Lakers counting on Kobe
Where Kobe Bryant goes, drama is sure to follow.
Back in 2003, the Los Angeles Lakers star's legal issues drew a media throng to Hawaii for the team's training camp. Two years ago, Bryant's reunion with coach Phil Jackson was the hot topic. The Lakers return for their biennial visit this week following yet another eventful offseason that included Bryant voicing his desire to be traded.
Despite that, the Lakers expect the two-time NBA scoring champion to be with the team when camp opens Tuesday at Iolani School.
"We have no reason to expect that he won't be there," Lakers spokesman John Black said late last week.
Meanwhile, over on the North Shore, the Golden State Warriors -- led by coach Don Nelson and point guard Baron Davis -- also open camp in relative seclusion looking to follow up on a stunning upset of the Dallas Mavericks in their first playoff appearance in 12 years.
Both teams are scheduled to arrive in Honolulu tomorrow, with camps running from Tuesday through Oct. 8. They'll end their stays with exhibition games at the Stan Sheriff Center on Oct. 9 and 11.
The Lakers will split time at Iolani and the Sheriff Center, and the Warriors will practice at the Cannon Activities Center on the Brigham Young-Hawaii campus and Kahuku High School. Practices for both teams are closed to the public.
The Warriors and Lakers went 42-40 last season, but ended their campaigns on different tracks. While the Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference quarterfinals, the Warriors upset the Mavericks.