Tag Archives: Lakers

TRU WARIER (Infinite Jest)

PACERS CLIPPERS

So I come back from sunny Samoa to find that all hell is breaking loose in the NBA pre-free agency season. Rasheed Wallace, a favourite of mine, is off to the Celtics, a decidedly non-favourite of mine. Trevor Ariza is, quite rightfully, cashing in his great post-season run and heading to the Rockets. Ben Wallace is leaving Chicago for the Pistons, and the whole league seems to be after Grant Hill. Players are going cheap.

It’s mid-level exceptions all over the place so teams that are over the cap and can afford to be are spending up on some coupon savings. But the weirdest and most exciting news is that Ron Artest, the craziest dude in the league, is moving to Los Angeles to join The Lake Show. One of the most intriguing teams in the league just got a whole heap more interesting.

Now, most people know Artest for jumping into the stands and punching a white dude from Detroit. If you haven’t seen it:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHZGfKYr3ik%5D

It’s weird looking back on it, but these nine minutes changed the NBA more than some/most Hall of Famers. These nine minutes are the reason players wear those stupid military style shirts that their stylist bought for them. These nine minutes are why NBA players don’t release rap singles anymore. These nine minutes are why there are so many flagrant fouls called these days. These nine minutes made the NBA whiter. David Stern shat his pants. What could be more threatening to middle America and corporate sponsors than a black star running into the stands to beat on a white fan? They said it was a disgrace and it was violence and it was hell freezeth over.

Artest was suspended for the rest of the year ad from hence forth he was some kind of Stephon Marbury strain of cancer. This is what Cedric THE Entertainer thought of it:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEbEY3-NDCA%5D

Artest might not be entirely at fault here but still, he is insane. He tried to pull down down Paul Pierce’s shorts fer God’s sake:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD796H08J7w&feature=related%5D

So, Artest is insane and Kobe Bryant is insane – no need to discuss the myriad of ways Kobe will need serious therapy once his career is over. Lamar Odom is so insane that he looks and lives like he’s animated. I am barely exaggerating. He lives in some crazy surf Technicolored Disney World eating candy all day, smiling his face off. And Pau Gasol is questionable at best. When Pau Gasol is the most normal guy on a Championship-contending team, things are looking up for the NBA. I can understand people hating Kobe and I can understand hating Artest and this probably makes the Lakers the most love-em-or-hate-em team in a season of what is shaping up to be a powerhouse of love-em-or-hate-em teams (Wallace joining Garnett, Shaq joining LeBron, The Spurs just in general).

Artest is the bizarro Kobe. Watching them battle in the playoffs this year was like watching Kobe playing against a funhouse mirror, Artest distorting his every move. It is going to be something special watching these five guys try to figure it all out. Artest just could be to the Lakers what Rodman was to the 95-98 Chicago Bulls. With the big teams all pulling out all the stops in their grasp for the jewelry, I am counting down the days till next season.

– Henry

P.S. Read Free Darko’s piece on how this deal makes LA the most NY team in the League.

Oh yeah, and there’s Artest’s tribute to MJ too:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJoMFiPF3mA%5D

While I am here, did everyone hear Lil’ Wayne’s (not so) new song Kobe Bryant? Not his best work, but it was topical two months ago and you don’t get that many non-political topical rap songs nowadays (until the whole MJ thing I guess).

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The Machine: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LA Lakers

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OK, so Dave, Justin and I were chatting NBA Playoffs over the bar the other night, talking about the teams and players we liked and disliked. The usual. Also, earlier in the day Duncan had told me that he had decided that liberated fandom was all well and good, but that a man needed a team for life, a team to rise and fall with, to laugh and cry with, and that he had decided that the Portland Trailblazers would be that team for him.

While none of us went that far, it became somewhat of an issue for the three of us. Who were our favorite teams? Continue reading

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Guest Post: The Skinny Post: Weak 17

THE SKINNY POST: Weak 17

With the regular season over, its only a month til the Lingerie Bowl!:

lingerie_bowl_02

The cliche goes, ‘that’s why they play the games’.
My question: in week 17, the end of the regular season, do you have to? Fantasy leagues are over, most teams will play their scrubs or perennial backups (see Sorgi, Jim) and Vegas basically shrugs, puts its hands up and says ‘mheh’.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS v BUFFALO BILLS

Emperor Belicheck using his Sith powers to telepathically strangle you:
espn2

New England are probably the best coached team in the NFL, even if that coach may be a grumpy taciturn cheat.
Bill Belicheck is that guy at work who never seems to come in to the office, forgets your name, and still destroys everybody with his monthly sales figures. Years later it turns out he was buying it all himself, and keeping it in his garage. Continue reading

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The Goal Felt Like An Ocean

carmeloanthony1

Celebrate! How good has this NBA season been so far? Very good.  Lebron is carrying his team, Kobe is passing to his team and Boston are defending their championship like a jealous girlfriend. Oh, and Wade has comeback like a soap character left for dead, only to reemerge six months later – all mysterious and brilliant. So many legacies to be created this year. It’s like everyone has started to feel the cold hand of time upon them. We better prove something, quick.

Boston: You can’t just win one if you’re from Boston. It doesn’t count.

L.A : He’s great, but damn Kobe needs to win without Shaq.

Cleveland: Lebron might just be the greatest. Ever. (Also, think of all the merchandise he could sell with a championship!)

With all these giants of the game vying to write their names in the larger NBA narrative, it’s easy to miss the small and beautiful miracles happening around the league. New York is almost at .500, with basically a pickup team from your local YMCA. Oklahoma may be the worst team ever. But today offered up a real classic – Carmelo Anthony just scored 33 in a quarter. “The goal felt like an ocean”, damn straight it did Melo.

– David

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Detroit Pissed on the Lakers

Pistons Lakers Basketball

The Lakers started looking human again on Friday night, clocking their first loss of the season at the hands of the new-era Pistons in a game that was, quite frankly, a little (very) disappointing. I’m sorry, but when the starting lineups include names like Bryant, Gasol, Bynum, Prince, Wallace, Hamilton, and Iverson, I expect a little intensity, flair, and some freaky scoring moves.

Iverson ran red-hot for the first quarter, and Bynum pulled down a ridiculous amount of offensive rebounds in the same period. In fact, most of the starters had a quarter in which they excelled – Gasol assisting his pants off in the second quarter, Stuckey unstoppable in the third – but nobody but Prince was consistent for the duation. As a result, the match never seriously threatened to become exciting, and Detroit held the Lakers at arms length with apparent ease. Tayshaun Prince was a revelation though, and seems to have found his role alongside Iverson, who was skinning his defenders all night and kicking out to open shooters. Rasheed Wallace was the primary long-range punisher, maniacally grinning his way to 4 from 9 beyond the arc.

Pistons Lakers Basketball

Only one true standout moment – Kobe (29 points on the night on a 12 of 30 FG shooting display/debacle) with the impossible alley oop finish from a pretty ambitious Gasol pass:

More of that next time please.

– Justin Warren

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