2011 Playoff Postcards: New Orleans

Postcards from New Orleans
by Mike Trudell and Ty Nowell
April 25th, 2011

1 Let's start things off with Andrew Bynum emerging from the plane holding his copy of "The New Psycho-Cybernetics." A voracious reader/curious mind, Bynum could be seen with the book during pregame locker room sessions. That's Devin Ebanks following closely behind with two Snapples and two bags of chips.

2 Yup, that's a pick up jazz session in the middle of the night on the corner of Bourbon Street near the team's hotel in front of the Foot Locker. What of it? The lady on the left seems bemused.

3 Pretty sweet gold layer around the old but new-looking Superdome next to New Orleans Arena, right? A certain @LakersReporter was in that building two days before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

4 If there's a more consistently interesting pregame interview than Phil Jackson, you'll have to introduce us sometime. This is the scrum prior to Game 3, where Phil answers or deflects reporter's questions with great ease.

5 Matt Barnes, who helped key L.A.'s strong bench efforts in Games 2 and 3, warmed up amidst a sea of yellow t-shirts, the proverbial calm before the Crescent City storm (if you were curious, he made that shot).

6 The 710ESPN radio crew is all business here as they preview Game 3. Did you know that TV/radio personality John Ireland (at the rear) literally always has a microphone in front of his mouth?

7 Here's a panoramic view of the New Orleans Arena as both teams warm up for Game 3. Two hours later Kobe Bryant and the Lakers would quiet the sea of yellow with a 100-86 win.

8 After leading L.A. to a Game 3 win by scoring 30 points for the 80th time in his playoff career — second only to MJ's 109 — Kobe Bryant is all business while fielding postgame questions. It's not his first time.

9 "Todo es bien?" Much was made of Pau Gasol's struggles in Game 1 and 2, before his more-typically excellent second half of Game 3. Unrelated: check out how much longer his legs are than those of L.A. Daily News scribe Elliott Teaford!

10 After fulfilling their daily media obligations the Lakers retreated to a meeting room for a film session breaking down Game 3. This left the court empty at the Hornets practice facility, where the walls aren't as decorated as those at the Lakers practice facility.

11 After chatting with Pau and his friends at the Westwego, LA, facility several miles outside of downtown New Orleans, we obviously had to stop to check out what "Swamp Adventures" could entail…

12 As it turned out, we'd walked into what could be described as the Westwego Seafood Swap Meet, a collection of both raw and cooked creatures — still swimming early that morning — across perhaps 15 connected shops surrounding a parking lot.

13 And, yup, outside of Sue or Ruth Ann & Rob's or Jeff's or someone's shop, we had a gentlemen representing Kobe Bryant. We're reminded once again that there's Purple and Gold everywhere.

14 Several other reporters stopped for some grub after practice, including New Orleans native Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who told us these crabs and shrimp were actually pretty small by local standards.

15 We had a great view of "Bossy Baby Girl," or "Bossy Play Girl" depending upon which sticker you read, while eating at the seafood stop. So that was nice.

16 Turns out that alligator tastes like tough chicken. Phil Jackson said so when we saw him later that night at an uptown N.O. restaurant. Obviously, he ordered the gator … Phil's always taking the path less traveled. I told him I just had pork, and he seemed disappointed.

17 If you ever forget how tall the Spaniard really is, just look at this picture from the team's hotel lobby.

18 Lakers.com's Ty Nowell will describe this shot he took from his spot: Hornets game ops ran a couple of videos showing stereotypical L.A. situations, but this was my favorite of their moves--the Bandwagon Cam showing Lakers fans on the videoboard. They also played "I Love L.A." both nights. Appreciate the hospitality.

19 Here's the newest Laker, D-League call up (and All-Star) Trey Johnson, who had 13 of his family members and friends drive 2.5 hours from his home of Jackson, MS, to support their own. Johnson joined us earlier in the hotel for a coming-soon Popcorn Machine podcast to detail his unique journey.

20 With Chris Paul turning in his second historically great game of the series, L.A. lost Game 4 93-88. Not only would L.A. have to return for Thursday's Game 6, but they had to wonder about the sprained foot of Bryant, suffered with just 1:32 left in the game.

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