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All Gasol, Gasol the time

Came up with that headline all by myself.  No assistance whatsoever. That's why I get the big bucks as a professional writer, and you people wait with bated breath to see what masterpiece I craft next. Or you drop by purely because I happen to have access to the Lakers, you don't and it's worth tolerating my ham-fisted hackdom to get a little inside dirt. But it's definitely one or the other.

As the title implies, the top topic this afternoon in El Segundo was in fact Pau Gasol, who's been increasingly optimistic over the last few days that tomorrow against the Bulls could mark his seasonal debut. Well, the SS Good Vibes hasn't sprung a leak or crashed into an iceberg yet. Pau participated fully in practice, felt great, and remains hopeful that his tentative plans won't go interrupted.

Mind you, this isn't a promise, and Pau wouldn't even touch anything in the neighborhood of confirmation, fearing a jinx.  He did, however, promise that should he suit up, wind will be sucked, reminding us a few times that his conditioning isn't up to snuff. When asked if "okay" could be a fair adjective to describe his "game shape" status, Gasol labeled that description "generous."

Given Phil Jackson's history of giving key players surprisingly generous minutes upon returning from injury, one writer joked with Pau that 35 minutes (if not higher) looms tomorrow. "I don't think I could do that," smiled a sheepish Gasol, before noting that the scribe's prediction might not be a sucker's bet.

But even the thought of 48 minutes and OT change couldn't wipe the grin off Pau's face. That smile was noted by another writer, who commented that El Spaniard looked to be in muy bien spirits. You got that right, man. "My spirits are very tied to basketball," explained Gasol. "When I can't play and I'm frustrated and I'm out, I'm suffering. I'm a little grumpy and cranky and everyone notices. Right now, I'm a happy man."

For his part, Phil said heavy minutes aren't on Pau's horizons, should he prove able to suit up. "If he could go five, six, eight minutes at a stretch, that would be a pretty big journey for him," said Jackson.  Informed that some media types were predicting a yeoman's effort, Phil reassured us that ginormous minutes really aren't part of his agenda. "No, I wouldn't do that. I think that's a formula for not having a good night and setting him up for a situation that may aggravate (the hamstring)."

Phil also noted that Pau's issues haven't been so much raw and constant pain as the residual effects due to heavy activity. There is a difference.

You can add Kobe Bryant to the list of folks geeked at the idea of Pau's name getting announced by Lawrence Tanter. Asked what the team will gain most by Pau's presence, Kobe cited the seven footer's ability to command attention and his passing ability, but first and foremost, the gray matter. Brains are a big part of the game, and one of the aspects setting the Lakers apart from the crowd. "We're one of the smartest basketball teams in the league," insisted Kobe.

(Or perhaps I should say, "reminded Kobe," as the Lakers' intelligence has recently mirrored a roller coaster route. Against Phoenix and Detroit, the Lakers have been valedictorians of the court. The Houston and Denver games, however, were the equivalent of the dude whose his proclivity for sucking down Slurpees, playing video games, and sniffing rubber cement at the Sev Lev led to a barely earned, "Good Enough Diploma," as Chris Rock calls it.)

And lest we forget, Pau's not the only fella playing through discomfort as we speak. Luckily, Kobe's strained right groin seems to be trending in the right direction.  He looked like a completely different player against the Pistons than the one struggling to make shots two days earlier, and noted how the pain grew easier to manage as the game went on. Of course, it's easier to feel impervious to pain while being checked by a midget or a Swedish rookie.

On a thematically unrelated (but still seasonally relevant) note, Andrew Bynum has made crystal clear his displeasure over not being on the floor at the end of games last season, an opportunity that's come his way in Pau's absence. Given the power forward's 2009 success finishing contests while teamed up with Lamar Odom, I wondered if his return might raise that issue again for Bynum. "I just have to read that," said Jackson. "That's what my job entails. How that goes along in the course of a game. How the matchups are. What we need on the floor." When I asked if Drew's at least proved himself more capable, Phil's response was interesting:

"Sometimes it's not even Andrew. It's the fact that Lamar comes out and plays the guard role, and that suddenly turns us into a different team. Maybe it's Pau that'll come out at this time down the stretch until Pau is in really good condition to finish games."

