The Staples Center was booming with reporters and writers as Media Day kicked off for the Los Angeles Lakers Monday.
The Lakeshow is officially back with a new look for the 2008-09 season. Here's my take on the latest, greatest, and sitting on the wait list.
The Latest: Kobe, Gasol less minutes?
Coach Phil Jackson says he plans on cutting Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol's minutes. Say what? When I first heard the news I thought I was daydreaming. However, KB24.com reports that the rumor is in fact true. People fail to realize the number of minutes Pau and Kobe put up in the post-season. Bryant averages 38.9 minutes a game. Imagine if you only had 10-minutes of rest during your work day? Survey says: NO BUENO. There are two reasons Lakers' fans should not be worried about Kobe warming the bench longer than normal: Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza. They're baaaaa-aaack!
The Greatest: Bynum & Ariza
- Andrew Bynum is back and bigger than ever! (See pic above) Did he go to jail during the 08' season or rehab? I'm just sayin'!! The dude looks like he could bench Serena Williams and Warren Sapp in one rep! I'm not sure what his hoop game is looking like yet, but I can definitely see him going toe-to-toe with the likes of Dwight Howard or even the guy I love to hate, Paul Pierce.
- 23-year old, UCLA grad Trevor Ariza has always been a favorite of mine. I'm still puzzled as to why Phil Jackson didn't let the Ariza juice loose earlier in the post-season. The guy brought a much-needed boost of energy to the floor coming off the bench with huge dunks and a few major rebounds. He also added a little size to the mix of L.A's old faithful triangle offense. He was injured early on last year, but trust - this year, he'll make a significant impact.
Watch out for these two guys in the 08-09 season.
Sitting on the wait list: Walton woes; Odom, well...
- Luke Walton won't be suiting up for practice anytime soon. Word is that Lukey Dukey is still recovering from his off-season ankle surgery. Walton told reporters Monday that he expects to be out another 2-weeks. While he won't miss any regular season games, it doesn't help that the Lakers are already sorting out the rotation of an uber deep roster. Good luck Lukey. The way the roster is looking this year it seems like he might be coming off the bench like Lamar Odom.
- Speaking of Odom, he won't be starting this year. Yes it's true, reports say that Odom is going to be the Lakers' official 6th man. I smell a serious tiff brewing between Odom and Phil. I'm not a huge fan of Odom. I mean he's okay, but I definitely feel like he did not live up to his potential in the NBA Finals last year. Like K.Garnett, Odom had one standout game and then it seemed he disappeared for the rest of the series. Remember folks, Odom was only starting because Bynum was out. Since the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol, Odom is gonna have to take a backseat to Spain's phenom. It's the nature of the business baby! I bet you he won't be pouting when he gets that championship ring in the mail!
Overall, it should be an interesting NBA season. Media day is just the beginning.