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EL SEGUNDO (CBSLA.com) - Something very special is about to happen this year for the Lakers.
Lakers media day has always been exciting in the past, but Monday morning at the Lakers’ training facility in El Segundo it went to all whole new level.
Hundreds of cameras were in hand to take shots of the newly acquired players of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard who can potentially bring ‘showtime’ back into the Lakers.
With the starting lineup of Nash, Kobe, Metta, Gasol and Howard, the Lakers and their fans are expecting nothing less than a championship for this year.
“My expectations are to prepare to play, improve and perform and build a team, said Nash. When you are concentrating on that, you don’t focus on what other people expectations are. You set your own standard. You set your own expectations and you live by those every day.”
At first, Nash wasn’t a fan of the Lakers as he was always eliminated by them in the playoffs, but this year, things have changed for the 2-Time MVP.
“At first it was difficulty,” said Nash at media day. “But when I started to think about it, hmmm…Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard –it’s Southern California. It’s kind of takes all the boxes, so it’s not an awful situation.”
On August 9th, 2012 Lakers general manager pulled off one of the best trades in Lakers history by acquiring Howard from the Orlando Magic in part of a four-team trade.
“This is a blessing for me,” said Howard in a clean, fresh Lakers Jersey. “I’m so happy to be here in this beautiful city and this organization. I’m happy.”
The 3-time defensive player of the year spent the whole summer rehabbing his back from surgery he had in April to repair a herniated disk and to remove a disk fragment.
Coach Mike Brown has already ruled out Howard to miss the preseason opener in Fresno on October 8th, but nonetheless, Howard believes he can return in time for the season opener on October 30th.
“I’m getter better and stronger every day,” he said to the crowd of media. ” I’m looking forward to that day until I’m 100-percent. I’ve been working extremely hard to get back into the court.”
34-year-old Kobe Bryant is now entering his 17th media day, some happy and some not so happy (2008), but this year, he described it as ‘Dope.’
“It’s the best talent that I’ve been around,” said the 5-time NBA Championship. “Whether that translates into winning a championship, it remains to be seen. Just on paper, obviously, you’re talking about defense players of years, MVP’s, All-Stars- you’re talking about guys who are at the top of their position or have been top of their positions. This is pretty dope!”