The Los Angeles Lakers have opened training camp this morning with their annual media day. Here are some updates from L.A. Times reporters Dan Woike and Broderick Turner, starting with the vaccination issue.
While about 10% of NBA players have not been vaccinated, including outspoken stars such as Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins, the Lakers are expected to be 100% vaccinated, Anthony Davis affirmed as the first player to speak at media day.
LeBron James, who was next, said he was skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines, but did research and decided it was the right choice “not only for my family and for my friends, that’s why I decided to do it.”
Davis, who has family members who work in the healthcare industry, said of getting vaccinated, “I personally did it for my family. I think everybody on this team is vaccinated, if I’m not mistaken.”
Other topics that Davis addressed:
He expects to play center.
He’s ready to run. “You have to run … because he’s running,” Davis said of playing with new teammate Russell Westbrook.
He understands the concern about so many veteran players in their 30s. “They’re counting us out because we’re old. We see it. It’s exciting,” Davis said. “… Everyone is motivated to get started.”
James saw the humor in the age issue with the team.
“The narrative about our age. I kind of laugh at it,” he said. “… Some of the memes have been extremely funny.”
James, like Davis, believes Westbrook will fit in with the Lakers. The reason?
“As far as Russ, we need Russ to be Russ,” James said of the aggressive, play-making point guard, adding of how they’ll mesh on the court, “I always figure it out.”
James, who turns 37 before the end of the year, believes the Lakers’ veteran lineup has plenty of talent left to be a force on both ends of the court.
“It was exciting helping put this team together this summer … making us as explosive as we could be both offensively and defensively. … We have a team that’s looking forward to putting in the work.”