Friday, February 4, 2011

Why Laker Fan Is Bugging

So here's a small sampling of things that are troubling the most spoiled fan base in the Association. (Why the most spoiled? Because unlike Boston Fan, they get good weather, and actually care more about hoop than anything else. The Massholes are really pretty sport-neutral between the Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots; whichever team is playing for a title is their favorite. But I digress.)

1) It's Phil Jackson's last year. Honest and for true! There's no way that he'll take a boatload of money to continue to work for his girlfriend's team. So next year, they are totally in trouble, since the Zen Master won't be around to give the players books they won't read, or an offense they'll forget about when Kobe Bryant's hot.

2) Ron Artest wants a trade. Well, that makes two of them, in that the Lakers have kind of gotten the memo that Testy is secretly terrible. If you want an offensive player who is prone to turnovers, poor judgments and bad shooting, he's the man. And the vaunted defense is entirely dependent on his mood, and we hope that you've got other rebounders to cover for the fact that Testy's muscles are entirely for show.

3) Something's wrong with Kobe. Well, sure; it's the regular season, and the man has been in the league long enough where nothing short of a personal insult can get him to notice or care much about games in February. If he's caring about these games, you might want to check him for a brain tumor.

4) They are old. Well, duh. Most of these guys are over 30, because good teams in the Association are generally over 30, especially now in an era of enhanced training, medicine and nutrition. But there's only so much that these factors can overcome Father Time, especially when one of your younger players, center Andrew Bynum, is genuinely brittle.

5) They aren't athletic. Considering that they start a fossil (Derek Fisher) at point guard, have an untrustworthy bench, a stiff bodybuilder who doesn't get crunch time minutes at small forward (Testy), a medical file at center (Bynum)... well, athleticism hasn't been the reason they've won the last two NBA titles. Bryant, and the talented passing big men (Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom) who are also defensive assets, along with Jackson? That's why they've won.

But none of these five factors is what's really bothering Laker Fan. Not even the bad losses to the Heat, Spurs and Celtics -- aka, the experienced potential playoff foes that have no fear when they play this team. No, what's really bothering Laker Can is that they are watching the second-most fun team in town.

Every time Blake Griffin rains down thunder from the skies like the new Shawn Kemp, Laker Fan cringes a little. Every time Eric Gordon strokes it from the arc with that soft ripple of pure cotton, Laker Fan quakes. Every time DeAndre Jordan fills the stat sheet with blocks and hustle, Laker Fan sees his team look a little older. And while the Clippers always screw this up, and will blow this with injury or free agency, it's just never a good moment for the Haves to envy the Have Nots.

It would be foolish to think that the current stumbling state of the champions is a real issue, or something that the team needs to address with a trade. Once this gets to playoff time and slowdown tempo, they'll look a lot better. When the games move to the absurd amounts of rest and time between games that is the first two rounds of the playoffs, they'll look ever better. Only a fool would think that that the Clips, for all of their happy fun time, are going to go deeper into the playoffs than the Lake Show.

And yet, Laker Fan is not wrong for not liking this team; they just aren't that much fun to watch. Not that any other fan base in the Association feels any pity at all, of course.

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