Kobe's message to those who want their title:
"Come and get it." (LAT, OCR)
About how Shaq showed up 15-20 pounds lighter this year
(around 325 pounds) than he did last year, Jackson:
"I think he looks great. I mean, I can actually see some
ribs. So I felt pretty good about that." (LADN, OCR)
Note: LADN reports that Fox has also lost weight.
Horry did not attend media day yesterday and will be fined.
He was tending to personal business in Houston. He was
expected to be at camp today.
The Lakers signed 6'3" G Mike Penberthy to a 1-year
(*cough* camp fodder *cough) deal. Penberthy graduated
in 1997 from The Master's College.
OCR reports that Tex Winter was re-energized by his
summer and has decided to coach this season.
The headline in the AP story appeared to indicate that
someone with the Lakers said "We're the hunted now".
Unfortunately, AP doesn't identify who said that.
About the Shaw negotiations, Kupchak said that Shaw could
miss up to a week of training camp without falling behind.
OCR reports that Shaw could miss a week or more but is
fully expected to sign with the Lakers eventually.
That sounds like neither side will take the other's offer.
There is very little negotiating being done right now--
Shaw's agent is demanding the $2.25 mil exception and the
Lakers are offering the $1.2 mil exception. The Lakers
seem to be keeping their $2.25 mil exception ready in
case Joe Smith becomes available...so there may not be
much room for them to move towards what Shaw wants.
Detlef Schrempf and Terry Cummings retired yesterday.
Rex Chapman underwent wrist surgery last Thursday and
is out for the season. The Suns are petitioning the
league for an injury exception for him.
Isiah Thomas was given an 1-year extension to sell the
CBA, so he can coach the Pacers this season while still
owning that league.
About Shaq's new look:
"He grinned through a narrow beard that he could not shave,
he insisted, because Halle Berry told him it felt good on
her cheek." (LAT)
Unsure about his starting lineup, Jackson said:
"I've kind of messed around with it in my mind. I'm not
comfortable enough to make a declaration. I'd like to start
Harper. He's too old to come off the bench. We know this
year's going to be a challenge for him to stay healthy.
I don't know how much Kobe's going to play in the backcourt.
He may play some in the frontcourt." (AP)
About Rider, Jackson said:
"We know he has to learn, he has to fit in with this group,
he has to adapt. He's a willing person who really wants to
turn things around. He's a scorer, he's a good defensive
player when he wants to be." (AP)
About the changes to their lineup, Jackson said:
"It's a challenge for us to acclimate these type of players
we've gotto our system and to each other, and to build a
chemistry back again and a community back again. However,
with Greg Foster and Horace Grant having played for me in
this offensive system (in Chicago), that makes the job a
lot easier. Emanual Davis and J.R. Rider are a different
story. They are guys that are gonna have to be acclimated
to our team. We're gonna have to find our what they can do
for us in a learning situation, which is always difficult.
But we feel like we're ahead of the curve this year, be-
cause almost everybody knows what we're doing. We're on
our home court (at their El Segundo headquarters), we're
working here in a building that's basically our home.
And we have our training facility here at our disposal,
which makes it a lot easier." (LADN, RPE)
Note: Jackson was unhappy last year when the Lakers'
training facility wasn't ready on schedule and they
had to train elsewhere.
About the challenge of repeating, Jackson said:
"This team has been a talented team that has been a
target as a talented team. It has not been a target as
a championship team." (DB)
Though his players know winning the title was tough, Phil:
"Winning it again will be doubly tough." (DB)
Feeling that Jackson will prevent Rider from causing
problems, Shaq said:
"It's not going to happen here. Phil does a great job of
communicating with his players. (Rider) is hungry, he'll be
fine. I'm sure Phil's going to keep us in line, I'll keep
the players in line." (AP)
About Grant/Rider/Foster, Shaq said:
"I think they were some nice additions. Portland gave us
some trouble at the (power forward and shooting guard)
spots last year. Now, we're covered. I like the team we
have here. I think those guys are going to have to learn
to adjust to the offense. Once they learn the offense,
we're going to have a dangerous team." (AP)
"I think they were nice additions. Portland gave us
trouble at the '4' (power forward) and the '2' (shooting
guard) spot. Now we have those spots covered. So it
really should be no excuses. Those guys are a little bit
hungry, too, and we've got a couple of big bodies to
back me up, a couple of big bodies to get some rebounds
and play some defense. I like the team that we have now.
