Lakers Rumors: Latest on Kobe Bryant's Foot and More from L.A.'s Training Camp

Alex KayCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers sits on the bench alone before the start of the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have just started taking the initial steps required to go from offseason winners to NBA champions.

With preseason ongoing, the team has plenty of time to work out the kinks and turn into a finely-tuned machine before the 82-game grind begins in earnest on Oct. 30—the date that the Lakers take on the Dallas Mavericks to open their campaign.

Let’s take a look at some of the stories surrounding the L.A. franchise at training camp—some which could have implications going into the regular season.

Kobe’s Ailing Foot

Kobe Bryant missed two practices on Friday with a foot injury, according to a report by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.

While the Black Mamba will be able to grit through the pain in game situations, it’s yet another thing that Lakers fans will have to feel uneasy about throughout the year.

With newly acquired center Dwight Howard likely out until the season-opener, the last thing that the Lake Show can afford is more injuries. This team needs to get healthy and start coming together as a unit if they are going to be considered serious contenders for a championship.

We will keep you updated right here on B/R with any more news, information, updates, opinions and analysis on Kobe’s foot and any farther reaching implications of the injury.

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Phil Jackson Weighs In

Former coach Phil Jackson still keeps his ear to the ground when it concerns his old team.

The Hall of Famer recently spoke with an ESPN radio station in Chicago (via The Los Angeles Times) about Shaquille O’Neal's comments towards Dwight Howard and whom the Diesel believes are the best centers in the league—as Big Daddy doesn’t believe Howard is one of them.

In fact, Shaq Fu made the proclamation that the Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Andrew Bynum are the top Cs in the NBA. Almost anyone who heard the Big Aristotle’s comments thought he was crazy, but Jackson took a more subdued approach.

As per the Los Angeles Times piece, Jackson said:

"Dwight is a guy who has amazing athletic ability, but overall, game, rebounding, defending, blocking shots, running the court, this is the guy who runs with the wolves so to speak. He can get up and down that court as quick as any of the guards and forwards because of his athletic ability. Both Brook Lopez and Andrew Bynum are more plodders as players. They have trouble in their transition game in both directions. This is a big difference in the play of those guys."

It’s surprising that Jackson didn’t foist more praise about Howard, but the Zen Master has never been one to dole out controversial statements to the press.

Don’t be shocked when Howard has some extra motivation to go out there and dominate upon his return to the hardwood.