For what it's worth, I wouldn't equate Phil noting that Pau may initially watch the closing minutes upon returning as a hint that he's been aced out of a crunch time gig. Pau's track record most certainly earns him a chance to retain a role, and Andrew hasn't been soooooo good that the decision has become a no-brainer. But he has been good, without question. On several occasions, I've noted that, for the time being, the best thing Bynum could acquit himself along these particular lines in Pau's absence is create a situation where PJ has to think about it with everyone healthy. I'm pretty sure that goal's been met.

AK

 
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Summer, not fall, is the time for rest. Bet you anything he plays Euro ball again next year.

Welcome back Pau, take it easy though!! Go Lakers!!

Gasol good!

And... I really like Westerns.

Personally speaking I drop by for phrases like 'ham fisted hackdom'


dave,
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If I ever said anything in a post that you thought was stupid or incorrect, that was just my imposter. I LOL. I read all phred’s posts and couldn’t tell which was his or his imposter’s posts. Does that mean that he has a good imposter? Or maybe it means that phred has been correctly cloned or duplicated. We may be able to tell after a few years as those copies never hold up as well as the originals.
-
We’ve survived troll infestations, zombie takeovers, and alien cats so why not cloned imposters. It’s probably some form of viral or guerilla marketing campaign related to James Cameron’s Avatar. It’s what the KamBros are trying to do as they transform themselves into a virtual brand. Suddenly, they’re everywhere you look – game threads, live game chats, post game chats, day after game chats, press conferences, podkasts, coffee cups, and even mouse pads. Somehow all the cross-marketing somehow seems a little incestuous. I mean, just how many Kam Brothers are there out there. JK.
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Tom

LT - haha, you've boldly gone where I've only dared to think, re: K-bros and their multi-platform rollout. Still, beware quantity over quality. Just as having too much inventory on the shelf begets less profits, so does allowing free rein to imposters.


dave m

Reading some of the comments about Kobe and the seemingly official prejudice. For conversation sake, I would pose the question why.

The NBA referees have a long history of providing favorable officiating to the league stars. In the days of Magic and Bird, if the Lakers or Celtics had a lead with 2 minutes to go - game over. All Magic or Bird had to do was go to the basket - if it didn't go in - whistle blew and those two guys made their free throws.

Why not Kobe? It is a business and an entertainment business that thrives on promoting stars.

I'd be interested to hear some theories.

For instance, back in the days when the Bulls were emerging and the NBA was drooling over the financial upside Jordan presented as their marquee player - the league faced a huge dilemma. The Bulls could not get past the Pistons. The primary reason was Jordan's sidekick, Pippen shrunk in the face of the Piston's physical play.

I have long believed that the league made a conscious back room decision to intervene. The league then made a public decision to clean up the rough play the Pistons presented and did so specifically by using the Kevin McHale rule (2 shots and the ball) to protect Pippen as he went to the basket. Not at the beginning of the season mind you - after summer officials meetings - no this decision was made right before the playoffs - giving the Pistons no time to react. As much as I despised the Pistons, I believe they got totally screwed by the league and I don't blame them for walking off the court before the last game of their series with the Bulls ended.

Unofficially, I believe Pippen is still the league record holder for most calls in his favor using the 2 shots and the ball rule. With protection from the officials suddenly, Pippen's annual migraine headaches went away and a guy who previously melted under pressure became the accomplice Jordan needed to get over the top.

To further my case, once the Pistons were no longer a threat to keep Jordan from the top spot, a year or so later the league reversed its stand on the rough play and began to promote the bad boy Knicks to create the drama to help further the Jordan mystique.

Don't get me wrong, Jordan was the best ever - although the fact that he owned the officials makes the comparison to Kobe a little more difficult - as Kobe clearly does not get the same special treatment. Also, Pippen was an excellent player - an All Star for sure and one of the great role players in the game. However, I will always believe him to be overrated and not a top 50 all time player. His status at that level was fueled by the hype and confidence building protection by the officials along with riding Jordan's coat tails.

So, in my example the league benefits because with Jordan as the champion of champions, with the made for TV appearance - millions and millions of dollars found there way into the league coffers.

So why not Kobe - on the great Laker team, with the made for TV appearance, well spoken, etc??? Was it the Colorado incident? Is he not a likable person? Wrong agent?

Thoughts?

