There’s No Fool Like An Old Fool ………. And There’s Now One Born Every Minute ……

There’s No Fool Like An Old Fool ………. And There’s Now One Born Every Minute ……

Well it now appears as the Los Angeles Lakers’ —- season has been somewhat derailed by their uneven play there’s rumblings in ‘ La-La Land’ that the Lakers are prepared to trigger a deal that would bring the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers in exchange for Andrew Bynum and either Lamar Odom or Ron Artest that would bring the prized All Star to the “City of Angels” . There are already preliminary talks that have taken place as was being reported by ESPN’s —- Chris Broussard the station’s widely respected NBA analyst.


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Slide show for your perusal .

As we all know the New York Knicks and in particular GM Donnie Walsh , owner James Dolan and coach Mike DAntoni have expressed a desire to bring the Anthony to his native New York. The player himself has made it his desire to go to New York but herein lies the problem the Knicks aren’t any closer to being a contender in their present guise . And if anything the Knicks and the pieces that they would have on offer to the Nuggets would not be in any way as desirable as Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak would be able to offer the Denver Nuggets. Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri has to do what’s best for the organization and clearly he’s now caught between a rock and hard place.

Courtesy of ESPN Los Angeles

Andrew Bynum dismisses trade talk

By Dave McMenamin

All The Pros and Cons of Melo in LA ….

Boston — The basketball world might have been set aflame overnight considering a scenario where the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers would acquire four-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets for center Andrew Bynum, but you wouldn’t know it from looking in on Lakers practice Wednesday.

As the team made its way off the practice court at Emerson College, Bynum joked with Lamar Odom, and Kobe Bryant bristled when asked if he had to comfort Bynum.

“If he can’t deal with that, forget about a Game 7,” Bryant said of the trade talk that was first reported by ESPN the Magazine’s Chris Broussard on Tuesday. “I don’t need to talk to him about that. He’s a big boy, he can handle himself.”

Coach Phil Jackson barely batted an eyelash as he was approached by a throng of media that included reporters from national news outlets.

“I haven’t given it a second thought,” Jackson said. “I haven’t really entertained it.”

If Jackson hasn’t given it a second thought, then what was his first thought about the Lakers moving their 7-foot, 285-pound big man to pick up a wing player in Anthony?

“My first thought was, ‘Why are these people interrupting my life with these kind of rumors?’ ” Jackson said.

Bynum said his agent, David Lee , called him at 4 p.m. Tuesday to tell him about the report. It was a familiar refrain for Bynum, whose name has popped up in rumors linked to a laundry list of players — Jason Kidd , Jermaine O’Neal , Kevin Garnett , Chris Paul and Pau Gasol among them — in his six-year career.

“It’s just another rumor as far as I’m concerned,” a nonchalant Bynum said Wednesday. “I was caught up in [Chris] Bosh and Pau [trade speculation], so it’s nothing new to me. I’m just going to keep playing basketball.


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The NBA trade deadline is on the 24th February and there’s bound to be a flurry of trades around the league as a number of teams will look to bolster their rosters in order to make a playoff push. And it goes without saying that Carmelo Anthony is the most prized asset of the lucrative restricted and unrestricted free agents that are about to come on the market.

Los Angeles Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson clearly sees that there’s a flaw in his team and the way in which they’ve been playing recently . Statistically the load being carried on this team is being done predominantly as always by Kobe Bryant , who at times is being ably assisted by Pau Gasol when he’s completely free of injury. And it has been clear for all to see that this Lakers’ team has systematically limped along the way to their current position in the standings. The team’s 35-16 mark places places them third in the Western Conference Standings behind the conference leading San Antonio Spurs (42-8) and the Dallas Mavericks .

Now it’d be a surprise to many to see the Spurs be so dominant in the NBA this season but those who’d taken note of the Spurs’ team would have realized that this has been a collective effort , and not totally reliant on the team’s triumvirate of stars Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker . And one ought to take into account also that in Gregg Popovich the Spurs might possess the best coach in the NBA outside of the Lakers ‘ Phil Jackson .

