Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Makes Sense

This is a good article.

It mainly talks about how Kobe took the blame for last night, but how he has to stop being so stubborn (because he's stubborn, not selfish) and trust his teammates. I particularly liked this paragraph:

The Lakers can still beat them all, and that’s why they aren’t panicking. They played harder than in their previous two losses, but scouts will tell you they still look uninterested. That won’t last all season. Fans can light up the phone lines for L.A.’s talk shows, but deep down even they know each year in Lakerland is marked by four seasons: Kobe’s Mad at His Teammates; Kobe’s Shooting Too Much; Kobe Leads the Victory Parade; Kobe Receives his Championship Ring.

C'mon Man

I'm keeping this short and sweet for now. I really don't have much to say about the last two games.... Christmas I did expect them to lose mainly because they never play well on Christmas, so I wasn't surprised and therefore not upset. It was still frustrating of course, but whatever. Last night, I expected better from them. It was close at the half, 44-42 Lakers, and then they just fell apart in the second half. Kobe couldn't make anything, they didn't give the ball to Pau or Andrew enough, and just everyone kept missing shots. Their effort was definitely better, and they were feisty, but everything went against them. There were some awful no-calls by the officials and both Kobe AND Fish got technicals. Ugh. I'm praying that they win tonight against New's going to be tough, but they really need to. Oh and here's my facebook status from last night after the game. I still stand by it:

fucking lakers. stop being so frustrating and start playing some damn basketball!!! going 8-8 in the last 16 games against mostly shitty teams is unacceptable.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Classy Hobo (hahah)

I love Matt Barnes!! I can't believe how much he's grown on me.... such a hustler and good player, and seems funny to boot. This article was awesome and part of the behind the scenes look at the road trip the Lakers recently completed. Matty's quote is just hilarious perfect hahaha. Makes total sense. And I hope he and Lamar really do put on a fashion show during All Start Weekend :)

"Classy Hobo"
Published by Mike Trudell | December 19th, 2010 @ 2:50pm EST

"I like to define my dress as like a classy hobo. Not too dressy with a suit and tie, but still more than just jeans and a t-shirt. A nice mix in between sweaters, cardigans and ties."
- Matt Barnes

So, what does a 12-day road trip with six game nights mean to Matt Barnes? After the basketball (he did have 15 points and 10 rebounds in L.A.'s most recent win), of course, it's about carefully packing up some suitcases with his choice outfits. The NBA is, after all, one of the more fashion conscious workplaces there is. Combine a healthy income, a dose of swagger and television cameras constantly documenting player's appearances, and the importance of shoes, pants, shirts and accessories goes up.

A veteran team like the Lakers often conspire to leave Rodeo Drive impressions in the locker room, albeit with some personal touches as Barnes has joined Lamar and Kobe in establishing his own line.
Here's Barnes in one of his self-designed sweaters, a key component of "Classy Hobo."

"I work with a designer named Archer out of L.A. who used to be a big graffiti artist, but now he's kind of come to fashion," Barnes explained. "We come up with all kinds of wild stuff, just stuff that I think I'd like to see that isn't really out there. Since it's my line, I can do what I want to do."

The first-year Laker is already getting inquiries into his clothes from other athletes, and said he's looking to collaborate with Odom for a fashion show during the All-Star game in Los Angeles this February. It wasn't always like that for the former All-American wide receiver.

While attending his Sacramento high school, Barnes didn't own any brand name clothes, because he couldn't afford them. To get the Air Max shoes he so coveted, Barnes would save up lunch money for a month, and then, well…

"Once they got old and dingy I'd pop the air pocket and take them back for a fresh pair," he conceded. "I used to do that in high school, but in college I started getting per diem and stipend checks so it was a little easier."

Barnes likes to keep his accessories simple and classy as well. He likes smaller watches without too many diamonds and nice earrings, but he stays away from "iced out chains and iced out watches" because those to him are "a thing of the past, and nothing but trouble." He wears stuff that accentuates his outfit, but tries not to go overboard.


"Louis Vutton, Prada, Gucci," he said. "Chuck Taylor's are my favorite ones. I don't wear them all the time because I know that's not dress code, but I mix those three designers with Chuck's."

"He wasn't kidding about Chuck's being his No. 1 -- he owns 75 pairs of 'em.

"They have to be clean," he said, pausing for emphasis. "A white pair, you can probably only get two good wears out of them and then they're gone because those scuff marks don't come off. But the colored pairs with the different colored soles, you can just clean those off. I've had some for three or four years."

The UCLA product clarified that if he's "just hanging out," the scuffed Chucks are fine, but if he's wearing them to a game as part of an outfit, he doesn't feel they should be beat up. He'll just turn such pairs over to friends. And by the way, it's not just his friends outside of the game for whom he's looking out.

"I already have (rookie Devin) Ebanks under my wing," concluded Barnes. "We're going to have him talk to my stylist. He needs a lot of help, but he's young. He's cool with it, he understands that he's taking that next step. It's the best we can do to make him look good … we can't have him walking around the way he's been walking around lately."

Before long, there may be another classy hobo walking around in purple and gold cardigans.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My First Memory

My first memory has always been of watching basketball when I was about two- I remembered sitting in my dad's chair eating a cookie and wondering why the people on tv kept running back and forth. The only problem was I had no proof that this in fact happened....until a few weeks ago!! I was watching with my mom and sister and found a tape that we hadn't seen before and it had this. EXACT. memory on it! Yay for previously undiscovered home movies. I felt like my whole existence was vindicated hahah. It was just really neat to know that I hadn't made it up or romanticized it too much. It's hard enough to think of early memories, and I always have to double check that I haven't seen a picture or video of it first. Ironically it was the other way around this time :)

I also googled May 26, 1988 (the date in the video) and found out that Boston beat Detroit in 2OT in the Eastern Conference Finals… they went on to lose the series and then Detroit fell to the Lakers in Game 7. But yeah, it might be slightly egotisical but this video is awesome and makes me happy :) haha.

Milwaukee loss and Christmas thoughts

It was lovely being able to watch a whole game on Tuesday night; it was only the day after getting my wisdom teeth out and my mom had just driven back up to OC sooo I was sitting cozy on the couch, relaxing and watching Fox Sports West. Too bad the game wasn't any good. To be fair, the Lakers kept it within 4 for most of the night, but considering how many players Milwaukee had on the bench, we should have blown them out. Classic trap game, as the announcers kept saying. Kobe got ejected in the 4th for collecting two technicals and the Lakers lost by 19. Uglyyyy. Although Kobe's ejection did make me giggle, mostly because I could clearly see Kobe say "Fuck you" hahahah. I love reading athletes' lips on tv! And I don't think there's anything wrong with your best players/leaders getting a little feisty once in awhile. Maybe this game will light a fire under them and they'll come out blazing against Miami.

I can see tomorrow going one of two ways: the Lakers will get blown out, much like last year and it will suck. (They rarely play well on Christmas anyway). Orrrrr the Lakers will come out and eviscerate the Heat because of: their loss on Tuesday, the fact that they know it's a big game no matter what they say publicly, and the fact that they're pissed that everyone overlooked them this summer because of the "Big 3". I hope it's the second. Although I do love dramatic wins at the buzzer, but that might be too much to handle. And even though that would be fun, I'd rather embarrass Dwayne Wade and Co :)

Here is the shirt I will most likely be wearing tomorrow:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kobe versus Lebron

via Lakers Nation: With the long awaited Christmas Day matchup drawing nearer, Fan Reporter Morgan Cohen takes a look at the Kobe vs LeBron debate. Who do you think is better: Mamba or the King?

Generally speaking, I can be pretty quiet when people first meet me. If someone else is dominating the conversation, I let them and I listen respectfully. At the same time, I’m a naturally loquacious individual who is more than happy to talk if someone will let me. Mention the Lakers in passing and I’ll jump at the opportunity to chime in. Or if you’re insane enough, dare to insult Kobe Bryant to my face and see what happens. It amazes me when I’m wearing Lakers gear at my favorite bar how many guys attempt to strike up a conversation by insulting my jersey. I guess it works, because I can never resist an opportunity for a good sports argument in general, or the chance to put a Laker/Kobe Hater in their place. While I don’t always convince them, I try to wear them down enough to admit their respect for Kobe’s game, no matter how begrudgingly they give it.

This summer, I received an email from an acquaintance about basketball and he lead with “I analyze sports for a living and there is NO WAY Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James. Kobe might have a greater desire/will to win & have a better jumper, but LeBron is the most effective player in the league.” At first glance, I was ready to eviscerate him for even suggesting that LeBron is better is Kobe but I took a moment to really read and absorb what he wrote. Is LeBron more effective than Kobe? And if so, does that truly make him better? I thought about it and despite my instinct to defend Kobe’s honor against every slight, I conceded that LeBron was probably better… but Kobe is still best.

LeBron James is a freak of an athlete in the best possible way, and I used to really enjoy watching him play when he first entered the league. He was exciting, personable, and more than lived up to the hype surrounding his game. Somewhere along the line, the media started placing him on a pedestal above Kobe Bryant and that did not sit well with me- after all, where are his rings? Additionally, cracks started to show in LeBron’s kingly veneer and the image that emerged was not of an athlete with Michael Jordan’s killer instinct and Magic Johnson’s sparkling personality, but of a petulant, real-life Vincent Chase more concerned with having fun with his friends and putting up gaudy numbers than collecting rings. I want to respect LeBron, I really do. He’s incredible. But I can’t when he acts like a spoiled child so much of the time. More often than not, he relies on his supreme athletic gifts to get him where he needs to be, not his work ethic. Having your dreams handed to you on a silver platter will do that to a person.

The reasons Kobe Bean Bryant is best? The Mamba is more clutch, he's a proven winner, he still wants to win more than anyone on the planet except for maybe MJ, and he will do anything to make that happen. Besides my obvious adoration for him because he's on my home team and I've grown up watching him, I respect his dedication to constant improvement and his insane work ethic. Many of his Team USA teammates openly admitted that seeing Kobe’s work ethic and competitive intensity every day was shocking. It forced men who are already superstars in their own right to improve their own games just to compete at Kobe’s level. He was the catalyst for change on Team USA and his leadership and defensive mindset were the main differences between bronze in 2004 and gold in 2008. Everyone wondered if the game was on the line, if the gold medal was slipping away, who would step up? Would it be Dwayne Wade, who has a championship of his very own? Would it be LeBron James, the self-appointed “King”? Or would it be Kobe Bryant, the Closer with ice water running through his veins? With so many egos and alpha dogs on one team, would everyone fight for the last shot and the chance to be the man on the biggest stage of their careers? As it turns out… there was no contest. During the Gold Medal game versus an incredibly tough Spanish opponent, our entire team of superstars deferred to Kobe in the closing minutes to work his Mamba magic. Alpha dog issue solved as simply and organically as it ever will be. I love how coldblooded he is when the clock's winding down and the game is on the line.

