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Derrick Caracter wants to sharpen preparation

Immediate thoughts of regret swirled in Derrick Caracter's head once Lakers Coach Phil Jackson asked him to check into the lineup.

Caracter wasn't exactly expecting this to happen in Nov. 17 game against Detroit where he'd check in for Pau Gasol with the Lakers holding a 33-23 lead with 35.8 seconds remaining in the first quarter. It's entirely conceivable for Jackson to insert Caracter in the lineup then toward the tail end of a quarter, but with all his lamenting Jackson expressed early in the week about Gasol's fatigue, Andrew Bynum's seemingly never-ending rehab efforts surrounding his surgically repaired right knee, Theo Ratliff's arthroscopic knee surgery and the Lakers' unwillingness to acquire a backup center, Caracter had sat on the bench the entire game the previous night in Milwaukee.

Part of the thinking for the zero playing time pointed to the Lakers'  plan to save more minutes for Caracter against Detroit the next night on a back-to-back.It also wasn't exactly surprising since Caracter lacks experience, but it's revealing nonetheless, particularly since Ron Artest experienced problems with his hip during the game and Gasol logged 44 minutes. Jackson would also say he didn't want to set up Caracter to fail and deflate his confidence if the increased role didn't pan out well.

The unpredictably surrounding Caracter's playing time, however, also exposed his failure to properly prepare. He said he stayed up the previous night in his hotel room watching movies and talking on the phone, thinking he wouldn't need much rest since he wouldn't play much anyway. But after logging 15 minutes and 24 seconds the next night, Caracter quickly realized the faulty logic behind his faulty approach.

"My whole body and everything I knew I needed to do I wasn't able to perform as well," said Caracter, who had six points on three of five shooting and five rebounds but was part of a unit that allowed a 21-point fourth-quarter lead to shrink to 13. "My legs were so heavy and I didn't get enough rest the night before. I won't let that happen again."

While anticipating switching spots with rookie forward Devin Ebanks with the Bakersfield Jam fairly soon, Caracter says he's mainly learned in the Lakers' 36 games "what it takes to be a true professional." Generally speaking, Jackson describes Caracter as a "worker," credits him for arriving early to practice and for frequently engaging in off-court workouts. But it's little nuances such as Caracter's sleep patterns that prompted him to share this New Year's resolution prior to the Lakers' New Year's Eve game against the Philadelphia 76ers: "Continue to keep learning how to be the best professional I can be."

That means some of his worries go beyond improving his clip of 2.3 points in 6.2 minutes. He anticipates playing more minutes in the D-League for obvious reasons. The Lakers have liked his physical play, penchant for cleaning the glass and welcoming attitude, as demonstrated by his willingness to clean up towels and organize water bottles following practices. Jackson went so far to say that Caracter "will have a future in the game." But to make that next step, Caracter wants to fine tune some steps.

Approaching 2010, Caracter remembered vowing to abstain from Chinese food, something he often craves but acknowledged contributing to his long-term weight issues.  Caracter said he dropped from 305 pounds to 277 after his career with the Miners because of more sleep and selective eating habits. He worked with IMG pro/college training coordinator Don Barto to help him ensure a slim figure before the Lakers selected him with the 58th pick in the NBA Draft, and he eventually weighed in at 265 pounds once the Lakers finalized their 2010-2011 roster. But with the Lakers not guaranteeing they'll keep him after this season, Caracter's well aware of his next step.

"I'm blessed to be here and I don't want to stop here," Caracter said. "I want to continue keep getting better and make the dreams and thoughts that come to my mind every day come true."

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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Always thought that we should have given Sasha a REAL chance to play! Same now with UPS!

So Kobe has almost no cartilage in his knee, and hasn't practiced all season? How has Kobe's absence from practice all season been kept a secret to this point?

Ummm...isn't this a big deal? Brandon Roy has similar issues with both knees, and there are talks that his career might be in jeopardy.

Is Mark Medina too busy criticizing Kobe's shot attempts to address any REAL issues regarding the Lakers? Is knee surgery an option? Is this potentially career threatening? Does Kobe expect his knee to improve as the season progresses, or will he have to manage his knee all season long? Will he miss practices for the rest of the season?


Good questions Truth.

