Handing out Lakers' Grammy Awards
The Lakers' 3-3 trip hardly will spark the same kind of rousing tributes the late Whitney Houston received during the 2012 Grammy Awards.
The six awards given to 23-year-old British singer/songwriter Adele only further illustrates the value in youth and energy, something the Lakers severely lack.
The Beach Boys' performance at Staples Center shows the L.A. crowd still appreciates old age, so long as they perform well. The same can't be said when the slow and lifeless Lakers play at the same venue.
So the argument can be made that the Lakers don't really deserve much praise these days. But in light of the 2012 Grammys, there still remain a few awards that could go the Lakers' way.
Record of the Year: Kobe Bryant surpassed Shaquille O'Neal on the NBA's all-time scoring list. It was "inevitable," as Bryant put it, for him to pass O'Neal for fifth place in scoring. Bryant still remains in the league, while O'Neal's enjoying retirement as a TNT analyst. Bryant's averaged a league-leading 29.3 points despite nursing a torn ligament in his right wrist. And even if the feud between the two former teammates remains water under the bridge, Bryant clearly wants to top O'Neal in everything. Only moments after collecting his fifth NBA title in 2010, Bryant boasted, "I have one more than Shaq."
This record goes beyond debating when Bryant (28,689) will pass Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Michael Jordan (32,292) and if the Black Mamba could even leap over Karl Malone (36,928) or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38.387). It also provides a temporary distraction for the Lakers' horrible overall record.
Best New Artist: Josh McRoberts. He hasn't exactly fulfilled Lamar Odom's void, but he shouldn't have been expected to do so. Instead, he provided instant energy and work ethic off the bench. His initial buzz has worn, off, though, particularly since Coach Mike Brown has reduced his playing time in favor of Troy Murphy.
Best Solo Performance: Of course this involves Bryant. It's not exactly a sustainable strategy for the Lakers to solely lean on Bryant's scoring. But it's sure fun to watch. During one stretch in January, he scored at least 40 points for four consecutive games. The last time he pulled off such a feat happened in 2007, when he scored at least 30 points in a three-game stretch.
Best Group Performance. Whenever the Lakers' Big Three in Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol play with complete synergy, it appears they're unbeatable. Unless, of course, when the reserves enter the game. The only problem: the Lakers Big Three have hardly played in sync together for one game apiece. The key will involve all three sustaining their aggressiveness while also looking for each other when they meet double-teams.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: On stage to collect her best song Grammy, Adele thanks her producer Paul Epworth. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.