COMMENTARY | It hasn't even been a week since training camp opened up following the Los Angeles Lakers' 2012 Media Day, and there are already many developing stories emanating out of Laker-land. The new-look Lakers were together and available for the first time as a group and had plenty to talk about regarding the upcoming season.
The elephant -- or in this case elite NBA All-Star -- in the room was center Dwight Howard, who has been the talk of the town since his arrival in Los Angeles. But there was plenty more to talk about on Monday. Here are 10 things to note following the Lakers' Media Day in 2012:
1. It's still Kobe's team.
Given the A-list status of his new teammates, Kobe Bryant had to get one obvious statement out of the way from the onset -- the Lakers are still his team. He told the media Monday that there was no question that he is the Lakers' leader.
Interestingly though, he did tab Dwight Howard as the heir apparent to the stroried franchise and said he plans on passing the torch to him when he retires. That's the kind of rhetoric that will only help sway Howard to stay beyond this season, when he can go elsewhere as a free agent. Given the new circumstances he's in, that's becoming less likely to happen.
2. Getting tickets will be tough.
This is what the media frenzy looked like on Monday during the press event. It comes with the territory when teams build a super-squad, and games will likely be even harder to find tickets for as a result. If the media session was any indicator, then the Lakers will be the top ticket in town by a substantial margin during the 2012-2013 season.
3. Steve Blake's foot injury was no joke.
Steve Blake made news during the offseason after suffering a strange (and painful-sounding) injury when he cut his foot stepping on a spike strip. The natural follow-up question after learning of such a bizarre scenario is obviously the question of how it happned. Fortunately, the good folks over at the Los Angeles Times caught up with the reserve guard.
Someone called his name as he walked barefoot through the parking lot of L.A. suburb, Manhattan Beach. With his head turned, he proceeded to step on a spike strip, which punctured his left foot and left him bleeding enough to warrant concern. "All the blood made me realize something was wrong. It's unfortunate. You move past it and go from there," he said.
4. Kobe thinks a lot of people are dumb.
When it comes to basketball, Kobe Bryant is smarter than nearly everyone on planet Earth, and he knows it. When asked about general speculation that a Bryant-Nash dynamic wouldn't work because of each player's comfort with the ball in their hand, he told the Mason and Ireland Show, "Here's the thing: Some people are just very, very dumb."
He went on to talk about winning five titles, which you don't very well do as an individual. The bottom line is that he's right to take offense to anyone who thinks he doesn't know how to play the game with others at this stage in his career.
5. The new Lakers look good on paper, even better in uniform.
Monday was the first time that the Lakers were together in an official capacity as one team. It was one of those believe-it-when-you-see-it moments to see Bryant and Nash alongside one another after being bitter conference rivals for their entire career.
Seeing Dwight Howard wearing a No. 12 purple and gold jersey only added to the excitement of the upcoming season. This talent-laden roster will be fun to watch, and without a lockout looming over the season this year, basketball will thankfully be the focus.
6. Dwight Howard may suit up sooner than we think.
There's still no timetable for Dwight Howard's return to action following back surgery that ended his 2011-2012 season. But at media day, he told reporters that he hadn't had any setbacks and was getting better each day. This is welcome news for the Lakers faithful.
7. Mike Brown and the players are happy with the Princeton offense.
Mike Brown took a lot of criticism when the team struggled throughout the NBA playoffs in 2012, but the team did right by him and added some top-notch assistants for the upcoming season. Eddie Jordan was brought in to install the Princeton offense, which resembles the triangle scheme behind the last five Lakers championships.
Brown has embraced it, and so has the team. With total buy-in, gone will be the speculation that players aren't comfortable in the system, and the focus can be on how to best utilize it to exploit the Lakers' strengths and high basketball IQ.
8. Kobe Bryant has a lot in common with Steve Jobs.
They're both geniuses and have revolutionized their respective professions in ways that most people don't even dream of. Bryant and the late former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, each shared early struggles with trust among their peers. According to this excellent report from ESPN's J.A. Adande, Bryant agreed with that sentiment after reading an excerpt from Jobs' biography that summed up Jobs' own career challenges with Apple.
"That describes my whole career," Bryant said.
9. The Lakers aren't done making moves.
While fans were basking in the glory of new additions Nash, Howard, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks, the front office went out and quietly signed Chris Douglas-Roberts, the former Memphis star who could be yet another strong player off the bench during the season.
Douglas-Roberts is a proven NBA-level commodity who can add some much-needed scoring to the second unit.
10. Everyone recognizes this team dynamic will take time.
No one is delusional about the new-look Lakers taking some time to embrace the new offense and translate all the talent to success on the court. The franchise has been through overwhelming underachievement before in 2004 when the four-headed monster of Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone failed to meet expectations.
Only time will tell what the legacy of this current roster will be -- that's why they play 82 games.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the Los Angeles Lakers as a Southern California-based sports journalist, editor, and blogger. You can read him on SB Nation and Examiner.com. He is also the Editor and Founder of Sports Out West.
You can find him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets.