Monday, February 21, 2011

Two Worthwhile Reads

Here's a really fabulous and interesting article about the evolutionary relationship between celebrities and the Lakers and how it got built. It's actually really cool and definitely worth a read.

This is also a great look at Kobe's staying power on top of the NBA, with some great quotes from the man himself. A good read as well; I love J.A. Adande! Here are a couple excerpts that I liked in particular:

- The first step toward entering the historical context is winning the contemporary battles, over and over again. Jordan once told me that Bryant is "a lot like myself as far as separating himself -- the way I wanted to separate myself from Clyde Drexler and everybody else."

- LeBron has emerged lately as a better player, but Kobe is the one racking up the rings. There's a subtle difference: LeBron has an aversion to losing, while Kobe has a need to win. I've seen plenty of games in which LeBron could have let his team pack it in for the night yet he refused and prevailed. He'd rather not lose. Bryant would give up a vital organ to win. As incredible as LeBron has been, we still want to see more -- more aggressiveness toward the hoop, more low-post moves, more championships. ---> this is always what i'm trying (and usually failing) to explain to people!

- This was going to be a story about how Kobe has changed since 2004, but he blew that up, too. "I'm the same way," he said. He's still shoot-first. Even though Bryant has his deepest team since he was handed the reins in 2004, even though Phil Jackson is restricting Bryant's playing time to keep him fresher for the playoffs, Kobe's rate of 20 shots per 36 minutes is as high as usual. His style is the same, only now his opinion carries more weight since he's an elder member of the team. "I say these things to them, they're open to listening, as opposed to saying them to guys who are 10 years older," Kobe said. ----> I love this because it's true; it is a fault of his and the first thing people point out in an argument to me, but at least he recognizes it and can tailor his game around it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

O Happy Day

I'M SO EXCITED!!!! Beginning in the 2012-2013 season, Time Warner Cable will broadcast a Lakers channel and show all of their games as well as other Laker-related programming. I hope they keep the same announcers and format because I'll miss the FSW and KCAL broadcasts. I WON'T miss not getting to watch any games on KCAL down here in San Diego though, so this is going to be awesome. I'll never have to miss another Lakers game again =)

Hitting a Bit of a Skid...

.... but it's all good. 4 games in 5 days, and all on the road no less, is a tall order for any team. Especially for an "older" team and a team that has played deep into June the past three years, with many members participating in international competitions as well. In other words, I'm not worried. We beat the teams we really needed to (and the ones I really wanted to), so it's all good. Here's the recap for the Sunday game against the Magic...the last page is definitely the best, so check it out in particular. You won't be disappointed =)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Revenge is a dish best served Purple and Gold

Fear is spelled K-O-B-E is an awesome title and an even better article, from the Boston Globe no less. It is writers like that that make me realize maybe I should try harder to appreciate players I hate. Ehhh, don't want to ;) haha. I do appreciate Larry Bird and those Celtics teams; reading about them and the Showtime Lakers makes me really wish I was born earlier sometimes.

And of course, here is my delightful, happy, positive recap about beating the Celtics last night!! It felt really good, I won't lie. I forgot to add in my article one of my favorite plays of the game: Kobe got a MONSTER block in the fourth quarter, but unfortunately the Celtics got the ball back and Paul Pierce scored, damn him. But it was still a great play. I watched the game at my favorite bar with more Celtics fans than I am used to seeing there, and they were as loud and obnoxious as ever. As the game went on however, it became quieter and quieter as my smile grew larger. Even when the Lakers pulled ahead by nine, I refrained from cheering too much.

One thing I’ve worked on over the years as a Lakers fan is knowing the difference between cheering emphatically for my team and being cocky about it. I’m as loud as the next person when they hit a huge shot. I whoop and clap and jump around. I throw my hands up for a great shake and bake, or an emphatic dunk, or a three point dagger. I yell when they do something terrible and shout at opposing players who do something great.

What I don’t do anymore is talk trash until the game is over. I love talking trash, but only if someone else starts it and rarely before the final buzzer sounds. I used to rub games in people’s faces only to watch the Lakers squander a lead or lose in the playoffs and have opponents shout cheap shots and statistics at me. For the most part, I refrain from all of that nowadays- I wait for that championship trophy in June and smile politely when I hear something rude. Except whenever LeBron or the Boston Celtics are involved… old habits die hard ;)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Start a Fire...

Here's a great article from yahoo on Kobe's drive for another title. I like that he has been more forthcoming this season than years past when it comes to his views on basketball, on the Lakers and on his injuries. It makes me feel like I'm closer to him in a way because I understand him better... not that I know him at all heh. But I've always said that he is my favorite person in the world that I've never actually met, and I mean it. He also made a good point towards the end of the article:

“No one appreciates anything when it’s going on.”

Sadly, a very true statement... I would include myself in that as well. I've been trying to be better about appreciating my life and what I have and putting things in perspective as far as sports go. But yeah, not always easy.

Ahhhh I love Kobe!! And my Lakers. So stoked for the game tonight, although I didn't realize it started at 5pm, I thought it was 730. I don't get off work til 5, so I'll be rushing to the bar with my friends. Brought my jersey and a change of clothes with me! haha.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Purple Yellow Purple Yellow

Sooooooooo excited for the rematch tomorrow night in Boston!! The Lakers better show up to play; I hope the trade rumors aren't rattling Andrew too much. But it should be entertaining as always. One of my best friends is going to be here from out of town as well, the one I used to watch games with, so it will be fun to see her and watch such an important game! I was glad to see them play hard against Memphis by the way and think the Lakers might be turning a corner, finally. The Black Swan is here to stay! hahah.