Rooks is rooks. So many people think talent is the only barometer to being in the NBA. It's a whole l0t more, and now Caracter is learning. The intangibles may seem obvious (work in the off-season, get your sleep, eat right, keep learning, will, weight train, etc.) but it's surprising how even some of the superstars don't always follow them.

Most of us would be fired if we had such crappy work habits.

Still, glad DC is learning. It's why college coaches like John Wooden are so important to get players' "minds right," beyond just putting the ball in the hoop.

And Kobe's knee is Kobe's knee. Like a lack of cartilage is going to stop him. It'll hurt, but he knows what he's doing. And if his not being in practice is causing team chemistry problems, then everyone else outta WAKE THE HECK UP! Kobe is your meal ticket guys. Deal with it. Seriously, do your frickin' jobs and stop whining!

KobeMVP888

Glad you posted that What Buss Didn't Say link.

I stand by it. Jeanie Buss was beside herself last fall and winter with anxiety on the plans by her father and brother.

I reported accurately what was going on within the Lakers.

I wish I could bring only good stuff, but I can't.

And I'm glad their disconnect was averted, but make no mistake. It was very real.

Cheers,

Roland Lazenby

Posted by: Roland Lazenby | January 07, 2011 at 11:07 AM
====

I love you stuff! I read "Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon." What's up with lakernoise.com? I follow you on Twitter, post your tweets often and I'm the guy who asked for your list of NBA books and have loved all your suggestions to date! (Breaks, Loose Balls, etc.)

But I still gotta take some of your stuff with a grain of salt. It's just that I can't quite figure out which stuff that is!

And Kobe's knee is Kobe's knee. Like a lack of cartilage is going to stop him. It'll hurt, but he knows what he's doing. And if his not being in practice is causing team chemistry problems, then everyone else outta WAKE THE HECK UP! Kobe is your meal ticket guys. Deal with it. Seriously, do your frickin' jobs and stop whining!
Posted by: 63 Footer |
==============

63,

Perhaps Phil has some responsibility here to communicate with the team more effectively so these types of things don't become an issue.

There are workarounds for this type of situation. Kobe doesn't necessarily need to be going all out in practice, but could be on the floor directing and advising on his own preferences, quirks, etc.

And Kobe and Phil riding Pau to toughen him up, I can see why this might backfire.

From the article:

“Plus Phil played Pau longer minutes to make him man up,” said the observer. “Phil and Kobe are trying to make Pau more determined.”

We can say Pau shouldn't be so sensitive, but people are who they are and motivating is more effective when it's done within the framework of the persons personality.

It's becoming a little more clear why there have been chemistry issues.
More importantly, preventable chemistry issues.

So Kobe has almost no cartilage in his knee, and hasn't practiced all season? How has Kobe's absence from practice all season been kept a secret to this point?

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | January 07, 2011 at 10:49 AM
====

It hasn't been kept a secret at all. It was talked about before the Heat game because that was the first practice he participated in. Brandon Roy's issues are much more serious. He has NO meniscus in either knee. What Kobe is going through is typical of veterans who have a lot of mileage and he is just doing the smart thing by saving himself for the playoffs. Remember, he played on a wheel that was much worse and more painful than this on the way to #16. To me, he looks like he has more lift this season and it's his fingers that concern me more than anything else. I'm sure MM will get around to blogging about this in greater detail. Unless one is betting on the games, I personally don't see the concern.

Art - all good points. (And I even had my coffee already!) Pau's a funny duck, and his lack of weight training (even though the one year he did it helped him) is just one case in point of his odd outlook on things.

"Ganging up" on him may not work, as it may turn him inward, but I'm sure it'll all work out. With Socks back (knock on wood), I think Pau will self-motivate (as opposed to my favorite: self-medicate) as time goes on, and EVERYONE will be in sync (Not the band! Dear Lord, not the band!) by post season. Still comes down to NO INJURIES!

Practice? It's not like a real game, it's practice! Practice? Kobe don't need no "stinking practice!"

Mamba24,

Come back my friend! All true Laker fans should just ignore any troll's comment, who cares what they think. This is Lakerland babeee!!!

Lews- Thanks for the Bus, I've been just laying in the cut, just watching the action unfold on the blog. I hope it's a double decker bus, to pick up some of our fallin brother and sisters whom jump a week ago. I've always said it's not going to be easy, when healthy the Lakers are just to tough to beat in seven games.

Where the HELL is MAMBA24 and The Banner HOLDER? Did I miss something?

