9/30: Training Camp Coverage

9/30: Training Camp Coverage

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:32 pm

Elliott Teaford of the LA Daily News Blog wrote:Boxing! Boxing? Boxing! Lamar Odom took up boxing this summer. He explained why today after practice: "I needed something combative. I was thinking about defense. It's all footwork. I'm staying in there. I'm not a (wimp) anymore. It just made me think of competing at the highest level and that's one-on-one. Warriors. I'm just waiting for someone to act up a little bit. I'm going to sneak one in at a real close range. Nah, I would never fight on the court. It's all about footwork. I want to become a better defensive player."



Brian Kamenetzky of the LA Times Blog wrote:I realize the season is only a day old, but we've got an early clubhouse leader for Quote of the Year, courtesy of Lamar Odom.

After Wednesday morning's practice in El Segundo, Odom riffed with the media about his offseason training program, which included a couple months of boxing work, complete with an animated, gum-popping, bob-and-weave of a demonstration. "When you look at those guys, they look like they're in pretty good shape. The ones that take it seriously. You have to be strong from your ankles to your neck, you know? To take a punch? Then I was thinking about the whole muscle memory thing. Right now, if I can turn and- boom!- knock you out with my right hand, I've got to be able to make a layup, you know what I'm saying?"

I think I do.

The same principle applies to grabbing boards. "Just training my body. Training the right side of my body."

Anyone who has ever done a boxing workout can vouch for the effectiveness, but just in case, LO then explained why it helped. The leg burning stance, the movement, adding the heavy gloves, and so on. He appreciated how the workouts gave him something "combative" that could be used to his advantage, particularly on the defensive end. "It made me think about competing at the highest level, one on one. Like warriors. It brings something out of you that I can't explain." He also hopes the footwork will help him on that end as well. "I wanted to be come a better defender. Maybe because we were getting Ron (Artest), I want to be able to complement him."

All kidding aside, lost in the hoopla surrounding him over the last 10 days or so is that Odom, never known as the Tony Little of the NBA's summer workout set, arrived for the start of camp in good shape, especially when compared to past years. It was a welcome development that didn't escape Phil Jackson's attention, not that it prevented the Zen Master from tweaking his power forward. "It's probably the only time he's worked out in the offseason," Jackson smiled, before noting that in fairness, circumstances (mostly related to surgeries and other medical issues) have often kept Odom from going all out over the summer.

PJ wouldn't credit the boxing, per se, for LO's improved fitness. "He could have done tai chi," Jackson said, noting with a grin that anything is better than nothing. Of course, now those sorts of zingers could put him on the wrong end of a right hook or a left jab.

I kid.



Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register Blog wrote:The Lakers had a long second practice of the season, and let me just say that in the action I saw at the end of practice, Ron Artest didn’t exactly shut down Kobe Bryant.

Artest and Bryant were on the same scrimmage team Tuesday night, but they were on different units this time. Not too surprisingly, the purple-clad group of Pau Gasol, Luke Walton, Bryant and Derek Fisher emerged the champion among four practice teams. Bryant had his way with Artest in a key sequence, scoring twice inside, and then Fisher nailed the scrimmage-ending jump shot.

The purple team finished with nine points. The black team of Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown was the next-best with six points. Bynum looked perfect with one baseline jumper, right in the rhythm of the offense.

Artest had a nice moment when he drove the lane, got walled off by Bynum and kicked to the corner for Sasha Vujacic to hit a 3-pointer. A minute later, Artest jacked up an off-balance wing 3-pointer that sailed way over the basket without hitting anything.

