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Enjoy the ride

Too much of the fun has been sucked out of sports. 

In large part, I blame a 24 hour news cycle that necessitates the elevation of seemingly everything into The Most Important Thing Ever! and too often focuses on tearing players and teams down, rather than celebrating achievement, mostly because it's a) always easier to rip, and b) there's an unnatural fear among some writers and commentators over looking "soft."

Much of that attitude has spread to fans, already embittered by rising costs that tend to squeeze out the best and truest of their ranks from actually buying a ticket and attending a game.  Armed with seemingly endless outlets to express themselves, many are absorbing the worst tendencies of lowest-common-denominator talking heads, adding cars to the negativity train. Sometimes it's deserved- Is it an enjoyable experience to cheer, literally or figuratively, for the Clippers?- but as a general trend I wonder if many are forgetting that the whole point of being a fan is to have fun, engaging in the escapism that is sports and sharing it with a larger community of people with whom they may or may not have anything else in common.

And here's where the Lakers come in.

Expectations after last year's Finals run are deservedly high.  Through the All Star break and Tuesday night's win over Atlanta, things are moving along as well as could reasonably be expected.  LA has the best record in the NBA, have twice knocked off two of their E.C. antagonists in Boston and Cleveland (Demons, exorcised!), are deeper than Socrates with the flexibility of Gumby.  They've had three win streaks of seven games, one of six, three of four.  Only twice have they lost two in a row, not once have they lost three. 

The Lakers are very, very good.  Make sure to enjoy the process of watching them.

It's easy to forget that whole "fun" thing, and that's a shame. Laker fans are incredibly lucky to have a team like this one taking the floor 82 times a season (plus playoffs).   There's Kobe, again playing with MVP form.  Take a look at Pau Gasol's splits, a metronome of consistency and quiet efficiency, evidenced by his triple double Tuesday night. Andrew Bynum will, knock on wood, return, and his development is certainly exciting.  The Lakers average more points than any team in the league, created off the NBA's second highest APG.  They get on the boards.  And while there's work to be done on the defensive end (especially against lesser opponents) they're hardly a train wreck on that side of things, either.

And they tend to do good work against the good teams, meaning bright light, prime time affairs are rarely a disappointment.

Nearly every night Lakers fans are treated to moments of top shelf basketball.  Trips with great ball movement, or a great sequence from 24.  Part of what made the Showtime teams so exciting was that a) they won, and b) they had some verve.  Every time they took the floor, something very cool was bound to happen.  There's an element of that with this year's group.  Even when they lose, the games tend to be entertaining.  The heartbreaker in San Antonio? Results aside, it was 48 minutes impossible for a basketball fan not to enjoy.  Both losses to Orlando were exciting, high quality affairs. Utah?  A great effort from an exhausted team. The clunkers (Sacto, Charlotte, for example) represent a very small percentage of total viewing.

None of this is to say fans shouldn't expect the best from their franchise.  It's (literally) not cheap to be a fan these days.  Just don't lose perspective in the process.  Sports aren't more important than the economy, or family, health, education, and so on.  They exist in part to distract us from those things, providing an outlet uncluttered by the stuff that really matters. 

Everyone is looking for a parade this June outside Staples.  I think the Lakers are the favorites, and have a great shot to make it happen. It would be a shame, though, if that day arrived and some fans realized they were so wrapped up in the endgame that they couldn't enjoy the journey. 

BK

 
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Shannon Brown's attempted stuff last night was rad and he had the whole bench up and yelling. Gotta like that...

I say we put the Stache in the starting lineup right now, LOL! He's already as good as Walton on defense and when he shoots, I really do believe there is a chance it will go in...

In other news, doctors cut open Greg Oden's leg and using tree ring dating techniques, discovered that he has the body of a 75 year old...

Guess nobody wants Kwame Brown... so sad... so much entertainment to be gleaned from that one yet no takers...

Everyone is looking for a parade this June outside Staples. I think the Lakers are
the favorites, and have a great shot to make it happen. It would be a shame, though,
if that day arrived and some fans realized they were so wrapped up in the endgame
e that they couldn't enjoy the journey. BK

BK that was outstanding!!!!!!!!!

BK:

Amen

BK

Very well written rant...errr..i mean peice about being a fan. You hit every aspect of fandom..but its a shame that they will fall on deaf ears. For every smart..logical fan..beareth a troll (Mr The sky is falling after every game lost).

I enjoy the Lakers alot more since i stopped posting here. Some of the things said here are very informative...and trust me im not taking a shot at anyone...im just saying that i can enjoy my teams wins and losses without having to read posters finding one element of the game that faltered then exploit it as if eventually it would doom the team as a whole.

Thought this was interesting, thoughtful, analytical piece questioning the Times' article on Shane Battier:

http://tinyurl.com/bazjg2

I'm loving every game.

I like blowouts because it gives us a chance to see some of those
end of the bench guys get some minutes. It ain't always pretty,
but I see at least a little bit of promise in every Laker.