Laker Truth - You might want to do your homework before you charge me of keeping Kobe bryant's lack of practice time a secret. That's been well documented. Heck, I devoted an entire post to PJ changing the team's practice habits, including having Kobe practice here

http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2011/01/phil-jackson-reveals-coaching-shift-with-change-in-practices.html

Roland has informed sources and he provided tremendous detail about how that may have contributed to the chemistry issues and that some take resentment to Kobe not practicing. Team hasn't indicated that publicly for obvious reasons. While I understand maybe their frustration with not being able to foster chemistry, Kobe and the team agreed to it knowing his long term health is kind of more important. The post above explains not just Kobe's situation but the team in general why Phil is having more intense practices now. He'd prefer not to so that team isn't vulnerable to injury but he feels the team is so far in a hole, they can't just keep doing the same thing

Ummm...isn't this a big deal? Brandon Roy has similar issues with both knees, and there are talks that his career might be in jeopardy.

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | January 07, 2011 at 10:49 AM

To answer your question; yes and no. Brandon's knee problems go back when he was 16. Several surgeries later, he ended up working at the Seattle docks, thinking his playing days were over. Portland took a risk and drafted him. He will need some kind of meniscus surgery if he ever wants to walk right again, let alone play. He has a young family, so, that is a concern I'm sure.

Kobe, to my knowledge, hadn't had any pre-existing knee problems, prior to being drafted. His problem, is wear and tear. Should it really come as a shock, that Kobe's knees are causing problems. No, he's smarter, older than Roy, from a Basketball perspective, to know what he can and can't do. Kobe has 3 more years and than he's done. He won't stupidly push himself, he wants a life after Basketball and given recent interviews, he's thinking more and more about that part of his life.

Sean,

You are correct sir!

No cartilage? Bone to bone?? Kobe not practicing?? The hardest working man in the game not practicing??

This is news to me.. Freakin DEVASTATING.

Its officially PANIC time for lakernation.

DC needs D League, Ebanks needs to return and then DC can come back so these serviceable rookies can contribute to the inevitable 3-Peat.

Repost:

Two Concerns: Kobe's knee and the team's attitude or envy about Kobe not practicing.

Are those guys serious???? Why would you want the person who brings you rings to jeopardize his health at practice? Are you freaks? Pau - snap out of it. You're soft and the team is trying to "toughen" you up for the rough real NBA defense out east as dispensed by the Celts and Heat. The last thing you should worry about is if Kobe is practicing.

If Kobe isn't practicing, it's because he can't. You have to chose your poison: Practices or Games. I'm personally disgusted with the team's attitude toward #24. I think it's more of an envy thing, a money thing an "un-focused" thing. Perhaps it is about the money. Perhaps they feel he’s the highest paid player on the team and league and he doesn’t have to practice. HELLO! It’s not that he doesn’t want to practice, he can’t! Dude has almost 47K minutes on his body of playing all out basketball. Not soft, loafing, gliding, doing just enough basketball but playing it like a MAN ever since he came into the league. “Stand by Your Man” instead of being envious.

Lamar - what did you do before playing with Kobe
Pau - same question
Artest - hello??? no one told you to go on a "bender" and auction off your ring. amongst your peers, you're a "tool."

I'm sorry, but as far as I can tell, no one on the team can match Kobe’s dedication, desire, commitment, focus and determination to win. I would think these guys would encourage him to save his knees for the game and that they would adjust their practices on their own to compensate for him not being there. I'm sure Kobe would be there with them if in fact they could find the time to put all of those dumb side projects on the shelf and FOCUS on the task at hand which is winning another championship.

But I digress because as I mentioned, that level of dedication doesn't exist with this team. If you're injured star player has to exert extra energy to energize his ungrateful teammates, then they really are delusional because no one would be champs if it weren't for Kobe and Phil. Time to wake up "Laker Girls" and deal with reality. Buck up or Shut up!

Posted by: frmkt | January 07, 2011 at 11:45 AM

yellofever -- hahahahah! Don't forget his fingers! Why didn't we hear about his fingers!?!

MM

It may have been reported but this is BIG news. This was not common knowledge.

Are you saying u knew about the not practicing part but did NOT know about the BONE to BONE part??

And if you knew I'm surprised you did not report it to us??!!


