10/17: Training Camp Reports - Day 18

10/17: Training Camp Reports - Day 18

Postby JSM on Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:36 pm

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register Blog wrote:Kobe Bryant has been saying how fantastic he feels. He was happily singing a lot of Jay-Z to himself after practice today. Obviously he’s not so weary from his long NBA playoff run and offseason with Team USA that he can’t do his usual work, as he stayed after practice Wednesday to do a lot of extra shooting — working on limited elevation to simulate late-game fatigue.

Phil Jackson said Bryant’s elevation isn’t there fundamentally, though, which is why he has shot 36 percent from the field in three exhibition games

“That’s all legs. He has got to get his legs into it,” Jackson said.

Jackson said Bryant came off the practice court early today because of “a little twinge in his back,” but he’s expected to play Saturday night at Staples Center against Regal FC Barcelona. Don’t be surprised to see Jackson scale back Bryant’s playing time (he has generally played the first and third quarters so far) through the final five exhibitions.

“Kobe still looks to me like his legs might be a little bit tired,” Jackson said. “So I constantly ask him if he wants to take a day off or if he needs to take a day off, checking with him.”

Bryant skipped a couple of morning practices early this month when there were evening practices to come.
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Sasha’s hopes uplifted

Postby JSM on Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:38 pm

Art Thompson III of the Orange County Register Blog wrote:Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic spent over an hour after Friday’s practice horsing around on the court with rookies Joe Crawford and Brandon Heath, the trio engaging in a long-range shootout contest that featured endless trash talking.

Earlier, however, Vujacic sat on the sidelines with his injured left ankle elevated and attached to a stimulus monitor, while his teammates scrimmaged.

“I’m shooting to try to do something on Monday, to see how might ankle will feel,” Vujacic said. “It feels really good walking.”

After being diagnosed earlier this week with an avulsion fracture of the ankle, Vujacic was told that he would would be restricted from most basketball-related activity for 10-14 days. But Vujacic said he is hoping to be back on the court as soon as next week.

“Right now I’m swimming, bike riding, lifting weights, doing a little shooting and some Pilates,” Vujacic said. “Anything that doesn’t put stress on the ankle. I’m trying to stay in shape as much as I can.”

Vujacic said Friday that the sprained ankle that he suffered the first week of training camp simply exacerbated an injury that he already had but was unaware of.

“I was told that I played with it last year,” Vujacic said. “But I don’t know when it happened.”

The Lakers open the regular season in 11 days, against the Portland Trail Blazers and Vujacic said he has no doubt that he would be ready.

“I’ll do my best to come back even sooner, if possible,” he said. “But at the end of the day it’s not me deciding. Our training staff will decide if I’m alright.”
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Calling Kobe's Bluff

Postby JSM on Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:14 pm

Ramona Shelburne of the LA Daily News Blog wrote:I just got done interviewing FC Barcelona's Juan Carlos Navarro, who played in the NBA last season with his best friend Pau Gasol, but returned home to Spain in the offseason for a reported five-year, $15 million euro contract.

Earlier in the day, I'd asked Kobe Bryant what he thought of Navarro's game and he said: ``I think (Navarro) is a great player. I think he'd be great in this kind of system, the way he moves without the basketball, he's a great shooter.''

When told of Bryant's praise, Navarro had a quick laugh.

``I think so too,'' he said. ``If Kobe wants to pay for my buyout (approximately $10 million euro), I'll come.''
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The Spanish media are a bunch of suck ups

Postby JSM on Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:17 pm

Brian Kamenetzky of the LA Times wrote:It was a pretty mellow day in El Segundo as the Lakers prep for Saturday night's matchup with Barcelona at Staples, but there was (as you'd suspect) an influx of Spanish media in the building. Clever, gift bearing Spanish media. After peppering Kobe with questions about the global nature of the game, and, of course, the obligatory soccer queries, they presented him with a personalized, autographed photo of Lionel Messi, who (and you'll forgive my ignorance of the beautiful game) is apparently the best futbol player on the planet. No surprise, Kobe liked it a great deal.

Suck ups.

Beyond that? It's clear that Phil Jackson is still tinkering with the rotation, and all the combinations available to him. Vlad has been playing with the starting unit, but isn't guaranteed to stay there. LO is still bringing the ball up... but didn't today in practice. Trevor Ariza and Luke Walton? Working their way in. They've experimented with the 6'7"-and-above lineup. How about starting the season with the same group of starters that ended last year? "There's a chance of that," Jackson said. "We play five games in the next six or seven days, so we'll have a lot of time on the floor to get us working things out, rotations and stuff." He's thought about playing Fish and Jordan Farmar together, but may not have time to get there in the preseason.

So short of DJ Mbenga at the two- and seriously, he's the unsung king of the heat check, so a little time at off guard could be fun- everything else is still on the table?

"Yeah."

Not much else to report. Chris Mihm's movement continues to improve. He's running, and Jackson noted that his "hop" is returning. The rest of the game, shooting, rhythm, etc., ought to follow. That's the hope, at least. In today's scrimmage, Mihm looked very comfortable, running the floor for a dunk and making a nice post up move on Mbenga to hit a baby hook.

I also got a laugh from hearing Jim Cleamons bark instructions to Sun Yue, pronouncing it "Soon Yi." The intricacies of inflection aside, it gave me a brief, somewhat uncomfortable Woody Allen flash.
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Re: 10/17: Training Camp Reports - Day 18

Postby JSM on Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:19 pm

Kobe:
Download



Phil:
Download



Pau:
Download

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