Comparing the Lakers with cartoon characters
The image of Boston guard Nate Robinson jumping on Glen Davis' back will forever remain in Celtics lore. It signifies the Celtics' bench effort in their Game 4 NBA Finals victory over the Lakers. It showcases the slobber running down Davis' mouth. And it illustrates the close relationship between the two Celtics' reserves, which Robinson later compared with Shrek and Donkey, saying,"You can't separate us."
Reporters gave Lakers forward Ron Artest a recap of the recent episode, and Artest appeared amused. But when asked if there were any cartoon characters he would compare his teammates to, Artest was at a loss for words.
Artest has his mind on Sunday night's Game 5 of the NBA Finals. So, since I have more time on my hands than he does, I came up with a list. Ron, feel free to refer to this if you're asked the question again.
Kobe Bryant: Wolverine -- With both immune to pain, there's really not much these guys can't handle. Bryant can play through a fractured right index finger, back spasms, a sprained left ankle and a swollen right knee. Wolverine possesses a healing factor that allows him to recover quickly from wounds and helps slow down his aging process. Both seem prone to mood swings. And you usually don't want to make them angry. When that happens, Bryant usually goes on a scoring spree, while Wolverine usually shreds his opposition to pieces.
Pau Gasol: :Gumby -- Both would seem to be soft characters. But there's mettle there -- or metal, as it may be. Gasol long has been seen as a soft European player who avoids physical contact and can be pushed around. But anyone who's seen this series knows he's been able to absorb contact and play through it. Fans appreciate how Gasol's solid fundamentals and finesse in the post make his performances a work of art. People may see Gumby just as a bendable children's toy, but the character's been lauded for revolutionizing film because of his three-dimensional makeup. Both are also international superstars, with Gasol having a large following from his native Spain, while Gumby has plenty of fans on Facebook.
Andrew Bynum: Donatello -- Bynum may not have the wisdom and leadership Donatello brought to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but both are tech geeks. Donatello often was asked to fix the Turtles' cars and gadgets. Meanwhile, Bynum's off-court hobbies include building computers and playing with remote-controlled cars.
Derek Fisher: Underdog -- The name speaks for itself. Fisher has often been dismissed as too old, too slow and too streaky from the field. But time and time again, he has proved everyone wrong with veteran leadership and clutch shots.
Ron Artest: Mr. Magoo -- Nothing can define Artest better than his performance in Game 5 of the Lakers' West Finals match-up against Phoenix. He took an ill-advised three-pointer as the Lakers nursed a three-point lead with a minute remaining and 22 seconds left on the shot clock, leading the Staples Center crowd to yell a collective, "No!" Yet, his putback off Bryant's missed shot became the game winner. Artest is just like Mr. Magoo, whose poor eyesight gets him into wild adventures. As Lakers Coach Phil Jackson recently said of Odom looking after Artest: "It's not the blind leading the blind but probably the deaf leading the blind."
Lamar Odom: Cookie Monster -- OK, so Odom isn't in the starting five. But he played the final 13 games of the regular season, when Bynum sat out because of a strained left Achilles' tendon. Given the unpredictable nature of Bynum's injury, Jackson wants a big performance from Odom. Though it's often hard to gauge how involved Odom will get in the game, there are a few things we can always depend on with Odom. Among those is, he loves sweets, as does Cookie Monster.
-- Mark Medina, in Boston
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