Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty The Los Angeles Lakers would officially open training camp on Oct. 4, 1996, and if the plan was to have some sort of grand rollout – what with a new larger-than-life starting center, a new electrifying rookie, a new hope of returning to the Showtime glory of the 1980s – this wasn't quite the way to show it. Beginning in 1988, Dr. Jerry Buss, the franchise owner for nine years at the time, insisted that camp be held in Hawaii.