Lakers.com caught up with General Manager Mitch Kupchak to discuss the 2007-08 Lakers as they head into training camp next week. Check back for part two tomorrow.
Lakers.com: Has Kobe reached out to you and Phil and other teammates?
I don’t know if he speaks to his teammates, I assume that he does. I know that he and Phil have communicated and Kobe and I have also communicated, recently.
Who looks most improved to you as a result of their off-season workouts?
It’s always hard to tell by looking at guys in pick-up games. All our guys work hard during the off-season. I know that physically people will see a difference in Andrew (Bynum) because he worked hard during the off-season on his body and his conditioning. Whether or not that translates into being a better basketball player we’ll find out starting next week. I know Chris Mihm has worked very hard and he looks close to being the same player he was 2 years ago. I don’t worry about Luke Walton, I don’t worry about Kobe, and I don’t worry about Fisher. I don’t worry about Jordan Farmar and I don’t worry about Cook.
Ronny Turiaf played with his national team, France, for the European Championships and I am little bit concerned that he will be a little burned out when the pre-season begins. He played well this summer, but he played a lot of minutes. I was hoping that he’d get some rest before camp. It remains to be seen.
Kwame had recovered from his 2 off-season surgeries and has been playing very well for the last month of so here at the facility. I don’t worry about Maurice Evans. He’s in San Antonio during the off-season.
Lamar had the second surgery on his labrum and he’s not scrimmaging yet and he’s not doing a whole lot on the basketball court so I don’t know how much he’ll participate in training camp. He’ll be there; he’ll be on the court. But is he scrimmaging or is he working at the side basket doing dummy offense and dummy defense, we don’t know right now.
Most of our guys, when they’re in town, come by and they’re in the gym. Some of our guys live in L.A. and they’re always in the gym. With the exception of Lamar, because of his injury, everybody is ready to go and they look good.