Maybe it's not fair to compare them because Kobe’s killer instinct is so otherworldly, but one of the things I dislike most about LeBron is how silly he is. I don’t think it is wrong to strive to be an entertainer, but there is a fine line between electrifying basketball and putting on a theatrical show. I'll never forget when the Lakers played the Cavs this past January. After their abysmal Christmas Day loss to Cleveland, the Lakers were out for revenge and only down two with 23.4 seconds left. During the Cavs timeout, ABC showed LeBron rapping on the sidelines to an Eminem song. Really, dude?! That drove me insane. Yes, LeBron put up great numbers and had some clutch plays, but his shenanigans showed no respect at all for the competitiveness of the game. Do you think Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan would fool around like that in the waning seconds of a hotly contested game, ever? Not in a million years.

I also couldn’t believe that LeBron shot a left handed free throw last year in the playoffs! In Game 4 of the first round, Cleveland was winning but needed two free throws to ice the game and put the Bulls away. What does LeBron do? Miss the second because he shot it left-handed! Never mind the fact that he claimed it was due to an elbow injury that no one would have known about if he hadn’t altered his free throw. The very same elbow injury mysteriously disappeared almost immediately following the game. It certainly wasn’t as egregious as Paul Pierce’s fake wheelchair exit, but still fishy, somewhat annoying, and definitely unprofessional. Kobe doesn’t use injuries as excuses. He won a championship with a banged up knee and mangled finger. LeBron is gifted and has so much potential, but I think he's more intent on being famous than actually winning, no matter what he says.

I found a great article on, discussing many of the same points about why LeBron might be better but can never be viewed through the same spectrum as Kobe, or Michael Jordan for that matter. The author Tom7 claims that LeBron will never be as respected as MJ, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird or a number of other NBA legends “Because these NBA legends won more than just championships, their epic battles waged against worthy nemesises won respect, even from their opponents, and earned them their place in NBA history. Because if sports was just about the outcome and not the journey, we’d all stay home and get the scores off the Internet. Because being on top of a mountain earns people little respect, it’s the size of the obstacles they had to overcome in their climb that make these men so impressive.” By jumping ship and swimming over to South Beach, no title LeBron ever wins will mean as much to his legacy and the history books as a championship earned the hard way in Cleveland would have been. It was his prerogative to make that choice, but it is also ours as basketball fans to judge him for it.

Michael toiled for 7 long years in Chicago until he won his first -he was the promising, talented player who couldn’t win a title, but he never bolted. Kobe was the Robin to Shaquille’s Batman in the early years and morphed into the Dark Knight after being vilified for chasing championship dreams out of Los Angeles. I would argue that he was being the player he needed to be for the greater good: management needed pressure to bring in complimentary chess pieces for Kobe’s ultimate game. After all, Kobe was vilified in more ways than one in 2004 and it was unclear whether his legacy and legend would become permanently tarnished.

In the end, he became Lakerland’s shining hero once again- hitting game winning jumpers, learning to trust his teammates and leading them to three NBA Finals and two championships. He can move just as easily between jocular hero and grim-faced antihero depending on what the situation demands. I’m not trying to argue that Kobe was right to be petulant with his teammates or that he is the best player of all time. I’m merely trying to point out that what Kobe does is, in his mind at least, for the greater good. He a transcendent basketball player and one of the greatest to ever step on the court, thanks to a mixture of pure talent, preparedness, a dogged determination to constantly improve and a maniacal need to win each and every year. His mentality and approach to the game is unmatched. LeBron could conceivably get there one day, but he is not there now. And that is why he might be the most effective player in the league, but he is not the best player in the league.

The last scene of The Dark Knight is so powerful and the quote is one of my favorites. Commissioner Gordon tries to explain to his confused son that even though Batman hasn’t done anything wrong, they have to chase him “ Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.” Kobe is the guardian of the Lakers’ championship dreams for as long as he continues to play. LeBron could have been the Dark Knight watching over the desolate landscape of Cleveland. Instead, he took his talents to Dwayne Wade’s house, more than happy to use his God-given gifts in the guise of Robin.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I tuned into the game at halftime, after driving home in scary rain from the library haha. It wasn't looking that great, to be honest. Just a lot of the same problems they've had of late: sloppy play, mediocre defense, etc. The Sixers actually lead by 4 at the end of the 3rd quarter, but all of that changed in the last period. The Lakers closed out the game masterfully, as well all know they are capable of doing. They moved the ball, played unselfishly, executed, and most importantly got stops. The Lakers had a 21-4 burst to start the 4th!! Incredible. Lamar and Matt were playing extremely well, with Lamar getting a season high 28 points. They connected a number of times with good passes and ensuing makes, and created a lot on their own too. They each hit a 3, along with Steve Blake, after the team missed their first 12 attempts. Good time to get hot, I'd say :) After Steve's huge 3 which put the Lakers up by 15 with only a couple minutes left, Kobe had a huge smile for him, which I always enjoy seeing... Kobe doesn't smile a ton on the court. One of the most illustrative plays of the Lakers' improved ball movement and unselfishness in the quarter was a play with 4 of the Lakers stationed around the three point line, flinging the ball to each other around the court to the right corner and dishing to a wide open Lamar who drove inside for a layup. Perfect, beautiful execution. One of the most unusual but wonderful aspects of their 93-81 victory over Philadelphia? Kobe had 9 points on 3 of 11 shooting. 9 points!! And they still won by a large margin because of their ability to close out their opponent. Of course, he had his hand in a number of plays either by assists, steals or simply leadership, directing his teammates around the court. It was awesome. He hurt his pinky though, so hopefully that won't be a serious issue... They are 5-1 on their roadtrip with their only loss coming to the Bulls by a measly four points. I actually like the Bulls a lot, and they're also the only team they played with a winning record, so it's not the worst thing in the world.

Here's a good article I found about Michael Vick showing up at the game:
The Lakers were treading water, caught in a one-point game with the Sixers who had lost two out of every three games they played all season coming into Friday, when a most serendipitous ticket request paid off.

With just about two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick entered the Wells Fargo Center, causing what can only be described as a delayed wave as Philly fans broke into a standing ovation section by section as the scrambling passer made his way from one corner of the arena to his courtside seats.

"You would have thought the president walked in or something," said Lakers reserve Matt Barnes.

An "MVP! MVP!" chant followed from the Philly faithful and then the sellout crowd of 20, 366 were singing the Eagles fight song.

As the crowd crooned, "Fly! Eagles fly! On the road to victory ...," the Lakers did just that, turning a six point deficit late in the third quarter into a double-digit rout by the midway point of the fourth.

"We just couldn’t seem to find it in the first three quarters," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "I think it was when they played the Eagles fight song. I think that’s the thing that did it ... They were on a little bit of a run and I think that slowed that down a little, actually."

Vick wouldn't have even been there had it not been for Barnes. The former high school football star hooked up a couple of his gridiron pals.

"I gave Mike and [Eagles wide receiver] DeSean [Jackson] tickets," Barnes said. "I know DeSean back from Cali and Mike’s people hit me up. It’s good to have those guys here supporting us. I take care of people like that, so hopefully they can do me a favor in the [NFL] playoffs or the Super Bowl if we have some time."

The Lakers are football fans just like the rest of America and Vick has been a popular subject to talk about all season, be it from the Eagles fan Kobe Bryant, Giants fan Lamar Odom or Cowboys fan Derek Fisher.

Odom, talking about the upcoming Giants-Eagles matchup before the Lakers game even started was chatting in the locker room about how he's been a fan of Vick for years, being a fellow lefty.

"That goes to show you how much the fans appreciate Michael Vick and I’m pretty sure wherever he goes, whether it’s Philly or other places, people acknowledge him because people I think understand his story," Odom said. "I think a lot of people are ready to forgive him for what he’s done and appreciate his work. I think we all realize how good he is and how much he means to the world of sports entertainment."

After the game Barnes beckoned for Odom from the hallway as he was waiting with DeSean Jackson. "I know he's about to start some [stuff]," Odom said as he went to face some trash talk for his Giants fandom.

Bryant, the Philly native, relished in Vick's appearance.

"This whole place went bananas and I was one of them," Bryant said. "Everybody knows I’m a Yankees fan and I get a lot of [crap] for that here, but I love my Eagles so I was excited just like everybody else."

Seen in the locker room: Three Philly soft pretzels and a jar of spicy mustard waiting for Bryant at his locker after the game.

Matt Barnes with a signed jersey Vick gave him after the game for the tickets!

Funny story: I found a Lower Merion Kobe jersey on ebay for $30, in a size medium which would be good. I sent the link to my friend on gchat and he was "omg i want that" and proceed to buy it within 30 seconds. I was stunned!! They only had one medium and I told him that I hated him for taking it hahah. Then he felt really bad, but I told him it was fine. I'm sure there are more and I probably would have felt guilty for spending the money anyway. But I still want one :) A white one I think, as opposed to maroon, because all the pictures I found of Kobe have him wearing the white one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kobe's Gym

Kobe recently donated money to his high school to build a new gym, and they named it after him and held a ceremony in his honor! Most surprising fact: he still wears Lower Merion shorts under his Lakers shorts every game! Here is most of an article written by Dave McMenamin on ESPN Los Angeles about the event:

LOWER MERION, Pa. -- He had silenced far more hostile arenas than this. He'd hushed crowds in the tens of thousands that were applying pressure so intense one could wear it like a backpack on his or her shoulders. He deflated opposing fans' spirits season and season again with the flick of a wrist and the snap of a net, signifying the aftermath of yet another one of his game-winning shots.

But this time, with half of the intimate crowd of approximately 4,000 at Lower Merion High School wearing his jersey and all of them bursting into standing ovations on several occasions at the gymnasium dedication in his name Thursday, Kobe Bryant was the one who was silenced.

