On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers held their first practice of 2014, but the Lakers were unable to even get through one day of the New Year without some bad injury news.
“Well it didn’t start off quite right—(Jordan) Farmar, we lost for four weeks,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said about the New Year.
“I’m really actually happy how they handled (the hamstring tear) the first time,” Farmar shot down any question that he had been rushed back early from his previous hamstring injury. “[They] waited until I felt 100 percent and held me out a little bit longer than that, and then went and got it reevaluated.”
With Farmar out for four weeks with another torn hamstring, Kendall Marshall has been upgraded to starting point guard. Less than two weeks earlier, Marshall was playing in the NBA Development League.
“Kendall will play significant minutes,” D’Antoni said on Thursday, highlighting state of the squad.
Marshall also addressed the media and looked at his upcoming start as an opportunity.
“I’d be lying if I said I did,” Marshall responded when asked if he ever thought he would be starting for the Lakers when he was called up less than two weeks earlier.
Along with the point guard talk, the recent trade talks involving Pau Gasol were a topic of discussion.
“That’s Mitch (Kupchak’s) job,” D’Antoni deflected the questions. “He’s going to look at everything possible, and try to make us as good as possible. There’s just no magic dust out there.”
For Gasol, he has been surrounded by these types of talks for the past three years.
“I deal with them better than I did at first when they started,” Gasol said. “There’s nothing you can do about it, so you just keep playing.”
Outside of the trade talks and the point guard situation, D’Antoni revealed that Wesley Johnson did not practice on Thursday. Johnson missed Tuesday’s game with gastroenteritis, but the coach expected to the athletic defender back for Friday’s game. Whether Johnson starts or not remains doubtful.
“We’re getting effort,” D’Antoni clarified the recent losses. “I don’t think you should ever question these guys’ heart or want or that stuff. That’s not our problem this year.”