Should the Lakers pull off this deal then clearly it would place them amongst the mainstay within the conference and even though they are the reigning NBA champions . This team was meant was built with the intent of making a successful defense and based upon the changes made by Jackson and Kupchak over the last season it’s very clear that the Lakers have fallen short of those desires . Ron Artest has been increasingly inconsistent and it’s clear that the likes of Odom , Bynum , Shannon Brown , Steve Blake and the Lakers’ bench haven’t met the expectations of the coaching staff or the fans in attendance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. aren’t gense

Carmelo Anthony for his part gets to play on a team alongside a perennial All Star in Kobe Bryant and that can’t at all be bad for a player whose desire to win an NBA title at this stage of his career the desire is to win. The Nuggets aren’t any closer to doing that and their window of opportunity has already come to a close . They’re still a very good regular season team and that is in spite of last season’s playoff performances and the heroics by the team. Unfortunately with the illness of coach George Karl even with the experience shown by Adrian Dantley as he took over from Karl while he underwent chemotherapy and then the long drawn out process of recuperation . The problems for Nuggets stem from the fact that they contend in the always competitive and cuthroat atmosphere of the Western Conference .


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Picture gallery for your perusal.

A chance to see Carmel Anthony in the Lakers’ purple and gold could be the biggest thing to hit LA since the arrival of Shaquille O’Neal and from there the team’s unprecedented success of a trio of NBA titles under Phil Jackson . At this juncture when there’s more entertainment to be had from watching the Lakers’ co-resident at the Staples Center , the Los Angeles Clippers then you simply know that things aren’t all right with this Lakers’ team. It’s now gotten to the stage where Blake Griffin is now getting collectively more exposure on both ABC/ESPN and TNT than the reigning NBA champions. And when that happens then clearly one could surmise that all isn’t right in the basketball world and the fact that basketball gods are now said to be smiling.

The New York Knicks could well be on the outside looking in as the ones left out. The fans at Madison Square Gardens aren’t entirely happy that as of late that their team has suddenly been slipping and their recent displays can be best described as being erratic. With the excellent play of Amar’e Stoudemire , Landry Fields , Raymond Felton it has been the Knicks’ bench that has continued to let them down in the most untimely of situation when they’ve had games within their grasp. There’s no denying that the addition of Carmelo Anthony would be a tremendous boost to the organization from a number of standpoints not the least from a financial standpoint of the league’s most valuable NBA franchise. The most recent estimates have the Knicks valued at approximately $655 million with the league average being $370 million .

The cat and mouse games will now begin as quite possibly Donnie Walsh and James Dolan may well look to make a last ditch attempt to bring Carmelo to New York. You have the glamor of Hollywood being thrown up against the 24 hour none stop mayhem that we know to be the “The Big Apple” and it will all come down to which organization can use its wiles to lure the Nuggets’ player to be a part of their immediate and long term future. As of now either these two organizations could start to play a very interesting game of chicken with the loser quite possibly end up looking the fool. And as of now there’s no clear indicator as to who that might be.

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the potential trade of Carmelo Anthony to the Los Angeles Lakers rather than quite possibly ending up with the New York Knicks ? Chime on in with a comment as to your thoughts on this topic or any other as it relates to the NBA. Thanks as always for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details below

(1) Denver , Co,. : Carmelo Anthony (15) of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the New York Knicks at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. According to reports, the Denver Nuggets are in preliminary talks with the Los Angeles Lakers for a trade that would send Anthony to the Lakers for a package built around Andrew Bynum . Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …….

(2) Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom goes to the hoop in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, against the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, Tenn. Odom scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds to lead the Lakers to a 93-84 win. AP Photo/Alan Spearman ……….

(3) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) handles the ball away from the Memphis Grizzlies defenders in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. AP Photo/Alan Spearman ……….

(4) Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) defends Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol, left, of Spain, in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. AP Photo/Alan Spearman …………………..

