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Lakers blog profile: Jon K explains how Derek Fisher's clutch shooting saved his life

Jon K.

This is the third post in a weekly series that helps you get to know members of the L.A. Times Lakers blog community. Feel free to send submissions to [email protected]

Screen name: Jon K.

Real name: "I've been told every week for the last 15 years that I look like Fabio or some professional wrestler. I hate that, but I guess that's what happens when you look like Fabio. If you see me on the street and ask me to say, "I can't believe it's not butter," you may get a throat punch."

Occupation: Project manager at a public relations firm; freelance writer; freelance event production and artist development consultant

Age: 33

Gender: Male

Hometown: Born in Newport Beach, raised in Agoura Hills, went to UCLA, now getting ready to move to Studio City.

Story behind your screen name: I used to use my real name until a Kazahkstani billionaire used a Google search to get into a blog I had on my MySpace account. He freaked out on some innocuous little comment I made noting how close his first name was to "Borat" (one letter off), and withdrew a verbal agreement for a $10 million investment in a start-up company I was creating to develop scorpion farms in the Dominican Republic to use their venom to develop nutraceuticals to treat cancer. The calamity resulted in my being thus interned for 2-1/2 additional years in Cleveland, Ohio under the most trying of circumstances which included co-managing a club filled with gangsters, thugs, and the worst kinds of vile vileness. I now do not use my real name online.

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How I became a Lakers fan: I first became aware that I was a Lakers fan by listening to Chick Hearn in the garage as a kid while my father worked on his car during the Magic Era. There wasn't an event that made me a Lakers fan. It was just natural growing up in California, but if it there were to be one precipitant, it would be listening to Chick Hearn. I loved spending time with my father and my grandfather died at an early age, so I developed a kind of "grandfatherly" association with Chick Hearn. His passion, skill, and humor was utterly infectious. That's what hooked me in, but it seems like being a native Los Angelenan that being a Lakers fan is just part of your core identity. You don't become a Lakers fan. Being a Lakers fan is part of one's birthright as a Southern California native.

Favorite Lakers memory of all time and of the 2009-2010 season: 1) All-time: Robert Horry's last-second shot to beat the Kings in the playoffs. I was watching the game in Playa del Rey with a group of friends and when that shot went in, the entire neighborhood exploded in celebration. It was just a wave of energy firing out all the windows of the street and rolling out into the air. It was amazing. 2) 2009-2010: Game Seven Finals. Beating the Celtics felt so darned good. 'Nuff said.

Most heartbreaking Lakers experience: Losing to Detroit in the 2004 Finals. It was just such a rough season emotionally with all the fighting and immaturity. The entire season was emotionally draining, but I thought it would be worth it when we won the Finals. Actually with Derek Fisher's 0.4 shot, I thought victory was predestined ... and then Karl Malone got hurt and we fell apart against the accursed Pistons. This was to be followed by the breakup of the team. It was a miserable time.

Favorite Lakers player: Derek Fisher

Greatest all-time Laker: Kobe Bryant/Jerry West/Magic Johnson/George Mikan. There is no "Greatest" Laker, but there are four who deserve to be in the highest pantheon.

Last time you went to a game at Staples Center and at the Forum: Actually the last time I went to the Staples Center I saw the Clippers and the last time I went to the Forum it was to see the Los Angeles Kings.

Opposing team, player you dislike the most: Team: Celtics. Player: LeBron James.

Interactions with Lakers players: Robert Horry: I met him at a film premier in Beverly Hills. He was a patient gentleman; however, this was during the 2002-2003 season and I remember thanking him for things going so well for the team and his eyes tensed up a bit. He clearly knew that things weren't all that great in the locker room that season. Rick Fox: I met him at party at a mansion in Beverly Hills. I forget the nature of the event but my invite was associated with the Hollywood Foreign Press. He was kind of a jerk and had a petite little blonde girl following him around like a puppy while he was married to Vanessa Williams. Derek Fisher's publicist: So far, so good.

Most cherished piece of Lakers memorabilia I have: Magic Johnson jersey, but I'm not much into memorabilia.

Memorable stories about being a Lakers fan: Too many to rattle off, but I'll try...

1) Many involve a lucky barstool in Hudson, Ohio, that ended up having a 92% winning percentage when I sat on that barstool. I would get there hours early sometimes just to make sure I had that barstool for the game, all the while surrounded by LeBroniacs who for years attempted to goad me into fist fights and who for years aggressively insulted and ridiculed me, but when the 2009 Championship happened, approximately 20 of these LeBroniacs came up to me and said, "You were right. Your team was the best. Congratulations," and shook my hand. It was surreal, but it seems Clevelanders man up when they talk smack and then are beaten.

2) During Game Seven of the 2010 Finals I was watching the game in Flagstaff, Ariz., in a bar filled with Suns fans who had mutated for the evening into Septics fans. It was me, another Lakers fan and approximately 35 "Celtics" fans. Once again people hurled insults my way, but as we fell down by 13 points in the second half, I got up on top of the bar and screamed out at the crowd, "WE ARE NOT LOSING THIS ... GAME!!!" And I proceeded to shout down an entire room of Suns/Mutant Celtics fans like a man possessed. As the room grew quiet, I grew louder and the other Laker fan joined in. I was screaming at the top of my lungs when Ron Artest made that late three-pointer to seal the game. I was so utterly swept up in ecstasy with the victory. It was a phenomenal feeling.

47477667

3) Perhaps my sharpest memory is Derek Fisher's 0.4 shot possbily saving my life. I was going through a rough patch in my life during the 2003-2004 season and I ended up watching Game Five against the Spurs at some rando empty bar just south of Seal Beach on PCH. I'm literally alone in this bar and this man walks in, a huge Ukrainian man, who proceeds to sit down next to me and engage me in conversation while I'm trying to watch the game. He basically infers that he's in the Russian mafia and does something involving money laundering, it seemed. (Yes, I also don't know why this person was telling me this, but people have a tendency to share intimate details about their life with me. I don't have an explanation for it.) Perhaps because I'm focused on the game, this giant thug proceeds to begin insulting me and the Lakers screaming obscenities about the Lakers and repeatedly shouting, "The Lakers are going to lose!"