I like close games, as they're more fun to watch. And it's somehow
more satisfying to eventually win if I spent at least a couple of
quarters screaming at Lamar to not take 3-pointers and getting
a little bit nervous when Kobe isn't on the floor.

And I know that every team is going to have some losses,
so they never get me too down.

That's why I spend so much time defending guys like Luke
and Mihm and Sasha. When the Lakers win 6 or 7 games
in a row and then lose 1, suddenly a sizable portion of the blog
turns into the blog equivalent of piranhas. They want to lay all
the blame on one player - Luke being their favorite target lately -
and they insist that he must be traded or the Lakers can't POSsibly
win a championship. Somehow they ignore the bad stats by Kobe
or Pau or Bynum in the loss. It couldn't POSsibly be their fault.
And the non-stars couldn't have had ANYthing to do with the 6 or 7
wins either.

I'm not just enjoying the ride, I'm hoping it's gonna be a long,
long ride. If Buss is willing to spend a little more than he wants
to and if Odom and Ariza and Farmar are willing to take a little
less than they want, this team could be a contender for the
next 5 or 6 years at LEAST.

GO LAKERS!

Too many fans are assuming that the Lakers WILL win the title, and if they don't, they are all set to attack the coaching staff, or particular players, or upper management, without even taking into consideration the fact that the other team might actually be better, or might get more than their share of "the breaks."

Great article BK!!!

Enjoy the ride - exactly!

This is a truly amazing time for a Lakers fan. To say I am enjoying this season would be an understatement. I enjoyed the 2004-05 season, so you can imagine how good I feel about this season. My favorite team, my only favorite team, the only one I love, is at the TOP! And I think the Lakers will be at the top when its all over.

BK...that was a superior piece of writing. Amen!! The Lakers are always well worth watching and very entertaining. I enjoy this team, warts and all. This team has heart...6-0 on the road with victories in Cleveland and Boston after losing Baby B? That was REAL!! They may fall short, but it won't be from a lack of trying. That's all this fan can expect!

Kwamimus,

>>>I say we put the Stache in the starting lineup right now,
>>>LOL! He's already as good as Walton on defense and
>>>when he shoots, I really do believe there is a chance it
>>>will go in...

And that's what's important... that Kwamimus believes it will go
in. It doesn't matter that the guy you believe in shot 0 for 2
and the guy you doubt shot 4 for 8. As long as you believe,
that's what matters.

Couldnt of said it better... It all is a journey... and we should appreciate it as laker fans...how many city and people get to see a team like the lakers

Everyone is looking for a parade this June outside Staples. I think the Lakers are
the favorites, and have a great shot to make it happen. It would be a shame, though,
if that day arrived and some fans realized they were so wrapped up in the endgame
e that they couldn't enjoy the journey. BK

cheers!!!! for the rest of a great season... and cheers for a great end result!!!

LongTimeLakerFan, ah, you miss the point, just like the subject of the article for this page. It's the journey, it's not the end result. Look at American Idol. That was a pretty weak group last night yet... it's fun to watch these people run the gauntlet.

Hey, I like Luke, he's a good guy. In a lot of ways, he's perfect for what we need at SF, somebody who doesn't need to shoot alot, good passer, etc. But, man... that dude gets seriously torched on defense, I don't care what stats you put up and his shot still looks shaky.

Stache is the future at SF because we all know... Walton's going down with some ankle sprain sometime in the next 10 games, you can set your watch to it. So we'll get a mix of Stache and more minutes for Ariza and Sasha. That's not being negative, that's enjoying the ride and adjusting to who's available and rooting for them...

Great point. I kept saying that last year. Even though we didn't go all the way, it was great fun to watch us grow into a contender and almost get there.

BK - outstanding. Many of us have been saying pretty much the same thing all year. This season is special. We are witnessing the birth of a new dynasty! The road is long and winding and sometimes you hit a pothole, but you stay on it. O'Brien beckons from the finish line so enjoy the ride!

BK I am sending this article to my 4 kids who grew up Lakers!
Thanks
Baywood

Nice one BK...The trend towards criticism is also in line with a more general need from the public to bash their celebrities and read negative news.As you say its 24 hours a day and totally over the top - are the public reacting to a subconcious resentment of having this shoved down their throats so much? or is it becasue people bought into it all so much in the '80's and feel stupid now?

Ex... I agree theres three teams that totally expect to win it and perhaps another two that believe they have a chance.Sometimes you just lose.Its such a different feeling losing a basketball game you play in compared to one you watch.

Good Afternoon Charles...Good Afternoon Everyone...

enjoy the ride indeed---every season (well at least the last 43 anyway) is a great ride with the Lakers, regardless of the record or circumstances--up or down, I am an unabashed Laker fan--I really can't get enough of watching them...

and this season is extrememlyans especially cool and gratifying, and knowing the next 8 to 10 (at least) will be at least as good as this one is even more bitchin'...

as I am often wont to say at least once a day:

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Great job BK. Loved the article.

Bah, humbug! The NBA is a business, just like BofA, GE, and Starbucks. Only it give those of us on the blog a lot more pleasure. David Stern isn't wearing $6,000 custom suits for nothing.

