March Madness spilled into April at the Bridgeport High School playground on Tuesday. (Photo: Geisel)
Posted on 06 April 2012.
March Madness spilled into April at the Bridgeport High School playground on Tuesday. (Photo: Geisel)
Posted on 15 March 2012.
Ahhhh. The Free Agent season begins. That means some dumb teams are already making it rain … throwing money after players they shouldn’t overpay for. And the ones that usually get in trouble are the ones paying for players the first day of free agency … the same people that run to the store on Black Friday for that one $300 car and come back with $10,000 worth of other stuff that is worth $6,000. Classic dummies. A quick list after just the first day or so of examples:
1. Niners sign Randy Moss. Why? You take a QB who is a true rebuilding project in Alex Smith and you put one of the worst diva, me-first WRs and teammates with him? I don’t get it. And when I hear people say it is a no-risk signing it makes me want to punch those people in the mouth. The same people saying it is no-risk will dog the team when Randy Moss gets benched and kicked off the team. This bum admits to taking plays off and a coach who preaches hard work and team togetherness signs this jerk to infect his locker-room. I don’t get it.
2. Bears trade for Brandon Marshall. Why? Cuz him and Jay Cutler are buddies. Now you have a malcontent QB and a malcontent, miscreant WR to go with him? Wow. This is a terrible trade. And Brandon Marshall was in another incident in a bar just this past weekend. He is accused of “accidentally punching a woman in the face” while trying to protect his wife who was hit in the head with a bottle? LOL. And it isn’t Brandon’s fault I am sure. But I know this, you know where you don’t punch a woman in the face or your mom gets hit in the head with a bottle? At your house … oh … maybe not cuz didn’t Marshall get accused of beating the hell out of his old girlfriends. Bigger question … how does a wife-beater have a wife? Cuz just like in football, where if you are a complete jerk and you have talent, you will still get a job with some team and make a bunch of money. And you can parlay that money into a long and fulfilling life of being a jerk off the field. Cuz if you are a complete jerk with money, you will still get a girlfriend. Sometimes 3 or 4 of them at at the same time. Funny right?
3. Vincent Jackson for $55 million for 5 years. He is 29 years old. I don’t like the overall signing. If they went 3 years with a 4 option you could see it, but they will say “we needed the fifth year for him to sign.” Then they should let some other team have him for 5 years. He is good, not great. Mike Williams will be better with Jackson over there, but still too much for a receiver that can disappear in games completely.
4. Desean Jackson … the Eagles paid him cuz they are afraid of him being a free agent. So they paid the malcontent $51 million. Another jerk with talent.
5. Pierre Garcon got $42 million for 5 years? Pierre Garcon. Wow. This one will go down with the Alvin Harper deal.
6. Cortland Finnegan. The Rams and their new genius coach Jeff Fisher signed Finnegan for $51 million? Isn’t he over 30 right now as a CB and wasn’t fast when he was 24. Unbelievable.
7. Peyton Hillis. What about his behavior and performance last year made a team want to waste salary, roster space or a jock strap on that punk? I could find a Peyton Hillis in the fifth round of the draft. And dare him to have an attitude or I would threaten to cut him and sign his best friend to fill his rule. Punk.
More Randy Moss. Randy Moss had one thing … speed. Consider that he was naturally gifted but didn’t work out anymore then Jabba the Hutt. So he is mid-thirties now and doesn’t take care of himself. He is one of the people you know that can eat McRib sandwiches for breakfast and 3a.m. snacks and won’t gain a pound. But he will pull a hamstring and miss 10 games. What a mess.
The Colts should draft RG3 just to mess with the Skins and get the last few draft picks the Skins have this decade.
Teams under the salary cap. Check the top 10 and their records. I know they say spending money doesn’t guarantee success and spending unwisely can clearly lead to a messed up team. But not spending at all means you end up with a Yugo that doesn’t perform well instead of a Honda. Look at the ten teams with the most money under the salary cap:
Jaguars picked up Chad Henne to push Blaine Gabbert. Now two things:
1. If you draft a QB in the first 15 picks AND you need someone to push him, you made a bad pick and he sucks
2. If you need Chad Henne to push your franchise QB then you made a bad pick and he sucks AND you suck too for drafting him.
Mark Sanchez says his contract shows he is a leader? Lol. The Jets got more leverage in his contract to cut him AND reduce their salary cap exposure when they do and he is bragging how the contract proves his leadership? That bum is delusional. He has talked himself into so much good fortune he actually believes the bull that comes out of his mouth. And the worst part is the Jets humor him by saying they “passed on Peyton Manning.” That is laughable. Yeah, and Gabrielle Union offered me some rear last week and I said, NAH, that’s aight, my hand is better. Get out of here. The Jets passed on Manning? The Jets organization has no class from top to bottom.