This is a real good team on paper. Now we just have to
play on the court, make it all work." (RPE)
About their season opener vs Portland, Shaq said:
"Somebody will be 1-0 and somebody will be 0-1. It won't
mean anything. We'll have 81 games left after that." (AP)
Asked what he did over the summer, Shaq grinned and said:
"I went to a lot of gentlemen's clubs. I hung out, stayed
out of trouble. I just did the right thing; I got a lot
of rest. I did a lot of fishing, a lot of swimming -- I
just got a lot of rest. I'm ready to come back." (OCR)
I believe referring to Grant/Foster, Kobe said:
"It does feel kind of odd. We have a whole new, different
team. It's tremendously exciting. You bring in veterans
who understand the system, fit in automatically." (AP)
Note: Grant and Foster both played for Jackson in Chicago.
About Grant/Rider, Kobe said:
"It does feel kind of odd. But bringing Horace here,
Horace has championships obviously. I think the acqui-
sition of Isaiah is going to do nothing but help our
team. But it does feel kind of weird, because you have
kind of a whole different team." (LADN, RPE)
"But it does feel kind of weird because you have kind
of a whole different thing." (RPE)
About his marriage plans, Kobe said:
"We definitely have plans in the works, we have a date
set. We have a date set, it's during the season." (AP)
Note: "On his last day of summer vacation Sunday, Kobe
Bryant and fiance Vanessa Laine headed to Westwood to
see Denzel Washington's new movie, "Remember the Titans."
That's right -- fiance Vanessa Laine. The offseason went
by too fast, with Bryant doing too much business with the
Italian pro team he recently purchased, for Bryant to
have enough free time for his planned marriage." (OCR)
Not revealing his wedding date, Kobe said:
"You'll know when I show up with a wedding band." (AP)
About his offseason, Kobe said:
"It was quick, nice and fast, short and sweet." (AP)
"It was nice and fast, short and sweet. Time flew by." (OCR)
Asked if there was any reason why the Lakers wouldn't
repeat, Kobe said:
"Portland and San Antonio." (DB)
About their prospects this season, Kobe said:
"We have a very good shot at winning a second ring." (DB)
"We can bring the championship back." (DB)
About how he worked on his shooting this summer, Kobe:
"Free throw shooting was something I wanted to improve
on, shooting the basketball. When I work out, I only
know one gear." (LAT)
About working on his jumper this summer, Kobe said:
"A lot of teams are just backing up off of me, trying
to cut off my angles to penetrate to the hoop." (OCR)
About how he tried to put on weight this summer, Kobe:
"Didn't happen ... it fell right off of me." (OCR)
About how he might have to defend SFs this year, Kobe:
"Defensively, I have two positions to worry about. Last
year, I got very comfortable chasing little guards." (LAT)
Note: "Bryant is eager to experience his altered role with
more minutes at small forward, and he is confident that
Jackson trusts him enough to turn him loose more this
About how he and Tex lobbied Jackson all last season
to play Kobe at the SF spot in the triangle, Kobe:
"(Offensive coordinator Tex Winter) and I used to be in
Phil's ear all season long, because it's just a more
comfortable position. You don't tire yourself out that
much bringing the ball up. Having guards pressure you all
game long, you get tired a little bit. Maybe this year,
I don't know." (OCR)
Note: Tex agreed that Kobe would be better in that
role. Jackson said that he wasn't sure, but added: "That
combination can work here; we can do that type of thing." (OCR)
Note: The role they are talking about is an MJ-type
role, not the Pippen-type ballhandling role that Kobe
had last season.
About the start of camp, Rider said:
"I'm nervous to a certain extent. It's exciting, I'm
ready to go. They win here. My main thing is to come
here, win, be a piece of the puzzle." (AP)
About how repeating is difficult, Harper said:
"It's tough, it's tough. It's not easy. Even though we
had a great year, that don't mean anything. This is a
new start, some teams out there added some guys and
we're gonna need to improve our game." (LADN)
"We had a great year. It does not mean anything now.
This is a new start." (DB)
About the changes they made after winning the title, Harper:
"Youve got to add, you must add on. You can't wait and see
what other teams do. Just because you were good that year
doesn't mean you'll be good again. We had to add on, and
I think we did improve some." (LADN)
About camp starting up already, Harper joked:
"I didn't have time this summer to play enough golf." (DB)
About their additions, Fox said:
"I like the fact that we got bigger, added a slashing
About his health problem, Emanual Davis said:
"I'm scared. I'm very scared." (LAT)
"This has been the scariest part of my life. I'm going to
try to play. I'm not going to quit. ...
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