Repeatedly I politely asked the guy to get out of my face and told him I just wanted to watch the game in peace, but he didn't care one bit and just kept riding me. Over time it began to wear on me and I started to lose my temper. Now this guy probably had 75 pounds on me and looked like he could more than handle himself, but I grew increasingly frustrated that this guy was ruining the game for me for no darned good reason. And then Tim Duncan made that shot and I just lost it. I put my head down on the bar, curled my right hand into a tight fist, as this man stood behind me still shouting, "The Lakers are going to lose! The Lakers suck!" and I was just going to unleash all fury on this guy the instant that time expired...and then Derek Fisher made the shot.

Derek Fisher made the shot. And I swirled around in joy and screamed, "... Go Lakers!" And let out a high-pitched war cry and danced around in joy. Surprisingly, this giant Ukrainian thug apologized and then sat down next to me and bought us shots of top-shelf vodka. It was really something. So, yeah, if Derek Fisher had not made that shot, who knows what would have happened. That miracle shot was a miracle in many different ways.

--Mark Medina

[email protected]

Photo: Jon K. has rubbed elbows with Robert Horry and Rick Fox. Credit: Jon K.

Photo: Jon K. credits the late Chick Hearn, the Lakers' legendary play-by-play announcer, for cementing his fanhood. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press.

Photo: With only 0.4 to get the shot off, Derek Fisher made his famous fling against the Spurs in the 2004 Western Conference semifinals. The shot apparently saved Jon K's life. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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Nice to meet you Fabio...uhmmm I mean Jon K...lol

Great stories and you are a full blown Laker Fan...no doubt...thanks for sharing...

Hey MVP888, does he look like cofm99 or what...

That was quite shocking to open this thread and see my face staring back at me. Yikes!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

WHOOHOO Jon K!!

But.....you should at least tell us your real name!

I always thought Jon Kavulic was your real name......

You look more like Sunshine from Remember the Titans Jon......

Btw can you say: I can't believe it's not butter?


LOVE the Fish story...

Not at all what I thought Jon K looked like. I expected a Matt Lauer / Bruce Lee hybrid --tall, thin, short dark hair and dark eyes. The mysteries continue to unfold.

Wes

Jon K. -

Your hair is glorious. I think it's your calling to play for the Argentinian squad along with Luis Scola and Walter Herrmann.

Jon K - I rolled on the floor laughing when I read these stories. I wish I witnessed them in real time.

MM

Hey MVP888, does he look like cofm99 or what...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 10, 2010 at 04:13 PM
=====

A much younger, less weathered version. Yes. :)

Jon K.....

Looking like a big strong quarter back...

I expected short back and sides,but the long locks rock dude..

Coming from a bald guy like myself...

Jon K. -

Uh, the man to whom you were referring was not one Mr. Utemuratov, the Kazakh banker and rumored mob boss, was it?

Jon K,

That was cool. I enjoyed reading that. You don't look at all like what I pictured. All good though. Nice hair man.

Go Lakers!
Go Team USA!
Go Padres!

So I see there's a new blog entry, and it's FABIO!

LOL jus kiddin'....

Couple of great stories, particularly love the D-Fish .04 one. I could imagine, you go in an instant from turning and punching, to turning and celebrating! What a moment that must have been!

Interesting to read that Rick Fox was a jerk. I don't know what it is about him, he's always very smiley :) on camera, but seems like he would be different off of it, so your account was interesting. Also, no wonder his relationship went bad, I think every long-distance relationship/marriage, outside of the military, always seems to go bad.

Good stories though, glad to finally see the real Jon K after years of reading your entries!

puddle,

No. The Kazahkstani billionaire made his money in metals (primarily nickle and copper), natural gas and oil. I forget his last name right now. I'd have to go through my documents at home to pick that out, but probably best not to discuss it too much further. He was quite infuriated by the comparison. The collapse of the investment was a major source of stress in my life. Nothing like losing $10 million while in Ohio just as the snow begins to fall for five long, dark months.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

puddle: "Your hair is glorious. I think it's your calling to play for the Argentinian squad along with Luis Scola and Walter Herrmann."

Hope Jon K doesn't punch me if we ever meet if I admit to laughing at that... :)

BTW I'm a longhair too, so I'm loving the longhair comments :)

Mark Medina,

A story I did not include is one night after a Lakers game in Ohio. I got home. Put on my bedtime clothes and I get a call from my best friend.

On the other end of the line was a drunken LeBroniac screaming for me to come back to the bar and fight him. {This all began because the guy sat down next to me and begged the question for five minutes straight as I attempted to answer, "Who's better? LeBron or Kobe?" I finally answered "Kobe" and all hell broke loose.}

So, this guy is screaming every obsentity in the book at me and I'm at first tempted to get back in my car and meet him outside the bar, but then I have a moment of clarity, "Jon, your in your pajamas, it's 2AM, you've got a martini in your hand, and it's blizzarding out. What are you thinking?"

And I simply told the guy to get bent and hung up.

My best friend thought the whole thing was hilarious the next day.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I meant "as I attempt to AVOID answerING"

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K: "On the other end of the line was a drunken LeBroniac screaming for me to come back to the bar and fight him... And I simply told the guy to get bent and hung up."

-

I'm glad the Lakers beat the Celtics (nothing sweeter than that!) but just imagine had the Lakers played the Cav's, and went to a game 7 and beat them (in Cleveland)! My god, what do you think would have happened then?

CyberCosmiX,

"My god, what do you think would have happened then?"

I would have literally had to fight my way home, which would have been fine, as long as we won.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon,
great stories bra. i swear they are like the Playboy stories of basketball, almost hard to believe that they really happened, but still nonetheless ya can't stop reading them, filled with anticipation as to what will happen in the next sentence.

Jon K: "I would have literally had to fight my way home, which would have been fine, as long as we won."