LakerTom- you seriously can't tell the difference? I'm not sure if I'm hurt or disapointed in you. Actually, the imposter had the game chat on whenever the hell we played last, but only puts out about one a day, so you wouldn't be seeing much of a difference. But seriously, that guy probably can't even speel ostentsibly, let alone use it in the correct context- on the other hand...you aren't LakerTom, are you? AAAAAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!

[runs around screaming like John Cusack in that movie where he played the crazy guy and Amanda Peet took her top off] (ok, that doesn't really narrow it down much) I think it was Insomnia or something like that.

LakerTom- easy to imitate. Wordy and pro bynum. Jon K- irritable, cleveland hating and something about rings. taliq/segeboy? Ebonics. Floyd? One Monty Python line, one Beatles lyric. Pfunk? please. Edwin? Freakin impossible.

anybody else?

What if none of us are really us, but just a creation of the K-Bros? No, that's impossible. But that's just what I would say, if I wasn't me!!

Thank you!!

My breath is now non-bated. Or is it 2% bated?

phred - "anybody else?" Well, there was the curious case of ding how, probably not too easy to imitate. Were you prowling these parts back then? A much debated blogger and perhaps imposter. LT and I were among a small group of fans. ding how wore out his welcome pretty quickly, sort of reminded me of an andy kaufman creation.

dave m

A little correction to an often said wrong spelling of the word "imposter". I don't mean to be an English professor but if we keep on repeating a mispelled word, it could be accepted as a fact.

It should be spelled as impostor. It is defined as a person who cheats others especially by pretending to be someone or something he is not. - Webster

Well, Phred just u just mentioned my name in your latest post with a "? and freakin impossible" remark, Do you have to drag us to your boredom? I find the definition above suitable to your jokes and pretensions. Sometimes, we don't know anymore who is the real phred, phreddington or the impostor phred. lol!


DKWSFO
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>>> So why not Kobe - on the great Laker team, with the made for TV appearance, well spoken,
>>> etc??? Was it the Colorado incident? Is he not a likable person? Wrong agent?
-
Great to hear from you. It IS a fascinating question. Without a doubt, in the public arena, Kobe has made great strides. And while he is still one of the most polarizing athletes in the world, I wonder how much of that is due to Kobe and how much is the Lakers. Do so many basketball fans hate the Lakers because of Kobe or do they hate Kobe because of the Lakers? I don’t remember all that hate when Magic was leading the Lakers but maybe I just wasn’t tuned into that way back then.
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With Kobe, it always comes back to Colorado. Kobe was such a perfect superstar, no tattoos, no children out of wedlock, no cheating on his wife. He was the straight arrow that stayed in the room studying game film while the rest of the team whored and partied the night away. I think a lot of fans took Kobe’s Colorado in much the same way as they took Magic AIDS. Great heroes plunging down through the clouds to earth. Would be gods who let temptation lead them astray.
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With Kobe, it was like being betrayed. I must have heard a 1o0 people say they no longer trusted any athlete nor would they ever think again that they really knew any athlete or celebrity – which then enabled them to ignore all of the good, loyal, trustworthy, decent, honest, and good things that Kobe had ever done. Choir boy history turned into trash overnight in a wave of guilt at loving a young player. I never bought that. I always loved Kobe and believed in him even in his darkest moments. I know in my heart that he did not commit the crime of which he was accused. I trust my judgment.
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On a final note regarding Kobe, I did not comment before on the accomplishment of scoring over 40 points in a game 100 times. I don’t think the bloggers realize what an impressive feat that is or even how hard it is to score 40 points in a single game. Andrew Bynum is approaching becoming the best center in the NBA in my opinion. He has a grand total of 1 40-point game. I don’t know how many 40-point games Pau Gasol, my pick as the best power forward in the NBA, has but it isn’t very many. And yet Kobe had scored over 40 points in more than 100 games against EVERY team in the NBA.
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And some bloggers actually think that Andrew Bynum is my favorite Lakers player. Before he is done, Kobe Bryant will surpass MJ and take over the throne as the G.O.A.T. Until the next G.O.A.T.
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Can’t wait for tomorrow night’s game. It will be so good to finally get Pau back. No better Big 3 in the NBA than Kobe, Drew, and Pau. Who knows. Maybe we really can finish 70-3. It’s about believing.
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Tom



