agree and if so, why?

-Rick

When I saw that the GM’s picked the Lakers to win their 3rd consecutive title, my first thought was “Of course they did”. Not to come off as arrogant about the Lakers nor sarcastic about how GM’s evaluate talent/teams/the league as a whole, but often times when predicting the future you look to past success. The Lakers are the two time defending champs and for many, they will have to be knocked off/lose before anyone says that they aren’t the favorite to win again. Regardless of what Miami has done this past summer to build their team or what Boston has done to improve after coming so close last season, the fact is that the Lakers are still the title holders, they’ve improved the team through their own off-season acquisitions in free agency and the draft, and they have motivation to continue to win. Call it safe, call it logical, call it whatever you want, but the fact that many GM’s think the Lakers are poised to win again just isn’t a surprise to me.

As for picking Kobe over Wade, I think that comes from winning the championship as team accomplishments often contribute to the rankings of individuals. You see this in all of sports and especially basketball. Whether it’s picking the MVP or in many of the “who is the best player” arguments, team success often shapes how individual players are perceived. I don’t know if I agree that Kobe is better or not as what you’re really asking is what you prefer when building a player. Kobe is more of a perimeter oriented jump shooter (that also takes a lot of three pointers) that also excels in the post while Wade is more of a penetrator/playmaker that likes to score right at the rim and off his mid-range jumpshot. Both are terribly effective at what they do and are dominant players. I’d give Wade the leg up in efficiency because the stats speak to that clearly, but I’d give Kobe the leg up in a lot of skill areas offensively (shooting, ball handling) and on defense. Remember, these are the two guards that made up the backcourt of the last season’s All-NBA 1st Team. They’re both excellent players. In the end, I’d probably lean towards Kobe, but I’m sure that it’s because I watch every game that he plays (which I can’t say about Wade) and see all the little ways that he contributes to wins even when he’s not doing the highlight reel stuff that most others would classify as him being “Kobe Bryant”.

http://www.forumblueandgold.com/

GREAT read, including what the Lakers will do after Kobe retires...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up....

Good Morning MAMBA24!

Things are going well out here. First week of classes is done, and I'm getting settled in a bit more out here. Food is expensive, which I suppose will help me be like Ron-Ron and lose some of the "Graduate Student Gain" I've experienced over the past 3 years. I didn't gain any weight freshman year of college (I was about 5'11" and 157), and being as sedentary in Lubbock will do that for you.

What do you have planned for the day? Something laker-centric, perhaps?

( looks around, waves to everyone, begins to dust off keyboard in anticipation of the upcoming 3peat season and my daily interactions with my "virtual family" )

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL!!!

So Kobe did not participate in practice. Makes sense. He looked completely out of game shape in the Euro games. Kobe got ahead of his schedule because of the trip, he would never have played had those been normal preseason games here. He was lucky if it didn't set him back.


Those games were a bad idea. Travel, jet lag, lost practice time. Games before anyone is in close to game shape. And for what? So the defending champs could look horrible in front of European fans? How does that help sell the NBA?


Glad they are home and back to normal work. After that strange Euro interlude they get a late start on really preparing for the season.


Kobe will not be 100% by opening day. Bynum is going to be out. I expect the Lakers may be a bit slow out of the gate. So the Heat will come out strong and take all the media attention. That's a good thing. The Lakers will be ready by the time it all matters. Healthy, I still take the Lakers over anyone.

Magic Phil: For your B-Day wish, I hope Cali legalizes marijuana. That way you can give up harvesting the 'magic shrooms' LOL JK!!!! Love your comments, now your a year older and a year wiser too! HAPPY B-DAY MAGIC PHIL!!!

- - -

MM: Great job with the last couple blog entries! Shall I say, your usual great job!

- - -

The Lakers might be a little behind other teams, but shouldn't their talent and depth be able to carry them through the early part of the season, until they're closer to 100%?

As long as they're healthy by Christmas, that would be fine with me - even if they gotta sacrifice a few early season losses...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

*___________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY – BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
Thanks for the Bandwagon. I'll buy a lottery ticket this morning and see what's gonna happen...
BBQ DAY!!!! @MAGIC PHIL
*____________________________________________________________________*
(01) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray
(02) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil
(03) MAMBA24 - DRIVER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil with the Magic Skills, you are the best sir!
(04) #4
(05) phred - RIDING SHOTGUN1 -
(06) LAKER LASS – RIDING SHOTGUN2
(07) KBBLITZ - SECURITY
(08) RICK FRIEDMAN –
(09) FAN OF THE MAMBA -
(10) LROB
(11) WES
(12) LEWSTRS - Magic Phil -Happy Birthday my brother...May you have a fantastic day with your
family and a great celebration...
(13) GILBERT BATTUNG - Happy Birthday, Magic Phil 10/10/10
(14) 63 FOOTER - I'll throw some birthday cheer Magic Phil's way... or is that birthday spirit?
Or just spirits? Whatever - have a good one!
(15) CALIPHILOSOPHER - Happy Birthday Magic Phil! Hope you have a fantastic BBQ today. :-)
(16) CYBERCOSMIX - Magic Phil: For your B-Day wish, I hope Cali legalizes marijuana. That way you can give up harvesting the 'magic shrooms' LOL JK!!!! Love your comments, now your a year older and a year wiser too! HAPPY B-DAY MAGIC PHIL!!!
(17) COMPLEX BROTHA - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL!!!