Every time I see an "NBA Cares" commercial, I laugh. It's good business and good marketing. Sure, I believe the athletes enjoy helping kids. But it's so overhyped, I choke.

That's why I was amazed at the reaction to my comments about Chris Mihm, this morning. Were you all watching the same game I was? Sure, as a fan I root for everyone in a Purple & Gold uniform, including Chris. But can he help the team right now? In my opinion, No.

His job at the end of the bench is to be ready to play if needed. If something happened --- heaven forbid --- to Pau or Lamar in tonight's game, Chris just isn't there. Oh, lightning doesn't strike twice? Can you say Andrew Bynum?

No doubt Mihm wants to do well. He wants his career back. He's been working at it. But he's not ready if another disaster strikes. Not his fault. I'm sure he's been trying. Yes, with more minutes, he'll likely improve. But fill a major hole in a Championship team this season? Not happening. The Lakers need an insurance policy in the post and they don't have one.

So the Lakers have a better Luke Walton in Adam Morisson and a bigger Derek Fisher in Shannon Brown. Fanatstic!

Now Farmar will have to start playing better D, Shannon Brown is bigger more athletic PG that has defensive skills.

BK,

Umm spare us the drama ... or better yet go coin another article on how the media sucks ... win or lose we've been here ... smush or derek, kwame or gasol, cook or ariza, win or lose ... we show up and we root for the lakers

Yes we cry when they lose ... and yes we're strongly opinionated about keeping luke walton permanently glued to the bench ... but we bleed purple and gold all the time ... we ditch work to come here to talk lakers ... we watch the games and blog live ... we wake up the next morning and read all the articles about the game we saw ...

Can we be very critical ... yeah ... but to suggest that we dont enjoy the journey ... that we've forgotten what being a fan is all about is ludricous ... nothing beats game night, win or lose

Can we get a post about the 1001 things you love about Kobe instead cuz this one sucks almost as bad as luke's game :)

24 + 16 + 1[7] = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

Kwaminus,

"Stache is the future at SF because we all know... "

The Lakers just gets better and deeper again! Mitch is truly doing a great job.

I am enjoying every Lakers moment right now. I can smell the tilte.... but what happens if the Lakers loose to Phoenix Suns in the first round? 140 pts WHEHW!

Staples 24,

"I am enjoying every Lakers moment right now. I can smell the tilte.... but what happens if the Lakers loose to Phoenix Suns in the first round? 140 pts WHEHW"

Umm right city wrong team ... call me crazy but I dont think the suns will make the playoffs ... at some point they'll finaly come to the conclusion that you dont fire a 50+ coach and replace him with a newbie

http://tinyurl.com/bqghpd

Clippers Forward-Center Zach Randolph Suspended for 2 games!

Camby will probably be back maybe he can do the same thing and get suspended for not wanting a valentine kiss?

http://tinyurl.com/bwua5k

The forgotten Kings trade away Salmons and Miller for Drew Gooden and Nocioni.

The Bulls really won out in this one. Miller is better than Gooden and is a better passer and shooter though Gooden was traded for expiring contract. Nocioni was an underachieving rebounder. The Kings may get cap space but lose their best perimeter defender in Salmons and now only have Garcia. Bulls win.

Stache is no Luke Walton. He can get out of his downtown because he's still a young player but better overall passing and IQ as Luke? Not too sure, haven't seen that much when he was in Gonzaga. And he's worst one on one th an Luke.

And no, Pau Gasol is great and all and one of the top power forwards in the NBA but he's no McHale. Only Duncan, Karl Malone, and Charles Barkley would own Kevin McHale. I will admit Pau's skills is very impressive and may actually be near Tim Duncan's offensive skills besides perhaps the bank shots that Tim makes. But defensively Pau is no Duncan and even McHale would do a better job defensively than Pau.

-KB Blitz

First off, I won't repost my whole early post but I AM GOING TO THE GAME TONIGHT up here and wondering if fellow NorCal Laker lover LAKER TOM is going to be there? Holla at me if you are!

Now for my afternoon comments:
1) I love Shannon Brown and think he will actually be a Laker longer than Morrison. A great 5th guard at a very reasonable price - already more into it and less nervous that Sun Yue.

2) Has anybody heard about the big fight yesterday during practice? I mean a REAL fight. Mbenga vs Mihm.
Check it out...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spyRTt24-i0
We should have let them duke it out to see who was the toughest back up for Pau!


BK,

Jining in with those who've already given props, outstanding write up. We should indeed enjoy the journey.

Ooooh. Good trade for Chicago - They scored Brad Miller and
John Salmons off of Golden State for Nocioni, Drew Gooden's expiring
contract, and Cedric Simmons.

BK - There is no single "whole point to being a fan is...." The way you define it is true for a lot of people and very positive but it doesn't apply across the board. Look at this blog and all the different perspectives represented here. Everyone has their own reason for being a fan - their own personal need that being a fan fulfills. Therefore, they "enjoy" the season in their own subjective ways and there's nothing wrong with that.