(5) Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl hangs his head during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Denver. AP Photo/Jack Dempsey ………

(6) New York Knicks owner James Dolan (right) listens as newly hired president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh speaks during a news conference in New York, April 2, 2008. The organization are still said to be pursuing all venues possible to bring Carmelo Anthony to Madison Square Gardens home to the New York Knicks. But with the now rising interest of the Los Angeles Lakers the team will be matched in a battle of wits with the West Coast rival. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

(7) ESPN’s NBA analyst Chris Broussard who first broke the story of the Lakers’ interest and pursuit of the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony. The two teams have met privately to discuss a possible deal looking to finalize it before the NBA’s trade deadline of the 24th February . AP Photo / Steve Pearson ……….

(8) Nuggets’ GM Masai Ujiri formerly a mid-level executive with the Toronto Raptors . Ujiri who reports directly to owner Stanley Kroenke and his son Josh Kroenke the President & COO of the Nuggets organization . It will be on their say so whether or not the player will be traded to either the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks . AP Photo / Richard Todd ………..

(9) Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson (left ) left is seen here with the team’s GM Mitch Kupchak on a private jet discussing team business . The two obviously not happy with the current state of affairs concerning the team are said to be eagerly in pursuit of the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony in a trade that might possibly have the team’s center Andrew Bynum heading out of Los Angeles to Denver. NBAE/ Getty Images/ Andrew D Bernstein ……..



Alan aka tophatal ………………

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Eye candy …………. Sasha Delvalle

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Jay Z & Alicia Keys ……….”Empire State of Mind”


Tony – Toni – Tone …………”It Never Rains” (In Southern California)

Stupid Is As Stupid Does ………… Another Dumb Ass Athlete Who Simply Has No Brains

Stupid Is As Stupid Does ……. Another Dumb Ass Athlete Who Simply Has No Brains

So at one point did it occur to the Los Angeles Lakers’ __ Andrew Bynum that’d it be better to forgo having surgery in the offseason and attend the World Cup in South Africa ? The player whose participation in the NBA Finals was somewhat limited albeit that the team ended up defeating the Boston Celtics in what turned out to be somewhat of a lackluster series. Finals’ MVP Kobe Bryant was ably abetted by Pau Gasol and able cast of teammates but the series itself could’ve been far more enthralling had Bynum been at full strength.


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Slide show for your perusal.

As I stated earlier in the piece the Lakers’ center sought to visit to visit the African continent for the FIFA World Cup. The player rather than having surgery in the offseason now has chosen to undergo surgery on his right knee just as the preseason and opening training camp is set to get underway. Questions must abound as to why now would the player seek to have this surgery when he had the whole offseason to have the surgery and then fully recuperate and rehabilitate his knee ? Now in having the surgery it’s said that with rest and therapy he’d miss the greater part of the preseason and quite possibly miss the first dozen or so games of the Lakers’ regular season schedule. Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson and team GM Mitch Kupchak can’t be entirely happy with these set of circumstances but in all probability they may well have already voiced their displeasure with the player.

Now in the midst of this all, we know as defending champions the Lakers will want to be ready and firing on all cylinders as the season begins. They’re now for all sense and purpose the bulls-eye with all the other 29 teams in the NBA looking to take them down. Bynum for his part has yet to live up to the potential that many believe him to have and this is a player who after five years in the league has yet to play more than 50 games in of the quintet of seasons his career has been established. That in of-itself ought to be of no surprise to anyone who’s seen the player up close and personal. His raw talent is exceptional but his game has yet to be polished where he’d be viewed as one of the top centers in the game. That being said the talent within the NBA at the position isn’t that plentiful or particularly talented. Other than the histrionics of Dwight Howard whose talent is unquestioned we’ve yet to see any other player that could say match the work ethic and talent shown by the likes of Shaquille O’Neal , Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon at the height of their illustrious careers. In the case of Howard we’ve yet to see consistency and the leadership qualities that one would come to expect of a player looking to step into those illustrious shoes.

