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Calm Before the Storm at Lakers' Camp

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By Gary Montgomery, BVN Staff –

El Segundo – There was an air of uncertainty hanging over the Lakers media day on Sunday morning. The extended lockout and the new collective bargaining agreement seemingly have combined to create a tumultuous situation.

Unlike previous media day events where players are giddy with excitement about the upcoming season ahead and filled with anticipation, this year there is an uneasy cautiousness that seems to be gripping everyone in the room.

Normally, the trades have been completed and rosters are generally set. The focus is on how the new pieces will fit together and which of the new guys will actually make the team. This season’s start is completely different since all of those things are still in progress and the final outcome of trades and acquisitions is unknown.

Throw in a few ill-advised tweets and you have a crazy start to the 2011 NBA season. It is quite a unique situation. After Lamar Odom’s departure to Dallas, the questions all centered around trade talks and not much focus on what the team would look like. Everyone is looking over their shoulders, knowing that the organization is looking to make more changes.

Pau Gasoil, the center or target if you prefer of those changes had little to say. “I can’t do anything about that. I’m here and I am going to do what I am here to do. It’s a business, you know that coming in”. As always Pau was calm and stately but you can see that the uncertainty is annoying.

Looking beyond all of those things that fans can’t control, you will find that the Lakers have some things to be excited about. First, signing sharpshooter Jason Kapono will likely payoff. Kapono is one of the best three point shooters in the game, something the Lakers always need and seldom have.

Rookie point guard Darius Morris could make the team and if he can bring his college game, he could leap frog over Steve Blake and be Fishers eventual replacement. “I think I can bring speed and strength at the point position. I like to attack the basket and I expect that to help me make the team,” said Morris.

Zach Andrew, a 6’8” forward from Bradley could also find a niche with the 2011 Lakers. “I think I can be a kind of Dennis Rodman. I like to rebound and get after the ball. That was my strength when I played overseas and I think I can bring that here,” said Andrews.

The Lakers have 19 players in camp now and the opportunities to land either of the big names they have been pursuing seems to have faded.

They will likely have to work with what they have and unlike the masses I like what they have right now.

G. Montgomery can be reached at sports@blackvoicenews.com.

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