Los Angeles Lakers: University of West Virginia

Talking with: Devin Ebanks

October, 13, 2010
10/13/10
7:34
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Ever since our live show at Media Day, Brian and I have been tracking down the players who weren't directed to our table. First came Derrick Caracter. Then Shannon Brown. Our next victim... I mean, Laker? Rookie Devin Ebanks.

Question: What have the first couple of weeks in training camp been like?

Devin Ebanks: Pretty much a learning experience, really. Still trying to get the plays down. My defensive rotations. And just playing as hard as I can. Right now I'm just trying to do everything right and listen to the coaches.

Q: Phil Jackson mentioned that defensively you were up to speed, but the offense is something you're still trying to catch up to. Right now, are you playing as much on instincts as anything else?

DE: Pretty much. Just using every skill that I learned in college and bringing it to the NBA level. I played that kind of NBA defense in college, so I'm pretty much up to speed on that. Just learning the offense and get my footwork right.

Q: What about the triangle, in particular? Are there areas where you're still learning your spots?

DE: It's really just the footwork part. I think that's the toughest part. Knowing what footwork to use, and the defense to play. It's kind of tough. Everything else, I'm in the flow of it.

(Note: Because Ebanks wasn't initially specific about how footwork is crucial to the triangle, I caught up with him the next day for clarification. "There are certain ways you have to clear out or pivot to make certain things work, provided how the defense plays you," explained Ebanks. "Just using your footwork is important."

Ebanks has never played in a system so dependent on footwork before, but time spent watching a certain 12-time All-Star and listening to an eleven-ringed coach drives home the necessity.

"The prime example is Kobe Bryant. He's the best at it, and he shows it. If we watch film and you look at his footwork, you know why he's the best right now... Coach Jackson is real big on fundamentals, as far as passing and footwork. It's the little things. If you find that, you become a great player.")

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