This upcoming season on the agenda is the triumvirate of Bosh, James and Wade as they seek to lead the Miami Heat back to the summit of the NBA world. Now while I’m under no illusion as to why this was engineered by Heat President Pat Riley and the now idiotic talk that the Heat will be able to surpass the 72-10 win tally of the Michael Jordan led championship winning Chicago Bulls. I do know this from a business standpoint Heat owner Micky Arison needed this type of infusion from an economic outlook if the franchise was to show any type of profit this season. Collectively this NBA lost in excess of $ 350 million and is fore-cast to lose close to $500 million collectively(half a billion dollars) for the 2010-11 season. And one would have thought that the owners around the league would be now crying poverty ? But they are , aren’t they ? I mean why else would Commissioner David Stern see fit to avail a number of teams in excess of b> $250 million in loans which have been made possible a number of retail consumer banks ? Then at the same time Stern and the league’s hierarchy would have us believe that it’s not to be viewed as a bailout. In the last decade alone teams within the NBA have borrowed in excess of $1.65 billion dollars either to facilitate major upheavals of their venues or for an assortment of deals that they’ve been reluctant to make public.

David Stern and the league hierarchy have got to be overly concerned over the league’s financial struggles albeit that their industry is a $ 6 billion a year plus industry. Now there has got to be something missing from the midst of this all when Stern now alleges that the current collective bargaining agreement is an inequitable one between the NBPA (union) and the league. If these teams and the hierarchy can’t find a way to split their revenues wherein they can survive and still eke out a moderate profit then clearly the template that the NBA operates under is askew and is need of some thoughtful consideration as to how best to proceed. Clearly the days where the owners , players and league hierarchy think that they can simply ignore the fans and in particular economic climate and operate in the same manner is now no longer possible.

Well with the Golden State Warriors now under new ownership it appears that the new incoming hierarchy was looking to bring in their own man. And for incumbent coach Don Nelson the writing was on the wall. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Nelson would be fired. The Warriors have been a lackluster franchise who under Nelson consistently underachieved and to my thinking he should have been fired long ago rather than kept on in order to surpass Lenny Wilkens’ wins record. Why keep a coach in place in order to attain a record that simply no one cares about when that franchise isn’t winning on a consistent basis much less in with a chance of winning an NBA title ? Pardon me for saying this but Chris Cohan, the team’s former owner is either an ass or he clearly has no idea how to run a professional sport’s franchise despite the millions in his bank account. I liken many of the owners of a professional sports franchise as simply egotistical maniacs who simply use these teams as mere baubles to entertain their peers and acquaintances. Doubt my word, then simply take into account owners such as Dr John York and his wife Denise DeBartolo York ( San Francisco 49ers), Frank and Jamie McCourt (Los Angeles Dodgers), Bob Nutting ( Pittsburgh Pirates), Al Davis (Oakland Raiders) and formerly Oren Koules and his partners (Tampa Bay Lightning). Here you had owners whose excesses simply haven’t amounted to much . OK one can say that amongst the owners listed Al Davis has won multiple Superbowls but since those wins , success has been rare even though the elderly owner is still admired around the league(NFL). If there’s a chance that we could have some semblance of common sense from these owners and their executives who are their subordinates then quite possibly some of these franchise would actually achieve some success.

Though I’ve come to love the NBA , I personally don’t get totally enamored with the season until the season gets over its Christmas schedule. By then the NFL season though it hasn’t yet reached its climax we’re almost pretty sure which teams will be in the midst of making it to the postseason. From thereon in the fans ought to be simply gearing themselves up for all of the intrigue of the NBA season. Well for me that’s most definitely the case and I have to admit while I’m not about to be watching the Miami Heat and the circus that’s about to be created as the noted trio’s showcase goes on the road. Now undoubtedly for teams scheduling the Heat this will be a boon for their gates and the homes games to be played at the AAArena in Miami will see a boost in attendance. And for Heat President Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison this exactly what they wanted for the franchise. The franchise will reap a harvest but the biggest bonus would be if the team is able to raise the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June of 2011. But much of that will be predicated on the form of Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dywane Wade as that could well be the deciding factor as to how this team will fare throughout the season.



Picture gallery for your perusal .

