LA Lakers Media Day 2013: Photos, Interviews and Takeaways
Well that was fun.
The Los Angeles Lakers entered media day facing a smorgasbord of questions. Some were answered; some weren't.
But not even calculated deflections were enough to keep us from gaining insight into this upcoming season.
We know what the issues are. We also know that the Lakers know what the issues are. Now we'll anxiously await to see if they can tackle those obstacles at hand.
Still No Timetable for Kobe Bryant
Everyone wants to know when Kobe Bryant will be back. And I mean everyone. The media circus surrounding him was crazy.
Unfortunately, there's still no definitive date set for his return. Opening night remains the goal, but neither the Lakers nor Vino are prepared to rush the process.
On the bright side, Kobe did say he's regained his "muscle explosion" and is making "progress" overall. That's huge, and it will have to be enough to tie Lakers fans over until Kobe and the team have more answers.
The Lakers Will Proceed with Caution Because, Well, They're Old
One prevailing theme of the day was caution. Los Angeles won't put too much pressure on Kobe early on, and is taking the same approach with Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.
Both Gasol and Nash were said to be healthy, but the Lakers remain wary of overworking them after their injury-plagued campaigns in 2012-13.
To Gasol's credit, he still plans to be ready by opening night following offseason knee procedures.
Nick Young Confident He Can Coexist with Kobe
Nick Young isn't worried about playing next to Kobe.
Though he indicated he intends to keep on chucking, he also made it clear he would become more of a spot-up shooter when the Black Mamba was on the floor. No games have been played yet, but this pairing is already off to a good start.
Chris Kaman Excited to Play with Gasol
Chris Kaman is just as confident Young.
He feels Gasol and himself will be able to make it work down low together, both on offense and defense. All of Los Angeles is hoping he's right.
Kobe Doesn't Care About Dwight Howard
The Mamba was asked how he felt about Dwight Howard leaving Los Angeles for Houston, and he answered like only he would—with expletives.
I'll spare you the NSFW details, but he pretty much said he doesn't care about Howard anymore. No surprises there.
Mike D'Antoni Hopes Lakers Embrace Underdog Role
For the first time in what seems like forever, the Lakers are underdogs. Head coach Mike D'Antoni hopes his team uses that to their advantage.
He wants the Lakers to play with a "chip" on their shoulder, clearly hoping they can use their detractors as inspiration en route to a surprise playoff run.
This almost goes without saying, but the regular season cannot get here soon enough for this team.
Lakers media day over. The team will hold their first practice Saturday night.
That wraps up Media Day 2013. The team will start their first practice here at the facility later tonight.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 28, 2013
Thanks for joining me Laker fans. Good luck, and godspeed as your team enters the regular season.
A collage to commemorate Lakers media day? Check.
I can't believe there's no picture of Jordan Farmar sitting atop Chris Kaman's shoulders. Color me disappointed.
Like Gasol and Kobe, the Lakers will be making sure they don't push Nash too hard, too soon.
This is just what happens when the core of your team consists of potential dinosaurs; you have to be overly cautious.
Kobe doesn't give two poops about Dwight Howard leaving for the Rockets.
Kobe Bryant was asked about his surprise level when Dwight Howard left: "Honestly, man, I don't really give a s---. It is what it is. "— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) September 28, 2013
Don't hold back, Bean. Tell us how you really feel.
Broken-record style, Kobe remains non-committal about playing opening night.
Kobe Bryant noncommittal about playing opening night, Oct. 29 vs. Clippers. Says rehab is going well, but won't put a timetable on a return.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) September 28, 2013
Jordan Farmar has already told Steve Nash he's going to be like his "son."
Jordan Farmar on Steve Nash, "I've already told him I'm going to be in his ear everyday. I'm going to be like his son"— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) September 28, 2013
Weird analogy, but we get the point.
Opening night remains the goal for Pau Gasol following knee surgery.
Recovery timetable for @paugasol since his knee procedures? " The main thing is to be ready for opening night."— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) September 28, 2013
Gasol battled various injuries including knee tendinosis last season, which he treated this summer. Good news is he's fully cleared.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 28, 2013
Who's more likely to play in the first game, Pau or Kobe?
While Kobe doesn't appear to be fully healthy, Pau Gasol does. And he's looking forward to playing in the post more.
Health seems to be strong for @paugasol, who focused on rehab all summer. He's very much looking forward to spending more time inside.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 28, 2013
Translation: Good riddance, Dwight.
It seems like Lakers fans could use a bit of optimism after all this "uncertain timetable" stuf. So, here's a relatively happy progress report on Vino:
Kobe on recovery "going well.. progressing quickly..have to make sure it holds up..endurance is there.. Muscle explosion is there" #lakers— Liz Habib (@LizHabib) September 28, 2013
The muscle explosion being back is huge. It means I won't be backing down from my prediction that he plays in the first game of the season. Mark it down.
Time to take a break from all this injury talk in favor of more important things. Like pictures of Kobe donning a headset.
I really, really hope Kobe made a "Roger that" or "Ten-four" joke when he put that thing on.
For the first time ever, Kobe has decided not to play doctor. He actually admits he has no idea when he will return.
Nobody knows when Kobe will play. Not even Kobe. "I feel good. I don’t think we have really a timetable of where I should be right now."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) September 28, 2013
Better safe than sorry, right?
Kobe isn't worried about being 100 percent this season. He's apparently never been 100 percent.
Most revealing quote from Kobe at Lakers media day: "I don’t think I’ve ever played a season where I was 100%. So, like, 78% is fine."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) September 28, 2013
Somehow, that's both encouraging and maddening. I'll go with encouraging. Far be it from me to put the Lakers faithful through anymore turmoil.
Steve Nash does not look thrilled at the prospect of having that light shining in his face.
Guess what day it is!!!! Wooo wooooo— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) September 28, 2013
That said, we have to assume he's excited to be in the building since he went all Geico commercial on us earlier.
By the way, how about those kicks of his in the picture above? PURPLE EVERYTHING.
Chris Kaman is already singing Pau Gasol's praise.
Chris Kaman is well versed in Gasol's game, discussing now how to work in w/t Spaniard. The two should work nicely on O.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 28, 2013
Defensively, Kaman said he and Gasol/etc won't be out-jumping opponents, but will rely on smarts with a 5-man unit, esp. in screen/roll.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 28, 2013
I'm interested to see how these two work together on offense as well. I'm also itching to see which one grows the best regular-season beard.
For those worried that Nick Young may clash alongside Kobe Bryant, this little tidbit from Swaggy P should put you at ease:
Nick Young said he's prepared to adjust his game depending on if he's in next to Kobe (more floor spacing) or not (more creating his own).— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 28, 2013
A Nick Young who spots up instead of creating for himself? If that happens, we'll have seen everything.
Josh Martin is doing some more Kobe-creeping for your viewing pleasure. And I, for one, am thankful for it.
Totally related and absolutely important: Look at those parachute pants on the blonde lady by Robert Sacre. One of the best unintentional photobombs ever.
It wouldn't feel like a media day if we didn't get some Dwight Howard shots in. To be clear, I'm talking about verbal jabs; not Superman's actual shots. Those never go in.
Dan Gadzuric sporting Dwight's old No. 12. Out with old and in with the new. #Lakers— Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner) September 28, 2013
Pau Gasol is getting some face time with James Worthy.
Really, I just wanted to remind you all there is someone other than Kobe Bryant at this thing.
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