Another day of Los Angeles Lakers training camp, another day of Kobe Bryant showing he's still got plenty of juice left. For Jordan Clarkson, it was something more like lemon juice in wounds that Kobe gashed open during the Lakers' first five-on-five scrimmage Wednesday.
The Black Mamba went right back after Clarkson during Thursday's scrimmage session, showing off more of those vintage moves of yesteryear:
The way he makes Keith Appling hang his head in the second shot just about says it all.
All-in-all, Kobe looks about as good as any Lakers fan could hope after being out for far too long. He's showing some lift in his jumper and showed off a fancy finish at the rim that was reminiscent of the Lakers' back-to-back NBA championship run.
Of course, no vintage-Kobe showing comes without trash talk, and he was dishing it out to his teammates.
Kobe's comment to Jordan Clarkson after hitting his 3rd straight jumper: "Don't hurt yourself!"— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 2, 2014
Kobe to Swaggy P, who's guarding him: "Come on you're smart enough not to force me one way! You're not strong enough."— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 2, 2014
That's the kind of tough love teammates should expect out of Kobe Bryant at this point. Young and Clarkson may be taking the brunt of it, but Swaggy P is taking it in stride and embracing the opportunity to be pushed by Bryant, who he barely had a chance to play with last season:
Nick Young: "It's a great feeling to have someone like Kobe pushing (me) every day." Bryant has definitely been going at @NickSwagyPYoung.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 2, 2014
Julius Randle watch
The Lakers, and media, have been pumping Lakers fans veins with All-Kobe-Everything, but Julius Randle's first training camp as a Laker is another hot topic. He hasn't gotten nearly the attention Kobe has, but his conditioning is definitely improved from where it was during his run at Las Vegas Summer League:
Randle has been easily outpacing the other bigs in sprints, a good sign as he wasn't in top form this summer w/his foot being checked out.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 2, 2014
That's about all we're hearing on the Randle-front. He's also been playing with the second unit, which includes Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Ed Davis and Robert Sacre. Yes, that means he's been moonlighting as a small forward. No, it's not time to panic about that idea. It probably has more to do with the Lakers missing Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly during the first few sessions, and allowing Byron Scott a chance to get a better look at his projected starting lineup.