Given what we’ve seen happen over the postseason within the NBA how do you see the upcoming season panning out ? And if anything can see this present Heat team matching the feat of the Chicago Bulls and their history making season of 72 wins ? And is Pat Riley justified in now criticizing those whom he sees as being vocal as to how he engineered the signings of both James and Bosh ? Chime on in with your thoughts on the topic and any other thoughts on this upcoming NBA season ?

Alan aka tophatal ………… 🙂


Eye candy courtesy of XXL magazine Sasha Del Valle

Is There A Tinge Of Doubt At The Moment ….. ?

Is There A Tinge Of Doubt At The Moment ….. ?

I don’t know that the Los Angeles Lakers’ fans should have some doubt at the moment as to the legitimacy of the team’s effort in making it to the Western Conference Finals . But I for one believe that their coach Phil Jackson is very much concerned but he’s not intent on showing it. This much I do believe, ‘this team’ is nowhere as good as the one, that won the 2009 NBA Finals in defeating the Orlando Magic with relative ease !

Los Angeles ,Ca,. Carlos Boozer (5) of the Utah Jazz has his shot challenged by Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers would go on to defeat the Utah Jazz 102-96 during the game. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Andrew D Bernstein.............
Los Angeles ,Ca,. Carlos Boozer (5) of the Utah Jazz has his shot challenged by Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers would go on to defeat the Utah Jazz 102-96 during the game. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Andrew D Bernstein.............

One of the reasons why I state the team isn’t as good as last year’s victorious roster. Well the addition of Ron Artest to my mind has led to subtraction by addition ! There isn’t as much cohesiveness about the unit as last year’s ensemble. The loss of Trevor Ariza is far more than anyone within the Lakers’ front office , coaching staff or players would care to admit. They in essence sold their ‘soul to the Devil’ in obtaining Artest. And in return, there’s been little to show tangibly from the player in terms of his efforts. OK, so some will say that it takes time to acclimatize to new surroundings and a new cast of teammates. But given the fact that Artest is a seasoned veteran, rather than a rookie. What we’re now seeing from the player is a great deal of inconsistency and the mere fact that he’s become more of a liability to the team, rather than the asset that they’d hoped for. Ariza who signed with Artest’s former team the Houston Rocket , is having a rather solid season playing alongside Luis Scola , Aaron Brooks and a solid core of players that make up this Rocket’s team . And at the same time this Rick Adelman coached roster has played themselves into contention for a playoff berth .

Now there’s a great reason to show some cause for concern if you’re undoubted Lakers’ fan. Guard Kobe Bryant is playing injured (broken index finger-on his right hand and dislocated finger on the right) and once again it looks like the team’s center Andrew Bynum just can’t seem to stay fit long enough, to contribute with any great consistency to the team. And though they lead the conference and their division by a fairly wide margin. You get the feeling that another serious injury to any of the other front line players on the roster and the Lakers’ season could completely spiral out of control. The team’s bench has become their Achilles’ heel and anyone who believes that they have “the best bench” in the entire NBA is in need of treatment from Dr Drew Pinsky . Rehab anyone ?

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Lakers sign Bryant to 3-year extension

El Segundo , California (AP)—Kobe Bryant(notes) is staying with the Los Angeles Lakers for another three years.

The deal announced Friday will begin after next season. Bryant is making $23 million this season and is due to earn $24.8 million next season.

“It’s very rare to have a player play his entire career in one city, so I’m very excited,” he said after the Lakers beat Utah 106-92.

Bryant would earn $27.4 million in 2011-12, $30.2 million the following season and more than $32 million in his final year, when he would be 35.

“Good news,” coach Phil Jackson said. “I expected that Kobe would sign. It’s a good choice for him and the organization.”

The deal means the Lakers achieved two main objectives going into the season — signing Bryant and Pau Gasol(notes) to extensions.

“We were able to accomplish those goals, helping to keep the core of this team intact for the foreseeable future and in turn help to ensure the franchise’s continued success over the years to come,” General manager Mitch Kupchak said Friday on the team’s Web site.

Gasol signed earlier in the season.

The 31-year Bryant could have terminated the last two years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent last July. He could have secured a new, longer deal if he had opted out, but he wouldn’t have necessarily made more money.