Danny Amendola. Pats thinking of giving up second round pick maybe to get him. From the Rams of course cuz the Pats and their “remarkable braintrust” couldn’t possibly find an average player themselves in the fourth round or lower. They have to wait for some other team to draft someone in the sixth round or pick him up via free agency and mold him into an average player so the Pats can see that player fits the Patriot Way so the Pats can give them a decent draft pick for that player. Makes sense, right? What happened that the Pats need Danny Amendiola … Ran out of 5 foot tall white receivers. Now they couldn’t find a 5 foot tall white receiver in the sixth round with one of his 30 draft picks. Hilarious. The genius at work. Looking for castoffs from other teams to waste draft picks on? Seriously … he can’t find one of these guys without wasting second round picks on them?
If you sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Laurent Robinson, just tell the truth. You don’t give a crap about winning, or competing. You just want whoever pays you the most money. Really, if you go to the Jaguars what could you possibly say to your friends to justify signing with them. Think about it. Ted, look at Pete and Colin and Geisel and say “I signed with the Jags cuz I know we have a real chance of winning.” Then sit back and wait for them to throttle you, or frisk you for a crack pipe. If you sign with them just look at your friends and say “I’m RICH.” And don’t say anything else.
Dwight Howard says he wants to stay in Orlando til the end of the season. He will ruin them. He said today he would sign an extension. When they sent him the papers he said his agent wouldn’t let him? You know what? The Magic need to trade him NOW. They are about to get ruined. He is playing with them and like Lebron he is one of the new breed of athlete. Destined to be a follower and not a leader. Too concerned with what people think of him. Unable to make decisions. He is going to waffle and waffle and then walk away and the Magic will get Nothing. If the Magic have any sense they will remember Shaq ruining them and trade him tomorrow. They have to.
How in the world are Brock Ostweiler, Brandon Weedin and Scott Taneyhill now high first round draft picks? Because the top two QBs are gone, everyone is willing to reach and pick those bums early? Stupid. That’s why the Vikings are looking at Ponder now and wondering what the heck they were thinking.
Before the season all the experts sat on TV saying “the Dolphins are a leader. It makes perfect sense” and they all said it like they knew. Like … experts. I can still see John Clayton with that smug look on his face like it pains him to talk to us unenlightened peons. Now that Manning is showing so little interest in the Dolphins, every one of those experts is on TV, just as smugly, saying how the Dolphins don’t fit into Manning’s plans. As you read this and wonder why I think I know everything I will say this: every one of those experts whose bull you take as gospel know as much as I do. They are guessing. NOT ONE of them was talking about Denver. It was Miami and Arizona. And as soon as he visited Denver every one of those guys was talking about Denver being the favorite. Now they still have Denver listed as the favorite. Then Tennessee jumped in and everyone is listing Tennesse e as number 2. They don’t know anything.
John Clayton. I hate that guy. He sits there with that pencil neck and his bulbous head, a messed up tilt to his posture and that smug look on his face. They call him the professor and he sucks up that stuff like he deserves it. The funniest thing I heard about him was when Sean Salisbury called him the CRYPTKEEPER. I laughed for a month.
You know which teams are quiet right now: The Steelers. Cuz they don’t need the free agent frenzy. Why? Cuz they know how to draft. All these teams throwing around money don’t know how to draft. Hire a good GM dummies.
If I hear one more time that Peyton Manning won’t play in the NFC East cuz he doesn’t want to play his brother twice a year I am going to slap someone. Wouldn’t you think it be cool to play your brother twice a year? Punks.
Funniest thing I heard this week: “If the Titans sign Manning, what do they do with Hasselbeck and Locker? That makes no sense.” I laughed my butt off. The same person later in the week was saying how the Titans are a serious contender now. What a dummy. Who would care about Hasselbeck or Jake Locker? Really. I need a TV show.
What happened to Linsanity? That shit was on every sports channel including the NFL network. Now the Knicks are losing games like the Charlotte Bobcats with Jeremy Lin. Know what happened? No not Carmelo, game film happened. Same thing that happened to Chloe the porn star … too much camera time and too much game film … stuff got old. Not to me, but you know. They figured him out. But they will blame Carmelo. I blame the GM. I told you Carmelo and Amare are second tier superstars and not a BIG THREE … HECK THEY AIN’T EVEN A BIG TWO. So the expectations were crazy. But where are all the people saying the Knicks were playoff and deep playoff contenders? Where are they? WHERE?