Bynum wore a brace over only his right knee, not his left.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:38 pm

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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby 10scott10 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:39 pm

JSM wrote:http://twitpic.com/jr3fg

Where is he in that picture?
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm

LakersReporter: Teams of four action: 1)Kobe/Pau/Walton/Fish; 2)Bynum/Odom/Brown/Morrison; 3)Artest/Vujacic/Fey/Monds; 4)Farmar/Powell/Gaffney/Gelebale
about 4 hours ago from Echofon

LakersReporter: Don't read into the groupings, however, they're designed in large part for matchups.
about 4 hours ago from Echofon


http://twitpic.com/jr41q
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:42 pm

http://twitpic.com/jr68h

LakersReporter: Phil Jackson on Odom's fitness: "Literally he is in better shape than he has been in before (coming into camp)." Odom credits boxing.
about 4 hours ago from Echofon

LakersReporter: Odom also held court with the beat writers ... Instead of talking hoops, we spent 5 min. on the NFL (Giants for LO) and MLB (Yankees).
about 3 hours ago from TweetDeck
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:47 pm

LakersReporter: My mistake, the brace was on his right knee. RT @LakersReporter: Bynum wearing a brace on his left knee.
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck

LakersReporter: Kobe going to Houston to learn a few moves from Hakeem Olajuwon isn't a coincidence ... We should see him on the block more than ever.
41 minutes ago from TweetDeck
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:52 pm

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com wrote:After much of the Los Angeles press made the trek to El Segundo for Tuesday’s media day, Wednesday’s practice featured a far smaller contingent, content to speak with Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and Phil Jackson primarily about basketball.

Bryant talked about his trip to Houston to work out with Hakeem Olajuwon, Artest offered his initial reflections on his new team, Jackson addressed his approach to the team following a championship season and Odom indulged some talk of football, baseball and boxing.

Here’s a closer look:

Kobe Bryant: “I’m a post player.”
Throughout his career, Michael Jordan was known for coming back from the offseason boasting a new trick - turn-around jumper, a new set of post moves, 10 pounds of muscle … whatever. So, in turn, has Kobe Bryant, who this season opted to work on his low post game culminating with a trip to visit Hall of Fame pivot Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, whom Kobe considers the creator of the best post moves in league history (regards, Kevin McHale).

Olajuwon told Mark Berman of myfoxhouston.com that his moves were actually better suited for guards and small forwards with agility, adding this comment regarding his two hour workout with Bryant on Monday in Houston: "It was so much fun because how he picks it up. I worked with him for two hours, step by step … Adding those moves to his game, watch out for him this year.”

Bryant explained that he’s certainly a post player, regardless of if it says “guard” next to his name on the roster (again, like Jordan), and that his trip was extremely valuable. While we’ll have to wait and see how many games it takes Kobe to whip out the “Dream Shake” move that terrorized so many Olajuwon opponents, he did post up Ron Artest successfully (see video) when reporters were allowed into practice.

Ron Artest: Two Practices Deep
Though he’d participated in just two practices with his new teammates and coaches, Ron Artest didn’t seem to have any trouble getting into the mix. Of course, that’s easier when everything else from a championship season retained its (albeit high level) status quo, but nonetheless, Phil Jackson’s mission to integrate Artest seemingly got off to a solid start.

When addressing the media after practice, pausing on occasion to wipe a sweaty brow, Artest described how he had in the past played against other players that had the kind of intensity Kobe Bryant exhibits in practice, but never a player that brought it so hard AND had Bryant’s level of talent. It wasn’t just Bryant that impressed him, however; Artest singled out Pau Gasol, mentioning how quickly the Spaniard’s talents were apparent, and also mentioned being impressed with the high skill level of Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. While that’s nothing new, the fact remains that L.A. had four other players capable of performing at an All-Star level before Artest came into the building.

Finally, when asked who talked the most trash on the Lakers, Artest threw a bit of a curveball. It wasn’t him, nor Kobe Bryant, but … Josh Powell. Artest ranked Bryant second, and said that he’s trying to get into the third spot. Afterwards, we asked Powell if that were true, and the 6-9, 240+ pound workout hound said he talks “Just to call out the plays and communicate.” Uh huh.

Phil Jackson: All’s Right and Well
After two practices with his squad, Phil Jackson explained that he was fairly pleased with the Lakers from a general standpoint. This is now the seventh time in which Jackson has been charged with defending the NBA title, and a plan is again in place.

Jackson explained that while Ron Artest is new, the team for the most part knows what it wants to do, and has the kind of attitude he likes to see. He said that they’ve yet to begin working on the triangle, but feels that Artest will be able to pick things up quickly.

