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Lakers' small guys pummel big guys in scrimmage

The guards and small forwards, led by the three-point shooting of Ron Artest, defeated the power forwards and centers, 145-100.

November 27, 2009|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Ron Artest, who led the Lakers 'small' men to a 'Turkey Trot' victory over the big men Thursday, drives against Mavericks forward Shawn Marion in a game earlier this season.
Ron Artest, who led the Lakers 'small' men to a 'Turkey… (Christine Cotter / Los Angeles…)

Good thing the Lakers' big men don't stray far from the lane.

There were a lot of three-point attempts -- and a lot of misses -- from the Lakers' power forwards and centers in the team's annual "Turkey Trot" scrimmage that ended predictably bad for the big players.

The guards and small forwards pummeled the centers and power forwards, 145-100, at the Lakers' training facility Thursday in El Segundo.

Official stats weren't kept, but Ron Artest was unstoppable for the small team, drilling three-pointer after three-pointer.

"He hit about 10 threes today," Lamar Odom said, shaking his head. "Something crazy."

Artest teamed up with Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Adam Morrison and Sasha Vujacic to give the "fairies," as Coach Phil Jackson called them, an easy victory.

"It's like the fairies, with wings on, and they have a little star on the end of their wand," Jackson said.

The "goons," as Jackson called them, were made up of Odom, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell. They spent a lot of time outside the arc instead of trying to post up.

Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant did not play, though they were part of an impromptu "We want tacos" chant on the sideline when it became apparent the small players were going to run away with the game.

The "fairies" led by as many as 60.

"Too many outside shooters," Bryant said. "At one point they hit about 12 straight threes. It was a massacre. That [score] doesn't even do it justice. Bad, bad, bad. The whole [small] squad was on fire."

Bynum hasn't attempted a three-pointer in a game since the 2006-07 season. It's probably a good thing.

"He was about one for 20 from threes," Bryant said. "Get his [rear] in the paint."

Jackson definitely noted the margin of victory. Or maybe it should be the margin of loss.

"This is one of the first times we've had this game that it hasn't been joyful and competitive," he said. "The bigs didn't get off to a good start today. They didn't think about what their roles were."

The big players did have one thing going for them -- they'll see a similarly small lineup in a game that actually counts when the Lakers play the run-and-gun Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

"It's kind of like Golden State plays a little bit," Jackson said. "You have to be prepared."

Said Odom: "We'll just have to get the ball inside."


Jackson often holds practice on Thanksgiving to promote a sense of family. "We have a lot of guys that are here alone and they're maybe from foreign countries and don't have families in the area," he said. "This is one of the things we do to kind of incorporate our group together.". . . Luke Walton, sidelined by a bad back, did not take part in the scrimmage, though he helped referee. He is not expected to play for at least four more weeks.

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