phred
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If the imposter was on the live blog, then I didn’t see it. Old guys like me have a hard time doing too many things at once, especially after smoking my prescription and a nip of lemon vodka, and I like to keep my eyes on the game. Plus there are other important things to do during commercials. LOL.
Oddly, most of us can easily be “imposterized” by any creative person using a little cut-and-paste and imaginative editing. Ooops, wonder if I shouldn’t have suggested that? I might get “imposterized.”
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Tom

ex,
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>>> What if none of us are really us, but just a creation of the K-Bros?
>>> No, that's impossible. But that's just what I would say, if I wasn't me!!
-
We’re a Twilight Zone episode. Well, I know that at least I am real but the rest of you?
Could one or two minds come up with that many characters? Highly unlikely unless it is
some new form of virtual virus or worm with artificial intelligence and food coloring.
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Tom

I'm glad to see he's coming back against the Bulls, I think I can speak for Gasolofus when I say we are a better team with him on the court. : )

My theory on Kobe not receiving star treatment a la MJ, Magic, Bird...

The refs get caught up in the amazing things he does on the court and forget they're supposed to call fouls when the opposing team hits him.

It's the ultimate homage to KB24 - he turns refs into awestruck spectators.

PAU IS BACK PAU IS BACK PAU IS BACK!!!!!!!


finalllllly, the season starts TOMORROW for me!

"Came up with that headline all by myself. No assistance whatsoever."

I immediately knew this was written by AK. No doubt.

Excellence. Pure excellence.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Quote: "My theory on Kobe not receiving star treatment a la MJ, Magic, Bird...

The refs get caught up in the amazing things he does on the court and forget they're supposed to call fouls when the opposing team hits him.

It's the ultimate homage to KB24 - he turns refs into awestruck spectators."

Posted by: 805LakerLove | November 18, 2009 at 11:47 PM
---- ---- ----

That was awesome to read. I might surely agree on that. Kobe's basketball at its finest personified, a bright genius butterfly made of blinding relucing steel (and sized 6 foot ++).

I actually hate to follow games on USA based broadcats cos not only referees, but speakers always seem to disregard Kobe's unmatched skills. Which makes me fume. I love instead when NBA is broadcasted over here (Italy) with our original language given comments. Flavio Tranquillo (most competent speaker here) simply opens his eyes and let his brain elaborates that NOBODY does it like Kobe. It's such a self-evident reality, I get appalled when people don't acknowledge it, especially over there.

Anyway, Pau is almost there to be back. And unsurprisingly, Kobe pointed out the main factor on why he's basic to the Lakers plan. BRAIN. He's the only one allowed to THINK the game the way Kobe does. This is the greatest compliment anybody could land to adored Pau. And he knows.

Go Lakers!!!! Tonight is nightwatch fling for me :)

dkwsfo,

"Don't get me wrong, Jordan was the best ever"

Okay. Prove it.

Really?

Better than Magic Johnson?

Better than Wilt Chamberlain?

Better than Bill Russell?

Better than Kobe Bryant? (Yes, I said it because I mean it.)

Really?

Prove it. Saying it means nothing to me.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Pau Gasol is our second best player.

It's true... and that's a big deal.

Third? Tie Andrew Bynum and Thriller.

Healthy, this team is unbeatable. The problem is the bench. Luke is hurt (yes, I mean that) and Sasha is playing like a wimp, not a leader. He plays like a violent leader, good things happen. He plays like a whining wimp, he plays like crap.

Period.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Goo d luck Pau!

And AK - surely the title 'implies', we as readers (i.e. with agency) are the ones who 'infer'?

As a professional writer, you should know that a title doesn't infer, a reader does. The title implies something. If you do know that, you should also make sure to fix it lest one of your smart alec readers should point it out and make you look silly.

That said, I'm glad to have news about El Spaniard and appreciate his imminent return.

Worms and food coloring!

Benjamin,

Good catch. Thank you.

AK

REGARDING THE IMPOSTOR THEORY...

Everyone on this blog knows that AK/BK are witty and sassy...

Witty sounds an awfully lot like the word, "Wordy"...

Everyone on this blog knows that LAKERTOM is wordy...

Has anyone ever checked to see if AK/BK and LAKERTOM are, , , gulp ~ THREE IN ONE?!? (JON K should expound on this theory with his theological background)

IF there are THREE IN ONE... then the powers of impostorization no doubt lie within that blogging diety.

Mike

What in the hell are you guys talking about? :-)


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