Mike D’Antoni On China: I Would Rather Bond At Home

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto RaptorsYesterday, the Lakers took off to China for two games against the Golden State Warriors. Eight teams will play preseason games overseas to help build the NBA’s global brand.

The the Lakers being one of the league’s marquee franchises, they’re usually one of the teams that takes a trip every off season, but Mike D’Antoni isn’t exactly thrilled about this year’s trip to China according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“It will affect us just because you have to be worried if they’re jet-lagged and things like that, but it shouldn’t disrupt us too much,” said Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. “We have a younger team and some of it’s good. The bonding and all that supposedly is good . . . Hopefully is good.

“I would rather bond at home,” added D’Antoni. “But if we can bond over there, we’ll bond over there.”

With a collection of youth and aging players on a team that looks dramatically different from last year, this team will be looking to form some kind of chemistry. Bonding overseas helped the 2008 Celtics, the 2009 Lakers and the 2012 Heat. Coming back to the states bonded as a unit can go a long way in terms on how they bond on the court — and it’s something that the team failed to do last season.

Of course, with so many aging veterans on this team, some of which are recovering from injury, finding a way to bond at home could also be a huge help, but they’re just going to have to make the best of their situation.

They’ll have two games against the Warriors, a team that presents what they’ll see from a lot of NBA teams this year — youth, speed, and outside shooting. Finding a way to defend the Warriors and move the ball effectively will be just as important as bonding off the floor.

There will be a lot that needs to be accomplished with the Lakers trip to China, hopefully they can enjoy each other’s company while they do it.

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