"I'm actually nervous," Bryant said toward the end of his short but sweet address to the crowd on hand to get a glimpse of Lower Merion's most famous alumnus.

"Awwwwww," came back in response, a chorus of folks from the place he considers home, after the five-time NBA champion was so touched by the dedication ceremony that he couldn't even get through the five-minute speech without stammering.

"I'm just very thankful to be back here and very happy that you guys like the facilities," Bryant said of the gym and expanded athletic atrium full of interactive and educational displays, to which he donated $411,000. "This is where I came from. This is where I grew up. I didn't go to college, so this is my university. This is where all my memories lie."

Those memories were brought to life with a "This Is Your Life" feel, with presentations from various people who shaped Bryant's time at the school.

So much so that Lower Merion principal Sean Hughes apologized for the larger-than-life feel of the event honoring a guy who likes to keep his involvement with his alma mater out of the spotlight.

"I hope you'll excuse us for going a little above and beyond tonight," Hughes said. "Hey, it's not 'Showtime,' but we definitely like to throw a party."

The gym features billboard-sized photographs of the history of Lower Merion athletics running along all four walls interspersed with motivational words such as integrity, commitment, passion and pride. One image is of Bryant and his teammates raising the 1996 Pennsylvania state championship trophy; another is of his former coach, Gregg Downer, calling a play.

"You went to work, took no short cuts and tonight you come home to our beautiful new gym [as] the best basketball player in the world," Downer said.

Downer later revealed a secret that odds are only he, Bryant and Bryant's six Lakers teammates in attendance knew about: Bryant wears his Lower Merion shorts under his Lakers shorts during games the same way Michael Jordan wore his North Carolina shorts every game when he played in the NBA.

Derek Fisher, also speaking on behalf of Lakers players Shannon Brown, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, who all came to the ceremony, took Downer's claim one step further.

"Many people have said here tonight that Kobe is the greatest basketball player in the world at this moment, and I don't think anyone can argue that point," Fisher said. "To expand upon that, by the time this man's career is done in the next four, five, six years, however many more years he decides to play, he will be in the discussion for possibly the greatest basketball player to ever play. Period."

Seven of Bryant's teammates from the state championship team were on hand as well. Jermaine Griffin told a story of how he and Bryant vowed to win the state title as seniors after getting knocked out of the playoffs sooner than expected as juniors.

"Next time we walk out of this gym [at the end of a season] is because there's no more games left to play, period," Griffin remembered.

Assistant coach Will Carter said the team evokes Bryant's name often to this day.

"He's the benchmark for hard work we point to," Carter said. "He did it with effort and commitment. He's the best player on the planet and he played in our program."

As much as the ceremony focused on Bryant's basketball gifts, it also concentrated on the influence he's had off the court.

Bryant's former English teacher Jeanne Mastriano, whom he affectionately calls "Mrs. M" and keeps in touch with regularly some 14 years after graduating from high school, delivered a touching speech.

"You sustain us, you inspire us, you gladden our hearts," Mastriano said. "I treasure that fact that you are a part of our family. I love you for that."

Said Hon. Wendell F. Holland, class of 1970, toward the start of the evening: "Lower Merion's mantra is, 'Enter to learn, go forth to serve.' Kobe Bryant epitomizes that."

*Makes me want to add a Lower Merion #33 to my jersey collection.... :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Behind the Scenes

I love stories like these: behind the scenes tidbits that you don't normally read about. This link in particular is a series of articles by Mike Trudell (a well known Lakers reporter) during their road trip. It's really fun, and interesting to see how things work!

Obama, and more Ron.

Another great Ron Artest article. He has some really interesting insights, and amusing ways of relaying them, about young players.

Also probably the greatest thing ever: Kobe and President Obama trash talking with each other! I just love how much Obama truly loves and understands basketball. Not to mention his love of comic books and Harry Potter haha... I just love when things I love collide :) Like Obama and Kobe, JT and David Beckham at Lakers games, etc.

This is what the Lakers should always look like.

The Lakers have looked really great the past two games! It was disappointing that John Wall was injured, but we were happy to have Andrew Bynum back on our team!! He only played a handful of minutes, but contributed some nice numbers. Honestly, just his presence is good enough right now; it gives the Lakers length, extra rebounding, and rest for Pau and LO. So it was good to see him on the court. There was a funny moment with Kobe in the third: he was fouled on a three point attempt (which he missed) and then went on to miss all three free throws. He later admitted that that had never happened to him before... so what did he do? He went on a scoring binge, scoring 12 consecutive points in two minutes. hahah. Gotta love Kobe.

Last night's game was even better; I think the Lakers were still smarting from Indiana beating them 94-91 in Staples last month, so they came out ready to put the smackdown on them. Did they ever!! The Lakers had a twenty point lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Of course the Pacers chipped away at the deficit, but it was more of a case of trading baskets. The Lakers shot over 50% for the night, and shot over 60% in the first half. They also played all four quarters of basketball, giving maximum effort throughout. I think it was easily their best game of the season so far, and really showed what they're capable of. In both contests, I believe Kobe only took about 20 shots and was very efficient- in both cases, he went off in the second half and scored most of his points in the 3rd quarters.

The other good news: Sasha is gone!!! So excitinggg. We're getting a former Number 1 pick named Joe Smith and a couple draft picks. Even though Smith is old, it'll be nice to have backup options for our bigs. And more leadership never hurts. I honestly didn't care if we got anything for Sasha, I'm just glad he's gone. Yes, he had a great season two years ago, and hit some of the most clutch free throws I've ever seen (11 seconds left in Game 7 of the Finals, Lakers up by two... his free throws iced the game and put us up by four). BUT for most of his tenure, he whined about playing time and everything else, he was annoying, and he never knew when to pick his battles (see: Phoenix series last year, getting into a shouting match on the bench with Brian Shaw). And his accuracy has been down as well... The Machine was looking a little rusty. Here's an example of the quintessential Sasha Vujacic play: hounding on defense until he picked up a foul and whined about it, then getting the ball on the ensuing possession and immediately hoisting up (and missing) a three. That was going to be one of the rules of the Lakers drinking game I was trying to make up last year haha. So yes, I am grateful to Sasha because he did have his role in two championship teams, but gratitude only goes so far. And we cut $7 million off our payroll. Plus, I don't feel bad about him crying at home to fiancee Maria Sharapova lol.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Road Trip

I haven't found anything really inspiring to write in here lately, to be honest. I missed the Chicago game because I was at a book signing in Long Beach (the author is Australian and the Lakers have at least 4-6 more months of bball... I think I made the right choice haha). Still, as much as I like the Bulls the outcome was very disappointing. I watched all of the Lakers-Nets game in bed on Sunday morning (yay computers!). Closer than it needed to be, but they closed out the 4th well. I'm interested to see how they'll look against the Wizards tonight. And I'll add my Obama thoughts to that post tomorrow, when I'm back at work and looking for something to do during my down time :) I have so many article ideas brewing in my head... I just have to commit them to paper. Easier said that done sometimes hah.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I never get tired of reading about Ron Artest. He's so lovably crazy. I just wish he would start playing better, and soon. lol.

Here are some of the best parts:
-"He's the kind of guy, if you give him specific, exact directions, he'll follow them," Bryant says. "But they have to be exact. But once you give them to him, he'll follow them even if he has to run through a wall."

Don't give him any ideas.

-"Because once I get into that gym, that ball is like a drug. When you see that ball go into the basket, that's like one of the best drugs ever. I'm addicted, and I hope the state of California illegalizes it."

-Ron Ron is carrying a large bag of food for his lunch -- all vegan. But Ron Ron is not entirely vegan. "About 80 percent," he says. "I like pork chops."

-In the Lakers' locker room, reporters want to know if Ron Ron will reject the shots of President Barack Obama when the Lakers visit the White House on Dec. 13.

"Oh, absolutely!" he says. "I will lock down anybody anytime, even the president of the United States."

-I ask Jackson why he's playing Artest fewer minutes this season. "I'm not," Jackson says. "Ron overheard [substitute forward Matt Barnes] asking me for more playing time, so he's been raising his hand just to get Matt more time."

Why, Ron Ron?

"Because we're a team. I just want to win another title. Who cares about minutes? Who cares about points?"

-I think this is my favorite : "I overtrained swimming this week," he said on the way to the game. "So I'm going to be really tired tonight. Which is kinda how I like it."


"I can be too strong for some small forwards, so they don't want to go at me, so I get bored. So sometimes I overtrain on purpose before a game just to see if I can lock a guy down with only half my energy."

-Now, he's happier (mostly) and doesn't drink (mostly). After winning Game 7, Artest stayed up for 48 hours straight. At 4 a.m. that first night, cutting a record with Dr. Dre (don't ask), he saw singer Chris Brown and gave Brown the jersey he hadn't taken off the entire night.

But why?

"I don't know. I think I was drunk."

The Hallway Series

Immediate reaction last night: DEREK FISHER!!!! holy shit. First buzzer beater of the season and it was scary and spectacular, just like they are supposed to be! I only watched the 4th quarter because I didn't want to sit in my room on my computer for 3 hours, but I'm so glad I tuned in at all. From what I've gathered, it was a pretty dismal performance with Shannon coming alive and bailing us out in the 3rd. Saw that ridiculous 57 foot buzzer beater too, he's so good at those! But yes, those last few minutes of the 4th: Lamar fouls out. Pau throws it away and I got really mad, even though I know he's exhausted. Kobe only has 4 points in the 4th but they are SO CLUTCH!!! And both off of huge steals on consecutive possessions by Ron. Huge huge huge. And THEN Kobe hit another jumper to take the lead, but the Clippers fouled him before (they had a foul to give) and the shot didn't count. It was gorgeous. And if that had cost us the game, I was going to scream bloody murder. Luckily, it didn't. Instead of the normal jumper to tie/win the game, D Fish got the ball and dribbled straight to the basket, laying it up AS TIME EXPIRED AND THE BACKBOARD FLASHED RED! My computer connection was preeetty good, but it was still hard to tell if it got off in time. Thank God it did- it was one of the closest calls I've ever seen. Holy shit, it was exciting!! My heart was racing for a good 20 minutes after the game ended.

