Pau Gasol spoke about his off-court relationship with Former NBA coach and player Phil Jackson, who accepted a position with the New York Knicks on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. In this file photo, the duo attend a Children's Hospital Los Angeles Gala: Noche de Ninos at L.A. Live Event Deck.
For the second day in a row, the Los Angeles Lakers held practice at their facility in El Segundo, Ca.
First things first, the Lakers provided injury updates on their hobbled roster. Following Monday’s practice, news surfaced that Lakers guard Jordan Farmar suffered a strained groin. On Tuesday morning, the point guard was examined, and an ultrasound displayed a moderate groin strain.
Farmar will miss a minimum of two weeks, which accounts for half of time left in the Lakers’ season.
However, the injury news was not all bad. Jordan Hill and Nick Young were both able to get through practices on Monday and Tuesday without incident. Neither player was expected back for the home game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, but both were close to returning.
“I think they’re targeting this weekend sometime,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said.
D’Antoni was asked which player or players would assume the role of backup point guard, and the coach smiled and nodded as Xavier Henry, Jodie Meeks and Kent Bazemore were listed as possible backups.
“Those three guys and they all will probably play together, so they have to be able to rely on each other to bring it up,” D’Antoni said.
Although the coach all but confirmed Steve Nash would not take part on Wednesday, he did not entirely rule out a return for the Canadian this season.
“He hasn’t practiced with us, so that would be a stretch,” D’Antoni said about Nash possibly returning to the court on Wednesday.
With Phil Jackson officially joining the New York Knicks on Tuesday morning, D’Antoni was asked if there was some relief with Jackson taking the job and no longer hovering over the Lakers.
“I haven’t really thought about it that much,” D’Antoni started out before offering encouragement. “I think he’ll do a great job.”
Pau Gasol, the only Lakers’ player present at practice to have played under Jackson, was also asked about the move.
“I don’t really think about that.” Gasol, however, did admit the move felt strange. “It is weird to see him with a Knick logo behind him.”
Gasol revealed that he stayed in touch with his former coach and that the pair tried to see each other regularly. However, the NBA's rules now prohibited Gasol from talking to Jackson, as Jackson was now officially an executive and Gasol was entering free agency in the summer.
“Our communication has been cut off until July 1st,” Gasol laughed.