-

daaang... Love your spirit though Jon =)

KobeMVP888,

"If he's no different than ringless Sam Bowie (who was 23 when he entered the league), then why would you want Andrew healthy for the playoffs? If you're so hell bent on trading him, who would you like to see the Lakers replace him with?"

If Sam Bowie had Kobe, Gasol and Phil on his team, I'm pretty sure he would not be ringless. I am a 100% believer in Bynum's potential, but unlike you, I cannot ignore his injury history. Aren't you at least a bit concerned that Bynum might continue to have injury issues for the rest of his career? All signs point to that direction (ala Sam Bowie). The fact that Bynum was younger than Bowie when he entered the league only raises my concerns about his health. If a player that makes $15-$20 million a year is never healthy, that is absolutely DEVASTATING to our title hopes. And to answer your question about who I would trade for Drew, that depends. There are very few players I would trade for a healthy Drew, but there are dozens of players I would trade for a one-legged Drew, you know, the one-legged Drew that we've seen EVERY year for the past three playoffs, remember him?

"People like you crack me up. You see Drew and a non-factor and irrelevant to our back-to-back championships even though he was an important player in PJ's rotations. You include Bynum's averages from when he was 18 and 19 and was raw and not even starting and then make ridiculous comparisons. Fans who get all consumed with statistics in a vacuum simply don't get it. Maybe Denver should trade Nene. Maybe the Chowds should get rid of Perkins. I can't believe the Jazz traded for Al Jefferson! Haven't all those guys suffered torn ACLs? Artest's numbers last season weren't as good as Luke's in 2006-07. Should we get rid of him, too?"

Yes, Denver should trade Nene, but unfortunately for the Nuggests, his injury history has all but killed his trade value. Perkins has been healthy for the past three playoffs, except for one game. Bynum has not been healthy for a SINGLE playoff game in the past three years. That's a very bad comparison on your part. The Jazz went after an injury prone Al Jefferson because, unlike LA, nobody wants to play in Utah. With Boozer gone, and no big name free agent wanting to play for Utah, the Jazz were forced to take a gamble on Jefferson. The Lakers are in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT boat. They don't need to take huge gambles on injury prone players (like Jefferson, or Bowie, or Bynum). Again, I hope I'm wrong and Bynum stays healthy for the entire season, but deep down, I know it is not very likely, and if you were honest with yourself, you would feel the same way.

And finally, I'm not suggesting that Bynum did not contribute the past couple playoffs. He obviously has, but his contributions have been LESS than Kobe, Gasol, Lamar, Trevor, Fish, and Artest. For the THIRD highest paid player on the team, I EXPECT more, and so should you.

peace

The bottom line is that your question can't be answered. It's a team effort.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | September 10, 2010 at 04:26 PM
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok lets me re-phrase it:

If Gasol was out of the year do the Lakers Three-peat?

If Bryant was out of the year do the Lakers Three-Peat?

about the photo of Jon K, the Dude abides...

@ Jon K.,

Dude, you rule! I always dig your pieces on this blog. Between Mamba24's controlled insanity, LEWSTRS, LRob, justa, wes, Edwin, NF, LTLF, puddle, and the rest, it's free quality entertainment EVERYDAY! Thanks for sharing, bro!

DBDH!

(Whoa, now I know why I didn't send MM my real picture.)

If Gasol was out of the year do the Lakers Three-peat?

If Bryant was out of the year do the Lakers Three-Peat?

Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 05:37 PM

Not to mention that the Lakers in 07-08 went up against a fully healthy Boston squad not only without Bynum but also without a healthy Trevor Ariza that barely played anyways.

If Artest was there in 07-08, Pierce would have 1 good game and 2 more bad ones. 2 more bad games and the Lakers win considering almost all the games were close and the other game Pierce had a bad game was Game 6.

Bryant-Gasol-Odom under Jackson was good enough to sweep Iverson-Anthony Nuggets, beat a Utah squad that was the best out of the 3 teams that the Lakers faced in the past 3 years, and beat the Spurs when Duncan was in the last of his great years.

Would the Lakers have beaten Boston with Bynum (seemingly found a way to get Gasol in the process)? Maybe though probably another 1984 7 games series since while Bynum would have brought more inside scoring he does not automatically stop Pierce.

Bring Artest instead of Bynum and Pierce gets slowed down and Kobe guards Rondo/Allen instead and guards them much more than he did in 2008.

So much talk of "we had Bynum" yet forget that Ariza is almost neglected yet played a bigger role in the 09 Title than Bynum did but again the "2-0" argument is used.

I"ll end it there but I'll use another argument:

2-0 with Shannon Brown

Jon K,

Loved your stories.

We had the Fish that Pittsburgh...Now we have DFish that saved Jon K.

That Horry shot in 02...sweet. I still remember Mike Bibby on the bench filing his nails when they were up 20 in the 2nd qtr.

If you think 04 was rough on you...what do you think it was like for me in Detroit!

You definitely helped the cause by sitting on that Lucky barstool in Ohio. I always enjoyed your clever and witty posts from the Midwest.

Thugs in bars, crazy Cav fans, the vilest of the vile, Ukranian trolls ... you do live on the edge sometimes, John K.

And to top off the package, you look like, hmmmmm, what was that guy's name, some model, oh yeah Fabulous Fabio; or some linebacker from the USC football team. Enjoy it while you can, young man.

If Gasol was out of the year do the Lakers Three-peat?
If Bryant was out of the year do the Lakers Three-Peat?

Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 05:37 PM

So much talk of "we had Bynum" yet forget that Ariza is almost neglected yet played a bigger role in the 09 Title than Bynum did but again the "2-0" argument is used.

I"ll end it there but I'll use another argument:
2-0 with Shannon Brown
Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 06:35 PM
-------------

That's a good one Blitz...you answered your own question...lol.

No we don't threepeat with Gasol, Kobe or Bynum.

Yeah, I think I can still see a bit of scarring from where the sea gull got you...

