A few bits and pieces of Lakers news as the calendar inches towards training camp…
-, writes Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times. This is good, because even if Kobe hadn”t obliterated his Achilles tendon against the Warriors in April, even if he didn”t have nearly 20 years NBA minutes mileage burned into his legs, even if he couldn”t be totally counted on year in and year out to prepare himself physically and mentally with pathological dedication, it still wouldn”t make much sense for Bryant to get substantial preseason run. There is only downside. Particularly in a season where, let”s be honest, whatever (very nominal) gains in team chemistry might be gained with him on the floor are made far less significant by the squad”s lack of title hopes.
He”s doing just fine, says Lakers spokesman John Black, in an official statement version of Kobe”s platform dive Vine. It still appears he”ll be back faster than many/most expected, particularly in the days immediately following the injury, when speculation about whether he”d play this season, or ever again, was widespread. But Kobe won”t play in the preseason, and everyone should be prepared for him to miss some time in the regular season, as well. I said on TV a couple weeks back that Bryant”s recovery is easily among the league”s most compelling stories this year. A fascinating drama, the results of which play a huge role in how the Lakers reconstitute themselves going forward… but there”s no rush. Kobe isn”t falling behind schedule. And if he eventually does, so what?
The goal is the fullest recovery possible, not the fastest.
-Marcus Landry has signed a make-good deal with the Lakers. Something we all pretty much knew was coming. Landry now joins a crowded group of other make-good wings, including Elias Harris, Shawne Williams, and whomever else is imported for training camp. He has as reasonable a chance of making the team as any, thanks in large part to a solid history as a, particularly last season when he was up near 43 percent. Landry can”t exactly be called a prospect — he”ll turn 28 at the start of the season — and the upside is limited, but can still fill a niche at the NBA level. Plenty of other guys stick late, given the right opportunity. Chris Copeland with the Knicks last season, for example. San Antonio finds a Landry type every year, it seems. At the very least, the dogged way Landry has pursued his NBA dream makes him easy to pull for. The purpose of a 13th man is to push starters in practice and in those moments when opportunity knocks, to play incredibly hard in games.
Landry would unquestionably do both. If he knocks down shots, he has a chance.
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ESPN”s Marc Stein reports Sasha Vujacic wants back in the NBA. Of course he does — it”s nice work if you can get it — and hope he gets a chance. But mostly the news is a cheap excuse to post this:
Technically speaking, summer lasts a few more days, so there”s still time to join Sasha in a game of four or six man beach volleyball!