Guess what? Maybe the guy who comes here and consistently tears down the team and its players really loves the team but what he's going to express here is his frustration b/c he needs to vent. People come to this blog and write and exist here to fulfill very specific subjective needs and none of it is "wrong" in my view.

And btw - "real" fans aren't necessarily poor.

Brad Miller got traded to the Bulls.

What I hope would not happen is sending Vince Carter to the Cavs. That will make the Cavs the best in the NBA.

Is Shannon Brown useful THIS year?...

Think about this for a sec...

Who do we have that can defend physical, imposing 3s?

Kobe, Ariza, Luke....

Ariza has too slight of build to not get punked by Carmelo, LBJ, Pierce, etc... I love Ariza's matchup vs Ginobli or other beat you with quicks guys...

So could Shannon Brown provide spot-duty at the 4-spot?

Maybe just maybe if he could learn how to leverage his athletic ability to overcome his 6-4 frame. The height is the drawback, but utilizing Brown in some type of high pressure package might be interesting...

Think a lineup of Kobe, Brown, Ariza, Odom, and Gasol...

Get after it on D boys!

While I am enjoying this season, I will not be satisfied until that championship trophy belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sure Luke Walton is a slow, unathletic, white guy; but the guy can get the job done for his 20 minutes he plays. Yesterday he really was d'ing up Marvin Williams well. I also liked the way he was defending Pierce in the post. He plays good post defense for the position. He also understands his role as a team defender.

Luke is a guy who knows his limitations, but he's also knows what he's good at. Plus, he usually plays big in big games.

I have no problem with Luke as the starter for 20 or so minutes a game.

Go Lakers!

LOL at Adelman getting mad at TMac telling the world he's out for the season. I guess that squashed any chance TMac is getting traded didn't it?

BK,
this was a very needed article.

I always say the joy is in the journey.

Remember when the Lakers could barely beat anybody just 2 3 years ago? Now we are dominating.

IT's fun to watch WINNING.

Bagging on Luke is funny, because remember when we REALLY NEEDED LUKE? That was 3 years ago. Now his shortcomings are minimized. The mark of a good team is they can make more mistakes then lesser teams and still win.

IF you remember when the Lakers were a lesser team, and literally every time Kwame fumbled it or Luke missed a shot you thought "damn, that was our chance" then you can appreciate how the Lakers actually CAN TURN IT ON after screwing around for a quarter or two.

I'd much rather have this team then the one with a ON switch to begin with!

Just because you criticize does not mean you don't enjoy the journey.

I am loving this team. Years from now when this dynasty gets its dy-nasty on, I will be telling my children (or if I don't have children, strangers' children) about that Kobe era. Today, I am enjoying this team. I oooh and ahhh of the feats they do. I am on cloud nine when they beat Boston and Cleveland consecutively on the road.

But living in the moment does not always mean being blind to faults. I'm sorry but it's ring or nothing. We play for rings. We don't play for a "fun" season, otherwise there would be no championship to be played. Whatever can be shored up at this point needs to be in process to meet that end result. Hence the criticism.

I think our defense needs the most work. Not because we can't play it, but we 1.) Don't play it consistently (though that is understandable so long as we do when we get to the playoffs) 2.) We don't often play the right people to play defense.

That said I like the piece BK.

Is there a winner in the Chicago-Sac deal? Sounds like lateral movement amongst non-relavent teams to me.

Right on, BK. Never been to a Laker game in person, but I've gotten more than my money's worth watching them on the tube (huge understatement....) There was a great article by Kevin Ding in the OC Register about how much fun (specifically Jordy and Trevor) were having last night.

I loved the Showtime edition of the Lakers, but somehow, watching this team come together the last two years has been even better. Not many of us saw a team this good materializing with the Kobe unhappiness.

lakers sth-

Point taken. There are indeed any number of "points" to being a fan, but as someone who has played and coached, and worked in the sports industry, I believe that at the core we're still talking about games. Important games, ones that have impact for people and cities, and aren't to be trivialized. I'm not saying fans shouldn't get all knotted up when their team loses, get high, get low, and all that stuff. Riding the roller coaster is part of it.

I just feel like there's a growing angriness in the general sports culture with fans that, at least for me, doesn't sit well. It doesn't mean fans can't be critical, or collectively revolt, or have to be sycophants parroting the word of ownership. All I hope for is perspective, and for people (and I'm not talking specifically about this site, but the larger fan culture) to not be so focused on being "tough" that they miss all the good stuff. Sports (again, I'm speaking from my perspective) aren't designed to be a torture device.

As for the financials, I agree. There are plenty of rich "true" fans, and not all real fans are poor. But it's hard to argue that rising prices haven't squeezed out huge swaths of die hards, or other enthusiastic fans. I'm not poor, but the prices for decent seats at major sporting events are often prohibitive. Toss in parking, concessions, etc. and it gets rough. What I was saying in the post was that rising costs contribute to the trend towards negativity and anger I was referencing.

BK

For a little perspective on "enjoying the ride", read this recap of the game:

http://tinyurl.com/atlblog

And be glad that you as a fan are on the other side of it!

Great article BK. Keep up the good work.

Go Lakers!!!!!!