Actually, in all seriousness, I first saw the picture pop up and I thought 'what, the Lakers traded for Walter Herrman?'

Just for a second. Then I scrolled down a bit. But actually, if you had shown me this picture without context and told me it was a Lakers blogger, I would have taken about four seconds to guess 'Jon K'

More hair than I would have guessed.

Ooops, should have said,

"We had the Fish that saved Pittsburgh...Now we have DFish that saved Jon K."
----------------

I might have to consult with 63 footer for a re-write of my profile after reading Jon K's great stories.

Jon K, I know that Dos Equis claims they have 'The Most Interesting Man in the World' but its pretty clear they overlooked you for that role.

I share with you that my most painful Laker moment was courtesy of Detroit, but it will always and forever be the 89 finals with B. Scott and then Magic pulling their hamstrings. Then of course, there's Magic getting HIV.

Dude...I thought you were older! I literally thought you were mid 50's or so!

Would have loved a more detailed analysis of the bio chrono...

Loved it.
Thanks

BTW, you know who Shaq is getting married to, right? It's none other than HOOPZ from the Flavor of Love show! My god, it's like one, big happy family of disfunctional celebs/wannabe celebs/groupies and athletes that make the VH1 3rd rate celeb circle.

Gotta say though, Hoopz is one good looking girl, especially when viewed from certain angles ;D
Posted by: CyberCosmiX | September 10, 2010 at 03:23 PM
-----------------------

CyberCosmiX - No, I didn't know that about Shaq. I just to my wife she's slipping. She's supposed to keep me up on stuff like that. I never saw Flavor of Love...so I had to google her and I must agree....she's got it going on!

No we don't threepeat with Gasol, Kobe or Bynum.

Posted by: LRob | September 10, 2010 at 06:48 PM

With either of those 3 out I take it.

But, but Bynum averaged 21.1ppg while Gasol was out! Gasol never got those numbers (point wise) and Bryant-Gasol won in 2009 even though Bynum was a foul dummy in the Finals. That can't be right especially if Bynum is averaging more points than Gasol as second fiddle.....

(That was sarcasm for a point I will put in a second).

Before a lot of people were saying what Bynum's numbers next season will be like from 15-18ppg. That's not a bad guess....if Gasol or Bryant missed a big chunk of the season.

So I did little research:

Bynum Season average: 15ppg, 65 games
Bynum without Gasol but with Bryant: 21.1ppg, 15 games
Bynum without Bryant but with Gasol: 17.5ppg, 2 games
Bynum with Gasol and Bryant: 13.2ppg, 50 games

If we want everyone to remain virtually healthy (1 or 2 missed games isn't bad) then Bynum will remain around 13 I will say 14ppg.

Of course things can come up like injuries so there's more opportunity for him to increase his ppg.

Jon K,

Have been exchanging posts with u since late 05, never imagined u looked like a tender model than a burly bully. lol! I was imagining of a martial arts expert with the looks of Chuck Norris or late David Carradine by the way you to Mike T during the early years and D'Fish during the playoffs. I guess we can't judge a blogger's looks from his posts and yours produce the effects of multiple breed of cultures in Kavulic. Another thing if I meet you in a bar who would think of this guy who could produce a bio-chrono profile on anybody yet could not stand rappers. No way Jon, you got me there bro.

Enjoyed all those years with the blog, keep it up the spirit and stay here in SoCal.

Re, if you guys want a real debate on Bynum, how about this one; how big was Drew’s contribution to our Finals series against the Celtics, could we have won without him, and how would it have been different if he was completely healthy the whole series?

Posted by: phred | September 10, 2010 at 03:12 PM
-------------------------
No, Lakers don't win without him. If he's completely healthy Lakers win in 6. If he's completely healthy and is focused on being a defensive force....Lakers in a sweep!

If we want everyone to remain virtually healthy (1 or 2 missed games isn't bad) then Bynum will remain around 13 I will say 14ppg.

Of course things can come up like injuries so there's more opportunity for him to increase his ppg.
Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 07:10 PM
-------------
Yep, I agree about Bynum's scoring at 13-15pts as long as Kobe's scoring at his 2010 clip. However, as Kobe games slips thats when AB can up his average.

A lot of us are to consumed with his scoring IMO, he can make a bigger impact right now on the defensive end.

Dude...I thought you were older! I literally thought you were mid 50's or so!

Posted by: utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER | September 10, 2010 at 07:02 PM
------------
I must admit thought Jon K was a little order too, but I was probably influenced by the anti-rap posts.

#4,

Yeah, the '89 Finals were really rough. That sucked... badly. I guess it isn't as fresh and I was younger.

I remember how devastated I felt when Magic said he had HIV. It truly is wonderful that he overcame that. Only Magic. Only Magic.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

OMG - Great profile! I absolutely love seeing all these great bloggers on this site coming to life. First Zaira, then LRob and now Jon K. Just great, great stuff. MM, you may well be in line for a Pulitzer when this idea of yours is done bearing its fruit.

Edwin Gueco,

"Have been exchanging posts with u since late 05, never imagined u looked like a tender model than a burly bully. lol!"

Don't let the smooth taste fool you!

I can be a pretty aggressive person with abusive people. I have probably spat in the faces of approximately a dozen people in my life trying to get them to throw the first punch for legal reasons (and I'm not that big a guy!) They all have backed down. I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Though generally speaking I'm a loving, kind, moral and spiritual person, when it comes to conflict against punks and bullies, I'm all in... and I don't think a lot of people know what to do with that.

After Game Seven in Flagstaff, there was this guy who was among the more vocal Septics fans and I tried to smooth things out with him. I found out he was from Pasadena. (PASADENA!) And I said to him, "You shouldn't hate your home. No one should hate their home. It's part of who you are."

And this guy started talking mad crap and threatening me. So I got in his face and said to him calmly, "I will ruin everything that there is about you. You're a coward because cowards try to intimidate like you are, but I'll be chuckling inside while I break your bones, punk."

And he backed down.