The 10-time coaching champion also answered a question regarding his team’s potential for being the league’s best on defense, responding that while that was a goal, the numbers wouldn’t necessarily be there since the Lakers prefer to play up-tempo at times.

The team will return for an evening practice later tonight, though media access is not allowed.

Lamar Odom: Back to the Bread and Butter
After a day in which Lamar Odom spent the majority of his time dealing with questions surrounding his over-the-weekend marriage, the lanky lefty was more than happy to spend five minutes talking about his favorite football team (the NY Giants) and baseball squad (the NY Yankees). Odom, of course, is of the belief that the Yankees will win the World Series, and explained exactly why to anyone who was interested (all of us).

Aside from the Giants, Odom also had quite a bit of love for the Minnesota Vikings, citing their monster defensive and offensive lines, the league’s best running back (Adrian Peterson) and the addition of Brett Favre, which of course paid off most obviously with his last-second touchdown heave that beat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Odom concluded the chit chat session by showing off some newfound leg muscles, accredited to his summer of boxing training that he described to the reporters while bobbing and weaving all six feet 10 inches in an imaginary ring. We first learned of Odom’s boxing interest when we called LO back on September 1, and he stuck to his story. Apparently, it worked, because Phil Jackson said that Odom was in the best shape at this stage of training camp that the coach has ever seen. Jackson qualified his comments by suggesting that Odom wasn’t necessarily known for coming into camp in the best shape of anyone on the team in past years, but conceded that Lamar did need two of the offseasons to recover from varying injuries.


Click on the link to see the video interviews for Phil, LO, and Kobe.

Report on Ron sounds good. I'm very surprised Josh runs his mouth more than anyone else. He usually seems so reserved and quiet.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:17 pm

Brian Kamenetzky of the LA Times Blog wrote:Hoping to gain some insight into what Kobe Bryant learned working with former Rockets great Hakeem Olajuwon this summer? Sorry.

"I don't talk about my appointments with the master shogun. Those are sacred," he said with a smile at practice Wednesday afternoon. The Dream has said his moves are well suited for agile guard/forward types like 24. Whatever he learned, and my guess is it's a lot, Kobe will have ample opportunity to put his new moves to use. "I'm a post player anyway," he said. "As a guard. 80% of the time I'm in the post."

Asked why he sought Olajuwon out, his answer was simple. "To learn." Another potential response: "Because he was really *#()@*&$ good." Kudos to Bryant for keeping it clean. Anyhoo, look for some of this once the season kicks off.

In other news, Kobe says defensively this has the potential to be the best team on which he's played.

Click below for some Bryant video, as well as words from Phil Jackson, Ron Artest, and Derek Fisher.

Here's Kobe:



Last week, Jackson talked extensively about the process of integrating Artest into LA's offensive and defensive systems during training camp. Today, he said the more complicated work in that effort comes on offense.



Fisher talks about the increased maturity and "calm" he's noticed in Artest over the past few seasons, guessing that some of it has to do with the type of serious family issues that can make a guy grow up fast. Certainly Fish can identify. It all continues to support my position that, despite all of Artest's eccentricities (they're real) and his passion for media, fan interaction, and promotion (it's genuine), the concerns about Artest tearing a hole in LA's well woven fabric are overwrought. That's not a guarantee that he'll fit, but if Artest doesn't pan out this year, it'll be about how it didn't mesh on the floor. Just sayin'.



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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:50 pm

Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times wrote:Ron Artest sees the commotion caused by newlywed celebrity Lamar Odom and internationally recognized Kobe Bryant, and thinks, "This is a media circus? Really?"

He chuckles when asked whether the goings-on at Lakers training camp are a distraction.

"I'm always trying to be in the media anyway. I'm always trying to do things to stay out in the public, stay relevant," he said. "That's my history, of being a distraction to the team."

Two days into camp, there have been plenty of diversions, none involving Artest.

Odom is followed by paparazzi on a routine basis thanks to his nuptials with reality TV personality Khloe Kardashian. Spaniard Pau Gasol draws plenty of international interest, and Bryant will always be hounded by reporters. (In fact, there were two spats between media members who crowded around Odom and Bryant for interviews Tuesday.)