BK:

Wow. LA "are deeper than Socrates with the flexibility of Gumby."

Move over Wordsworth, Keats, Frost and Frank Jacobs. There's a new poet in town.

By the way, I totally agree with your assessment of the San Antonio loss. One of the most entertaining games I've seen this year. Great basketball.

Just out of curiosity, after a comparable number of games, where does this team rank record-wise with other Laker teams of the past. I've got to think they're in the top three or so.

@kobebumbaye - thanks for the link to the critique of the Battier NY Times feature - I've now got that site bookmarked!

This is the best blog post ever... thanks for waking me up!

TYPO (*):
I'd much rather have this team then the one *without a ON switch to begin with!

I find this Chicago/Sacto deal baffling. Why does Sacto do this deal? It must be some kind of salary dump. Nocioni and Drew Gooden? Seriously? I mean... seriously??? At least I can see what Chicago is getting but Sacto is rebuilding... that's... just... woah...

I agree with Rick, Chris Mihm's a great guy but man, he's maybe 60% of what he once was and Gasol can't play every minute at Center or he'll wear down...

...Kwame Brown... LOL! Come on everybody, embrace the horror!


Kobeblitz,

>>>And no, Pau Gasol is great and all and one of the top
>>>power forwards in the NBA but he's no McHale. Only
>>>Duncan, Karl Malone, and Charles Barkley would own
>>>Kevin McHale.

ExCUSE me?!??!??

I believe you left out at least two names: James Worthy and
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Criticism is one thing. Ranting is another. This article was a perfect blend of both.

I, too, have problems when the arm chair warrior/coaches of the world live vicariously through people who are gifted in pretty much a one dimensional way.

It would amuse me to no end if people got all up in arms over, say the Hedron Collider malfunctioning or an astronaut losing a $10,000 tool (special caulking gun, really happened last year). But when Kobe shoots 7 for 23, we might as well shut down Los Angeles and hold a moratorium on all speaking.

It is, after all, just a game.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jay Jay,

>>>- already more into it and less nervous that Sun Yue.

No surprise that a guy who's in his third year in the league and
has played about 800 minutes of NBA ball would be more adjusted
than a guy in his first year who has played a total of 28 minutes
in the bigs.

I like what Brown brings defensively, and he's actually shot
45% for the Bobcats this season when he did get PT.

Man the Lakers were so dominant last night. But man doesn't the end of the bench suck, they could not even complete a pass, catch a ball, dribble, jump, run. They could have thrown up shots at every chance and play better than they did. No way the Lakers should have won by only 13 points and not score a hundred. Completely pathletic!

Staples 24,

>>>What I hope would not happen is sending Vince Carter
>>>to the Cavs. That will make the Cavs the best in the NBA.

I'd actually be much more worried if they traded Wally for a
legitimate big - Washington wasn't willing to give them Jamison.
Now they're trying to talk the Clippers out of Camby. That would
be a serious hurt.

watching the game on the net, together with all of u on the live game jabber box, it is an incredible experience. makes the game twice as fun

thanks

This is funny

The NBA requested youtube to block the Zach Randolph punching Louis Amundson videos and nearly all of the videos has been blocked!

Get them while you still can!

-KB Blitz

BK - To expand on your point, that anger is probably made worse by the fact that things just plain suck right now. The problems of the world have cast this thick cloud of gloominess over everything, making it hard to enjoy anything right now. The big slap in the face is the nba having to borrow $175M just to help 15 teams cover operating costs. For anyone who looks to sports entertainment as an escape, it's a nightmare. What else is there left to escape to?

I may be overgeneralizing but I think people are just unhappier these days and, unfortunately, that is just making things worse.

GO LAKERS!!!!

If anything it's not the "not enjoying the journey" we need to improve on so much as perspective.

Not every loss is a panic button inducing end of the world.

Not every win is championship worthy of praise.

Perspective is often missing in this site. When we lose it's this person suck, that person needs to go. When really it should be a constant of this person sucks, that person needs to go haha, jk.

Seriously though, apart from the general criticism, and often appreciated critique we should keep some perspective. It's a long season, you should never be too high or too low.

"I believe you left out at least two names: James Worthy and
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

I'm talking Power Forward wise Long Time Laker Fan. Kareem is a CENTER and to say Kareem would own McHale is like saying Michael Jordan would own Gilbert Arenas. Both would own them for sure but different positions.

Worthy may have played Power Forward at times but it was AC Green who played the power Forward slot.

Worthy was a great supporting member of Showtime and he really was Big Game James against Detroit and achieving that Monster Triple Double in Game 7 but McHale was better overall than James Worthy.

Power Forward wise the top 5 are Duncan, Malone, Barkley, McHale and depending on your tastes either Pettit or Garnett.

-KB Blitz

Mihm traded to Grizzlies for 2013 draft pick (2nd)
http://tinyurl.com/ddfa5k

>>>Is there a winner in the Chicago-Sac deal? Sounds like
>>>lateral movement amongst non-relavent teams to me.