It's kind of the way it goes.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Actually Jon is in his 50's, he's just got the whole Dorian Gray thing rockin'! Excellent, excellent post. I'm glad I happened by tonight.

Hi Jon K,

Never in a million, gagillion, fafillion years would I have been able to pick you out of a crowd. NEVER. Not what I expected - AT ALL.


Loved your stories - always have.


Wow - I'm blown away. How YOU doin'? LOL!

If Bynum were healthy during the playoffs, was it possible that we could have gotten two O'Brien trophies instead of one? One for the blog and the other one on the b'ball court after Finals. Just trying to weigh his super importance to the team based on your posts.

Yes Dave M, we got blindsided again of somebody jacking the blog and submitted the wrong picture. We need more proof and DNA of that lakerholic who kept on saying: What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

We should say it another way: what do we blog for? HAIR!!! Kobe, Fisher and Lamar should grow hair like Jon K. lol! (Please don't punch my throat got only one.)

Jon K,

Can you say please?

I can't believe it's not butter!

MM - are we having a live chat for the USA game tomorrow? If so, what time?

@JON K… Great profile. It’s nice to have a face to fit with the posts. Love the hair. From the photo alone, I might have guessed a cat person. LOL. JK. Loved the DFish story. A glorious moment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

I think Edwin has embraced Snark and Sarcasm here tonight.

Live chat tommorrow, yes, yes? Thank for the reminder.

Jon K;

Yeah, Baby!

I know I don't post much on here to be part of the blog family but awesome article Jon.

LakerTruth... you need to really look at how Bynum has gotten hurt and the history on it. It's not Bynum's fault and yes he should be contributing more... but Odom and Kobe hurt him. Odom had his foot under him when he came down and he came down all kinds of awkward. The other big incident was Kobe crashing into his leg. Nothing he could do about it. He was where he was suppose to be and he had some bad luck. If he was breaking down like Yao Ming, a young Grant Hill or like say T-Mac, I'd understand the frustration. But let's be real... circumstances and doctor negligence haven't done him any good.

Thanks, everybody.

Umm... yeah. I've warned people about the long-hair on our game chats, but people were probably too busy screaming at their televisions to notice.

So, yeah, I guess I come across different in text. When people meet me they usually categorize me too and then they get to know me and see that looks are deceiving.

Boy, training camp would be awesome right now.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

my favorite part of the Jon K. profile...
"I first became aware that I was a Lakers fan by listening to Chick Hearn in the garage as a kid while my father worked on his car during the Magic Era. There wasn't an event that made me a Lakers fan. It was just natural growing up in California, but if it there were to be one precipitant, it would be listening to Chick Hearn. I loved spending time with my father and my grandfather died at an early age, so I developed a kind of "grandfatherly" association with Chick Hearn." ...Classic!

Jon k, great bio and love the d fish story - got a couple about the wife almost throwing me out if not for one of kobe's game winners but nothing as life or death as yours! We were at ucla around the same tine, but you may have missed the championship by one year...if so, too bad cuz it was fun to be there that year.

Lrob I agree with u about bynum and defense. Someday he can be a scoring machine, but I really think we would be unstoppable if he focused more on defense and rebounding. If he scored mostly on pick and rolls and alley oops with the occasional post move, I think we would be better overall. It makes more sense to me to go through kobe or gasol in the post because they are much better passers and the triangle works best with a willing passer from the post. If bynum averaged 12-13 ppg but 15 rebounds and 2-3 blocks, that would be perfect.

For all you bynum boosters out there (BTW I totally think bynum is an integral part of the team, just hoping for a injury light year for him), can you admit that passing is one of his weaknesses? If so, can he become a better passer or is that something in your player dna that can't change too much? Can u name some big men who started out averaging about 1 assist per game but dramatically
improved?

And finally, I'm not suggesting that Bynum did not contribute the past couple playoffs. He obviously has, but his contributions have been LESS than Kobe, Gasol, Lamar, Trevor, Fish, and Artest. For the THIRD highest paid player on the team, I EXPECT more, and so should you.

peace

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | September 10, 2010 at 05:13 PM
======

It's actually none of my business how much Dr. Buss decides to pay his players. Actually, I take that back, I suppose it should be considering that I'm a season ticket holder. The TRUTH (pun intended) is that bigs are overpaid in the NBA as a general rule, especially talented 7 footers whose sky is the limit like Bynum. His salary doesn't seem disproportionate one bit to me. The Lakers' organization measures its success in championships and, last I looked, Andrew Bynum has a 2-0 record in the NBA Finals as the Lakers' starting center, so I'm sure Dr. Buss views his money as well spent. I can't possibly EXPECT anything more than that and neither should you. After watching him grit it out through the playoffs and mature the way he did in the process, YOU should be thrilled. For the umpteenth time: SCOREBOARD.

Jon K, thanks for the reply....I'm 34 turning 35 this month. I guess 1989 some sort of generational transference was going on since my Mom, Dad, and grandparents were always screaming at the TV, and it was the year I really took to playing basketball. So I guess thats how it really stuck....I thought the Lakers were absolutely invincible.

But going off on Detroit, I actually didn't hate the Celtics when I was young...it was Detroit that I hated. The Celtics were just an ugly old guys with old fans and a lousy arena. But those Pistons man....they were the Bad Boys. Hated them with a PASSION.

Anyways, really great hearing the backstory. Its good to see everyone again....I CAN'T FREAKIN WAIT FOR THE SEASON TO START AND EVEN USA BASKETBALL DOESN'T REPLACE THE REPEAT CHAMPS!!!

Ok lets me re-phrase it:

If Gasol was out of the year do the Lakers Three-peat?

If Bryant was out of the year do the Lakers Three-Peat?

Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 05:37 PM
=====

They wouldn't three-peat if Bynum, Odom, Artest and possibly even Fish were out either. In fact, if one of those four guys were out the past two Finals, they might have lost then, too. Blitz, you know damn well by now that I put Andrew Bynum in the proper perspective, so why are you asking these questions?

