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Lakers express sympathy for George Karl

It's an issue that transcends sports and even the increasing animosity between the Lakers and Nuggets. Surely, the Lakers (55-22) will be geared up for tonight's game against Denver, especially with the chance to officially clinch the top spot in the Western Conference. Without a doubt the Nuggets (51-27) will be up for this game too, still remaining bitter about the Lakers eliminating them in last year's Western Conference finals as well as in the first round of the 2008 playoffs.

But with Denver Coach George Karl remaining on the sideline because of his cancer treatment, it's something that has struck a chord among everyone around the NBA.

ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky recently pondered whether Karl's situation changes the context of the Lakers-Nuggets heated matchup in any way, knowing that such a serious life-and-death issue bodes an incredible importance over something so minuscule as a basketball game. Lakers forward Lamar Odom downplayed that notion, saying, "Nothing against him, and I know he's going through it, but we kind of worry about the Lakers." Odom's response, in spirit, seems to be more that he'd rather not speak on the Nuggets' behalf on what they're going through when he's not there, but there's no question the Lakers feel for them.

That was apparent in the last matchup where Lakers Coach Phil Jackson wore a pin labeled "Hoops for St. Jude," which Jackson told reporters is "concerning George Karl's treatment for cancer."

The Lakers have gone through a somewhat similar issue with Tex Winter, who had stopped being an active consultant with the Lakers after suffering a stroke last April. Bryant, who affectionately nicknamed Winter "Yoda" for his teachings with the triangle offense, acknowledged he's missed his presence.

"He's feisty and brutally honest about everything," Bryant said of Winter. "He's great."

Of course, some of those emotions will be put on hold, or at least channeled onto the basketball court once tip starts tonight. The Lakers expect the Nuggets to use Karl's absence as a rallying cry, though they have gone 9-6 under acting coach Adrian Dantley. There's also the absence of Denver forward Kenyon Martin, who has missed the last 17 games because of a left knee injury.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
Comments () | Archives (19)

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If Lakers lose tonight it sure won't do anything for confidence in this team. Denver on the 2nd game of back to back. Kmart out. Andersen possibly out.

Come one Lakers - blow out of these thugs on their home court!!! We want to see you play 48 minutes of solid ball.

MAMBA24 -

Please please please put me on the "I hope George Karl Gets Better" bandwagon (if I'm not already on it). I hope he gets through this trying time rather quickly.

MAMBA24… Man, I loved Bruce Lee. When I grew up, my Chinese father and American mother only wanted their kids to be Americans. We never spoke Chinese, only spoke English, because my dad wanted us to blend in. The only time I spoke Cantonese or Mandarin was when I was with my dad’s relatives. This led to period of time where I rebelled against the Asian blood within me and wanted to be all rather than just half white. I hated the image that the Western media portrayed Asian characters, the rude “Hop Singing” of America.
~
You have to remember that this was all before the Black Power movement changed everything for minorities in this country. So instead of being the quiet reserved Asian sitting in the back of the class, I was the belligerent aggressive wannabe white kid who always spoke up and wouldn’t take crap from anybody. My close friends were all white or black. The girls I dated were all white. To my dad’s relatives, I was the proverbial banana, yellow on the outside and pure white inside. And then along came Bruce, who changed everything for me.
~
Handsome and supremely talented, married to a beautiful white woman, hobnobbing with movie stars and famous athletes, Bruce suddenly opened new windows of dreams and opportunity for all young Asian males. Suddenly, I found I was proud of being multi-racial rather than ashamed of being a half-breed. Suddenly, I wanted to learn more about my heritage and opened an entirely new relationship with my dad as I pelted him with questions about China and his memories of the village where he grew up in the Pearl River in Canton.
~
Like Bruce, I married a white woman, probably a result of my early childhood prejudices and turmoil. My son also married a white woman. And my sister married a Mexican. So today, my family is a hodgepodge of races. I have a blond granddaughter who looks all white and a brunette granddaughter who could be Mexican. Our family reunions are often on my sister’s ranchito outside of San Diego and include a step-mother and step-brother and sister from the very same village that my father grew up in China as well as a horde of my sister’s husband’s Mexican brothers and sisters. And our feasts always include a mix of Chinese and Mexican food.
-
It’s a new multi-racial, multi-cultural world that my dad and mom could not have even imagined in their day. One of the things that I find fascinating on this blog is the incredible array of different backgrounds of the various posters. I could not imagine how anybody could design a census form to truly capture the explosive diversity that is rapidly taking over society. It is not impossible to imagine a day when we all are multi-racial and multi-cultural. The richness of life that results is a pleasure to treasure.
~
Anyway, thanks for the Bruce video. Here is an oldie but goodie that clearly shows how the Lakers are going to play once the playoffs begin: http://www.lakersmedia.com/Flash/laker-summer-camp.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