It hasn't been kept a secret at all. It was talked about before the Heat game because that was the first practice he participated in.
Posted by: KobeMVP888
=================

I think that Heat game was the 29th game of the season.
So Laker Truth has a valid point when he asked why has this been kept a secret all season.

Also, from the Lazenby article it appears that Kobe did not start practicing with the team until some time after the Heat game.

Lazenby:

"The salt in the wound, the frosting on the cake, so to speak, came after that loss to the Heat when Bryant announced to the media that he was going to kick his teammates’ butts in practice."

Practice?

"The comment did not go over well with certain Lakers, especially Gasol, according to the observer."

"It hasn't been kept a secret at all. It was talked about before the Heat game because that was the first practice he participated in. Brandon Roy's issues are much more serious. He has NO meniscus in either knee. What Kobe is going through is typical of veterans who have a lot of mileage and he is just doing the smart thing by saving himself for the playoffs. Remember, he played on a wheel that was much worse and more painful than this on the way to #16. To me, he looks like he has more lift this season and it's his fingers that concern me more than anything else. I'm sure MM will get around to blogging about this in greater detail. Unless one is betting on the games, I personally don't see the concern.


Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 07, 2011 at 11:44 AM "

Since we had this convo yesterday about Kobe and talking about injuries. What is your response to him returning Peter Vescey's call and giving details about his knee injury for the article? Are you surprised?

Is anyone else not buying his story he was up late watching tv and talking on the phone? Seems suspicious to me!

Is this knee thing really that bad?

I mean I don't think it is. I mean if it was, wouldn't you guys think
that Kobe's teammates would want Kobe to sit out practices. If it was really that much of a concern, wouldn't his teammates go all out in games for him. Wouldn't his coach get in refs face once in a while and get T'd up, instead of letting Kobe get fouled inside with no call, game after game.
Cmon, obviously the knees is not that big of a deal.

Kobe should get out there and grind it out at practice like the rest of his team. Get out there Kobe because the chemistry problem you're causing is making Pau miss bunnies, scream and fall like rag doll when someone touches his jersey.
Artest to throw up air balls or Fisher throw brick after brick and making the killer B's into the killer bunks.

PHIL JACKSON AT IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!

It's obvious this smear campaign about kobe not practicing is all phil jacksons doin, maybe he got upset when tj simmers pointed the finger at kobe about the ron artest argument in practice thing, nevertheless im placing my bets that phil gave his good friend roland lanzby a call, and a story, thats really not a story,because any true lakerholic already knew kobe wasn't practicing, I tell you folks pj is a real work of art, I think his biggest lab rat is jeanie buss, I dont think jim buss cares for phil too much, jim has his fathers ear and phil knows it......but he also knows that he has jeanies heart, and i think he plays that hand like a fiddle, phil jackson is a snake, and the luckyest coach to ever breath ,

Chemistry problem my a$$.

Only one name comes to mind when I hear certain players having a problem with Kobe not practicing.

I could see him pouting in my mind right now.

Lew-
thanks for letting me on the bus!

Pau needs to get over it and put the effort in again. he's starting to look like he did with his last team...that said, i'm sure he'll get it together. these are human beings and they have feelings and problems like all the other humans. the amount of money someone makes has nothing to do with it.

the biggest concern is still health. all prayers towards a title need to include team health. still, we're not even to the halfway point in the season yet. it's way too soon to panic.

@Lew – That’s one of my favs from 3 Doors. Don’t remind me of that bowl game debacle. That was a royal beatdown courtesy of our ex-coach Saban. MSU bball hasn’t been much better. They’ve lost every “big game” they’ve played thus far, but Izzo is similar to Phil…he’ll sacrifice early season losses to get the team ready for March.


@MVP – Coming thru with the Popeye education…almost makes me want to get the DVD.


@Sean – Thanks for the scoop on Sasha. I still wish him the best with the Nets.


@Art – Wow. Thanks for sharing that article. Now things make a little more sense.

What to make of the Kobe not practicing situation….If Phil’s strength is managing personalities then its on him to make sure everyone understands the plan….and BUY in. That's what leaders do.

--------------------------

@63 Footer – I loved your 3peat “Rhythm play. I know I’ve heard that Bix B and gang on the Little Rascals…lol. I had visions of Spanky and Stymie while listening to it.