I have stated SEVERAL times that Kobe and Gasol are the stars of the team and that the rest of the players are role players and that Bynum has the most difficult role because he sacrifices the most with Pau at his side. I have NEVER said that he's our third star. He will be someday, just not yet. Can I be any more clear than that?

So I did little research:

Bynum Season average: 15ppg, 65 games
Bynum without Gasol but with Bryant: 21.1ppg, 15 games
Bynum without Bryant but with Gasol: 17.5ppg, 2 games
Bynum with Gasol and Bryant: 13.2ppg, 50 games

If we want everyone to remain virtually healthy (1 or 2 missed games isn't bad) then Bynum will remain around 13 I will say 14ppg.

Of course things can come up like injuries so there's more opportunity for him to increase his ppg.

Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 07:10 PM
====

Excellent research. Then please tell me: Where do we differ regarding young Andrew and his current role with the Lakers?

2-0 with Shannon Brown

Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 06:35 PM
====

You might as well take your sarcasm a step further and say 2-0 with Josh Powell, DJ Mbenga and Adam Morrison.

"His salary doesn't seem disproportionate one bit to me."

He was being paid $12.5 million. He is near being paid:

Chris Paul
Deron Williams
Brandon Roy
Paul Pierce.

I did not include guys like LBJ and Wade considering they should have been paid $16 million but took $14 million to form the core of the Heat

Did he have the same impact/importance as those 4? Based on his production then No. When the Lakers paid it back in 2008 off-season they were gambling on potential (actually they wanted $10 million which would have been the right amount for just potential).

Should you be concerned if the Lakers do not win a title salary wise? It was a gamble but it did win a title. That being said they were looking more from Bynum than just 15ppg and 8rpg.

FYI, Kobe as the second fiddle: $11 million.

And Bynum isn't even the second fiddle.

"Blitz, you know damn well by now that I put Andrew Bynum in the proper perspective, so why are you asking these questions? "

See this previous post:
------------------------------
Not to mention that the Lakers in 07-08 went up against a fully healthy Boston squad not only without Bynum but also without a healthy Trevor Ariza that barely played anyways.

If Artest was there in 07-08, Pierce would have 1 good game and 2 bad ones. 2 more bad games and the Lakers would have won considering all the games were close and at least would have won a game so the exit of the 2008 Finals wasn't 131-92.

Bryant-Gasol-Odom under Jackson was good enough to sweep Iverson-Anthony Nuggets, beat a Utah squad that was the best out of the 3 teams that the Lakers faced in the past 3 years, and beat the Spurs when Duncan was in the last of his great years.

Would the Lakers have beaten Boston with Bynum (seemingly found a way to get Gasol in the process)? Maybe though probably another 1984 7 games series since while Bynum would have brought more inside scoring he does not automatically stop Pierce. Even if it was Bryant on Pierce, guarding Pierce really sapped Bryant's energy, prevented him from disrupting the initiator of the Celtic offense (Rondo), and Pierce had a size advantage over Bryant.

Bring Artest instead of Bynum and Pierce gets slowed down and Kobe guards Rondo/Allen instead and guards them much more than he did in 2008.

So much talk of "we had Bynum" yet forget that Ariza is almost neglected yet played a bigger role in the 09 Title than Bynum did but again the "2-0" argument is used.
------------------------------------------------------------

A healthy Trevor Ariza especially with the Trevor Ariza of 2009 Playoffs, would have won the title back in 2008. Yet the sole purpose for the failure in 2008 is solely given of Bynum's absence and neglecting that the Lakers SF was also out as well (Ariza).

If Sasha, who barely got off the pine last year no less, was a contributor in the 08 season, imagine what Trevor Ariza would have done to not only be a solid role player but also play solid defense enough so Kobe wouldn't have to guard Pierce and instead guard Rondo to disrupt the Celtic offense more or even help shut down Ray Allen more?

"Excellent research. Then please tell me: Where do we differ regarding young Andrew and his current role with the Lakers?"

On his real potential. You view him as a true future franchise player. I view him more on his current game and looking at his current game he doesn't have what it takes to lead a team. Being productive? Oh yea that research proved he can be productive.

Huge difference between a stat jacker and the go to guy. Difference between a Bryant (post Shaq) and an LBJ. Young Kobe found out by the end of the 2004-2005 season that stat jacking isn't the key to be an Alpha in the league. That's what Lebron found out but then chose to a A-Rod to Wade's Derek Jeter.

And we are actually 2-1 with Mbenga.

Jon K.

that bio rocked. I could not stop reading your stories. Ever think about writing a book?

and KobeMVP888 the other thing that probably disagrees with me.

I view the Lakers best tandem at C-PF slot on the court to be non other than Gasol-Odom. Their chemistry clicked just as fast as Bryant-Gasol. Gasol in the post is deadly and thus proven by far their best option as one reason why Jackson puts Gasol-Odom in the game. Plus Gasol has been severely underrated team wise defense where he defends picks and rolls the best and is a really good shotblocker (best team defender big man wise is Odom....proven that's one reason he starts at center in Team USA despite a taller Chandler and a solid big man in Kevin Love). Plus Odom gives much more spacing as he can hit a jump shot all the way from the perimeter (though by no means someone to shoot 5 three pointers a game), the 2nd best rebounder, AND Phil uses him as a ball handling Forward so Kobe can go score more instead of facilitating.

Yet Gasol's value at center is de-valued with things like "oh he's not big enough, he can't handle the best big men" considering Gasol has handled the best big man (Howard) and outplayed him in the 2009 Finals and because he likes taking charges is probably better than Bynum guarding Howard. Not to mention the one big man that Bynum is suited to defend (Shaq O'Neal), Bynum has played very poorly against save for one dunk that was a response to Shaq dunking on him.

Seeing Bynum there is like "Glad to have you Andrew for you are talented" but when it comes to crunch time it's "get Pau and Lamar in there". And apparently Phil has stayed that way yet the rest of the Bynum fan club continues to de-value Gasol at center and make him like a Dirk Nowtizki Forward.

