Shootaround: vs. Lakers

By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Updates from Wednesday morning’s shootaround at the New Orleans Arena:

• Asked specifically about the potential of the Hornets changing their nickname, head coach Monty Williams said: “My thing has always been the name on the front of the jersey. As long as it’s New Orleans, I’m happy. The league controls all that stuff. I’m pretty sure there is some local creativity going on, and that’s great. Personally, I’m more concerned with the fact that we are a New Orleans franchise, because we all care deeply about the city. As long as the team is here, I’m cool with whatever name we have.”

• Ryan Anderson on the team’s nickname: “I’m playing for New Orleans, for whatever this city stands for. The mascot doesn’t really matter. I’m happy to be here. It’s not really in our control. It’s tough when something’s out of your control. You can’t really have a say in it. I’m happy to be playing in the NBA. I’m pinching myself every day that I’m here.”

• Williams on the Lakers (8-10): “We certainly have to take care of their pick-and-rolls with Kobe (Bryant). We have to make sure we keep him out of your paint. (Chris) Duhon is doing a better job running pick-and-rolls because he played for Coach D’Antoni (in New York). Dwight (Howard) is a handful in the paint. The other guy who has always had his way with us is Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace), knocking down timely shots, posting up or offensive rebounds for scores. His physicality has hurt us. And (Antawn) Jamison stretching the floor certainly gives them a different option, especially if they don’t have (Pau) Gasol tonight.”

• Bryant is only 13 points away from reaching 30,000 for his NBA career. After being on the receiving end of some of the future Hall of Famer’s offensive exploits, when asked about the likelihood of witnessing the feat Wednesday night, Williams didn’t exactly seem excited. “I’d rather wash my face with paint (than see it happen),” Williams said, with a wry smile. “It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t want to see him score any points. Obviously from an NBA standpoint, people get caught up in that stuff, but he’s beaten me too many times over the years for me to worry about him scoring more points. I hope he has 10 turnovers to go with however many points he has tonight.”