I have this weird habit of plugging my ears and blocking out sound when I get nervous watching games... usually in the last few seconds, or minute. I think it's because I literally cannot take all the stimulation and stress out of nervousness, but I don't want to look away, so I take away one of my other senses instead haha. Don't remember when I started doing it, but it makes me feel calmer. My eyes were glued and my ears were plugged with my fingers for the last minute of the game. It really was almost too much to handle... those last five seconds felt impossible to keep watching. I wanted to blink or close my eyes or look away, but I would never forgive myself if I did. Sports fans need to man up when they watch their teams. I'm not one of those people that can turn the tv off and pace around. I. have. to. watch. Epic win or epic fail, I have to watch or I will feel like I didn't earn the right to celebrate what happened because I was too scared and didn't have enough faith in my team. That's also the main reason I try my hardest to watch every game, and to never turn it off unless we're down by 10 with 5 seconds left. What if I had missed Kobe's 81 points because it was a meaningless January game against the Raptors and we were down by 20 in the third? I live in fear of missing a life changing sports moment and consequently feeling like a bad fan.

Hahaha. I take this WAY too seriously, and I have way too much guilt mixed up in my sports allegiances, but whatever. That's the way it is.

Btw, Blake Griffin is amazing. I'd contemplate going to a Clippers game just because the tickets are cheaper and he is awesome.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I taped the game last night and might watch it when I get home... an inpromptu dinner with old college friends prevented my original plan of going to Borders, Target and home to watch the game haha. I really like John Wall and wanted to see him in action! Excited to see Blake Griffin tonight too. As is the Mamba apparently: “I’m very curious to see him up close,” Kobe Bryant said about Griffin, whose Clippers face the Lakers on Wednesday night.

And I always enjoy when players I love compliment other players that I like: About Wall — who had 22 points, 14 assists and three blocks in a losing effort against the Lakers on Tuesday night — Bryant said: “He’s good. He’s fast. He’s crafty. I thought he shot the ball very well tonight.” Meanwhile, here’s Wall on Bryant: “That’s somebody that’s the greatest player in the game right now.”

Unfortunately, it was a Lakers game through and through. Even though Kobe had 32 points, Pau practically had a triple double with 21 points, 14 boards and 8 dimes and Lamar had another stellar game, the Wizards kept clawing their way back. I read that they'd be up by 19, then only up by 5 a couple minutes later. They ended up winning by 7, but Phil Jackson summed it up nicely: "They really sucked the joy out of winning that one didn't they." Hahaha classic Phil :) I love it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Broken, but in a good way.

The streak has been broken!! I got to see the last two minutes of the Lakers' wonderfully lopsided victory over the Kings on Friday night... sometimes blowouts can be boring, but in this case I thought it was wonderful. I had to work from 5-9 that night, hence missing most of the game (I feel like I say that a lot unfortunately...). But I'm really excited to see them play John Wall and the Wizards tonight! I really like John Wall. And I'm going after work to pick up Simmons' revised Book of Basketball, so maybe I'll write a review of his new Kobe chapter! I'm going to start working on an article for Lakers Nation to convince Lakers fans that The Sports Guy isn't so bad (even though he's a Celtics fan), so I could include that. I'm also working on a Kobe-Lebron article that will be ready before the Christmas game. It's based on a conversation I had with someone, but beefed up with more examples beyond the normal boring arguments.

Also, I know that no one will care and if you don't personally know me this will seem very out of place on a Lakers blog, but I was SO EXCITED for the Patriots win last night!!! I've been a diehard fan for about 11 years now and while it's never quite reached Lakers proportions, it's getting close. I love this team sooo much this year. It's full of rookies, undrafted no-names, short players...and they all play out of their minds every night because of the chip on their shoulder. Even Tom Brady still plays like no one believes in him, and that is why I love him. He gets so fired up during games and on the sidelines and works harder than almost anyone. I think that's why I like him, and Kobe, so much: their work ethic is off the charts and even though they are arguably the best at what they do, they work as if they've never won anything in their life. But yes. I love Wes and I love Danny Woodhead and Deion Branch and our wonderful rookie tight ends Gronkowski and Hernandez and I love Patrick Chung and Vince Wilfork and Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis... I feel like I have a different favorite guy after every play, but with Tom and Wes Welker as the constants. That's how I feel about the Lakers too, but with Kobe as the constant. Anyway, sorry for the Patriots digression, but I couldn't help myself. They're playing more like the rag tag teams of the early 2000s than a team of superstars and I love it. Everyone comes prepared, comes to work, and does their talking on the field. And I've also viewed the Jets and the Heat as kindred spirits this season. No wonder I hate them so much! haha.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I can barely put my disappointment into words right now. I cannot believe that the Lakers have lost 4 in a row... all games that they should have and could have won btw. Kobe is going into one-on-one, shoot the lights out mode, Pau is tired from having to carry so much of the Lakers' weight on his back, the Killer B's are having growing pains, and Ron is wearing out his goodwill from last years' playoffs. Derek is Derek and Lamar is Lamar. Not much you can do about either of them I feel.

I'm just so frustrated with them!! I watched the game on my computer last night- funny story: used, which streamed via fox sports houston, which streamed via!! wtf hahah. Tons of British commercials and adverts for "Jets-Patriots, Monday at midnight". Hilarious and awesome. But yeah, watched on my computer and they didn't look great, but they looked decent and then just threw the game away. I turned it off wtih 20 seconds to go, which I rarely do, but it was already a lost cause. And then I cried for a couple minutes, just sniffling and feeling my hot angry tears run down my cheeks. I was so angry, and sad, and extremely disappointed and frustrated. I felt let down. And while I respect Shane Battier as one of the only players in the NBA who can actually guard Kobe, he had no right to go off for all those shots late in the 4th. He's not a scorer, he's a defender!!! I started shouting at my computer "F*** YOU SHANE BATTIER!" It's easier to blame the other team than your own, even though it was mostly the Lakers own mistakes that killed them. And who the hell is Kevin Martin and why was he hitting SO. MANY. BASKETS.


I hate when they lose. Sometimes it ruins my whole day. Luckily, I watched 6 eps of Parks and Rec on Netflix afterwards. I've just started season 2 and it is hilarious. It's hard to figure out when to panic and when to not over the Lakers. I know it's only December 2nd, so on one hand big whoop. But they're showing some serious flaws that need to be addressed asap and it is concerning me. They HAVE to beat the Kings tomorrow night. Jesus.

P.S. I was about to write some angry facebook statuses but realized that would be lame (I'm trying to move away from that) and that is what this blog is for anyway. Hah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Power of Purple

I love reading about Bill Simmons and his kids: how he tries to brainwash them into liking sports, how he took his daughter to her first basketball game when she was 3, and how he's campaigning against her love of the color purple because he's afraid she'll grow up to be a Lakers fan. Granted, she was born and raised in LA and as he points out, he himself said that if you grow up somewhere with a team, THAT is your team. Apparently he's making an addendum that your parents' rooting interest can take precendence. I just love the "20 Rules for Being a True Sports Fan " article he came up with- it's one reason I'm so fanatical nowadays. But yes, even though I don't condone anti-Lakerdom, his new article is amazingly funny. Simmons talks about decorating his son's room in all Boston stuff and dressing him in Boston clothes and how he has no idea what it all means because he is only 3. That will be my child, but in all Lakers gear. I'm all for brainwashing... if it's for the right team ;)

Best Article I've Read in Awhile
(seriously, read it!)

*and on the flip side, here is a sobering look at the city of Cleveland. Lebron returns tomorrow and it is going to be insane. I'm definitely not missing that game. When I read about people that love their teams that much, for that long, without gratification... it makes me feel almost unworthy to be a Lakers fan. To care when they lose, because they never lose for long. To complain about anything related to them. I don't feel like I have the right when I read about places like Cleveland. It's also not my fault that I was born in California and that they are my team... but still. lol.

Game 18: We Should Have Won vs. the Grizzlies

Posted on Lakers Nation's facebook: Our resident Lakers Nation 'fan' gave her take on the Lakers struggles last night in Memphis. What needs to change for them to get back on track?

(I like being referred to as the "resident fan"!! haha)

Here's the article:

On the surface, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies do not seem to have much of a connection; a casual basketball fan would remark that there is no storied rivalry, no bad blood, and that the Grizzlies haven’t even been in Memphis for very long (coming via Vancouver).

However, there are two storylines integral to Laker lore that entwines both of the organizations in vital ways. Pau Gasol played with Memphis for the first 7 years of his career before being traded to the Lakers in 2008. The Lakers received an All Star and the missing link to their championship hopes along with a 2010 first round draft pick. The Grizzlies on the other hand received the draft rights to his brother Marc, a few draft picks and three Lakers: Aaron McKie, Javaris Crittendon and Kwame Brown (good riddance). Many considered it highway robbery at the time and still do, but I’m not going to argue- the arrival of Pau brought with it three straight trips to the Finals and two championships, not to mention a number two option that Kobe trusts and respects.

The saga continues with Lakers hero Jerry West, also known as The Logo and Mr. Clutch. He is one of the greatest Lakers of all time, not only for his amazing contributions as a player but for his work in the front office as well. This is the man who orchestrated two separate eras of greatness, after concluding his own: Showtime in the 1980’s and Shaq/Kobe in the 2000’s. He is the one who traded a known quantity in Vlade Divac for Charlotte’s 13th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, seeing greatness and passion lurking underneath the skinny high school exterior of Kobe Bean Bryant.

He is also the one who will be honored with his own statue outside Staples Center next February to join the likes of Magic Johnson and the legendary Chick Hearn. While all of Lakerland was sad to see Mr. West leave for Memphis, he left an amazing legacy in Los Angeles and a great foundation for the team and front office. Mitch Kupchak has excelled for the past ten years due to the tutelage he received as an assistant general manager under Jerry West.

As for the game itself, I’m afraid it was terribly disappointing. I had originally planned to write a detailed, thoughtful recap of the Lakers-Grizzlies game, much like I did a week ago when they played Chicago. Unfortunately, I misplaced my diligent notes and had pretty much decided to ignore most of them anyway. I don’t see the need to dwell on a few amazing plays when the overall feel of the game and the outcome in particular was so dismal.