No offense to LT but he did say to me once "your man love for Pau" especially when some bloggers suggested that Pau was a better post option than Bynum.

Jon K is HOT!

Hey guys, sorry for the delayed response. I didn't want to say anything in case it would invite trolls to run amok, but I was away the late afternoon/evening because I was doing some freelance work for The Times in helping out their preps football coverage.

Yes - We are having a chat tomorrow. USA plays Lithuania at 9 a.m. tomorrow. But we'll start things up at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow.

MM

Jon K, you are the man.

In your all time Lakers how can you leave out #22 Elgin Baylor?

Jon K,

You are my favorite blogger here, but I never thought you were caucasian. I pictured you as a born-again Christian American-Chinese descent who is smart and witty.

In a million years I would never have guessed it.


L.A. Laker Fans:

Here's what Dennis Rodman say about Who's better Kobe or LeBron James?

Go Kobe!!!

Go Lakers!!!


Good one Jon! The epitome of a Laker fan (meant in a very good way).

I've got the hair too...well, had the hair. It comes off about every 8 or 9 years. Too damn hot for it here.

Surf's up!

Go Kings!
Go Niners!
Go Giants!
Go Team USA!
Go Manny, go! (But you'll have to wait till Floyd boy Jr. gets out of jail before you can beat him down. On second thought, his handlers will never let him fight you, they're not idiots)

Sonnybelfast

Conspicuous by his absence...where is Larry?

Sonnybelfast

and KobeMVP888 the other thing that probably disagrees with me.

Posted by: KBBlitz | September 10, 2010 at 11:19 PM
=====

I respect your knowledge, but I simply disagree with the way you dissect the Lakers. I don't believe you view them as a whole. You love to show off your knowledge of statistics when this is a sport that is so much more than numbers and you do whatever you can in that regard to rip apart Andrew Bynum, who is an extremely important part of the Lakers' chemistry on many different levels.

Here's a primary example of your dissection:

"I view the Lakers best tandem at C-PF slot on the court to be none other than Gasol-Odom."

So what. I didn't know that, as fans, we were in the business of pitting one C-PF tandem against the other on the team we root for. Not once have I seen you acknowledge my statement that our 48 mpg 4-5 combination of Pau-Bynum-Odom wears down teams in a 7 game series. No, instead you'd rather say that we're better off with Gasol and Odom on the floor and point out Bynum's deficiencies. The truth is that when Pau and Lamar started in '08 with Turiaf coming off the bench, we were noticeably "softer" than we are now. I'm not saying that both players haven't toughened up since then, but even Doc Rivers acknowledges the problems that Bynum causes.

"His size is absolutely a factor," Rivers told the Boston Globe. "I go back to that game where we played them early in the year and we didn't play well. We got to the basket a lot, but we missed all the layups. Live, I was frustrated because I thought we were missing layups and we were pressing.

"But then when you watch the video, he makes you change your shot. We had three or four of them where we were right there and we double-clutched for no reason -- other than the fact to the left of your eye he was coming. And that's what size does. Size makes you miss layups. He's done that and he also gives you a low-post scorer with Gasol. And that's made them pretty darn good."

As for his salary, that's also none of our business as fans. Having said that, Joakim Noah is holding out for a 5 year, 70-75 mil extension. Here's a kid with a limited offensive game and recurring foot problems but who will most likely get paid big money. Yet once again you took a statement I made and deliberately and cleverly took it out of context:

I said: "His salary doesn't seem disproportionate one bit to me."

You said: "He was being paid $12.5 million. He is near being paid:

Chris Paul
Deron Williams
Brandon Roy
Paul Pierce."

My comment was made in the context that bigs in the NBA are overpaid, much like Joakim Noah soon will be overpaid. It has always been that way. Kenyon Martin makes 16 mil per season for crying out loud. The list of players making more money than Bynum includes Rashard Lewis, Zach Randolph and Elton Brand. You will point to their numbers, but I will point to Doc Rivers' comments. The Lakers paid for the future of a young, talented, rare 7' back to the basket center with long arms, a soft touch and athleticism. Dr. Buss assumed the risk of paying him, just like Leslie Alexander took the risk over overpaying Yao Ming (once again, you'll point to their numbers). Do I think Bynum's overpaid? Yes, I said so. Is he paid proportionately with other talented bigs in the NBA? Of course he is.

By the way, unfortunately we don't have an edit button because I would have withdrew Mbenga from the 2-0 list. I realized quickly I was wrong about that after I posted it. Of course, it never should have come up anyway because all I did was respond to more of your out of context, exaggerated sarcasm. Oh well.

Missed a post, but it's an important question, the answer to which I feel called upon to share with you now.

The question: Can Andrew make it through the season without an injury?

The answer: NO, he can't. It's unequivocal.

You'll be lucky if he gets through pre-season without one.

Go Kings! (The first and only "Spin-the-Saint' champion, go Reke!).
Go San Francisco 49-ers! (Superbowl year?)
Go Giants! (Beat the Padres again today, and are now tied in a real pennant race, what I love about baseball)
Go Team USA! (about to start play in an hour)
Go Manny, go! (Gotta get Floyd boy Jr. out of the slammer first)

Sonnybelfast

Hey, I didn't make it that way.

Don't get angry with me.

Go Kings!
Go Niners!
Go Giants!
Go Team USA!
Go Manny, go!

Sonnybelfast

Celtic owner Wyc Grousbeck...

"The minute I heard Kobe's remarks about having one more ring than Shaq," Grousbeck said, "I said to Danny, 'Go get Shaq!' . . . and here it is."
---------

Let the games begin!

Jon K,

I'm late reading your profile, but wanted to say how awesome it was to read it. I love hearing stories of passion about our team! I salute you for standing up to all the Crab's fans - superb representation!

Glad you're back in the state of your birth - nothing like Cali, that's for sure.

GO LAKERs!!!!!