This one's for you Magic Phil! (nevermind the "Saturday Club" shout-out)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7QxOllK0VU&feature=related

Lewsters - I was wondering that myself. I think the Lakers do fly on a private jet with they travel to away games during the regular season, but I imagine Dr. Buss' jet doesn't necessarily have the range for a transatlantic trip, making an already grueling trip possibly even worse. Also, it's possible that the NBA had somekind of marketing deal with British Airways (hence the "NBA Europe" brand on the side) which the Lakers may have been forced to subscribe to.
Good day everyone!

complex (my) brotha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

good to see you

:)

@COMPLEX BROTHA, how are you my brother. How was your summer? we missed you!!

Hey Magic Phil: Happy birthday!! Hope you enjoy the day. Having a BBQ? I'm sure it's going to be a blast!!

@ Magic Phil - Happy B-Day Amigo! Hope you have a good one and a toast to many more to come!

@Mamba24 - Please add me to the Magic Phil Bandwagon

*___________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY – BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
Thanks for the Bandwagon. I'll buy a lottery ticket this morning and see what's gonna happen...
BBQ DAY!!!! @MAGIC PHIL
*____________________________________________________________________*
(01) MARK MEDINA – BLOG GOD - Hey Magic Phil: Happy birthday!! Hope you enjoy the day. Having a BBQ? I'm sure it's going to be a blast!!
(02) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray
(03) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil


(16) CALIPHILOSOPHER - Happy Birthday Magic Phil! Hope you have a fantastic BBQ today. :-)
(17) CYBERCOSMIX - Magic Phil: For your B-Day wish, I hope Cali legalizes marijuana. That way you can give up harvesting the 'magic shrooms' LOL JK!!!! Love your comments, now your a year older and a year wiser too! HAPPY B-DAY MAGIC PHIL!!!
(18) COMPLEX BROTHA - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL!!!
(19 JEFE101 - This one's for you Magic Phil! (nevermind the "Saturday Club" shout-out)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7QxOllK0VU&feature=related

Magic Phil - if you win the lotto, don't forget the little people.....

Lakers family,

You guys are SO kind to me, thank you.


Your kindness and the smoke from the charcoal are almost making me cry...


I'll be around between a beer or two....

Hey guys we got a new post up

MM

Magic Phil - Enjoy the day. It sounds like it's going to be a great time!

MM

Here's a toast to Magic Phil, Happy Birthday and you have a great day........
LRob... Hope you're a Mich. State fan and not Mich... Your wife wears 84 and I'll wear 4 and hopefully we can bring some luck to the Vikes Mon. nite!!! Mamba24, I'm relying on you with your prediction of the Vikes in the Superbowl.

Magic Phil, I just dropped by to greet you Happy Birthday on 10-10-10. Here is what numerologist say about this date: "Numerologists the world over are claiming today, 10/10/10, as the luckiest day in a 100 years. 'The row of ‘perfect tens’ symbolizes not just a once in a 100 years quirk of the calendar, but a ‘powerful moment of rebirth', says a Delhi-based numbers expert."

Bet on the power of ten today. Try to chase 10 women in one day. lol!

*___________________________________________________________________*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY – BANDWAGON
*___________________________________________________________________*
Thanks for the Bandwagon. I'll buy a lottery ticket this morning and see what's gonna
happen... BBQ DAY!!!! Lakers family, You guys are SO kind to me, thank you. Your kindness
and the smoke from the charcoal are almost making me cry...I'll be around between a
beer or two....@MAGIC PHIL
*____________________________________________________________________*
(01) MARK MEDINA – BLOG GOD - Hey Magic Phil: Happy birthday!! Hope you enjoy the day.
Having a BBQ? I'm sure it's going to be a blast!!
(02) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray Dear Lord, we give thanks for You blessing Magic Phil with another year of life. Fill him with Your love. Bless him with Your joy. Grant him peace and blessings as he steps into another year of life.
(03) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil - if you win the lotto, don't
forget the little people.....
(04) MAMBA24 - DRIVER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil with the Magic Skills, you are the best sir!


(18) COMPLEX BROTHA - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL!!!
(19 JEFE101 - This one's for you Magic Phil! (nevermind the "Saturday Club" shout-out)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7QxOllK0VU&feature=related
(20) NEWMEXICOLL - Here's a toast to Magic Phil, Happy Birthday and you have a great day........
(21) EDWIN GUECO - Magic Phil, I just dropped by to greet you Happy Birthday on 10-10-10. Here is what numerologist say about this date: "Numerologists the world over are claiming today, 10/10/10, as the luckiest day in a 100 years. 'The row of ‘perfect tens’ symbolizes not just a once in a 100 years quirk of the calendar, but a ‘powerful moment of rebirth', says a Delhi-based numbers expert." Bet on the power of ten today. Try to chase 10 women in one day. lol!
(22) CAP’S GOOGLES - Magic Phil - Happy B-Day Amigo! Hope you have a good one and a toast to many more to come!

Happy Birthday Magic Phil,
Pass some virtual BBQ and cake.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



Categories


Archives
 

About the Bloggers


Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:


In Case You Missed It...