@mclyne – Angels and Airwaves, plus DeBarge – you’ve passed your Rhythm test for today :-)

Last couple of Rhythm tracks:

Status Quo – Blues and Rhythm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb7TaTE-jqY

Eric B and Rakim – Let the Rhythm Hit Em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29KvnMY413s

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 07, 2011 at 11:44 AM "

Since we had this convo yesterday about Kobe and talking about injuries. What is your response to him returning Peter Vescey's call and giving details about his knee injury for the article? Are you surprised?

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 07, 2011 at 12:20 PM
=====

Yes, actually I am surprised that he would discuss the details of his injury to anyone outside the Lakers organization. It is very uncharacteristic of him, but he wasn't exactly "complaining" about his knee or using it as an excuse either. It was more of an explanation as far as I am concerned. Thanks for pointing that out to me, by the way, because I had not read the article yet.

Also, in response to Art's post, perhaps I didn't make myself as clear as I could have. All I was saying was that Kobe not practicing was not new news and that we knew that before TODAY. We did not know abut the bone on bone comment, that's all. When you bang away at the keyboard and quickly post, sometimes things don't come across as they should.

In terms of what all this means, Kobe Bryant knows what is best for his body and what is best for the team, as does Phil Jackson. We should all be comforted by the fact that this core group has figured out a way to navigate itself to the NBA Finals for 3 consecutive seasons. More important is the fact that we won it last June against a veteran, championship team with both Kobe and Bynum playing on one knee, with Kobe's fingers a mess, with Shannon Brown's fingers a mess and Ron Artest playing with banged up fingers, too (not to mention his plantar fasciitis which is rarely mentioned). I think LO also had a sprained finger if I'm not mistaken. Hopefully, we will have a healthier team on more of a roll going into the playoffs this time around. I remain very optimistic.

I didn't think it was that strange that Kobe wasn't practicing with the team. He has always known what works for him and if he didn't think a practice was in his best interest, then that's how it would be.

Just like the games he missed last year when he would use the gametime to get his treatment rather than being out on the court with his teammates.

"Yes, actually I am surprised that he would discuss the details of his injury to anyone outside the Lakers organization. It is very uncharacteristic of him, but he wasn't exactly "complaining" about his knee or using it as an excuse either. It was more of an explanation as far as I am concerned. Thanks for pointing that out to me, by the way, because I had not read the article yet.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 07, 2011 at 12:53 PM "

At what point does disclosing an injury become a complaint or an excuse? I can't think of any examples. I just know that because of what a star Kobe is, we hear about every cut or scratch he has but other players may be carrying similar injury woes that we don't hear about.

That's why I usually think it's unfair when people say that it's too bad that every Laker doesn't have Kobe's toughness when it comes to injuries. From my view, a lot of Lakers have played hard through obvious injuries and who knows how many we never heard about.

That's more what I was getting at. When Kobe has a bad game, we can see finger braces and knee braces and conclude he wasn't himself that day, but other players don't get that same benefit of the doubt. It's easy to not have to make excuses if the excuses are already made for you.

Medina,

As Art noted, I found out about Kobe not practicing after the Heat game (two months into the season). If you reported on this BEFORE the Heat game, than I apologize, but I'm pretty sure you didn't.

Regardless, I was not accusing you of keeping this a secret, I was implying that you are too busy making a BIG DEAL about non-issues, such as Kobe's shot attempts, rather than making a BIG DEAL about the back to back finals MVP having almost no cartilage in his knee. Continually criticizing Kobe will obviously generate more hits for you (and it's a wise move on your part), but let's not lose sight of the important matters....the real issues. I find it odd that you make a post on Kobe's shot attempts seemingly on a daily basis, as if this is a big issue, yet the breaking news that he has no cartilage is barely mentioned.

At what point does disclosing an injury become a complaint or an excuse? I can't think of any examples. I just know that because of what a star Kobe is, we hear about every cut or scratch he has but other players may be carrying similar injury woes that we don't hear about.

That's why I usually think it's unfair when people say that it's too bad that every Laker doesn't have Kobe's toughness when it comes to injuries. From my view, a lot of Lakers have played hard through obvious injuries and who knows how many we never heard about.

That's more what I was getting at. When Kobe has a bad game, we can see finger braces and knee braces and conclude he wasn't himself that day, but other players don't get that same benefit of the doubt. It's easy to not have to make excuses if the excuses are already made for you.