Artest almost seems amused by not being the top draw. He's not even winning the trash-talking battle on the practice court.

"Josh Powell's the biggest trash-talker," Artest said. "Kobe's second. I'm trying to get third."

Artest and Bryant are both alpha-types in the locker room, but Artest is deferring to Bryant. There's no doubt which player is the newcomer to the Lakers and which one is starting his 14th season with the franchise.

"Everybody's hungry because Kobe comes in here and he leads by example and everybody follows," Artest said. "We all have to be on the same page as Kobe. It doesn't really matter how I feel. It really matters how Kobe feels."

Artest, with Bryant, figures to give the Lakers one of the league's top perimeter defenses.

"He's getting in there and mixing it up," Coach Phil Jackson said. "I think Ron's going to fit very well."

Said Bryant: "He looks good. He's moving extremely well. He looks like Ron."

Not blowing the whistle

Bryant answered with a smile when asked to discuss the possibility of replacement referees calling NBA games.

"Not without saying something that's really a smart-*** comment and then getting fined for it," he said.

The NBA and referees' union are trying to hammer out a new labor agreement, though replacement officials are expected to be used if a deal is not reached by the start of the season.

"Everything will be OK," Bryant said. "There's a business component to everything. I'm sure they'll work something out."

Quick hits

Bryant said every teammate came to camp in "great" shape. "It doesn't look like anybody was kind of resting on a championship," he said. . . . Former NBA sharpshooter Chuck Person is at training camp, helping out as a shooting coach. Artest has worked with Person in the past.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby Battle Tested20 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:55 pm

For those who want more in depth video interviews just check out this link:

http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/090930practicereport.html

OMG, I just got so damn excited before and after watching Phil, Kobe's, and Ron's interview. I especially enjoyed the little practice video that they showed during Kobe's interview of him and Ron. I don't know if you guys noticed toom but during Phil's video interview they should the team huddling up and Pau looked as if he was just checking on Ron was doing, which is awesome to see our guys pick Ron up and make sure he's part of the team which I know will happen, but it's nice to see first hand.
And Josh being the best trash talker :man10:

GREAT STUFF! :jam2: I cannot wait for the Lakers Real Training Camp being shown Live tomorrow on NBA.com at 10am pct and then on NBATV at 3pm pct.
Last edited by Battle Tested20 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby Battle Tested20 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:13 pm

Good Stuff JSM, really enjoyed reading it all. I love this sort of preparation because it's the beginning stages of how Ron and the team is coming together right away.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby 10scott10 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:18 pm

Battle Tested20 wrote:For those who want more in depth video interviews just check out this link:

http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/090930practicereport.html

OMG, I just got so damn excited before and after watching Phil, Kobe's, and Ron's interview. I especially enjoyed the little practice video that they showed during Kobe's interview of him and Ron. I don't know if you guys noticed toom but during Phil's video interview they should the team huddling up and Pau looked as if he was just checking on Ron was doing, which is awesome to see our guys pick Ron up and make sure he's part of the team which I know will happen, but it's nice to see first hand.
And Josh being the best trash talker :man10:

GREAT STUFF! :jam2: I cannot wait for the Lakers Real Training Camp being shown Live tomorrow on NBA.com at 10pm pct and then on NBATV at 3pm pct.

Someone had better reocrd it becuase I'm not missing my midterm for it and the dorms don't have NBATV.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby Battle Tested20 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:29 pm

^^ I am sure it will be on youtube later on.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby Ras Algethi on Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:34 pm

Thanks for all that JSM. I'm really looking forward for opening night. Heck, I'm looking forward to the first preseason game.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:20 pm

I was a little surprised at how winded Ron seemed in his interview. It's not like he hasn't been working out and running. I wonder if Phil runs a tighter ship than Adelman or if Ron just didn't know what to expect.
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Re: 9/30: Training Camp Reports

Postby Battle Tested20 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:25 pm

JSM wrote:I was a little surprised at how winded Ron seemed in his interview. It's not like he hasn't been working out and running. I wonder if Phil runs a tighter ship than Adelman or if Ron just didn't know what to expect.

I was kind of thinking the same thing
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