The Lakers ensured that it was the best-publicized media day in the league.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that the Lakers franchise invited “every newspaper reporter, radio personality, television anchor and photographer in L.A.”
Reporters were quoted as saying, “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it.” One reporter was even spotted using a hockey stick to capture a Dwight Howard interview from the back of a crowd of media personalities.
Howard, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks all posed together for the first time ever in their purple and gold Lakers uniforms.
It was clear: Kobe finally got his Dream Team.
Despite the buzz around Howard, Bryant made sure that everyone knows the same old structure of the Lakers hierarchy still applies and that the team will never be “Howard’s team” while he is still an active player.
Even if there is a new prince in town, Bryant makes it clear that he is still the self-appointed king of Lakersville.
Howard told media that he realizes his relationship with Bryant may not always be without bumps. He told The Huffington Post:
“I know he’s going to be tough on me, but I expect that, and I want him to be that,” Howard said. “I want to be that guy. I’ll take all the heat he’s going to give me, because I know at the end of the day, it’s going to make me a better player and a better person. … I’m willing to go through that process, learn from one of the greatest ever to play the game, and I think it’ll be great.”
Nash also commented that the new Lakers unit may not always function perfectly, especially in the beginning. Nash added:
“I think probably from the outside, it appears this is going to be a cinch. We’ve got a bunch of great players, we’ll come together and win 60-something games and go (into the playoffs) as a contender, but it’s going to be a big challenge for us. With so many personalities and dominant players, to try to find a cohesion and understanding is going to be a big challenge.”
The Lakers will contend for their 17th NBA championship in the upcoming season.