I thought the game started out well enough, but it was a telling sign for the evening that the only Lakers to score for most of the first quarter were Kobe and Pau. Derek had a nice little game; his parents had driven from his hometown in Arkansas, so perhaps he was putting on a show for them. I felt it was his most solid outing of the season so far. Ron also had a good game (we’ll get to the end in a moment); he was 2 of 4 from three point range, and 5 of 11 overall. He also had a number of hustle plays and just seemed to be working more diligently than he has. Even though the box score doesn’t reflect it, I felt very positive about his effort.

Barnes didn’t have a great game, and Shannon was struggling at first but he and Steve Blake became our second half saviors. Brown hit a beautiful, very long three pointer as the shot clock expired late in the 3rd, and followed it up with a fast break layup. Great energy, great plays.

Blake hit 2 threes in a row, and was 3-5 from beyond the arc. I felt like we had a great chance to win the game, especially after coming back from a 13 point deficit. Unfortunately, one of the problems was the number of shots that popped out of the basket. I couldn’t believe how many shots wouldn’t stay down; I don’t know if that is the fault of bad luck, of poor, flat shooting, or most likely a combination of the two.

The other problem was Kobe. Yes, I said it. I hate picking on Kobe, and I avoid blaming him for absolutely anything if possible. He gets a little too much leeway from me, but I just can’t help it: he’s my favorite and always has been. Last night though was terrible. 9-25. Airballs. One on five matchups. It was way too much 2006 Kobe and not enough 2010 Kobe. I’m not sure why he felt the need to take over as much as he did, but it seemed excessive.

I actually wanted the ball out of his hands a number of times… he would stop the ball movement and just start dribbling into defenders. Granted, his teammates didn’t come over to help much, but it just annoyed me. The one time I absolutely wanted him to shoot was at the end of the game. He had a great look, went up…. and passed to Ron Artest. I couldn’t believe it! No matter what Ron does, I will never say another bad word about him because he saved us in Game 5 against the Suns and of course Game 7 against the Celtics. That doesn’t mean that I want him taking the game winning shot if Kobe already has the ball in his hands and a decent look at the basket!

A little midrange jumper with a high arc, boom: Lakers win. But Kobe throws it to Ron. Ron’s attempt was blocked by Rudy Gay and the Lakers lost their third game in a row for only the second time since acquiring Pau in February 2008.

I’m not one of those fans who panics unnecessarily when the Lakers lose. I definitely get upset, especially if they lose a game I know they could have won. Last night was the first game of the season I felt that way. I was angry. It is one thing to feel as if the other team deserved to win, but it’s another issue to feel as if the game slipped through your fingers.

As much as I hate losing any game and convince myself that we can win everything on the schedule, I also know how unrealistic that is. The playoffs are what counts. Having said that, I do find it a bit troubling that they’ve now lost three in a row and five games overall. The Western Conference is looking much more difficult that I originally imagined, so playoff seeding and especially home court advantage is going to be crucial.

My heart would have sunk last year if I thought the Lakers had to win Games 6 and 7 in Boston. Maybe they could have, but it’s a frightening thought- one I don’t want to contemplate this coming June (knock on wood). The Lakers are known to slack off a bit in the early months and again in March/April, but they’ve been playing hard so far. I really don’t want to see them temporarily lose that competitive edge. It’s only five games, but it’s also already five games.

Tonight’s contest is going to be crucial. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers respond, especially in the second game of a back-to-back. The Rockets are tough opponents and it took a 3 from newbie Steve Blake to win on opening night. Hopefully the Lakers will buckle down, show up and play the great team oriented basketball we’ve come to expect from our guys.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2 losses

Well I've been dropping the ball a bit... I'll be getting back on track though! And I don't find it pleasant to dwell on losses hah. One of the perks of being home for Thanksgiving has been the ability to watch KCAL Laker games. I watched the Jazz game with my parents the other night and it started out fantastic: 20 point Laker lead. I was skeptical though because the Jazz have made a habit this season of coming back from double digit deficits, and unfortunately this game ended up being no different. LA's three point shooting was abysmal; they made one the entire game until the end of the 4th quarter, when Kobe hit two in a row to bring the Lakers back. I had forgotten how thrilling a Kobe comeback can be- luckily we hadn't had to have one yet this year! But yeah, he hit the first and I clapped. He hit the second and I thrust both hand into the air. It was fantastic. Hit some free throws, and it was looking good, but we ended up losing. I didn't get to see the Pacers game on Sunday night because I was visiting my old roommates in LA who don't watch basketball. I honestly thought it would be an easy W. When I checked the score on my phone, I couldn't believe it: 41 points from Kobe and we lost by 3. Apparently he had the chance to tie it at the end but missed two good shots. I can't be mad about it though because he's hit sooo many shots for us in the past that he definitely gets a free pass this time. I heard Matt Barnes had a good game at least. Not happy to hear that Ron and Phil are apparently butting heads a bit, but I'm sure that will be resolved. Ron is a rhythm shooter, and he hasn't been getting as many minutes, so he's cold, so he goes to the bench, etc. Vicious cycle. It'll work itself out. Glad to hear that Andrew should be back in time for Christmas.

I'm very excited to watch the Cleveland-Miami game on Thursday btw, it should be a scene and a half. And I really wish this commercial was real. Epic.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Game 15 vs. the Bulls

In which I got my very first article ever published, on Lakers Nation!!! Should have posted this a few days ago, whoops. Here is the article:

When the Lakers face off with the Chicago Bulls, it is usually guaranteed to be a good game: the Bulls are young, athletic, and fast and always come to play. There are also a myriad of storylines surrounding any Lakers-Bulls matchup, including (but not limited to) a rematch of the 1991 Finals, Phil Jackson winning his first six rings with the Bulls and his last five (and counting) with the Lakers and the media’s quest to compare Kobe with MJ.

This time around, we are able to add to the mix: Chicago native Shannon Brown facing the team he loved growing up, a Bulls team that is currently first in their division (this deep into the season) for the first time since Phil left and of course, the Kobe Bryant-Tom Thibodeau connection. I only just learned of it and thought it was fascinating! As an assistant coach in Philadelphia, while Kobe was at Lower Merion High School, Thibodeau was there to witness scrimmages between Kobe and NBA players set up by 76ers coach John Lucas. Thibodeau says he saw something special in him at that early age. Kobe himself credits Thibodeau with helping him learn about preparedness and the fundamentals of the game, calling him crucial to his development - quite a compliment coming from the hardest working man in the NBA.

As for last night's game, I though it was a well-fought contest; the Bulls brought everything they had against the Lakers. Coming into the game, both teams were two of the top rebounding teams in the league and at the top of their respective divisions as well. Kobe started off hot, scoring seven points in the first two minutes; including a spectacular left handed scoop shot between three defenders! LO had a good start in the first quarter as well, with seven points and three boards of his own. Unfortunately Pau’s perfect game did not carry over in any respect; Joakim Noah had a lot to do with it, being the manic scrappy defender that he is. Noah is so energetic and is really the emotional heart of his team - his tremendous hustle and defense is often more important than the double doubles he routinely registers.

The Bulls definitely beat the Lakers on boards and hustle for most of the night, but they were unable to capitalize on them due to turnovers and missed free throws. Ron-Ron had another quiet night, getting into some early foul trouble followed by a cold stretch of shooting in the third. I kept expecting at least one or two of them to fall, but the ball stayed stubbornly out of the basket.

The real stars of the game were of course the "Killer B’s." With one second left in the first quarter, Shannon hit an extremely long three and the first thought that crossed my mind was “Downtown Shannon Brown”!! That’s my vote for his individual nickname; although I’m also partial to “What can Brown do for you”, but “Downtown” has a good old-fashioned ring to it. That was just the start of Shannon’s hot shooting: he racked up 15 points in the second quarter and had 18 at the half, after starting out four of four from the 3-point line. Factoring in a missed dunk that would have brought the house down, and a speed race with Derrick Rose all night, his entire arsenal of athletic ability was on display once again.

Quick digression to talk about D Rose: the man is incredible! He has to be one of the fastest point guards in the NBA, and he had some crazy circus shots last night. Two of them were back to back beautiful layups under and around the basket. Rose also utilized his floating, eight foot runner for much of the night as well. He basically did whatever he wanted in the paint.

But yes, the Killer B’s went on a run in the second half and really put the game away for us. Kobe and Lamar contributed to the run as well, with the Mamba hitting his patented fadeaway jumper as the shot clock was down to three and Lamar converting on an insane over-the-shoulder shot in major traffic. LO had a sweet spin move for an and-one that the Lakers were desperate for at the time. To cap it off, Lamar slammed home a put back dunk off of a Gasol miss to tie the game with 55 seconds left in the third. Lamar and Shannon ended the game with 21 points each to lead the Lakers. The Lakers' ball movement was excellent, and just one extra pass from Barnes allowed Shannon to hit a huge three with a hand in his face to put the Lakers up by one. Not long after, Steve Blake hit his first shot of the game (a three with six minutes left in the 4th). Next Lakers possession: a three from Matt Barnes! And immediately following that, another three from Blake! It put the Lakers up 95-83 and they never looked back. I loved when Patrick O’Neal interviewed Lamar in the locker room after the win and asked him about the play of the bench:

“What do you guys call them, Killer B’s?”- Lamar
“Yeah. Or the Renegades.” –Patrick O’Neal
“I like the Killer B’s.” –Lamar, smiling

Phil used a short rotation in this game, which I thought was a smart move. Only eight guys were utilized, besides rookie Derrick Caracter playing a couple early 4th quarter minutes to give Pau some rest. He did well, accumulating a rebound and basket to clean up a miss, and on the ensuing possession he blocked Luol Deng’s shot. Not a bad night for the rookie. It was the Lakers’ seventh consecutive victory over the Bulls, with a final score of 98-91. The real heroes were of course the bench, which outscored Chicago’s 39-10. More importantly, they came through at critical moments in the game, and during his press conference, Phil mentioned the great defense by the Lakers in the fourth quarter. Kobe only took 18 shots, but he made eight of them and kept his teammates involved. That’s how I like the Lakers to win.

Overall, the game was very entertaining and I really enjoyed watching the two clubs battle. I really think the effort of the Bulls was what kept them in the game, as opposed to the Lakers, who are prone to laziness. That wasn’t the case in this game at all. I also enjoyed seeing Kobe talk to Rose and Noah after the game, as Stu Lantz said that Kobe respects anyone who works hard and gives maximum effort at all times; which those two certainly do. I can’t wait to see what the Bulls do in the Eastern Conference this year, and especially in the playoffs. I’m hoping for another epic series like the Chicago-Boston one a couple years ago – the best non-Lakers series I’ve ever watched!