Chicago had no quality center. They had two young rough around
the edges guys in Tyrus Thomas and Joachim Noah who were good
defensively and pretty bad offensively. Miller is a considerable
upgrade at center for them.

And John Salmons has been playing great this season.
You might forget that he scored 21 against the Lakers when
Sacto beat the Lakers. He has the 11th best PER in the league
among SF's. Much better than Nocioni, with the 45th best PER.

And what's more, Miller comes off the books in 2010 and
Salmons in 2011. Nocioni's contract goes on all the way
until 2013.

So Chicago gets two better players, ends their financial obligations
sooner, and they're currenltly only 2 1/2 games out of the
playoffs.

Once again... well said.

Marty,

>>>Just out of curiosity, after a comparable number of
>>>games, where does this team rank record-wise with
>>>other Laker teams of the past. I've got to think they're in
>>>the top three or so.

Second only to the 71-72 Lakers who had the second best record
in league history (69-13). After 53 games, that team was 46-7.

This team has a better record than any of the threepeat teams,
and better than any of the Showtime Lakers teams had after
53 games.

just got word that Mihm was traded to Memphis for a conditional 2nd round pick in 2013.

Sounds like Mbenga is gonna get lots of run now.

Lakers trade Chris Mihm to Memphis for a conditional 2nd round draft pick in 2013. Wow. That's depressing for Mihm. He was just starting to show some promise/terrible post play.

Mihm to Griz?

???

This was posted on ESPN:

The Grizzlies have traded a conditional second-round pick in 2013 to the Los Angeles Lakers for Chris Mihm and cash considerations, an NBA source confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

The deal is expected to be announced this evening or tomorrow morning.

Mihm's $2.5 contract expires after this season.

BK --

I think you have a narrow philosophy on the role of sports in a fan's life. No one disagrees that sports are supposed to be fun. But part of that experience includes being critical, even overly critical, and complaining, and gossiping, and talking stats, and talking smack, etc.

Sports are an interesting phenomenon where we take something that has little intrinsic value and simply decide we're going to care about it. We pick our allegiances based on pretty arbitrary standard -- where we grew up, where we went to school, which player we were first acquainted with, who our parents or our family owe allegiance to, the color of the team's jersey or the name of the team, etc.

The point is, the entire phenomenon of sports revolves around caring about things that don't matter! It's hating on teams that we have little real reason to hate, it's criticizing people who toss a ball around for a living without knowing a thing about them, and so on. That's what makes sports fun. Creating value where there is none.

This capacity -- to create a framework of values and adhere to it; to become "a fan" of a team; to despise another team just because -- is an expression of that set of abilities that sets humans apart from the other animals. Sports are, in this sense, an expression of something very human.

Given all of this, I'm perplexed that you feel the need to explain to us that there is a right way to appreciating this art, this wonderful expression of our humanity; and that this "right way" does not include being overly critical, talking smack, complaining, or being negative. But talking smack about your own team or another team is a big part of what makes this all worthwhile (and yes, "fun") for 95% us. Complaining and yelling and "getting into it" is all part of the game. Caring only about the win, the ultimate win, the championship, the legacy, for no real reason except that we can, and that we will, THIS is what it's all about for 95% of us.

Maybe you're part of the remaining 5% who can only appreciate "positive energy", who are perfectly happy to enjoy the process without worrying too much about the arbitrary standards ("win" or "lose") that we have set up for ourselves. Good for you. But you need to keep an open mind and understand that it's okay -- in fact, it's built into the notion of sports -- that others may interact with the art differently.

Clearly, I think you guys do great work, and I agree with most of what you say on a daily basis. But on this issue -- your overall philosophy about overly critical fans -- I totally disagree with you. It comes up pretty often, so I thought I'd rant about it.

Cheers, and GO LAKERS!

BS

mihm was traded to the grizzlies for a conditional second round pick in 2013.

BK,

While I appreciate what you're trying to say, I think it would be better if you said it next year.

This year is a mission to exorcize the demons of last year's Finals.

It's not about having fun. It's about something more important.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

This blog is phenom!!!

I heard they traded Mihm to Memphis for a 2nd round draft pick... TRUE???

thanks AK

BLOG CRUE
Mihm traded to Memphis. Take care and good luck.

Colorado loves the Lakers!

A Couple Of Observations...

1. Could, for God's sake, Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zach Randolph be simultaneously ready for a game?

2. Shannon Brown is think is going to be a pleasant surprise.

3. Luke Walton is better than Adam Morrison.

4. Chris Mihm better step up his game.

5. I'm going to begin clammoring for minutes for DJ Mbenga soon.

6. I don't understand the Chicago-Sacramento trade.

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

MIHM is GONE!

Just shipped off to Memphis for basically nothing.

My question is WHY NOW? Its a good off-season move when every penny we can get to re-sign Lamar and Trevor is needed, but with Drew out why give up our safety net? Now if - God forbid - Pau goes down, we are screwed!

If the reported Mihm trade is true, it looks like DJ MBenga knocked Chris completely out of LA in that fight at practice.

BK: "deeper than Socrates with the flexibility of Gumby."

