Inside the Lakers: The event was, to the surprise of nobody, a complete circus. Although I must say it has improved. A couple years ago, the Lakers tried to keep the print media out of Media Day — how they figured that, I’m still not sure — but the access was good today and all of the players were very cooperative.
It was quite a scene when all the players walked into the practice gym…except Kobe Bryant. For about 20 minutes, the word was that Kobe wasn’t showing up. With the media buzzing, anticipating a huge story, Kobe walked in at 10:34 a.m. He stopped to greet Joel Meyers, Stu Lantz and Lawrence Tanter, then went about his business of doing different photo shoots and live reads. The most awkward moment of the day? That would be when Kobe crossed paths with Andrew Bynum. You know, Bynum, the guy Kobe REALLY wanted to ship to New Jersey. Kobe gave Bynum a shake and an emphatic pat on the rear, and they went their separate ways.
Finally, the media got a crack at Kobe. He spoke mostly in platitudes and didn’t do much to address the events of this summer. Kobe said he was focused on winning and bringing a championship to L.A. and that he didn’t believe there would be problems with teammates. I’ve got a ton of interviews to transcribe but I’ll get to Kobe’s first, because I know he’s the center of attention today.