Los Angeles Lakers center Chris Kaman injured his finger in China, but Kobe Bryant's improvement and increased conditioning load was the real story of the day.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a few injuries to address -- the newest of which involves a bizarre Chris Kaman story. Before getting to Kaman's freak antics, Kobe Bryant offered promising news that he planned to "rev it up a little bit" with regard to his conditioning.
“I feel pretty good,” Bryant said before Monday's practice in Beijing. “I’m stepping it up. I’m looking forward to today’s practice and seeing what I can do from a conditioning standpoint."
Far away from the regimented and cautious world of the Black Mamba is the bizarre story of the "Caveman" in China. Kaman somehow managed to hurt his finger going down the Great Wall of China. Well, of course, he did.
Somehow not at all surprising considering the character involved, Kaman decided to take the sled down the Great Wall, and he was not the only Laker to do so. Kaman, however, opted to get a little extra thrill by testing the speed limit.
“I didn’t hit the brake the whole time. Guys on the edge were yelling ‘Slow down’ and I just kept going,” Kaman told USA Today. “All of a sudden I catch up to this guy close to the bottom, so now I have to brake. Shawne Williams comes behind me without hitting his brake at all and just smashed right into me…. My hand smashed right between the two sleds. I didn’t feel the end of my finger for, like, an hour. It’s starting to throb a little right now.”
Considering how the injury happened and the fact that Kaman is a bit of a beast, the new Lakers’ big man still expected to play on Tuesday night—the first of two exhibitions in China involving the Lakers and Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers are already fighting the injury bug with rookie Ryan Kelly still out and guards Jordan Farmar and Steve Nash fighting off some preseason knocks. Farmar’s calf has been a concern for over a week, and the former UCLA Bruin didn’t go through a full practice prior to heading to the Great Wall of China.
“It’s feeling better every day,” Farmar said about his calf on Sunday. “It’s pretty frustrating at times not to be able to get out there and build on the momentum that we’re building as a team.”
Farmar also opted to take the sled down the Great Wall of China, but not shockingly, he didn’t manage to hurt himself further. However, Farmar’s tone pointed to the 26-year-old staying away from Tuesday’s game and possibly giving himself a good run on Friday night in Shanghai.
“It feels like a constant cramp,” Farmar tried to explain on Sunday.
The Lakers are short on depth at point guard with Nash being the other walking wounded. His ankle injury is not as serious as Farmar's calf injury, and the 39-year-old went through full practices on Sunday and Monday. However, he admitted he had some soreness before concluding his ankle was “good enough.”
“I plan to play tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes,” Nash said at Monday's practice in Beijing. “I’m not worried about it. I think this is going to be a month of ups and downs, trying to get in condition to play. That’s what this time of year is for.”
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