Manage episode 342444992 series 1657213
Tuesday marked the first day of practice for the Lakers in the 2022-23 season, and it started with new coach Darvin Ham making clear his rules (the "non-negotiables") and expectations for the year. Meanwhile, players were impressed by the attention to detail he showed, and the efficiency of his first practice. Because NBA players, more than anything, want their time to be used wisely and with respect.
And while a couple of Lakers were still off the floor due to injury or visa delays, Kendrick Nunn was a full, unrestricted participant in a practice for the first time in a long, long, LONG time. And it felt good! Nunn is one of the guards who certainly could start for the Lakers, especially if Russell Westbrook doesn't, and as Ham noted Monday, nothing for Russ is guaranteed.
But as he clarified Tuesday, not being guaranteed a starting gig is not the same as saying he's not potentially going to start. It's reasonable to assume that all things being equal, Ham would prefer to start Westbrook if only because it makes everyone's lives that much easier. Plus, as Ham notes, it's really a matter of minutes and floor time in the fourth quarter that matters most. (And it's another place Ham leaves the door open to Russ-related compromise.)
Finally, Patrick Beverley says he and Russ are totally cool, and that media has blown the feud out of proportion for a while. Setting aside some of the details, it's a reminder that athletes are conditioned to make the best of whatever situation is in front of them, and even believe it's the proverbial best of all possible worlds. Many players, Beverley certainly among them, just automatically and reflexively go all in for their guys. And now Russ is one of Pat Bev's. One thing is certain, believe Beverley and Westbrook about the state of their relationship or don't. Either way, Beverley's energy—not just on the floor, but (waves arms about) all of it—is an element this team was missing a year ago.
HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky
SEGMENT 1: Darvin Ham and the first day of school. How'd it go?
SEGMENT 2: Ham never said Russ was guaranteed a starting spot. But he also didn't say Russ wouldn't end up there.
SEGMENT 3: Pat Bev and Russ say they're cool, and have been that way for a while. Whether you believe them or not. Meanwhile, Beverley's vibe brings something very different to this year's team.
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