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Now we can all attest to the fact this Lakers’ team has been the best within their conference by a convincingly wide margin. But at the same time as with any team they will have their struggles when faced with a certain amount of adversity. And that is to be expected because that is what delineates and separates the good teams from the bad. The bad teams don’t know how to adapt and overcome adversity. The good teams always tend to find a way and that all comes down the experience of the players and that of the coaching staff in place. And in Phil Jackson and his staff where’s ably abetted by Frank Hamblen , Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons as his chief subordinates. Jackson could not have found anyone better to have assisted him in the task. The game of basketball isn’t merely about what goes on , on the court but it’s also about what the coaches instill into the heads of the players in terms of their competitiveness and playing abilities. This is where the advantage lies with the Lakers ahead of the rest of NBA. Phil Jackson is as astute a coach as there is , involved in any team sport. He ranks up there alongside the likes of Lombardi , Auerbach , Bowman and John Wooden . But today where one’s every move is judged and singled out by every tv analyst , pundit , columnist and fan out there. There’s got to be a time where the coach himself has to be wondering whether or not it’s all worth it. And for Jackson , that answer is probably yes. He’s the flag bearer by which every NBA coach is now judged whether they like it or not. Jackson’s success proves that point .

As it now stands I do expect the Lakers to make it to the Western Conference Finals. But in all honesty their recent form (5-5) has me rethinking whether not they’ll be the conference representatives in the upcoming NBA Finals. This is much is true , without a completely healthy Bynum and Bryant this team’s chances of repeating as NBA champions is greatly diminished. And without Bryant as its figure head and vocal leader on and off the court they become nothing more than an average team, at best ! And average teams simply no longer win NBA championships in this day and age. If that were the case then it’d show mediocre the brand and product had become in the NBA. And that’s not something that either David Stern or the NBA hierarchy would like to see at this particular moment in time. Especially not with several teams around the league struggling financially , simply to stay afloat.

When the Lakers or Boston Celtics are riding high then it makes for a better NBA brand and product out there for the consumer to part-take of and enjoy. And though we’ve seen the rise of the LeBron James’ led Cleveland Cavaliers . Until James and his teammates are winning championships on a regular basise or are perennial contenders. Then he’ll just be seen as another ‘prodigy’ and not much else. I think that’s pretty fair to say about LeBron at this juncture don’t you think ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal


Simply Red feat’g on lead vocals Mick Hucknall …….. ‘Holding Back The Years’


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Reasons why Phil Jackson is thankful . He gets to ‘nail’
the boss’ daughter Jeanie Buss .

Yo Lakers’ Fans Boo All You Want ’cause Once Kobe’s Gone The Lights’ll Go Out At The Staples Center …………….

They try to makes themselves out to be sophisticated fans and knowledgeable about their team. And of course, courtside you’ll always find the likes of Dyan Cannon and Jack Nicholson showing their unbridled passion and support for the Los Angeles Lakers.Granted, court side at the Staples Center is the place to be seen, when your team is winning on a consistent basis. And especially when the game’s best player is now happy with his lot. Kobe Bryant is atop of his game and the basketball world and it can’t be taken away from him.Not unless, he has a mindset to relinquish those accolades festooned upon him ? And at this juncture , I think that’s unlikely to happen.

Head Coach Phil Jackson and Ron Artest  of the Los Angeles Lakers talk after the Lakers practice on November 16, 2009 at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.    picture appears courtesy  of nbae/getty images/ Noah Graham ...............
Head Coach Phil Jackson and Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers talk after the Lakers practice on November 16, 2009 at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Noah Graham ...............

