Reporter: Jason Barquero
The Lake Show made a splash for a center on Sunday, and even though he doesn’t go by Dwight Howard, Troy Murphy, the former forward & center for the New Jersey Nets, signed a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum. Now before you think that Murphy or McRoberts will serve as a replacement to Odom, coach Brown made it clear at today’s practice, that that wasn’t the case. Brown said, “Neither one of those guys is Lamar Odom and we don’t expect them to come in here and replace him, but they give us more depth and they both give us a different look”. As for Murphy, he says, “I feel like I made the right decision and I’m just happy to be here”.
Now before we get to the rest of what happened at practice yesterday, rumors are swirling again for the Lakers and this time it involves Gilbert Arenas. Arenas is said to be seeking to join a contender and after being waived by the Magic through the amnesty clause, it is said that the Lakers top that list. ESPN.com is reporting that the Heat, Knicks, and any team that lands Dwight Howard are on that list as well. Now the Nets are also said to have interest if they are able to trade for Dwight Howard. Now the Knicks and Heat had both expressed their preference for acquiring Baron Davis, and as you may know by now, New York has made that a reality by signing the point guard to a one-year deal on Sunday. Gilbert Arenas in purple in gold…what do YOU think?
The Lakers held practice yesterday in El Segundo, and some of the talk was around Derek Fisher missing the exhibition opener against the Clippers this evening. Coach Brown commented that by sitting Fisher, it would continue to let him get in playing shape. After practice, Fisher was seen working out on the sidelines with the Lakers strength and conditioning coach, and was also scratched from scrimmage on Friday. Some could speculate it could be an injury, but at the moment, the team seems to be resting the 37-year-old point guard.
So what does the week look like for the Lakers? Well it’s the Lakers taking on the new look Clippers at Staples tonight at 7:30. You can catch that game on Fox Sports West. Then the two cross town rivals are back at it on Wednesday night at 7:30 on KCAL 9. And game ONE is this Sunday, Christmas Day at TWO p.m. against the Chicago Bulls. That matchup can be seen on ABC.
And finally, after practice was over yesterday, the team hosted their annual holiday party by inviting over 60 underprivileged kids at the Toyota Sports Center, all part of their “Season of Giving” campaign that bring together the Lakers and their fans to share in the fun of the holiday season. I had a chance to be there and let me tell ya, by the smiles on those kids’ faces, they could not have received a better gift – from Santa. Look for our video taking you behind the scenes as Kobe and the gang have fun with the youngsters at the holiday party. And as always, checkout LakersNation TV on YouTube for all the latest interviews from yesterday’s practice.
That wraps it up for now, I’m Jason Barquero and you’ve been watching LakersNation.com.