Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Players Suffer Bumps and Bruises While Tobogganing in China

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 14: Chris Kaman of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks to the media prior to practice as part of 2013 Global Games on October 14, 2013 at the MasterCard Center in Beijing, China. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 14, 2013

The Great Wall of China, toboggan accidents and the 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers all packed into the same story? This must be the magic of the NBA preseason.

During L.A.'s visit to China as part of the NBA's Global Games preseason schedule, the team has balanced its work with pleasure. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, even if it's a business trip at heart.

Not surprisingly, the Great Wall of China has already cropped up on the Lakers' itinerary. It's an iconic landmark, rich with history and tradition.

It's also apparently home to a use-at-your-own-risk concrete toboggan track that's been waging war on the Lakers.

The first casualty of the conflict was Chris Kaman, L.A.'s new man in the middle. Via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Kaman stuck out his hand to prepare for impact as teammate Shawne Williams came crashing toward him from behind:

I didn't hit the brake the whole time. Guys on the edge were yelling 'Slow down' and I just kept going. All of a sudden I catch up to this guy close to the bottom, so now I have to brake. Shawne Williams comes behind me without hitting his brake at all and just smashed right into me.

Luckily, Kaman managed to keep his sled out of harm's way...at the expense of his finger. "My hand smashed right between the two sleds," he told Bresnahan. "I didn't feel the end of my finger for, like, an hour."

Fortunately, the finger injury doesn't sound serious, and Kaman said he plans to play in Tuesday's game against the Golden State Warriors.

Teammate Nick Young suffered his own toboggan crash, but his provided more laughs—and a video, via Jordan Farmar's Instagram account—than worries.

Between Dwight Howard's offseason departure and Kobe Bryant's long road back from a torn Achilles, the Lakers were prepared for some tough sledding in 2013-14, but who could have been ready for this?

 

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