The Lakers reconvened at their El Segundo facility and held a full-length practice Saturday after getting the day off on Friday.
Mike D’Antoni, Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace, and Kobe Bryant all addressed the media, and the injured duo of Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill were on the elliptical machines working on basic conditioning. This was the first time Hill had been seen performing any athletic activity since undergoing hip surgery.
First up on the media circuit, D’Antoni was asked if his team was dirty after George Karl made some comments directed at Metta World Peace’s elbow on Kenneth Faried. D’Antoni would not get too deep into the discussion, but he refused to believe the Lakers were performing any premeditated acts of violence on the court.
“Obviously, we deserve the flagrant fouls,” D’Antoni conceded. “We got to watch that. We don’t need to do that.”
Then, Nash was next to welcome the warm glow of camera lights and the claustrophobic presence of microphones and camera booms. He was asked about what took this team of great talents and experienced stars so long to learn how to win games.
“We’re all having to change and conform and play a new way with new pieces,” Nash offered. “We didn’t get a training camp with this style of play. And the Princeton [offense], obviously, didn’t do any favors for what we’re trying to do now, so it was kind of like wasted time.”
Nash remained positive about this team’s playoffs chances, and the 39-year-old admitted that he had to make a big adjustment. When asked about the challenge of making the playoffs, Nash responded, “I think we all feel optimistic and confident.”
Next, Antawn Jamison offered even more positivity and optimism.
“It’s not over with,” Jamison said with a smile. “We still got a chance to turn this thing around and make this one of the greatest stories in sports history.”
After Jamison’s optimism and Nash’s positivity subsided, World Peace took over the practice airwaves.
World Peace was in rare form. After saying he was not interested in discussing Karl’s comments about him being a dirty player and throwing a premeditated elbow at Faried, World Peace talked for over 10 minutes about his experience, mentality and the evolving definition of a "dirty player."
Triple Threat’s cameras were present for the entire conversation, so stay tuned for full coverage of World Peace’s entertaining (Watch video) and educational discussion that takes a trip through the projects of Queens, N.Y., in the 1990s.
Finally, Bryant came out to address the media, but he was not in much of a mood to talk.
Along with scoffing at winning the Western Conference Player of the Month award for February, Bryant’s short responses led to the media running out of questions and releasing Bryant after only a couple minutes.
That was Saturday in Laker-land.