Monday is Media Day for the Los Angeles Lakers, which means the 2015-16 LA Lakers will dress up in their jerseys for the first time and kick off a new season. The madness of Media Day involves interviews and photo sessions in a frenzied atmosphere that features cameramen and reporters showing off their basketball skills by boxing out for position and playing through the contact. Players take turns getting mobbed by the media, and the annual raucousness surrounding Kobe Bryant would have most rioters concerned about safety.
While Monday may be a glitzy show for the cameras and the audio recorders, Tuesday offers a wholly different atmosphere in a totally different time zone. The Lakers hold the first practice of their training camp on Tuesday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Wednesday and Thursday offer two grueling practices per day, as Lakers coach Byron Scott will condition the team with running drills designed to build stamina. Friday offers only a single session, but Saturday gives the Lakers another double day of practice.
On Sunday, Oct. 4, the Lakers open their preseason against the Utah Jazz in Honolulu. Monday is scheduled as a practice day before the Lakers play the Jazz again on Tuesday. From Media Day onward, the Lakers don't get days off. Even Oct. 7 is scheduled as a practice day, which is the day the Lakers expect to land back in LA with the 2015-16 Lakers making their California debut on Oct. 8 against the Toronto Raptors in Ontario--not the one in Canada.
Starting with that opening preseason game against the Jazz, the Lakers play eight preseason games in six different arenas over 19 days. According to the Lakers' training camp schedule, every day in between is a practice day. When the Lakers finally wrap up preseason against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 22, they will hold five straight days of practice before opening the season on Wednesday, Oct. 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Monday may only be Media Day and mark one month from the start of the 2015-16 regular season, but for the players and the team (and folks like me covering the team), Monday is actual the start of the 2015-16 NBA season.