I’m also looking forward to see how the Lakers respond against Utah. We beat them handily last year in the playoffs, but they seem like a different team right now and I’d be lying if I said their penchant for double digit comebacks wasn’t a little scary. I’m confident our boys will step up to the challenge though.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pau just had to upstage Matt Barnes hahah :) Another perfect game!! I taped the game because I was out at my friend's pre-thanksgiving Thanksgiving feast (delicious btw), but once I heard it was such a rout, I didn't end up watching it. Funny story though: I was watching Sportscenter before I went to bed the other night and they showed a quick clip of the game, and Kobe in particular, and when I saw him my first thought was "I miss him!" hahaha. It's been at least a week since I've seen a live Lakers game and I miss my boys, so I'm even more excited for the game against the Bulls tonight than normal. I think 13-2 is within our grasp for sure. The Bulls are a good young team though, I love watching them. The Bulls-Celtics first round series two years ago was literally the BEST series I've ever watched (that wasn't related to the Lakers hehe). Every game was so incredible, so hard fought, so many overtimes!!! The best one was obviously Game 6; I remember I came home and was bummed I'd only catch the 4th quarter. And then, the game went on to triple overtime and last two more hours. AND the celtics lost that game! Great sequence at the end, with Joakim Noah blocking a shot and then getting a dunk and one on the other end, and then Derrick Rose blocking a last second shot attempt to seal the win. Only time I've ever been screaming on my feet for a non-Lakers, non-Olympic moment.

Also, here is a really fascinating article about how Michael Jackson was a huge influence on Kobe, especially about his work ethic and determination. And Kobe talks in depth about his motivations and why he really understands now what it means to make teammates better.... it sounds like he's grasped "The Secret" haha (from The Book of Basketball).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Game 13: Massacre of the Wolves

Matty Barnes!!! You have officially been moved off my "Cautionary Love For New Lakers Probation List" onto my "I Love You Because You're Officially a Ballin' Laker" list! Saw the replays on SC and he scored 24 points on 7 for 7 shooting, 5 for 5 from 3 point land! BAM. Throw in 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals and you have yourself an exemplary game, especially by a bench player. Everyone else seemed to do their usual work, and Lamar particularly went to town on his Team USA compadre Kevin Love (0 points?! boo...bad for my fantasy team haha). Kobe had an aaaamazing, Jordanesque reverse layup in the third, which was so beautiful.

Oh and good news: I FIXED MY HOME INTERNET CONNECTION!!!!! Finally figured out how to disable the proxy settings, which means I can now watch all the Laker games I want thanks to (amazingly good quality for free streaming live sports- it's how I watch football at work lol). AHHHH SO EXCITEDDDD! Besides now I can use my instant view on Netflix and just do whatever I want. Love it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The (Main) Reason Why I Love The Sports Guy

I love Bill Simmons. I love that he is so passionate about sports and his teams, I love his random pop culture references, and I love the hilarious stories and quotes from his wife. He is by far my favorite columnist and my day is always better when I find a brand new Sports Guy article on espn. Most people find this funny because he is a Bostonian through and through and hates the Lakers with a passion... BUT the reason I love him is that he loves good basketball and respects the sanctity of sports more than he loves his Boston teams (if that makes sense). Yes, he hates the Lakers but he respects what they bring to the NBA, what Magic and Kobe bring to the history of basketball. Every once in awhile, he'll even write a whole paragraph about LA with nary a negative comment in sight. Rare, but it happens- like in today's retro-preview rankings of the Western Conference


Preseason Prediction: 56 wins (2nd)
Revised Prediction: 65 wins

I thought for sure the Lakers would have one of those "We already have a couple of rings, our guys are a little banged up, let's just get through the regular season and turn it on in April" seasons, just like the 2008 Spurs (57 wins), 2003 Lakers (50 wins), 1991 Pistons (50 wins) and 1989 Lakers (57 wins) did before them. Wrong. Both the Celtics and Lakers seem to be playing with a similar chip on their shoulders: We're tired of hearing about Miami. You're pissing us off. The road through the title still goes through us. If you could tell how much the Celtics relished beating Dwyane Wade's Miami Heat that second time -- with Paul Pierce's "just got finished taking my talents to South Beach" postgame tweet symbolizing everything -- just wait until the Lakers get their hands on Wade's team Christmas Day.

Upon further review, the Summer of South Beach gave the Lakers an edge that's atypical for most two-time defending champs. Three Lakers are playing their best basketball ever: Pau Gasol (doing an '86 McHale impersonation), Lamar Odom (a top-20 player this season) and Shannon Brown (outstanding off the bench). Kobe seems more invested than ever. Their bench is better thanks to Steve Blake and Matt Barnes. They're 10-2 without Andrew Bynum, and like Boston, both their losses came in the final minute. When you watch Miami, it's like watching a White Stripes concert -- tons of talent, great music, but still just a little bit gimmicky because it's only two people. The Celtics and Lakers are trotting out full bands. You might hear a lead guitar one song, a sax player the next, an acoustic song, a hard rock song, a blues song … you just don't know. They can go big, they can go small, they can play fast, they can play slow. They have an answer for everything. Miami does not.

Wade and his sidekick LeBron were right about one thing: By joining forces, they did affect the Finals. They just won't be playing in it. Not this year, anyway.

Reason No. 14,736 I love the NBA: The rubber match. June 2011. It's coming.

*side note: I'm super excited to buy the paperback edition of Simmons' "The Book of Basketball"! He's added chapters on The Decision, "what if" featuring Kevin Durant and Greg Oden, and bumped Kobe a couple spots up his Best Players Ever Pyramid :) It is a fantastic book if you're a basketball fan; really intriguing look at the history of the league and the players with great anecdotes thrown in as well. I plowed through it and found myself immersed in stories about players I had never heard of, or games I didn't know I cared about. Really fantastic, and classic Simmons (tons of pop culture references and footnotes). Naturally, I got a severe case of strep throat the day before his book signing at my local Borders in Mission Valley... I was soooo bummed! I had really been looking forward to it, but hopefully I'll catch him some time in the future. I have signed books or letters from all of my other favorite authors, which is something I'm quite proud of :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Game 12 vs. Detroit

Once again, I was unable to see any of this game but I wanted to add a couple things in any case. Pau and Lamar have become reliable double-double men every night, which is so fantastic! And Kobe had one of his most efficient games of the season, going 11 of 20 from the field and practically getting a double-double of his own. I have so much confidence in this team, and I think that is the main reason that I won't flip out much when they lose. I know that they'll get it done when it counts. I felt that way most of the time last year, and this year's bench is so vastly improved that I don't think I'll ever truly doubt them. I find it hilarious that Shannon is having a twitter contest to pick a new nickname for himself haha. I like "Downtown Shannon Brown", it has an old school ring to it.

The funny thing about the Pistons is I constantly forget that they beat us in 2004 for the championship (I think I block it out of my mind most of the time haha). The Lakers were imploding, Karl Malone was old and hurt, Gary Payton was annoying and the Pistons took advantage. I remember exactly where I was when we lost Game 5. I had just come back from my senior trip to Knott's Berry Farm and went to Rubino's (the local pizza place by my high school) with Josh, Ashlie sister I think. Possibly Katie too. But yeah, I just sat there in stony silence with a scowl on my face- Ashlie took a pretty hilarious picture, although it didn't seem funny at all at the time. Went to the pool after that even though it was nighttime and that was that. It sucked. And the Lakers sucked for the next 3 years. It's not often tough to be a Lakers fan, but it really truly felt difficult during that period of time. Yeah, we only missed the playoffs one year, but then Phoenix knocked us out the next two. Everyone hated Kobe still because of Colorado, and because he "forced out" Shaq. I still loved him, but yeah. Difficult.

Anyway last night in Detroit was a fairly easy win. I'm glad the Lakers have been stepping up to the challenge the past couple games against somewhat inferior teams. It's always good to win on the road. Their defense has still been pretty abysmal, but I'm sure the kinks will work themselves out.

One last thought: I know we need Andrew Bynum because of his size and his skill, the fact that he gives Pau and Lamar some rest, and to compete against Boston and Miami specifically....but I still don't care that much when he comes back. Just that he does eventually. He's never been my favorite, although I thought it was amazing and I totally appreciated how much he put himself through during the playoffs and especially the Finals last year. However, I hated that he postponed his knee surgery during the summer. Then I just found out he was going 110mph in his Porshe in LA? Seriously? I know you're only 22 with millions of dollars, but come on. He doesn't always show me that he's focused, and that's what I want out of my favorite athletes: focus. Also, he looks eerily like Tracy Morgan. But anyway, haha.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I feel like a terrible Lakers fan...I've only seen bits of the 4th quarter in their last three games :( I was watching football on Sunday night and went out to dinner with my family last night- if only the game hadn't started at the ridiculously early 5pm!! And tonight the game is on at 430, on KCAL. And I'm sick, so I really shouldn't be going out to a bar to watch it. I know not that many people read my blog, and it really is for my own enjoyment, but I feel like it's been a letdown recently. I'll work really hard on getting it back up to speed! I was very proud of the game Shannon had last night- 16 points in the 4th quarter is ridiculous! And as far as the Sunday game goes, we should have had that. And the stupid new technical rule reared its ugly head against Lamar in a crucial part of the game. The defense has been super sloppy lately, but I'm really not that worried about their performance in general. It's very early. Sad news about Theo Ratliff being done for 6 weeks, hopefully he'll come back better than ever.

