Lakers' Three-peat trek starts in Europe

Just wanted to pass along a piece I wrote for ESPNLA.com about the first test faced by the Lakers as they attempt to keep this championship train rolling: Games in London and Barcelona.

Andrew Bynum's extended absence, Kobe Bryant's and Luke Walton's continual recovery from injuries, and the integration of new veterans and rookies alike present challenges for Phil Jackson under any circumstances. But a European jaunt, and the lost practices, jet lag, potential distractions and general disorientation this setting may offer, creates a whole new ball of wax.

Thankfully, the Lakers are as well-designed as NBA teams get to tackle this unideal start to the season. Better than, say, the Timberwolves, who they square off against in England. Then again, nobody cares about Minny's season, so it all evens out in the wash.