We got the chance to pick up a little bit with Smush Parker, who was last seen going 7 for 37 in the final four games of the Lakers’ first-round playoff loss to Phoenix.
Maybe Parker was exhausted at the end of his first full NBA season, maybe he was overmatched being in the playoffs for the first time, but he was in as deep a slump as a player could be that series. He missed 22 of 26 3-pointers when everything was said and done.
He was asked Wednesday if he dwelled on how he played into the summer.
“I didnt dwell on it,” Parker said. “It was unfortunate that we didnt advance like we should have. It was a learning experience for me, it was a learning experience for my teammates, it was a learning experience for the Lakers.
“Were going to be a better team this year because of it, and Im going to be a better player because of my experience last year.
Parker said he worked on his mid-range game in the off-season and wants to take on more of a point-guard mentality now that he has established himself in the league.
He sat out practice Wednesday, however, after spraining his right shoulder the day before. Parker collided with Brian Cook as both players hustled after a loose ball. That left Kobe Bryant, Chris Mihm and Parker all on the sidelines. Those three players combined to start 218 games last season.
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Assistant coach Kurt Rambis on the development of rookie center Andrew Bynum:
“You can just look at Andrew and see hes improved his body. He still has a long way to go in terms of the knowledge he has to have in order to have success out there on the floor. But he needs to play, he needs playing time. Thats whats going to help him the best.”
Rambis said Bynum does a good job in learning and trying to do the right things. He also said Bynum no longer has the “puppy-like” look to his body from last season. The Lakers are trying to get Bynum to shorten his movements and be a more explosive player around the basket.
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We worried that Lamar Odom’s head might explode when he was asked which team he would take in a potential Subway Series between the Yankees and the Mets. Odom can shift effortlessly from talking about one team to the other while using the word “we” the entire time.
Odom gave us a history lesson about the teams and how their additions of black and Hispanic players endeared them to different communities over the years. He then declared, “I’m going with grandma.” His grandmother was a longtime Mets fan, he said.
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Odom also said the memory of the Lakers’ playoff loss to Phoenix was still fresh.
“Everyone here in the back of their mind is saying 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1,” Odom said.