So undoubtedly, I’m as perplexed as the next person to find out that some itinerant Lakers’ fans saw fit to berate, disparage and boo the team after a recent loss on their homecourt. And as fickle as fans can sometimes be. I think that the Lakers’ fans in particular ought to be happy with their lot and appreciative of the talent that Bryant has been surrounded by. Hell, it could be a hell of a lot worse , you could be watching the Clippers ? OK , so I threw that in there to annoy you, the most discerning of Lakers’ fans ! But like I’ve said be appreciative of what you have in front of you. Not only in terms of Kobe Bryant , but also the team’s coach in , Phil Jackson and that of his coaching staff. Because without the likes of Frank Hamblen, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Brian Shaw,Craig Hodges and Jim Cleamons. One seriously doubts that the Lakers would’ve made it as far as they did last year. he old adage is that….’players wins games and defense wins championships’. But to my mind without the proper coaching they’re not able to achieve the goals that are set for them to begin with. And that’s most certainly where the abilities Phil Jackson and his coaching staff comes mightily handy.No one’s of the belief that this Lakers’ team could’ve rode single handedly on the shoulders of Bryant alone, on their way winning last season’s NBA title ?

 Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball against Trevor Ariza  of the Houston Rockets on November 15, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Rockets won 101-91.    picture appears courtesy  of  getty  images/ Stephen  Dunn
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball against Trevor Ariza of the Houston Rockets on November 15, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Rockets won 101-91. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

Lakers booed at home in 101-91 loss to Rockets

By Beth Harris , AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Trevor Ariza(notes) got his NBA championship ring and his Houston Rockets got the win.

Aaron Brooks(notes) saw the ring dripping with diamonds and suddenly he was off on a career night. He took the Houston Rockets with him, scoring a career-high 33 points, including five 3-pointers, in a 101-91 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday night, sending the Lakers to a second consecutive loss.

“That’s my first time seeing an NBA ring,” Brooks said. “It moved us and we played inspired basketball.”

And the NBA champs? Well, they looked downright ordinary again.

The Lakers were coming off a 105-79 drubbing at Denver two nights earlier only to have another team they vanquished in last season’s title run show them up at home, where they got booed.

“Defensively, we need to step it up,” Andrew Bynum(notes) said. “That’s what we’re lacking right now. We got guards trying to box out bigs. Bigs trying to box out guards. We’re all over the place right now.”

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So forgive me for saying this, but we’re a mere eleven game into the season, with the Los Angeles Lakers (7-3) having the fourth best record tied with the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference. Whereupon, they only sit 1 1/2 games behind the division leading, Phoenix Suns (9-2) in the Pacific Divsion . And within the division you have the likes of the Sacramento Kings, L. A. Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. And while one might only view the Suns as their most serious threat within the division. That isn’t to say that Phil Jackson and his players are overlooking the Suns, or any other team within the Western Conference.

Winning, we know cures all that ails but the true test of a team is how they handle the adversity of losing. And whether or not the lessons that are learned from a loss makes them a better team in the future. Something it appears that the Lakers’ fans in attendance couldn’t care less about. But as I alluded to earlier they’d have you believe that many of them are the most knowledgeable NBA fans around. That may well be the case in some instances but I can only surmise that those who were showing their displeasure during and after the 101-91 loss to the Houston Rockets, were either inebriated or they’re just your normal belligerent oafish fans, you’d come to expect in attendance at a sporting event. And OK, so we know that this loss didn’t help, knowing that this came off an earlier loss to the Denver Nuggets,some nights earlier. The result there too was another blowout loss 105-79 and where the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with an almost effortless 25 points,4 reb’s,3 steals, 2 assists and a thoroughly engaging display. But if anything,it was an allround team effort, with some stifling defense from the George Karl coached team.

Two consecutive losses and you’d have thought that the Lakers’ season is already over ? But nothing could be further from the truth and if anything the majority of Lakers’ fans ought to know this. But it would appear that far too many of them are about the here and now- what have you done for me lately ? That sort of thinking shows the crass side of the fans who are essentially unintelligent ! Yes, I said it ,unintelligent ! What are going to do, piss on me for telling the truth ?

The Lakers’ display,though woefully inept against the Nuggets. No one
could’ve imagined that it would carry over the game against the Rockets and result in the 101-91 loss. It may well have come out of over complacency, exhaustion. Or the mere fact that having just received their championship rings they were to in awe of the event and just thought that they’d ride their through part of the game and then turn it on at will, against the Rockets ? For Ron Artest formerly of the Rockets and now with the Lakers. This must’ve been a night that he’d rather forget. And for the Rockets, Trevor Ariza was facing his former team and no doubt hell bent on showing what they’d be missing out on , in not having re-signed him.