I never thought I'd hear Socrates and Gumby in the same sentence. Somehow you pulled it off.... and now my head has asploded...

The Mihm to Memphis thing just reinforces this theory I have that there are certain teams who just like to do business with each other. For the Lakers, those teams recently have been Charlotte and Memphis.

Powell seems like he's going to be the biggest benificiary of the move. He really is becoming this year's Turiaf.

Hoopsworld reports that Chris Mihm was traded to the Griz for a 2nd rounder.

Amen, sing it brother- i don't agree with every little nuance, but I had to post in to agree, and even more so to respond to people who are disagreeing, not because they are disagreeing, but because they are disagreeing with the basic fact that we are supposed to enjoy the game, and can't UNLESS we win. this is, in my opinion, the viewpoint of either a masochist or a fairweather fan.

of course we want rings, but if they just mailed them to the lakers every year and they never played a game, what the hell would the point be?

being a basketball fan would seem to imply that you enjoy watching the game played. nothing to apologize for wanting to see the game played well, which i think is a very defensable point, but jeez, don't jump down the throat of the guy who points out what we (well, some of us) seem (emphasis on SEEM) to be too focused on june to notice, ie, that we are seeing a very good team play some very good basketball. it doesn't happen all that often, and if, knock wood, the whole team bus gets hit by a giant meteor this friday I will still be happier for having seen the games i've seen this year. horrilby distraught, aghast and suicidal, but but still happy that i got to watch it while it lasted.

I mean, sooner or later, meteor or luxury tax or whatever, it's going to end, and would you rather look at a banner or remember having enjoyed a game?

and, inspired by the whole 'enjoy the ride' theme, i was going to post a bill hicks youtube clip, but it would never make it past the censors, so i advise everyone to just go to youtube and search for 'bill hicks.' it's the same general thing.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

It's game day, folks. A run and gun day with the mighty Warriors from the northern land. Will the Lakers lock down and hold this shoot-at-all-costs team to under 100 points? Will Mbenga bring the backup post presence of a jiu-jitsu black belt?

Nice post, BK. I will enjoy tonight's game with extra, um, enjoyment.

Go Lake Show!

BS-

I appreciate your comment, and agree on a lot of what you're saying, but you're using words I didn't. Nowhere did I say that criticism of a team or player was out of bounds, so to speak. Smack talk, lamenting losses over a beer at the bar, hitting up the chat boards (or a blog!) to vent with fellow fans- that's all part of the process, and can be part of the fun I'm talking about.

What I'm saying is that increasingly fans let the negative, pseudo-hardass tone of the lowest common denominator in sports media change the game, so to speak. As Lakers sth correctly noted, sports serve different functions for different people. But from my perspective, there's a toxicity to allowing that negativity to consume, to make it so process and journey are totally buried in the name of the final goal. Like I wrote, it would be a shame for fans not to appreciate how exciting- yes, fun, too- that this season has and will be- the quality of basketball, and all that, once it's over.

There's no guarantee there will be another one like it, so it's important to appreciate it. That doesn't make criticism out of bounds, but emphasizes the importance of perspective and balance.

Not everyone will agree with me on this view of fandom (clearly), but it's how I feel.

BK

Mihm was traded

Wow,
Let me see if I understand correctly, We had to "PAY" the Griz to take an expiring contract? What part of that doesn't sound right? We pay Mihm's salary for the remainder of the year and they take the salary reduction for next year..... hummmm.

There's another deal coming, because that doesn't make sense to me.

Andy's working on a post now, but I'm surprised the Lakers made the move on Mihm, with Bynum out. To me, it seems like a precursor to another move, where they bring in someone who is more game ready than Mihm currently is.

I mentioned the Catch 22 last night- LA was in a position where Mihm needed more minutes to get back in the flow, but couldn't necessarily give them to him, given the high stakes of every win and loss. Obviously this means more activity for DJ, and also Powell as a backup center. The latter worries me, not because Powell hasn't acquitted himself nicely, but because he is undersized at the five.

This opens up a roster spot, and it woudln't surprise me to see it filled relatively soon with another big.

BK

-Heard about Mihm. Hopes he finds his game there. He was a good laker for awhile. I think we're all about winning, but Mihm was loyal and wanted to be here.

Who knows what would have happened if we had him for that Suns series. We posted Kwame "look mom, no hands" Brown. Nuff said.

-For all those enamored with Shannon Brown, lets not forget, he's got to learn the system first. For that, Jordan and Sasha are light years ahead of him.

I hope he does get it before playoffs start though. I still think Jordan footwork really sucks on defense. Cooper or someone has still got to work with these guys on INDIVIDUAL defense, not just team defense.

"...deeper than Socrates with the flexibility of Gumby"


No, you didn't...

Well said!! I think we forget all to often to enjoy the moment and what the Lakers have already done to bring joy and a moment of distraction into our lives. Shannon Brown's attempted stuff last night was one of those moments!! Go Lakers and go BK

who is Gumby: a clone of van Gundy and Camby?

