O.C. Register: The Lakers’ charter plane left Los Angeles on Monday, riding the momentum of Kobe Bryant’s return to the fold, and chased the extra sunlight of the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone to begin training camp in Honolulu.
It remains to be seen how long the Lakers can bask in this glow — they awoke Tuesday morning in Honolulu to find rain showers already — but there is an ideal scenario in mind:
Coach Phil Jackson takes his leanings toward signing a two-year, $20 million contract extension and makes them official before the regular season starts — infusing this legend-loving organization with stability. Jackson’s tweaks for this season — more help for one another on defense and more Bryant distributing on offense — unite the Lakers, who bolt to early success.
Tasting success enables Bryant to tap fully back into the hope that he can win championships with the Lakers, eliminating all previous speculation he will want to depart to win elsewhere.
The injury bug never bites the Lakers as it did last season, and a deep playoff run positions the Lakers to consider themselves again one player away from a championship.
Then someone from the potentially deep 2008 free-agent pool (Baron Davis? Jermaine O’Neal? Stephon Marbury? Ron Artest?) takes a pay cut or worms his way over in a sign-and-trade maneuver. Lakers championship greatness ensues anew.
After the rain clouds subsided Tuesday, Jackson did indicate that he might decide in the coming weeks to extend his contract beyond this season.