I picked my NCAA champion. Two winners; North Carolina and Missouri. Kentucky will flame out cuz they will never have experience. Too many one and done players. But tomorrow morning I would love to be off to watch the festivities. The opening round of the tournament. Gentlemen, THE BALL IS TIPPED, AND THERE YOU ARE. That’s It. I can’t take tomorrow and Friday off but I am definitely leaving early tomorrow. Got to do it.
I found Keegan Bradley … little pieces of him all over the back nine last week. With a real chance to win last week he started putting up a bunch of SQUARES ON HIS SCORECARD. HIS SCORE CARD ON THE BACK NINE SHOULD HAVE BEEN NICKNAMED SPONGEBOB SQUARECARD. He had his 15 minutes and frankly me and Paul talking about him extended him to 18 minutes of fame, but time is messing up. Enough about Keegan Bradley already. I am moving on.
Continuing with golf. Everyone talks about parity in golf. I see mediocrity. All the talk about Rory even though he has won one tournament in six months. Tiger dominated and people said he had no competition. Rory has less competition and everyone bragging about him finishing 2nd and 3rd and 4th. Shut up. When Tiger finished like that it was always about some no-name beating him. Rory can finish 2nd and be glorified. Hypocrisy. Sergio Garcia had a 12 on a hole. I bet I can get a 12 on that hole. But no one said anything. Tiger got a 5 on the hole and the world came to a stop.
Posted on 10 February 2012.
With apologies to Three Dog Night, one is not the loneliest number when you’re a team in search of an identity.
So perhaps it’s time to celebrate MHS Boys’ Basketball’s lone win of the 2011-2012 season.
The young team, which features no seniors, beat Immanuel Christian 46-41 at home on Jan. 4.
Down six points at the half, the Huskies stormed back behind 15 points apiece from Liam Carrigan and Cole Presson.
Carrigan shot 3 for 4 from behind the 3-point line and had 12 of his points in the second half.
According to Asst. Coach Presson, fan favorite Matt Graef energized the crowd and his teammates with his relentless defense, extreme hustle plays and timely steals.
Fox Kailiawa, who finished with 10 points, sealed the win with a pair of free throws.
Kailiawa also scored a season-high 17 points on Feb. 2 when Mammoth notched its season-high point total, albeit in a 67-54 loss to Vasquez.
With the entire team returning, look for some more breakthroughs next year for the Huskies.
Posted on 23 December 2011.
Fox Kailiawa fires a jumper (Photo: Lunch)
The last basketball renaissance in Mammoth Lakes was thwarted by the untimely twist of an ankle.
The year was 2005. Mammoth High School Boys’ basketball opened its season by sweeping a roadtrip at Silver Valley and Lucerne Valley. The team had twin towers in Chris O’Dell and Garik Linnastruth, slashers in Logan Johnston and Josh Crunk and a deadeye shooter in Klinton Zeek.
But the heart of the team was Linnastruth. Granted, Garik was not blessed with great athleticism, but what he lacked in speed and leaping ability was offset by basketball smarts and an iron will.
The third game of the season was a raucous affair versus Lone Pine at home. The stands were packed and emotions ran high. In the 3rd quarter, Linnastruth sprained his ankle.
He missed the rest of the Lone Pine game and the next six league games.
Mammoth lost them all.
Garik returned on a gimpy ankle for the final game of the year against playoff-bound Lone Pine. He had all the lateral movement of the Statue of Liberty. No matter. The team won. One couldn’t help thinking about what might have been.
The bulk of the team graduated that year. The smart young coach, Jason Stone, also moved out of town.
The team won two league games the next year. None for four years after that.
In places like Mammoth where skiing naturally rules as the winter sport of choice, the fortunes of the basketball program generally ebb, yet … there are windows of opportunity. If Linnastruth doesn’t get hurt that year …
Fast forward to the present, where Coach Jason Patterson, Assistant Coach Robbie Presson and eight varsity ballplayers (six sophomores and two juniors) are gallantly trying to crack that window open again.
The core of this group has been playing together since middle school.
Though they suffer from a fairly common local basketball affliction (lack of height), the team is blessed with an up-and-coming point guard in Cole Presson, a never-say-die work ethic and a coach who knows his x’s and o’s.
On Tuesday, for example, the team was down 33-9 at the half against Boron, but rallied to outscore the Bobcats 32-27 in the second half.