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 07, 2011 at 01:06 PM
====

You make extremely valid points and I wholeheartedly agree with you. Lamar Odom is as much of a warrior as Kobe in that regard and I think Pau Gasol is fighting through some stuff that we're unaware of as well. Instead of being vilified for "delaying" his surgery and going to the World Cup, Andrew Bynum should be given more credit for the pain he fought through to help us win #16. D-Fish is 35, yet he's played in how many consecutive games? I think Ron-Ron is ALWAYS nursing injuries. Of course the news will be magnified when it's Kobe. It just goes with the territory. Great post.

LRob - I have a soft spot for the Quo for some reason (maybe just their longevity). Good Eric B & Rakim too (well, always good actually).

Who knows what's goin' on? I so rarely trust the media for the truth outright (unless I can corroborate from varying sources with distinct sources) for various reasons: they're not told the truth, they're not digging for the truth, they just don't care and throw up the rumors, or they're working for ESPN. Still, none of this seems unique or even surprising. Kobe's got mileage. Kobe needs to conserve. Phil likes to keep things mixed up and thinking. Pau's been "off" all season. Etc.

It'll all end in another Ring, and we'll chalk it up to adversity creating stronger bonds.

I have mentioned several times as have other reporters Kobe hasn't practiced much this season all the way back to training camp. That's not the news. It is news regarding the severity of Kobe's knee. From an observational standpoint, he's not the fastest as maybe in his prime, but it didn't appear to me that Bryant was significantly slowed down. I think it's a misnomer to say the L.A. media has ignored Kobe's knee though. We practically ask him all the time and he says it's fine. The team's training staff typically doesn't say much either. So there's only so much you can go with that.

The point of Roland's story isn't that Kobe isn't practicing. As I noted before, this blog and other publications have mentioned that all the way back to training camp. The point of Roland's story is that Kobe not practicing has created resentment with some players on the team and that some believe it's contributed to the inconsistent chemistry.

I would categorize Kobe's shot attempts and his lack of knee cartilage in about the same category. Neither one is shocking and both will be forgotten in June. I don't see what the big deal is. Kobe's healthier now than he was in June when he won his back-to-back NBA Finals MVP award and he's just being pragmatic in the way he's monitoring his health. He's also trying to find his shot.

Ah, the doldrums of the practice season. Lakerland at its finest!

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

Well it's good news DC can go to the D league and get some real playing time. I guess that means Theo is ready to go as well?

The link on the other thread about Pau (Does He Still Deserve To Be An All Star?) was interesting.

A good case could be made that LO deserves it more than Pau, though both may have difficulty getting on at this point. Lotsa good forwards out there.

@LAKER TRUTH.....

I, too, can't understand why the condition of Kobe's knee isn't a bigger story and why it is just now being revealed. To Peter Vescey, of all people. And, I thought, from what I've been reading, that Kobe has been limited in practice, not that he hasn't been practicing at all.

MM

I don't think you need to explain yourself. You have been on top of every nick and cranny about the Lakers this season and I'm not just saying that to kiss your butt. I follow many journalists and new outlets on Twitter and when something new is reported, invariably you have it up on this blog shortly thereafter. It is obvious that you love your work and that you take great pride in it.

Roland Lazenby is a creative, insightful, sometimes controversial journalist and he found something to write about which explains the Lakers poor play thus far this season. His article should serve as the opposite of a panic button to fans; it should give them comfort given the fact that the Lakers' players are even more tuned in to this than he is. It's early, it's a process and all is well.

"...they're not told the truth, they're not digging for the truth..."
Posted by: 63 Footer | January 07, 2011 at 01:29 PM

________

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yB7J7DYi6M

LOL!!

Kobe not practicing wasn't news, but some of his teammates' resentment along with "bone on bone" most certainly was. Just more "stuff" that the team will have to wade through on their way to the Finals as if they don't have enough to worry about. I'm all about multi-tasking but dang, this team has to maintain perspective and it's all about health. They have key players coming off of major knee surgeries - Bynum & Kobe - and without them, the team is in a world of hurt. I have no doubt Kobe will be around, but let's face it: Drew is a major concern.

I have no doubt Kobe will be around, but let's face it: Drew is a major concern.

Posted by: frmkt | January 07, 2011 at 02:15 PM
=====

Based on his injury history or what? Aren't you pleased with his progress?