While I'm still writing here on my own blog, and for Lakers Nation too, I've recently begun to write for yet another sports blog. This one is not focused solely on the Lakers or basketball even, so I'll be able to write about football or fantasy sports when the time comes, or whatever strikes my fancy. I can contribute at my own pace as well, as much or as little as I want so it will be just another opportunity for me to let sports slowly take over my life ;) Here is the link to my first article for The Sports Jury, about the possible Andrew-Melo trade.

Also, if anyone who reads this is interested in following me on Twitter as well, my name is @morganameridius. I never used to tweet and pretty much follow athletes, some celebrities and ESPN personalities hahah. But yes, I do try to tweet about the Lakers now. And Jeannie Buss is one of my followers!!! I sent her a direct tweet about her book and gave her a link to my blog and she responded "yr blog is so adorable! Loved that U remember watching bball at age 2! i'm following U now so make me proud! Keep up yr fresh take on life." I almost died, I was so excited!

My most recent update (from yesterday): two more days... BRING IT!!! #hatetheceltics

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just an Unlucky Bounce

Reaction to last night's game against the Spurs; it's way more positive than I normally am haha....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Three Year Anniversary

I didn't realize until I read it, but yesterday was the three year anniversary of the Pau Gasol trade! I remember it so clearly... I didn't know much about Pau, but things had been a little dismal in Lakerland and everyone kept saying how good he was, so it seemed like a good idea. And then the Lakers went on a crazy roll, winning 22 of their last 27 games of the 2007-08 season. It was also the first year since 2004 that the Lakers reached the NBA Finals, although it didn't turn out as we would have liked. Still, the Lakers have been championship contenders every year since thanks in large part to Pau. He is the perfect second-best player on a team and complements Kobe well. It also allowed Lamar a bit of breathing room as far as offensive production because he didn't have to be relied upon to be the second option. The domino effect was huge, and I am so glad Pau is a Laker. The positives far outweigh the few negatives. He could stand to be more aggressive, which Kobe talked to him about after Sunday's game. "Even when he was in Memphis and he was the go-to guy, he was always very nice. Very white swan. I need him to be black swan." hahah I love movie references! And Pau followed through last night against Houston. Lamar has learned the balance between aggressive play, being a little selfish and still staying within the offense. A little selfishness is needed from our top scorers, and that includes Pau.

I think everyone should start calling Gasol the "Black Swan". It sounds badass and fits with the Black Mamba perfectly! haha I wish I had put two and two together myself, but I read the names next to each other in a Lakers Nation headline and was like...wait a second. Black Swan as a nickname would be awesome!

A Win! And a look back

FIIIIINALLY!! I was able to tune in to the last couple minutes of the game, which were very exciting even though the interior defense was terrible. Luis Scola scored on a layup in the last minute of regulation to tie the game! ridiculous. But the boys pulled it out in overtime and looked good offensively from what I saw. Lamar, Pau and Kobe all had monster games (20 pts 20 boards for LO, 26 and 16 for Pau, 32, 6 and 11 assists for Kobe). Kobe became the third Laker with 5,000 career assists, and just the 7th player in NBA history with 25,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists (all are Hall of Famers btw). AND he did it in fewer seasons than everyone except Jerry West, Michael, and Oscar Robertson. Quite the accomplishment. But yeah it was really good to see/hear that Pau was so aggressive and that Lamar was back in form with a season high in rebounds to boot. If only this had happened on Sunday :( But as long as they start getting their act together more consistently, I'll let it go.

I felt so bad... I really had no confidence in them during overtime. They've let so made leads slip lately and have closed out so poorly that I almost expected them to lose. And then I felt horrible because I'm of the mind that you should always have faith in your team. I do, but it was a moment of doubt for sure. I've said this before: I sometimes talk about the Lakers like they're my religion haha. Here is a word for word from my journal, which I wrote last year in April... it's sad that you could read it and think I was referring to this season because the complaints are the same:

"I don't even know where to begin with the Lakers. They are so disappointing, and have been for the past two months. I don't know what's wrong with them. I feel like the only one that is passionate and cares is Kobe. Maybe Pau. They have the potential to be so amazing, like they were in the beginning of the season. It makes me sad. The season isn't over by any means and they have time to recapture their swagger, but time is running out. Part of me has unwavering, even blind faith in the Lakers; I believe in comebacks until we're down more than 10 with 30 seconds left. Maybe that's unrealistic, but that's how I feel. The other part of me has serious doubts about their commitment, their passion and drive, their accuracy... I'm secretly scared about losing Game 6 or 7 to the Thunder. And if they make it past the first round, how far they will go with their current attitude and poor style of play. And then of course I feel bad about doubting, but faith and doubt are intertwined in a way. Haha this makes it sound like the Lakers are my religion :) I guess they kind of are. I hope they pull it together."

And as we all know, they did! Thank goodness. But yeah. It's incredible how that exact statement could have been meant for 2008, or 2009, or this year in addition to last year. Arghhhh. I guess that's part of being a sports fan. The frustrations that come along the way... and they never seem as bad after the fact of course but it's hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes.