The weekend is here, and with it another half-hour (give or take) of podcasting yammer gold. Happily, the Lakers finally have some games under their collective belt. Games in far off, exotic foreign lands counting for nothing in the standings, but games nonetheless.
And after a few diversions, including the arrest Thursday night of Steve Francis and my complete and total butchering of a funny sequence from Young Frankenstein, that's where we start. The Lakers were oh-for-Europe, dropping their preseason opener in London to the Timberwolves, then losing again Thursday in Spain to F.C. Barcelona. While the scores aren't exactly of great importance, the health of Kobe Bryant's knee certainly is. We talk about that, and other lessons learned from the European swing. How have the new guys looked? What could be coming in the remaining dress rehearsals before the regular season opener?
Then we turn to the results from this year's NBA.com GM Survey. That the Lakers are picked to win another title (as opposed to a certain team in south Florida) shouldn't surprise, nor should the prominent role in the results for the Lakers, both as players and individuals. We kick around the numbers, including a debate about Ron Artest, Bryant, and perimeter defense. Kobe was voted the best in the league, followed by Ron Ron.
Was that the correct order order?
From there, we look at a few other surprises, including some serious love directed at the home court advantage for L.A. at Staples Center. Presumably the same building containing fans routinely mocked for being too quiet and easily distracted by pretty Hollywood types.