NBA players return to business as they get back in the court for practice following the end of the lockout.
The reigning NBA champions, the Dallas Mavericks, say they’re raring to defend their title even after they lost some key players to trades like Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler.
“It’s great to be back to defend our title and play the game that we love. With the lockout taking place we can now get back to doing what we love which is playing basketball,” said Dallas’ Jason Kidd.
Miami Heat, which lost to Dallas last season, had only 6 players back in the court including the “Big 3” — Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
“Yeah, you know, like LeBron just said, you kind of miss it: the smell of the gym, hearing the balls bounce, looking on the other end of the court, seeing the guys down there, working with the coaches you’re working with, you miss it. It becomes a family and we’re just happy that we’re back,” said Wade.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers had their first practice with their new coach Mike Brown.
“It’s different. A whole new coaching staff, different philosophies on things, a different style of practice. But it was good. It was fun. We learned a lot, taught a lot. It was a great first day,” said Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant.
Speaking of the Lakers, Chris Paul is back in the Hornets gym after the NBA rejected a blockbuster deal that would have sent the perennial all star to Los Angeles.
The 3-team deal would have also sent Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets, while New Orleans would get Lakers’ Lamar Odom along with Houston’s Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a 2012 first round pick. — ANC