"MM

I don't think you need to explain yourself."
Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 07, 2011 at 02:07 PM

__________

I enthusiastically second that notion. It merely reveals the dedication and pride that Mark brings to HIS blog.

frmkt - in my case, you may be right! Always a great clip.

Resentment for others? I think some people need a good hard kick in the backside from Mr. & Mrs. Reality. I see this all the time in Hollywood: lesser lights complaining about larger legends. My answers: 1. Go become a larger legend then (good luck with that, seriously); 2. Go somewhere else and see how that goes (good luck with that), and stop bothering me. 3. Grow up, you're lucky to have a job these days, especially one makin' all this major dough for doin' very little. Most people'd kill for that, and certainly they'd be thankful.

Practice!!!!PRACTICE....were talking about PRACTICE....I don't need no STINKING PRACTICE. I'm the Black Mamba, and if anybody complaints....I'll have you TRADED!!!!you hear me WENNIE MAN. I run this TEAM, now get your @ZZ in the POST and STFU and QUIT CRYING.

Based on his injury history or what? Aren't you pleased with his progress?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 07, 2011 at 02:19 PM

____

Yes, based on his history. His skill set is no surprise, especially his upside. It's his propensity for getting injured that is a concern. He has admitted that he is injury prone so hopefully, he can avoid mishaps as the season progresses.

______

@63 - we're definitely on the same frequency.

_______

so .... this was written:

Instead of being vilified for "delaying" his surgery and going to the World Cup, Andrew Bynum should be given more credit for the pain he fought through to help us win #16.

my response:

20 mins of basketball for 250,000.00 dollars?

so .... this was written:

Instead of being vilified for "delaying" his surgery and going to the World Cup, Andrew Bynum should be given more credit for the pain he fought through to help us win #16.

my response:

20 mins of basketball for 250,000.00 dollars?

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 07, 2011 at 02:42 PM

_______

not that you asked, but my vote is "vilify." he did his job during the season but that surgery had no business being delayed. I know, I know... some people are going to believe what they read and say that the doctor wasn't available... the knee was still swollen, blah, blah & more blah. fact of the matter is he didn't want to "blow" his "youthful" summer and that's just the way it goes. Like I've posted before: dedication really lacks with some of the players on this team.

frmkt

Whew! You had me worried there for a second when you called it a "major concern." By the way, when he was asked if he was "injury prone," Andrew kind of smirked in his Drew way and said, "yeah I guess I am." I don't know if you ever saw the video of that interview, but he answered the question kind of half-kiddingly.

Here's my optimistic, yet perhaps unrealistic assessment on his injury situation:

1) 2008 left knee. Healed. Doesn't even wear a brace.

2) 2009 right knee MCL. Healed. Unrelated to why he's wearing a brace now.

3) 2010 right knee surgically repaired torn cartilage. This is why he's wearing the brace. Will not be at 100% this season, but close enough. This surgery was designed to strengthen his knee for the long term.

4) Generally, he will have scar tissue and develop arthritic knees as he gets older and will likely require further surgery for those reasons, much like Kobe has had 3 knee surgeries on his right knee. He is already learning how to play more of a below the rim game anyway.

Major concern? I hope not!

not that you asked, but my vote is "vilify." he did his job during the season but that surgery had no business being delayed. I know, I know... some people are going to believe what they read and say that the doctor wasn't available... the knee was still swollen, blah, blah & more blah. fact of the matter is he didn't want to "blow" his "youthful" summer and that's just the way it goes. Like I've posted before: dedication really lacks with some of the players on this team.

Posted by: frmkt | January 07, 2011 at 02:51 PM
====

Whatever. Everyone's going to opine about this. There is no right or wrong, especially when Mitch and Phil not only acquiesced to the surgery date, but encouraged Bynum to go to the World Cup. He not only played through the same injury that sidelined Time Duncan in 2000, but we won a championship! The 10 days were because of Dr. Altchek and the extent of the damage wasn't anticipated, especially after the MRIs he got during the playoffs. To me it's a whole lot of nothing if he's relatively healthy and ready to rock come April.

20 mins of basketball for 250,000.00 dollars?

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 07, 2011 at 02:42 PM
====

What's your point?

I think the "resentment" we are all hearing about may come more from the stories/blogs that Kobe is outworking the rest of the team and less from any individual player's resentment about Kobe not practicing.

