Change in store for Kobe Bryant & Lamar Odom

L.A. Times: Phil Jackson looked loose and relaxed, having let the sting of last season’s championship failure roll off his back and disappear into the waters of the Flathead River during an off-season spent at his Montana home.

The Lakers coach, who turned 63 last week, met with reporters for almost half an hour Friday, touching on Andrew Bynum’s physical condition, possible reductions in Kobe Bryant’s playing time and a front court that might or might not include Lamar Odom as a starter.

Bryant also spoke briefly with a handful of reporters in the players’ parking lot at the team training facility. He smiled a lot and seemed upbeat while detailing why he skipped surgery that would have required a 12-week recovery period for a torn ligament in his right pinkie.

“That was too long,” he said, splaying out his fingers and saying that enough scar tissue had built up in the pinkie to make it less dicey to play with this season. “It was riskier last season than it is now.”

Between Bryant’s pinkie and Bynum’s left knee, the Lakers weren’t fully healthy when last season ended with a 131-92 loss to Boston in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Jackson, however, hopes for a fresh beginning when training camp opens Tuesday in El Segundo. Of greatest interest, the Lakers’ 20-year-old 7-footer appeared to be in good physical shape, Jackson said, though Bynum’s absence in the team’s last 57 games might have stalled his development.

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Jaime is the co-owner and Operating Director for LakerNation.com from Alhambra, CA. He's help create the official websites for Kevin Durant and Goodwin Sports. Currently, he's the Online Producer for FOX Sports Radio and AM570 KLAC.
  • bc18

    First.

    lol i hate when people do that. This is my FIRST time doing this. i just want to make the people who do this mad lol.

  • e

    36 to 37 min isnt too bad…and if we have ariza start then kobe will be able to do more on the offensive end leaving the team in a really solid position on both ends

  • Ko8e_f@n

    as long as the Lakers are winning, they should give Kobe as much as possible rest (without affecting his conditioning) :P

  • yellowpurplefever

    PJ
    start Ariza and see what happens. LO had his chance the last 4 years and you know the rest. ARIZA time!

  • lakerschamps09

    kobes gona have a lot of time to rest because of 2 things.
    1) were gonna have a lot of blowouts.
    2) injury??? on the pinkie maybe someone will try and injure him on purpose…

  • MILO

    kobe should have gotten the surgery right after the olympics st s o a b!!!