Kenzo Caldwell-Pope will be six years old in May and now that he’s taken a liking to bowling, it’s offered his dad more chances to sneak away for his hobby without getting in too much trouble from mom.
“My son loves bowling,” Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. “So it’s easy for me to go and not say I’m just going.”
He goes to a bowling alley down the street from his house. He’s thinking about getting his own bowling shoes and bowling ball. When he picks from a bowling alley’s selection, Caldwell-Pope goes for a 12- to 14-pound ball and makes sure it’s smooth.
“I don’t like rough balls because they won’t do what I like,” Caldwell-Pope said. “If I’m throwing it right it maybe goes somewhere else, if it’s got bumps and dents in it.”
All that practice came in handy on Tuesday when the Lakers used the day off for a team-bonding activity at a bowling alley in New Orleans rather than practice. They held their first practice in New Orleans on Wednesday.
Lakers coach Luke Walton split the players, coaches and staff into teams of four and created a bowling tournament. And while Caldwell-Pope started strong and showed himself as the best bowler of the group, Walton said he faded in the finals. Kyle Kuzma, forever in competition with fellow rookie Lonzo Ball, played better than Ball did. But when Ball’s team was eliminated early, he made his way onto another team that lost a player for the semifinals. In the semifinals, Ball led his new team in scoring, but they still lost.
Walton and his teammates — assistant coaches Brian Shaw, Jesse Mermuys, and Brian Keefe — won the tournament. Walton’s teams tend to win most of these off-day games.
“I pick the teams,” he said, unabashedly.
And how did he do?
“It’s a team sport,” Walton said. “I was part of the team. I played my role.”
Ingram out for Thursday
Brandon Ingram didn’t practice on Wednesday and is out for Thursday’s game against the Pelicans. Ingram did some on-court work on Tuesday and felt sore on Wednesday, so the Lakers held him out. Ingram has been out since suffering a groin strain on March 1 against the Miami Heat.
Channing Frye felt well enough to practice on Friday.
Frye had an appendectomy during the All-Star break and has been recovering since then.
“We’ll see how he reacts to practicing,” Walton said. “He came in, him and Brandon both came in the gym when we got in yesterday and did some good work on the court. So as long as he continues to feel good I’ll have a talk with him in the morning, we’ll see how he feels.”
NBA teams often stay at the same high-end hotels in NBA cities. That led to a bit of a traffic jam at one local hotel.
The Lakers came to New Orleans straight from Indianapolis, where they played on Monday.
The Lakers, Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks overlapped in the same New Orleans hotel on Tuesday. When the Lakers were checking in, the Mavericks’ Dennis Smith Jr. was in the lobby getting ready to go to the arena.
The Pacers also flew in on Tuesday, in preparation for their Wednesday make-up game against the Pelicans. Their previous matchup had to be postponed because the roof was leaking at Smoothie King Center, giving the Pelicans an unusual three games in three consecutive days.
AT NEW ORLEANS
When: 5 p.m. PDT, Thursday
On the air: TV — Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio — 710, 1330
Update: The Pelicans are coming off their third consecutive victory, a 96-92 defeat of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, thanks to All-Star forward Anthony Davis, who scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter. New Orleans has defeated the Lakers twice this season, 119-112 on Oct. 22 and 139-117 on Feb. 14. Davis scored 27 and 45 points, respectively, in those games while averaging 16 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli