Lakers get motivated before facing Celts
BOSTON -- As if the Lakers didn't already have enough motivation heading into Thursday's game against the rival Boston Celtics just 11 days after the Celtics embarrassed the Lakers on their home floor, coach Phil Jackson upped the ante.
Jackson invited George T. Mumford, a sports psychology consultant and longtime friend of Jackson, to speak to the team after its morning shootaround.
"He got everybody ready to be a little bit more mindful," Lakers center Andrew Bynum said after the Lakers beat the Celtics 92-86. "He just talked about mindfulness and not letting outside things distract you and training your mind to keep coming back to center."
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Said Shannon Brown: "He was really genuine in what he was saying and he made a lot of points that made a lot of sense. We definitely listened to it and took heed from what he was talking about."
Brown, who went on to score 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting off the bench, said Mumford was direct with him.
"One thing he asked me, he was like, 'You was hoopin' during the beginning of the season; what happened?'" Brown recalled. "I didn't take it the wrong way. I knew what he was saying. It just really made me really think about it and go out there and slow down and have fun."
Mumford has worked with Jackson's teams before, speaking to both the Lakers (1999-2003) and the Chicago Bulls (1993-98) during their three-peat runs.
"He's been doing it forever," Kobe Bryant said. "We've known 'Mumfie' for a long, long time."
Jackson also handed out his annual reading assignments, including Junot Diaz's "Drown" to Bynum, Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" to Pau Gasol, Bill Simmons' "The Book of Basketball" to Lamar Odom and Lee Child's "61 Hours" to rookie Devin Ebanks.
Bryant, who claims to never read the books Jackson gives him, declined to reveal what title he received from Jackson when questioned.
"This is the last book; I'm keeping it to myself and I might actually read it," Bryant said. "I haven't read one yet."
Ebanks said he won't follow co-captain Bryant's example when it comes to reading his book.
"I will definitely read it; I have to," Ebanks said.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.