Lakers coach Phil Jackson will meet with reporters later today.
Check back this afternoon for full coverage.
Lakers rookie Sun Yue has been diagnosed with mononucleosis and will be out indefinitely. Yue, who arrived from China on Sunday, was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, Yue was introduced at a press conference at the team’s El Segundo facility. Yue was the team’s second-round draft pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
The Lakers open training camp Tuesday morning.
Elliott just had a chance to speak with Lakers spokesman John Black and Sun Yue’s agent Charles Bonsignore.
Black said that Sun Yue is currently at his apartment, resting and that the major concern right now is reducing his fever. He’ll be examined by the Lakers medical staff on Monday and an update on his condition will be given then.
Bonsignore said that, “Its been a long summer for him, traveling around. He’s basically just got to rest. It could be a week, two weeks or three weeks. He just needs to rest.”
Sun Yue revealed a few interesting details during his introductory press conference at Lakers HQ in beautiful downtown El Segundo on Wednesday.
Here’s a bit of the Q-and-A session:
As expected, the Lakers have brought back power forward/center DJ Mbenga…
Here’s the release:
LAKERS RE-SIGN DJ MBENGA
EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent center Didier “DJ” Ilunga-Mbenga, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Mbenga, a 7-foot, 255 pound native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Lakers last season on January 21 and February 1 before signing for the remainder of the year on February 11.
In 26 games with the Lakers, Mbenga averaged 2.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.62 blocked shots in 7.8 minutes while totaling four points and five rebounds in 10 minutes over seven postseason games.
Earlier in the season, Mbenga signed with the Golden State Warriors on November 17 after spending three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks prior to their request for waivers on him October 30. In 16 games with the Warriors prior to his release January 6, Mbenga averaged 1.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.63 blocked shots in 8.1 minutes.
After signing with Dallas as a rookie free agent in 2004, Mbenga, 27, played 79 games over three seasons with the Mavericks, totaling 106 points, 75 rebounds and 35 blocked shots in 374 minutes. In his rookie year of 2004-05, he averaged 4.10 blocks per 48 minutes played while improving to 5.00 blocks per 48 minutes in 2005-06. In 2006-07 he was limited to just 21 games after missing the first 16 games of the year with a left foot tendon strain and suffering a torn right ACL 2/7/07 vs. Memphis.
In 121 career games including two starts, Mbenga is averaging 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.50 blocked shots in 5.8 minutes.
The Lakers preseason roster now stands at 19.
If you want to see the NBA’s top teams at Staples Center, be prepared to pay top dollar. The Lakers, following the lead of a number of other teams in other sports, announced that they have instituted a new variable ticket pricing policy for the upcoming season.
Tickets in various sections will have three different prices for 2008-09.
No. 1, a regular individual game price.
No. 2, a discounted season ticket price.
No. 3, a premium price for seven so-called premium games.
The seven games are: Dec. 25 against Boston, Jan. 19 against Cleveland, Jan. 25 against San Antonio, Feb. 20 against New Orleans, Feb. 26 against Phoenix, March 15 against Dallas and April 3 against Houston.
Individual game tickets will go on sale Oct. 4 at Ticketmaster locations, at ticketmaster.com and by calling (800) 4NBATIX. There are roughly 1,000 seats available for each home game this season, the team said in a press release.
The Lakers signed C.J. Giles, a 6-foot-11 free agent forward who finished his collegiate career at Oregon State after spending two years at Kansas. Giles averaged 6.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 10 games last season for the Beavers.
Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers’ general manager, said earlier in the week that he hoped to have 18 or 19 players on the training camp roster. Giles’ signing brings the total to 18, so he could be the final name added to the roster. Training camp starts Sept. 30.
The Lakers signed guard Brandon Heath, who played last season in France for the club team Entente Orleans 45 and averaged 12 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 25 games. He played with the Clippers summer league team in Las Vegas and averaged 5.6 points in five games. He was a standout at San Diego State before joining the pro ranks.
Heath isn’t expected to make the team, but will probably get a good look during training camp, which starts Sept. 30 in El Segundo.
Kobe Bryant has announced that he won’t have surgery on his damaged right pinkie, deciding that the 12-week recovery period was too long for him and the Lakers. Bryant said Tuesday on his Web site, kb24.com, that he did not wish to miss any days at training camp.
He also said, “I have always felt that I can still focus and play at a high level even through various injuries. That’s really just part of the game. When the doctors told me recovery from a procedure could be 12 weeks, I just decided now was not the time to have surgery. What it really came down to for me is that I just didn’t want to miss any time ‘punching the clock’ for the Lakers, given all we are trying to accomplish as a team this NBA season. I am just really excited and looking forward to being there with the guys when camp opens in a few weeks. That is a real bonding process and if I can avoid being on the sidelines for that, God willing, I will.”
Bryant injured his finger in a Feb. 5 game against the New Jersey Nets, jamming it against the body of Jason Kidd. He jammed it several times over the course of the rest of the season, but it did not stop him from earning his first NBA MVP award and leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals.
His original plan was to delay surgery until after the Beijing Olympics. After consulting “numerous doctors” he decided against having surgery, however. The Lakers’ training camp begins Sept. 30 in El Segundo and their season starts Oct. 28 at home against Portland.
Our friends at ESPN.com are reporting that Kobe Bryant will announce Monday on his Web site, kb24.com, when and where he is having surgery to fix his damaged right pinkie. Nothing on the site so far, and no word from the Lakers either.
Bryant hurt his finger in a Feb. 5 game against the New Jersey Nets, but delayed surgery until after the Beijing Olympics last month. The Lakers said two weeks ago that he would take some time to decide when or if to have the surgery.
Meanwhile, Bryant is scheduled to be on Oprah on Monday afternoon (along with other Olympic stars). Then he’s doing the Jimmy Kimmel show on Tuesday night. Both are on Channel 7. (If you’re reading this and you’re not in L.A., then check your local listings).
Meanwhile, check back for further updates. Real ones, hopefully.
Andrew Bynum spoke with reporters for about 10 minutes Friday.
Here’s the bulk of the question-and-answer session: