O.C. Register: The young guys hung together, unsure and unknowing what they were supposed to do or where to go during Monday’s media session.
Few reporters approached them. Even fewer television cameras sought them out. So the group of rookies joked around, laughed and then took a group photo.
Yet, by the time Lakers training camp ends, one player, maybe two, will emerge from the pack, separated by their superior ball-handling skills, shooting ability or defensive play and be rewarded with a roster spot.
The competition for the final two roster spots will be fierce as training camp opens Tuesday. Coach Phil Jackson traditionally likes to carry only 14 players, allowing him leeway later on in the season in case the Lakers suffer multiple injuries.
The rookies know this and are aware of each other’s competitive drive.
“I feel the spots are open for someone to take, for the rookies to take, you just have to go out there and take them,” said Dwayne Mitchell, a free agent guard who played last season for Iowa in the NBA Developmental League.
“They are going to take the best two guys, the two guys they feel can best help them, this team and improve their game.”