Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times wrote:
Past the midpoint of the exhibition season -- 16 days down, 13 to go until the real games begin -- the Lakers kind of like what they see.
It's not overly surprising, given that they won an NBA championship four months ago and are favored to win another one next June, but the pieces seem to be falling into place as far as two fairly important players are concerned.
"This is the first training camp I've had where everybody played," said forward Ron Artest, who is entering his 11th season. "This is the first training camp I've had like that. Usually guys are taking breaks, guys are not playing. That shows dedication."
Two Lakers might miss Thursday's exhibition against Sacramento because of minor injuries -- Pau Gasol (hamstring) and Luke Walton (back) -- but Artest's thoughts were confirmed by Kobe Bryant.
"We're working really hard," Bryant said. "Every drill's pretty intense, guys are competing pretty well. It looks good. We've still got some things to work on, but we're ready to compete."
The Lakers have six more exhibition games and they are going to come in a hurry, crammed into the next nine days. The season opener is Oct. 27 against the Clippers.
Artest speaks his mind on just about any topic, and this afternoon was no different when he was asked about Golden State guard-forward Stephen Jackson.
Jackson and Artest were with the Indiana Pacers when the infamous "Palace Brawl" took place in 2004. Artest stood by his former teammate when asked about Jackson's recent demeanor, which included a two-game suspension on top of a demand to be traded.
"The greatest did it before -- Kobe, the greatest to ever play the game -- and he won a championship after that" demand, Artest said. "He wanted to win. He didn't want out; he wanted to win. Stephen Jackson probably isn't as talented as the greatest, but he has got as much heart."
While on the subject of Golden State, Artest said the NCAA selection committee erred by not including Davidson in last season's tournament. Former Davidson star Stephen Curry is now a rookie guard with Golden State.
"I just love the kid. I just love his game. I think everybody was deprived last year when they didn't play him in the NCAA tournament," Artest said. "They should have found a way to get him in there. Even though his record was what it was [26-7], they should have cheated. Everybody's got a little bit of cheat in them. That was one time to be corrupt. Put Stephen or Steven Curry, whatever his name is, in the NCAA tournament."
Davidson lost to St. Mary's in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.