M2, You never answered my question about Benjamin Hochman. Is he related to Stan Hochman?

Rick - Didn't mean to ignore that question there. I just haven't gotten a response yet from Ben. I imagine he's been tied up today with shoot around stuff and pregame stuff at the moment. I'll let you know as soon as I know.

MM

Rick - I just received word from Ben. He is not related. But that doesn't mean he won't be as good...

MM

Shaq changed the game, so the NBA changed the rules.
Kobe changed the game, so the NBA should change the rules!

What am I talking about?
Keeping the ball moving.

I propose that the NBA establish a 5 seconds "hot potato" shot clock.
If you hold onto the ball for more than five seconds...TURNOVER!!!!!!!!

I think it would make the game more exiting.

JON K… Congrats on the post of the day. I think you are leading your trolls by a big margin now. Good to see some legitimatization of your importance and role on this blog from DAY ONE. How does my ass taste, DFish? Same to you Eric Wright. LMAO. Way to go, Jon. There will come a time when you’re back in the promised land and the bell will have rung for all of your personal trolls.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Tom,
I'm glad to see Jonny boy K win the post of the day. I know the little guy has been very upset lately so it is good to see him win this prestigious award. I still think he should take the nutritionist position with the Lakers.

What do we play for ? Dit Da Jow !!!

Chilly - are you for real or is your sarcasm font on?

BTW - you forgot princess jimmy's crab dribble's new legality....

The only team that I would feel weary facing this postseason is the Thunder because of the defense they play at the SG position and all that youth. Other than thm, I think we'll be fine all the way to the finals--where we may win one game. Has anyone seen the Cavs' bench?


Cavs bench: Shaq, Big Z, Anderson Vareajo, Leon Powe, J Moon, Delonte West and Telfair.


That's not counting LeBron, Hickson, Jamison, A Parker and Mo Williams.


Is it game time yet?


Wes

Phil, Kobe and Derrick all look like they have high blood pressure when they answer LA media's string of never ending questions.

MM - TP'S COMING ON THE CHAT???????


OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HEY RICK!!!!! YOU THERE????? HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOD NEWS????? TONY'S COMING ON THE CHAT TO DISCUSS A FEW THINGS!!!!!


WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Note: sarcasm font DEFINITELY on.


justa - i don't know if he's coming or not. but i have a few things to share in the chat

MM

MM - well now I'm bummed....

I'm watching the TNT half time report right now. Someone (not sure who cuz it was audio only for a second) asked Charles Barkley who he would take in the last 2 minutes of a game - Kobe or Lebron. Chuck chose Lebron. The other says "well then you're losing".


ROTFLMAO!!! Can Chuck BE any more biased against the Lakers? LeChoke over the Black Mamba??? What a pud.

Justa - I knew you were his #1 fan. Admit it

MM

MM - maybe in Bizarro World....

Hey - you gonna start the chat up a bit early tonight?

justa,

I'm dead serious. I'm tired of players holding on to the rock and not swinging it around.
I'm telling you, this would make the game more exiting.

And maybe not five seconds, but at least somewhere under ten. Anything longer than that stagnates an offense.

Laker Tom - thanks for sharing your family story - very interesting - very beautiful too. I'm also very happy to be able to have such a wonderful, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-you-name-it (!) community to come share my Lakerholism with...


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