Go Lakers!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Game 9: The Thuggets

Here's my post, one day late hah. Even though Kenyon Martin and Chris "the birdman" Andersen didn't play, I still like referring to Denver as the Thuggets haha. First loss of the season... even though I know it's inevitable to lose a good number of games, I still hate it every time it happens. I feel like the Lakers have the talent to win every night, but sometimes the other teams have just as much talent, simply want it more, or get some lucky breaks. Surprisingly, I didn't take this loss too badly. Mainly because the Lakers haven't been playing well despite the wins and sometimes they need a good kick in the ass to get going again. Plus like I said, losses are inevitable. Apparently Denver won the season series last year 3-1, but look who the champs are :) The Lakers didn't play them in the playoffs last year, but the year before beat them in 6 games (Trevor Ariza steals! Last second shots! Whoooo haha). I got to go to Game 2 and watch from the 7th row right next to the tunnel as Kobe eviscerated the Nuggets with 49 points and 10 assists!! It was insaneeeee. Got crazy close pics of Pau and Luke Walton too. And got to see AI and Melo in person. I love basketball :)

Anyway, I had a lot of fun watching this game overall. I thought the Lakers looked good in the beginning. Pau ended up with a double double and Kobe had a season high point total, but they collapsed down the stretch and shot waaaay too many 3s. It was ridiculous, and would have made much more sense to draw fouls by getting points in the paint for 3 point opportunities. Fish drove me crazy once again and was just throwing up brick after brick... clutch Fish did not show up hah. Shannon Brown was fantastic though, he had a number of heads up plays and a monster dunk of course, but continued to hit outside shots. Watching him this game made me seriously consider adding a purple and gold #12 to my jersey collection! He's been impressive and I've always liked him. Plus, I've been wanting a purple Lakers jersey.

It was disappointing to lose a game that it looked like we were in control of, but I'm sure the Lakers will reset and be ready for Phoenix on Sunday. Can't wait to watch that game! And yes, this is the most positive you will eeeever hear me after a Lakers loss, and it's only because it's so early in the season ;)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random: Joakim Noah, and some quotes from Black Mamba

Besides Ron Artest, I think Joakim Noah is my favorite source of amazing soundbites in the NBA. From SportsCenter Rundown:

"Kevin Garnett will not -- will not -- get a Christmas gift from me...He's a very mean guy...Where's the love? None at all. Ugly, too." (Joakim Noah of the Bulls doesn't seem to like Kevin Garnett of the Celtics very much.)

I laughed a lot reading that! KG is actually one of the only Celtics I can tolerate, but lately I've heard enough about him picking on young guys and European players that I can believe his mean streak. Kind of a bully.

And there's the always classic "I don't know about Cleveland, man, there is nothing going on," Noah said Sunday, lamenting the options for his off day on a typical cloudy and chilly spring day. "It's bad, man." When asked if his dislike for the town would motivate him more in the series, Noah continued. "What, that Cleveland really sucks?" Noah said. AWESOME! Players are rarely so candid these days, more worried about PR and whatnot than saying what they really think. I love players that speak their minds. There was also a really interesting article about Noah in last week's Sports Illustrated, about how he's grown as a player and become an important part of the Bulls. Good read.

Just found an amusing short article with Kobe talking about the bench, "Killer B's and KB" by Arash Markazi:

One of the biggest reasons Kobe Bryant is averaging just 31.8 minutes per game this season has been the stellar play of bench players Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown, who have been nicknamed "The Killer B's."

Bryant wasn't familiar with the nickname when he was asked about the trio Tuesday.

"The Killer B's? Barnes, Blake and Brown?" Bryant said. "Sounds like a law firm."

Barnes and Brown are each averaging 9 points off the bench for the Lakers while Brown and Blake are both hitting 50% of their three-point shots. Blake and Barnes, who are each averaging 2.4 assists per game, have adapted to the Triangle offense quickly in their first season with the Lakers.

"They're playing really, really well," Bryant said. "Our bench is solid with the three B's. The Killer B's implies they're small in stature and I don't think any of them would be OK with that. Especially Shannon, he's got a small man complex."

If Phil Jackson decides to bring Andrew Bynum along slowly off the bench when he returns to the team next month, the Killer B's may have a new B on the team, but for now there are three coming off the bench and one in the starting lineup.

"Don't go grouping me in with them," Bryant said. "My B stands for 'Black Mamba.' No 'Killer B' over here."

Aww Kobe hahah, I heart you!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Game 8, where we almost got eaten by Wolves

I know that we're 8-0 but (to steal a phrase from Chris Berman) cmon man!! That is the second game out of the last three where the lakers looked genuinely sloppy and lazy. The rebounding wasn't there, and neither was the defense. First quarter started out alright with good ball movement, Kobe hitting beautiful shots and Pau with a sweet ball fake and scoop under the basket. The Wolves were hanging in, but the game looked good at that point. I tuned back in during the 3rd quarter (stupid DVR was recording too many things, so I watched Glee haha), and was shocked to find the score tied!! What the eff... Joel and Stu kept remarking on what a bizarre game it was and I believe them. It didn't help that Lamar and Ron were both in foul trouble. Lamar has been such a huge factor in the team's dominance so far that it was easy to see the difference with him on the bench. Of course he chipped in 7 key 4th quarter points, which was great. Huge 3 plus an and 1 play (missed the FT, but whatever). The Lakers went on a run in the 3rd quarter at one point and seemed poised to pull away, but they couldn't shake Minnesota all game. Kevin Love was a beast, putting up 23 points and 24 REBOUNDS!!! He's such a great talent... I was thinking last night that he seems like the new version of Kevin Garnett, inasmuch that he's very talented and stuck on a crappy Minnesota team. I hope he doesn't languish there in his prime like KG had to. That would be a shame. I love that Bill Simmons is trying to start a Twitter keyword #freekevinlove hahaha.

- a couple plays that I liked:
-a steal and fastbreak by Matt Barnes; made the layup but missed the free
throw. Still, good extra effort.
-the Pau ball fake and shot I mentioned earlier, plus finishing from an extra
pass sent his way via Shannon Brown and a beautiful soft touch baseline layup.
-the 3rd quarter buzzer beater by Minnesota, just because buzzer beaters are
cool unless the other team hits one at the end of the 4th or OT to win hahah.

I was struck by how many graceful shots Pau had during the game. He always does, but I guess I just noticed it more this time. And one of the most beautiful things in my opinion is Kobe's pull up jumper. I love seeing him swing the ball, jab his foot and just pull up and swish the basket. Gorgeous. His game fell off a bit in the second half, but that happens. I did NOT like how much Luke was shooting the ball. 1-5 from 3 point. That's a bit excessive in my opinion, but I'm not the biggest Luke fan in general. Also, thanks for the airball at the end of the game, Fish. Jesus. I wasn't thrilled with all of Steve Blake's turnovers either, but he's still new and has been so great the first 7 games that he gets a free pass haha. I miss Kurt Rambis being on our staff by the way, so it's always bittersweet to see him during the season now. He would have been a good Phil replacement, but I think Brian Shaw will be excellent. Assuming he eventually gets the job (which I think he will).

Also... UTAH BEAT MIAMI IN OT!!!! Paul Millsap was going off last night, I saw the replay on Sportscenter. Three 3s in the last minute, and a put back two at the buzzer to send the game to OT. Seriously insane.

And here's another classic interview by Ron Artest. "I ain't goin' back to sleep," Artest said. "Freddy's scary as (heck)." hahah made me laugh so hard at work. He was saying how the Lakers fell asleep during the game and Freddy Krueger got into their dreams and scared them awake. Or something like that :) He does make some intuitive observations about Brandon Roy, which was pretty cool.

So yeah, the Lakers escaped what would have been a very embarassing loss. I doubt the Lakers are going to underestimate Denver or Phoenix this weekend, so hopefully they'll come out looking good. LO and Fish were so pissed during their postgame interviews! You could tell that they knew the team hadn't played as hard as they should against Minnesota. I liked Lamar drawing attention to the great game by his USA teammate Kevin Love, that was awesome. I'm also stoked that New Orleans is good again this year, I love Chris Paul and think a Lakers-Hornets series would be fun!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Game 7 vs. Portland

So I've come to discover that my blogging adventure might be a little more difficult than I first imagined... it's hard coming up with interesting or exciting things to say about every game! It does, however, give me a chance to work on my writing skills and to follow through with something I've promised to do.

In any case, the game against Portland! I had momentarily forgotten that it was in LA so going into the game I was a lot more nervous about it. The Lakers do not fare well in the Rose Garden for whatever reason, and the Blazers are a tough team despite their constant injury issues. Brandon Roy is pretty great. And when I saw Greg Oden on the bench in a suit, I just started laughing. I didn't know that he REINJURED himself AGAIN! Super ridiculous. I don't think I've ever seen him play and this is his third NBA season. But yeah, Lakers had this one in the bag, they were up by double digits the entire game. It was really great seeing Pau continue to flourish and get a triple double. Really sweet dunk off a Steve Blake backboard pass in the third quarter! Kobe had a bummer game, but when you have other guys stepping up and giving MVP caliber performances, it's not nearly as big a deal as it would have been in the past. His finger isn't as bandaged as last year either, which will help his shooting I'm sure. He has this nifty little finger sweatband thing with "24" stitched on it also haha.

Since I'm a fan of reminiscing in my posts, I taped another Lakers Classic game, Game 7 vs. Portland in the 2000 Western Conference Finals aka Road to Modern Championship #1. I don't have very clear memories of that game compared to other games, but I know I watched it and remember how incredible it was to come back from 17 down to earn a trip to Finals for the first time in my "adult" memory. The iconic image of that game is the Kobe to Shaq alley oop of course... and how pissed Scottie Pippen was afterwards, knocking down that stack of towels on the way to the locker room. To be honest, I forgot for a couple years that the game was in LA, which made the comeback win even sweeter. I can't wait to go home and watch the game now :) I love Kobe with the 'fro haha.

