Lakers Practice Report: Day Two - 12/10/11
It wasn't so much a concern as an expectation that it would take the Lakers a while to learn Coach Mike Brown's new system on both ends of the floor.
But that doesn't really apply to hoops savant Kobe Bryant.
"He's an intelligent guy," said Brown, an understatement as it applies to basketball. "He picks things up rather quickly.
Earlier this summer, Brown was able to fill Kobe in on his plans; naturally, Bryant had them relatively mastered before Friday's first day of camp.
"I already know," said Bryant, who's seen it all since arriving in the league in 1996. "I spent a lot of time with (Brown) before the lockout began figuring that stuff out so I could have a productive summer of work.
"Right now it's just about integrating the big guys, making sure they're comfortable with what they do. When the games start, I'm ready to do what I do."
So there's no adjustment period at all, Kobe? "Not for me. I already know."
It hasn't taken Brown long to know he only has to tell Kobe something once.
"Oh yeah … usually players like (Kobe), Tim Duncan and LeBron James have this uncanny, unique ability to be able to absorb whatever you're talking about and put it to good use on the next play," he explained.
Also impressing at Saturday's practice was Andrew Bynum, whom the media could see running the floor, dunking and generally dominating that day's second team (Steve Blake, Jason Kapono, Matt Barnes, Ron Artest and Derrick Caracter) alongside Derek Fisher, Bryant, Luke Walton* and Pau Gasol.
*You don't have to read too much into this, as Barnes was with the other starters on Friday, and Artest could be in the future.
Brown has spoken consistently throughout the summer about wanting to get his big men up and down the floor for a specific purpose.
"They will get early, great looks depending on how well we rebound and then how well they run the floor," he noted. "If they do those things the right way, they'll be able to get some looks without having to face a double team all the time, because the defense won't be set."
Theoretically, Bynum said he can already see how beneficial that can be to him personally, and his slimming down to 278 pounds certainly helps the process along.
And while starting to get some offense in was a focus on Saturday, defense remains Brown's priority. He assigned a "B or B-plus" to his squad for picking things up quickly as a "very, very intelligent team," but left room for improvement as plenty of mistakes were made.
They'll be back at it on Sunday after the team's media day, which commences at 9 a.m.