And while one can appreciate that the Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA champions. The hardest thing in the world to do , is to come back and successfully defend that championship. Albeit, that Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant have been recipients of such a feat. In the case of Jackson, he achieved his three-peat with the Chicago Bulls twice, with Michael Jordan being the tour-de-force on each of those occasions. And then came a third three-peat , this time around with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in tow with the Lakers. We know that if the Los Angeles Lakers are indeed to successfully defend their title. Then it’ll have to be an allout effort right across the board from the team .

Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against the Houston Rockets on November 15, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.   picture  appears courtesy of  getty images/ Stephen  Dunn   ..............
Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against the Houston Rockets on November 15, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ...................

A great deal is expected from the likes of Jordan Farmar, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom ,and in particular both Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum. Artest, in particular has to show that the organization’s faith in signing him was justified. And Bynum has to prove that he’s finally ready to take his game to the next level. For Bryant, all he has to do is just lead this with the resolve and maturity he’s shown. While undoubtedly showing that he’s still marquee player in the league , bar none ! People can opine about LeBron James and how he is the best player in the NBA. But until his legacy as a player, shows something tangible by way of a championship. In essence ,he’ll be viewed as nothing more than a protoge’ and an exceptional player.

As I alluded to earlier though Kobe Bryant has yet to bow from the NBA stage and ride off into the sunset. Chances are that if the behavior of those alleged Lakers’ fans continue. Then he may well choose to ride off into the sunset, not into retirement but to ply his trade elsewhere in the NBA. Stranger things have happened and will happen in this game we call basketball. But the strangest of them all, would be to see Kobe Bryant driven out of Los Angeles because of the bellicose fans who call themselves true Lakers’ fans. We expect fans to be critical of their teams when they’re not playing well. What one doesn’t expect, is for those fans to behave as if they’ve suddenly found the art of being an absolute moron. Appreciate Bryant while you can. Because I’d hate to see the lights go out at the Staples Center , should Kobe up and leave. Because if ‘The Mamba’ leaves, there won’t be much to entice the fans to the Staples Center. And then what would the likes Jack, Dyan, Will, Jada , Tom and Katie do for an evening out ? Go watch the L A Galaxy of the MLS ? I think not !

Los Angeles Lakers’ Team Roster 2009-10

37 Ron Artest F 6-7 260 11/13/1979 St. John’s 10
12 Shannon Brown G 6-4 210 11/29/1985 Michigan State 3
24 Kobe Bryant G 6-6 205 08/23/1978 Lower Merion HS (PA) 13
17 Andrew Bynum C 7-0 285 10/27/1987 St. Joseph HS (NJ) 4
1 Jordan Farmar G 6-2 180 11/30/1986 UCLA 3
2 Derek Fisher G 6-1 210 08/09/1974 Arkansas-Little Rock 13
16 Pau Gasol F-C 7-0 250 07/06/1980 Barcelona, Spain 8
28 Didier Ilunga-Mbenga C 7-0 255 12/30/1980 Kinshasa, DRC 5
6 Adam Morrison F 6-8 205 07/19/1984 Gonzaga 2
7 Lamar Odom F 6-10 230 11/06/1979 Rhode Island 10
21 Josh Powell F 6-9 240 01/25/1983 North Carolina State 4
18 Sasha Vujacic G 6-7 205 03/08/1984 Maribor, Slovenia 5
4 Luke Walton F 6-8 235 03/28/1980 Arizona 6

Phil Jackson (College – North Dakota)

Frank Hamblen (College – Syracuse)
Brian Shaw (College – UC-Santa Barbara)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (College – UCLA)
Craig Hodges (College – Long Beach State)
Jim Cleamons (College – Ohio State)

Gary Vitti (College – Southern Connecticut State, Utah)

C – Captain
** – Unsigned Draft Pick
(FA) – Free Agent