No matter how much energy I put forth to resist the temptation, I cannot keep my mind off the day-to-day wannabe saga revolving around the Los Angeles Lakers.
I feel like I have written multiple columns about the Lakers this year, and that makes me my own worst enemy. SportsCenter barely provides its daily thrills, considering that Kobe, Dwight and D’Antoni are among the only things mentioned during each segment. Ironically, I am simply feeding the beast I wish to put down as I dedicate the next few words to them (“a paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox!”).
I try, however, to give the whole situation a non-ESPN viewpoint. Unlike many primetime sportscasters, I am not buddies with anyone on the Lakers’ roster because: (1) as one who stands at 5 feet 11 inches, I don’t think they can hear me all the way down here, and (2) what would Enes Kanter think? I could never do that to Enes.
So, in case you haven’t heard (how is it under your rock?), the Los Angeles Lakers are currently less-than-mediocre with a 17-25 record (hopefully a 17-26 record after they play the Jazz tonight). They picked up two All-Stars (Dwight Howard and Steve Nash) in the offseason in hopes of improving their already-impressive roster, and the team looked set to excel at the start of the season. After a 1-4 start, however, the team fired ex-head coach Mike Brown and hired Mike D’Antoni, the former NBA Coach of the Year. Since hiring D’Antoni, the Lakers have a sloppy 12-20 record and have won two of 12 games in January (again, hopefully two of 13 after tonight).
So, they aren’t very good, and they are supposed to be. This has never happened in the history of the National Basketball Association! If this were the Dallas Mavericks, for example, no one would really care.
What’s that? The Mavericks have an 18-25 record despite a roster of five NBA All-Stars, including Nowitzki, Carter, Mayo, Diaw, Marion, Kaman, Collison, Brand and Beaubois? Well, I’ll be . . .
The story won’t die until the Lakers are playing well again. At this moment, ESPN is airing a match between the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks. Who are the commentators talking about? The Lakers.
The ESPN “bottom line” (the continually updated news feed at the bottom of the screen) is currently showing: “Laker’s F/C Dwight Howard says ‘he is sick of hearing about all of the negative stuff’ about the team . . .” That’s what happens when you lose, Dwight.
Current stories on ESPN.com: “Should the Lakers trade Dwight?”, “Lakers should fire D’Antoni” and “Howard: Negativity around Lakers must stop.”
Why such constant attention to one team? The Lakers are continual playoff contenders each and every year. They should, statistically speaking, be a very good basketball team this year, and they are not. They have on their roster Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol — three players who are consistent in their grumbling on and off the court. The reasons are many, and they won’t be going away.
The point is that the Lakers’ story simply won’t ever die. The Lakers are the story of our sports news channels because they are who the people want to hear about. Even I relish in the current Laker pickle, and I love to hate them when they’re actually playing well. No matter where this season takes us, the team out of Hollywood will always be famous, and that’s just how it is.
On another note, why are they called the Lakers? Where are the lakes? Apparently the team originated in Minnesota near the area’s many bodies of water. That might be the problem. The name doesn’t fit!
Then again, with all of the jazz here in Utah . . .