When the other 11 guys are practicing hard on every off day and an article or blog comes out saying they don't work as hard as Kobe does, I can see why they might feel misjudged or inclined to clarify those claims.

Kobe's rest has probably been necessary, but I think it's easy to say that they'd have a better chemistry and feel for each other if his knee had allowed him to be out there with the team every day.

Bay to LA

To me this is such a non-story, but Roland Lazenby is certainly an expert in arousing the emotions of Lakers fans!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

AB came into the league with knee problems - even had major knee surgery - directly out of H.S. At the time he was drafted by the Lakers, they were willing to take that chance and take a chance they did. all in all, nothing would make me and any Laker or NBA fan happier than to see drew realize his full potential and ability to provide a full season of MVP caliber play. I believe he's really that good and I would argue that he has potential to be better than Dwight. Howard has the size and body of a 5 and once he can add some post move offense and free throws to his game, he will be good. I argue that Drew is already ahead of him in that regard and which is why I believe if Drew can hang tough, he is the Lakers MVP and can be the Finals MVP. If so, then the league might recognize it as well and reward him accordingly with some hardware.

"Bay to LA

To me this is such a non-story, but Roland Lazenby is certainly an expert in arousing the emotions of Lakers fans!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 07, 2011 at 03:15 PM "

I think it's a story and found it to be a good read. These issues could develop into something and they could already be something. It's just hard to say without knowing what was in a player's head at the time when he showed "resentment." That's why I'm waiting to pass judgment.

No matter what happens, some people will blame/praise Kobe too heavily and some people will blame/praise other teammates too heavily. I can see how players might get frustrated at times at comments made by the differing camps.

@LRob

thanks- I always like coming to class prepared.
Sick Eric B and Rakim selection!

coming back with just some Blues:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KJziKVA2pI

As for Kobe Bean, if he can still will his body to win with one good knee, and eight working fingers, I think we'll be allright.
This guy is a TRUE WARRIOR- most guys would have hung up their sneaks by now.
Not Kobe, he keeps lunging forward, towards that precious number six!

I think it's a story and found it to be a good read. These issues could develop into something and they could already be something. It's just hard to say without knowing what was in a player's head at the time when he showed "resentment." That's why I'm waiting to pass judgment.

No matter what happens, some people will blame/praise Kobe too heavily and some people will blame/praise other teammates too heavily. I can see how players might get frustrated at times at comments made by the differing camps.

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 07, 2011 at 03:22 PM
=====

By "non-story" I mean it's not a big deal, that's all. Of course it's a "story."

Frankly, I knew (from Colorado) that Kobe (and others) had not been practicing all year! I complained about it constantly on this blog, so MM was not remiss, as I had to know about it somehow...................


The bone to bone thing is something a lot of us who bang for years have with our constant knee surgeries. It is doable, but hurts and pinches and even sometimes makes you collapse to the floor from pain..........but it is doable. Kobe is way above the norm, so I imagine this is the reason for his loss of elevation, but will not keep him competing at a high level due to his enormous determination.

Kobe is way above the norm, so I imagine this is the reason for his loss of elevation, but will not keep him competing at a high level due to his enormous determination.

Posted by: NuggetsCountry | January 07, 2011 at 03:35 PM
====

Agreed and his elevation actually seems a little better this season.

"You know how competitive and combative I am on the court," he said, according to the Post. "There's nothing I like better than to practice. In fact, I like practice more than the games, because I get to go at my teammates hard. That's when you find out what they're made of, how much you can push some to get the most out of 'em, and how you have to back off others so you don't lose 'em."

"What can I do that I'm not already doing?" he said, according to the newspaper. "I've increased treatment before and after I play, but there's no way of knowing what's going on under there unless I take an MRI once a month.


"When do I push them? When do I pat them on the back? Every individual is different. Some players you finesse. Some you contest. It's a constant dance. It's a constant search of the perfect rhythm."

The results of Bryant's rededication to practice: The Lakers are 4-2 since Christmas, including the 104-85 disaster against the Grizzlies.

_______

C'mon man! Who else talks like that on that team? "Resentment?" Whoever on that team harbors those feeling can "kiss my grits!" We only have a few more years to witness this level of genuine intensity from a player; embrace the Black Mamba...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKff8bQ1mzA

_____

"It's a constant dance. It's a constant search of the perfect rhythm." #24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMPM1q_Uyxc


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