Yes, I'm glad BK has written this article, it is something I totally agree with and think about quite a bit. Laker fans are lucky, very lucky. How could we not be, we have always been spoiled by the best franchise in sports! We've had championship-competing teams almost every year since the 50's save a few years in the mid-70's and mid-90's, and a non-stop parade of stars, from the Mikans to the Baylor, West & Chamberlains to the Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Nixon, Cooper, Scott, Rambis & Showtime crew, through the Shaq, Kobe, Jones, Van Exel crew on to the Shaq, Kobe Fox, Fisher, Horry teams to what we have today. I have always said that the all-time Lakers team would beat the rest of the NBA's all-time team.

We are truly blessed as Laker fans and there are fans of 27-28 other teams that are jealous & envious. Not only have the Lakers been the NBA's marquee team from the time of their existence, especially since the Showtime age, but they continue to be - and look to remain on top with the best youngest lineup in the NBA. We currently have the privilege to watch a player that perhaps will become the G.O.A.T. in Kobe but a solid & steady professional like Pau Gasol, the most versatile big-man in Lamar Odom, another steady, consistent vet in Derek Fisher (that is perhaps an even better person) but will get to watch the maturation of yet another great Laker center in Bynum (to go along with HOF'ers Mikan, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar and sure-HOFer Shaq). Add to that the fact that all this crop of Lakers are good people along with players, on and off the floor, this is truly a great time to be a Laker fan!

BK,
"What I'm saying is that increasingly fans let the negative, pseudo-hardass tone of the lowest common denominator in sports media change the game"

That's just a microcosm of society in general.

BK:

Someone out there is enjoying the ride, as evidenced on NBA.TV's fan nights. Everytime the Lakers are scheduled to play on Tuesdays, the fans vote overwhelmingly to have their game televised over all others on the schedule. Even ESPN is quick to add the Lakeres to their televised NBA games, not to mention TNT. Seems like fans all over the country are recognizing the efforts of a GREAT team!!!

THE SKY IS “NOT” FALLING…

Just a few quotes from the few posters willing to brave the blog after a Lakers loss. As for the rest of you Fair Weather fans, hope you trip and fall trying to jump back on next week. I’m embarrassed for the lack of confidence shown by many normally loyal Lakers fans. Hang your head in shame, you Fair Weather Fans. Will you even show up for the parade?

JMNSHBO!
DNFTT!

>>>

“So summing that all up, in the 11 minutes that Jordan was on
the floor, he made 1 of 2 shots, got 1 assist, had 1 turnover,
1 steal, and 1 foul. His TEAMmates during that time made 2 for
12 shots and turned the ball over 5 times! For you to
blame Farmar for the bad play of his teammates when he was
on the floor is ludicrous.” – Long Time Laker Fan

>>>

“Man, when the Laker's lose a game, this blog turns into a bunch of petulant
children. Farmar sucks, Sasha sucks, play Brown and Morrison, blah blah blah.

It's one stinking game people. We won 4 before, we'll probably win the next 2,
is 6-1 a bad road trip? Grow up you basketball novices, this is the NBA, you
don't win them all. (Even though Lamar thinks you can. lol)

Finally. Stop focusing on the negative!!”– mikefloss

>>>

“We still have a great record, we're a great team when we play the right way, we have some issues that need to be cleaned up before the playoffs for sure, but I like my team and I like our chances. It's one horrible game, we'll be better Tuesday. I hope." And if we're not, it is Charlotte so who gives a frick?” – olf

>>>

“We DON'T NEED home court against Clev.... we CAN BEAT THEM anywhere... even if we played 7 games in their home we'd still win it.. Just REST KOBE and PAU.. we need both of them FRESH when playoff time.
relax guys we're on the 5th game of 7 road games.. they're tired..and kobe got some problems..” –kobe.4.mvp
>>>

“What is more likely to happen between now and the playoffs - that Vujacic and Farmar will start playing better, or that (the very raw, in general inexperienced, very unfamiliar with the triangle, and no playoff games) Brown and Morrison will be able to contribute at a higher level than what Farmar and Vujacic can do?

I think it's much more likely that Farmar and Vujacic will pick up the level of their play.” –ex

>>>

“We have #1 seed locked in the West. W's and L's become meaningless. Having the homecourt advantage could become meaningless, if we are not healthy. The severity of a loss at this point in the season has no "ill" effect on the Lakers(as far as seeding goes). Rest the starters!” –ChicNStu (By the way, I just “GOT” the name. Pretty funny.

>>>

“Okay - new day. I have had time to sleep off the negativity.” –PsychedLakerGirl

>>>

“This isn't the nd, home court advantage is important, but as many teams have shown, it doesn't guarantee anything. Just ask Dirk Nowitzki.” –Jamie Sweet

>>>

“Lakers will be fine and trust me coaching staff knows what they are doing and are closest to truth than fans.” –Rocket Science.

>>>

Tom

BK,

Your best thread ever. Maybe now, the real fans will even show up the day after a loss. Thanks for reminding everybody to enjoy the journey. If they can’t, they should just switch to the Clippers. Then they would see how lucky they were to be Lakers fans.

Bloggers, if you can’t get behind this team, then you really are Fair Weather Fans.

Tom


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