KobeMVP888,

you wrote: By the way, unfortunately we don't have an edit button because I would have withdrew Mbenga from the 2-0 list. I realized quickly I was wrong about that after I posted it. Of course, it never should have come up anyway because all I did was respond to more of your out of context, exaggerated sarcasm. Oh well.

my response:

I'm confused. Please clarify.

I thoought you used the Lakers 2-0 record as a point of vindication/justification
for Bynum. Is that incorrect?

If the record is in anyway a vindication for Bynum then why wouldn't it
also be a vindication/justification for Mbenga?

Hey My Fellow Lakeraholics,


Thanks a lot for all the kind comments. This blogmunity has become such a regular part of my routine over the last five years, I don't know what I'd do without it and all the wonderful people here. No better place to express one's Lakeraholicism than the L.A. Times Lakers Blog!


Let the season begin!


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

Mary,


Kobe IS better than Lebron James.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!!

EnjoyTheRide,


I've actually just begun working on a script based upon my experiences in Ohio.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

LakerFanInCowTown,


I don't know if he averaged 1 assist per game, but Wilt Chamberlain was low in assists until challenged on the matter and then to make a point went out of his way to lead the league in assists one year.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K,

Truly outstanding bio...have enjoyed your posts and bio-chronos throughout the last several years. Btw, had a similar impression of Fox when I crossed paths with him several years ago.

Laker Kev,

Thanks, man. I have to still do Bio-Chrono readings for Ratliff, Ebanks, and Caracter this season. They will come with the start of training camp.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

After reading everything, I OF COURSE gotta start my todays posts (yep, there's gonna be a few) with the one I was meant to write three days ago, but that got suspended by the "weekend rule" that... rules my weekend (namely: no internet, unless a major game happens).

But I feel bad because in all honesty, JonK would have deserved me taking time and write this all over iPhone, even during my Florence trip.

Jon, not only you are one of the most brilliant and passionate writers over here, but you have that human quality that resounds positively within every one of us who have learnt how your passion makes you just say... what lies in your heart.

And this piece just confirms that.

I love that your favourite Laker is Derek.
It says so much about you.

I actually did not expect you to look ANYTHING like this.

You look like one of the Allman Brothers in their cutest days.
Fabio? Not really. You lack (for Heaven's grace) that huge nose and those squared cheeks. You are a real rockstar in this pic.
I absolutely loved to see you (this readers profiles MM is putting up are awesome just because of that alone... except that they are way more awesome because of the way we get to know more about our Fam, in full).

I am sure in teh incoming season your passion will still be one of the major reasons for I will love to hang in this blog for.

I love people with a direction and an opinion about things, and you have both.

It's a pleasure to get a chance to share Lakerholism with you Jon.

Keep rocking (sorry, from now on to me you're a rockstar... expect cheers accordingly to that ;))

Z.

Zaira,
-
Thank you for your kind words.
-
I do love this blogmunity and I feel like I have a duty to be open and honest about things here.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

You definitely HAVE to be all honest here.

Passion has to extrude the way hearts feel it, or it wouldn't be half as mattering.

Plus those golden locks can pretty much get my free card everywhere ;)

So very quintessentially Golden Coast.

Aw :)

*imagine the rock hands shaped as horns and consequently loud giddy scream* ;)

You're cursed from now on with me Jon: I can picture millions of rocking cliché images and I will use them all for you only ;).

Hugs ;)

Zaira,
-
To make matters worse, I used to be a professional guitarist. So there's that.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forver.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K,
I like most was surprized to see you but nat as imagined.
I pictured a oriental mix with whatever. Having studied martial arts have endorsing dit dat jow (SP?) was the reason. But either way nice to see the face behind the blog having chatted with you for years.

You asked about sports bars and now that I know what neck of the woods your at I'll check with my friends who still drink and know of bars in Studio City. I don't so have not been to the bar scene in a long time. You have lived a very interesting life.

Go Lakers
Welcome back from Ohio.

Go Lakers

JustaLakerFan,
-
Thanks, man.
-
Yeah, I haven't found a decent bar yet that truly feels Laker friendly in the Studio City area. I'd appreciate some direction in that regards.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

Wow, you are a tool. Have you ever kissed a girl?

1. I am a dork.
-
2. Yes, I've actually kissed hundreds of women in my life.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

Love to find Laker fan blogs and posts, love feeling the love!!! Jon K, you're an amazing character. Your stories are pretty cool and dam I wish I could do that! Been a basketball fan 25 years. Laker fan 14. I will bookmark this page and return to read some of these cool writers observations, arguments and true love of the Lakers. Threepeat part dos !

I really enjoyed this! Jon, you sound like a male version of me. First, Derek is my favorite Laker. Second, ZERO POINT FOUR! is my favorite shot of all time, though Horry's is a close second. Third, I'm as die-hard a Lakers fan as exists, and I had the worst anti-Lakers experiences living in Dallas...thank goodness for DirecTV and NBA League Pass! Oh well, I'm home now. :)

I do take exception with your list of "greatest" Lakers, though. (But I agree there really is no "greatest" Laker.) How can you leave Kareem off that list?!

Jon K,

Great stories and I too pictured you differently. Here's my Lakers/bar story.

It was winter in the 90's and while living in Chicago during you know who's heyday our Lakers came to town. A co-worker asked me to accompany him to a bar on Michigan Ave. so he could meet a woman (who I think is now his wife) and we'd watch the game. Well after he contacted her he leaves and I sit there alone, the only Laker fan and non-white person in the entire bar. The Bulls proceed to disembowel us -- I mean flat out beat us like we stole something while I wallow in my despair accompanied by cognac. At one point a gentleman says something to the effect.. "aren't these Bulls something?... I, as is the case especially while imbibing could only muster honesty. I said..." I have to admit that I'm a die hard Lakers fan"... Then all of a sudden, he shouts out " Hey everyone we have a Lakers fan here..." They proceeded to buy me drinks and a woman even hit on me. While I was flattered, I eventually grabbed my briefcase in order to get on the train home to my awaiting wife.

This is awesome, dude.

Jon K, is your real last name Kavulic??? Are your parents Patti and Jerry??


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