Lakers take surprise tour of D.C. before practice

Updated: February 4, 2007, 1:01 AM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A funny thing happened to the Los Angeles Lakers on the way to their Saturday morning shootaround. They took a tour of the nation's capital instead.

Sleepy-eyed from a 3 a.m. arrival as they prepared for their fourth game in five nights, the players and coaches clambered on the team bus expecting to head to practice. Instead, they got a 45-minute sightseeing trip.

Coach Phil Jackson told no one in advance -- except for the bus driver.

"This was the first time we've ever done anything like that," center Andrew Bynum said. "I was kind of asleep."

The Lakers played the Wizards on Saturday night, one night after losing to the Pacers in Indianapolis.

The team bus driver wasn't much of a talker as he passed the Capitol and the Washington and Lincoln memorials.

"Our bus driver couldn't narrate," Jackson said, "because he isn't licensed."

The driver offered Jackson the microphone, but the coach demurred.

"Just tell them what the five-sided building is," Jackson told him as they passed the Pentagon.

Jackson once took the Chicago Bulls on a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty in lieu of practicing for the New York Knicks.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE