Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports:

Recognize Steve Blake

Blake is a far better athlete than is generally understood, with Mitch Kupchak revealing that in Blake’s Lakers pre-draft workout he “tested out as one of the best players we’ve ever had as far as physical ability.” That was seven years ago, and even though Blake still looks like a dude working behind a Subway counter, he actually does mixed martial arts that showcase his uncommon core strength.

Blake’s competitive fire would fit well in the Octagon, too. He can be found on YouTube going face-to-chest to 7-footers Andrew Bogut and Dwight Howard in just the past six months, standing up for himself. The over-under on confrontations between Blake and Sasha Vujacic in practice next season? I’ll say 12 … unless Vujacic and his expiring contract get traded before they get there, though the odds of that salary dump decreased when free agent Raja Bell chose Utah over the Lakers. editor says: I’m thinking Derek Fisher will still start for the Lakers, but then sit quickly, with Blake getting the bulk of second and third quarter minutes. And then maybe Fisher plays in the end to nail a clutch jumper or two. But Blake very well could start. Looking forward to finding out.