In conclusion, bear with me if my posts aren't always that exciting. There are still 73+ games to go ;) Just wait until that first buzzer beater of the season... I'll probably type my post in all caps!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Game 6: when we almost got eaten by the Raptors

Well that was an ugly game: No defense, completely outrebounded, sluggish... but the Lakers came out with a W. Offensively things were alright, with Pau getting 30 and Kobe doing relatively well. Steve Blake came off the bench to hit his first four shots, all of which were 3s. But Lamar had his worst game of the young season, and Pau had rebounds in the single digits- how does that happen when you're over 7 feet tall?! Oh well. Everyone's entitled to an off night. And the Lakers hadn't been challenged much thus far, so they were due for a "slacker game" I guess. Watching the boys play complacent basketball during the regular season is nothing new, but I never enjoy it. They allowed the Raptors to stay in the game all the way until the last few minutes, but like I said, it's early in the season and at least we got the win. Way too many uncontested layups, but Kobe got a really sweet block from behind at the end of the game. I liked that LakersNation had a status update on facebook that said "The game comes to a merciful end in Los Angeles" hahah so funny. And also " True Fans are the Ones that Can Watch a Game like tonight's Game vs. Toronto". I couldn't agree more :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

81 points

They replayed Kobe's 81 point game last night on tv, and I definitely taped it. It all went down in January 2006 vs. the Raptors (with Chris Bosh HAH and Jalen Rose! I didn't remember he still played as recently as 4 years ago). And the thing that struck me the most as I watched the game this time around was the score: the Lakers were down by 12 in the 3rd quarter when I turned it on! They were down for most of the game in fact, and absolutely no one on the Lakers was able to do a thing about it besides KB24. I mean this was the period of Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Brian Cook, Devean George, Chris Mihm, Lamar.... gag me. What a terrible lineup. At the time, I would defend them to anyone but only because they were wearing purple and gold. Now, I can appreciate how truly awful and useless they really were. But anyway, Kobe was trying to get the Lakers back in the game and only regained the lead towards the end of the 3rd- he already had 40 or 50 something points by then, which is crazy in and of itself. He was hitting the sickest shots from all over the court. I saw him hit at least three 3's in a row at one point, one of which was so far out it looked like his body folded into itself from the follow through of his arms and the kick of his legs. Lots of free throws too, which weren't exciting save for the fact that they added to his RIDICULOUS point total and helped the Lakers win. Just incredible. It's hard to believe it happened, and watching it again didn't make it that much more believable haha. The points quickly and somewhat quietly accumulated until everyone realized that something insanely special was unfolding. I can't wait to go home and finish watching the game (I got way too tired last night, and I figured staying up til 1am watching a taped game from 4 years ago was a little much...even for me). He literally carried the entire team on his back to erase the deficit, get a W and etch a new place for himself in basketball history. Love it.

*side note: my mom just texted me "I had a dream last night that you got a HUGE double Lakers logo tattoo that covered your whole back! It was insane! I was glad when I woke up and it was just a dream! haha". OMG what an awesome dream!! I wonder what my tattoo looked like exactly :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Game 5: I still wish there was a real rivalry

Whenever the Lakers play Sacramento, I'm transported back to the glorious days of the first three peat. Earlier this century, the Kings (or Queens as I liked to call them) were worthy opponents who clawed at the Lakers and gave them a run for their money. Starting with that first playoff run for a championship and including 2001 and 2002 as well. There wasn't a team I disliked more than Sacramento; I hated them with a passion. Mike Bibby the Baby, Vlade the Flopper (I had a great shirt with Sacramento Queens on the front and Flopper on the back with Vlade's number 21), Peja with his pesky 3's, Bobby Jackson, Chris Webber and of course, Doug Christie. My two favorite Lakers-Kings memories:

-the preseason game where Doug Christie and Rick Fox got into a fight on the court two minutes into the game and both got ejected. Then you saw Rick sprinting through the tunnel and coming out the other side to pound on Christie as he headed to the visitors' locker room. Both benches were involved and both players were suspended for a number of games. I freakin LOVED it! Fights are always fun in sports and the feistyness and bad blood evident between the two teams was on full view. Great things for a rivalry.

-Robert Horry's iconic game winning shot in Game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. I remember I was at my grandparent's house during a birthday party for my sister. It was looking dire and I took everything so seriously back then, even worse than I do now, so I was getting pretty upset. But watching that ball bounce around, then Vlade hitting it out to the arc, and then Big Shot Rob picking it up and swishing a 3. It was literally one of the best moments of my life, and one of the first iconic Lakers buzzer beaters that I remember with perfect clarity. My eyes welled up with happy tears for the first time- I had never cried over something happy before even though I do it quite often now haha. I actually found a replay of the game on tv a couple years ago and tuned in during the 4th quarter. Even though I knew what happened and knew that we went on to win the championship, it was absolutely terrifying to watch a second time. It felt brand new, and my heart was pounding like I didn't know the shot would go in. Who does that happen to except weirdo Laker fans like me?! hahaha I got caught up in a REPLAY that was at least 6 years old at the time! Lordy lordy lordy.

But I digress! On to last night's game:
- It's hard to think of things to say that I haven't already said about the Lakers thus far, so I'll keep it short and sweet- they are looking scaaary good this season! It's incredible; the shots keep falling especially from beyond the arc, and the Pau-Lamar tandem is doing work in the paint. They work so well together and Lamar looks like a new man. I honestly think Phil should have Andrew come off the bench when he comes back. No need to mess with what's working. Also, really sick dunk by Lamar in the third off a feed from the Mamba!
-Ron added 17 points along with Pau and Lamar's double doubles, and Derek came out of nowhere to ice the game in the 4 quarter, hitting that magical 3 of his and driving through the lane to draw the foul. That play in particular reminded me of his monster game 3 last year in Boston, when he ran down the court, got swallowed by three Celtics and still hit the running layup. Awesome.
-Kobe got a triple double!! the 17th of his career. And he made it look so damn easy while he did it. They really seem unstoppable when Kobe is playing that well because it allows the rest of the team to thrive too. He was three away from tying his career high in assists, which is awesome. And he was taking good shots, which is always nice to see. Circus shots are fun, but I hate when he's forcing things too much. He also got in a little scuffle with one of the Kings players, can't remember who.... Head, I think. Kobe got fouled, and Head got in his face and didn't back down. The officials ran over of course, but I respect players that get in Kobe's face and I know he does too. Plus like I mentioned before, I like confrontations :)
-It was the first back to back of the season and the Lakers did really well. Up by 20 at one point, got whittled down to 8, but they kept the lead in the whole second half. Only 6 turnovers the whole game, which is crazy. But yeah, nice to stay unbeaten against a feisty team.
-The Kings have some good young talent, and they're fast; it was more of a game in the first half, but they definitely kept the whole thing interesting even though it was a mini-blowout. I was entertained the whole time. They gave the Lakers some headaches last year, and who could forget Kobe's buzzer beater from the corner in Sacramento. Beautiful shot, and remarkably uncontested. They somehow let Kobe get wide open in the corner and he drained it in front of the Kings' bench. Loooove it.

Alright, this was longer than I thought haha, but mainly because I reminisced quite a bit. Man, I love my boys. I still can't believe the summer went so fast and that basketball is back. In some ways, it felt like it never left. And my stress levels are still low, luckily.... for now!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Games 3 and 4, and a Disclaimer

I probably should have written this disclaimer in my first post, but it didn't cross my mind until the other night haha. For whatever reason, I don't get Fox Sports West on the tv in my room, so I can only watch those games in the living room. My roommate and I dvr a lot of shows though, so if we're recording two at a time I can't watch the game. And I can't watch ANY games that are on Kcal :( Stupid Orange County channel.... once I get my internet to work properly again, I'll be able to but until then I might miss a few parts of games... and I'll be posting a bit late as well.

I've been taking notes as I watch, and even brought a notepad with me to the bar on Halloween, so I'm trying my best to be diligent! Anyway, onto condensed reviews for Games 3 and 4 (versus Golden State and Memphis, respectively)-

-I tuned in to Gasol Brothers showdown at the beginning of the second quarter and found the score sitting at a comfortable 38-23 lead. Matt Barnes already had 7 boards on his want to a 16 pt, 14 rebound performance, and the Lakers were shooting a delightful 6 of 9 from beyond the arc. The excellent 3 point shooting continued throughout the game.

-Lamar had a record setting night of his own, becoming 10th fastest to 11,000 points with 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists; nice to see someone other than Kobe recognized for an amazing achievement, not to mention his continued fantastic play stemming from his Team USA stint. He's playing the way we always expected him to play. Great to see. Speaking of, Kobe committed to playing in London in 2012 for Team USA!!! Excitedddd.

-ummm so at half, the score was a ridiculous 73-46! Can't even believe it. Hardly anything to criticize the whole game, except for a number of turnovers once again. It's really good to see the Lakers playing hard and playing focused as opposed to playing down to their competition like past years. I'm sure it'll happen eventually, but so far everything is looking good. Kobe was in a groove, Pau got another double double, the bench continues to be crazy good (loved that alley oop pass from Steve Blake to Devin Ebanks! so awesome). Bench combined for 50 points and Kobe got to rest for practically the whole second half. Even though it's not always super exciting, it's good to see some concentrated blowouts and quality minutes for the bench and rookies. It's scary (in the best possible way) how deep our team is!! I'm really starting to love Matt Barnes and Steve Blake, and my love for Shannon continues- it's encouraging to hear how hard he worked over the summer on his outside shot. I think Theo Ratliff adds a great presence as well, especially in the locker room. It's been awhile since I've truly loved 95% of our team (I'm excluding Sasha as usual hah). I'm always willing to support them against outside arguments, but I can't say that I'll ever miss chris mihm or mbenga or some players like that.

-loved this quote from Stu Lantz talking about Kobe's arsenal of moves: "Most players have A, B, C. Kobe's got the alphabet, he can take you all the way to Z."

-random thoughts:
- I love this article about Lebron's sense of entitlement and how Pat Riley is cracking down on him.

-I also love this video of John Wall dancing during team introductions! The fact that he missed a triple double by 1 steal and a quadruple double by two turnovers makes it even more awesome and ridiculous. I'm so excited to watch him play!

-My roommate is a die hard Giants fan, which I think I've mentioned, so I've been watching tons of baseball and really getting into it (which I didn't think was possible haha). We were out for part of almost every game during the playoffs and watched Game 6 at Millers. I really felt like I was in San Francisco; there are sooo many people from Norcal down here that it made it a really fun crazy atmosphere. After they won, it was pandemonium and the enthusiasm was infectious. It really made me wish I had been out in public for Game 5 versus the Magic and Game 7 last year.... in both instances (ESPECIALLY game 7), I was too frightened of losing and consequently crying in public hahah. But I should have had more faith in my team and gone out. I won't make that mistake again :) Game 5 I watched by myself and Game 7 with a few people, and that was hard enough. But the payoff of that crazy experience would have been incredible. I watch enough games in public though, especially during playoffs, where I do feel the energy of the crowd a lot, but clinching the title would be a whole other thing. I'll be brave and ready for the three-peat this year!

P.S. Kobe knows what he's doing. And he's still sarcastically hilarious too haha.