Last Saturday, the team shot 60% from the field in a loss to Mojave.
Earlier this year, the team was down by 1 with 20 seconds to go against Big Pine before falling 42-39.
When asked about his goals, Junior Co-Captain David Ramos didn’t hesitate, “Make CIFs next year.”
What about this year? “Win a few games,” he said with a sheepish grin.
You gotta start somewhere.
And that’s where Coach Patterson comes in. Now in his second year, Patterson, who grew up in Shelton, Wash., is the son of a basketball coach and knows the game. More important, Patterson is working on getting his teaching credential in multiple subjects, meaning … it appears he has a chance of sticking around and building interest in basketball as a whole, from the youth programs through high school.
If you want to catch the team in action, MHS has home games on both the 3rd and 4th against teams it should be competitive with. Admission to local students, says Asst. Coach Presson, will again be free.
The eight-man roster also includes Co-Captain Jack Woo, frontcourt players Matt Graef and Caleb Koehn, and Guard/Forward Liam Carrigan.
Posted on 01 July 2011.
I can’t figure it out. I don’t know if new Laker Coach Mike Brown is Shrek or Donkey.
When he was in Cleveland, he always stood there with that ridiculous look on his face. Perpetually perplexed by what was going on. The team didn’t score – he yells get back on defense. Then they go back up the floor on offense and he stands there. A foul’s not called for LeBron James so they don’t score again. He spreads his arms – the clueless look again.
His Cav offense consisted of him throwing the ball out and saying “LeBron Score” and “Play Defense.” That was it. The team looked terrible. I know they won 60 games but when they hit the playoffs, they hit the wall. Much like the Bulls this year, they couldn’t score. NO offensive imagination.
And now they bring his ass to Los Angeles where they love flash and flair? He is going to run what offense? Does he run the triangle still? He will throw the ball out and say “Kobe Score” and “Play Defense.” A ridiculous hire. If they are running the triangle again, why not hire Phil Jackson’s assistant Brian Shaw?
When I think about Brown’s personality, fumbling appearance and ridiculous gestures … he is Shrek. He doesn’t appear to have the gift of gab the donkey has. He is Shrek. The new Laker coach.
Lakers continued … apparently Center Andrew Bynum is untouchable as far as trades go. Andrew Bynum is far from untouchable. He has been touched quite a bit … by every team trainer, continuously, ‘cause he is always hurt. I am tired of hearing about his potential after all these years. At some point you don’t have potential. You are just disappointing. He is Andrew Bynum … A.B. … Always Broken.
T.O. is in the news again. He absolutely cannot stand to not have his name in the media. First they said he had a torn ACL and would miss the season or wouldn’t be ready ‘til November or December. Now his agent is saying he already had surgery in April and will be ready by the time the season starts in September. Really? He is, according to his snake-oil salesman of an agent, “an incredible healer” and will be ready. At the age of 37? I don’t believe it for a minute.
The Portland Trailblazers offered Greg Oden (the new missing link since Patrick Ewing is retired) $8.8 million to stay with the team. And I can’t imagine why. I get that they drafted him number one overall but that was their mistake. Why compound it? They should have taken Kevin Durant.
How does a 7-foot tall, unathletic immobile statue with two bad knees command almost $9 million. Offer him a couple million and if he walks, so be it. They are an organization that makes bad decisions. They gave Brandon Roy a huge contract when he already had suspect knees. Now a year later they can’t play Roy more than 15 minutes a night and want him to retire.
For years, they had so many malcontents on their team that the whole city hated the roster of pothead thug wannabes.
They had Drazen Petrovic on the bench for years, finally traded him to the Nets and he damn near led the league in scoring.
They drafted Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan and were dumb enough to make the same mistake 25 years later. They are stupid. They deserve to lose and the fans buying tickets deserve to be miserable.
Charlie Sheen says he took steroids when he did the movie Major League and it increased his pitch velocity from 79 to 85 mph. Why anyone would listen to that nut is beyond me. And the funniest thing is, he said the steroids made him a little more irritable.
Then what the hell is he taking now?
Posted on 17 June 2011.
I rarely start a blast with a baseball note but … riddle me this, Minnesota Twins. If Joe Mauer is your best hitter for average and power and you’ve signed him to ridiculous money, why do you continue to play him at catcher? He keeps getting removed from the lineup due to “bilateral leg weakness.”
First, what is bilateral leg weakness? Second, when you know catching is hard on the knees and WILL reduce the time he is on the field, why not move him to first base? And I don’t want to hear that they can’t move him to first because of Justin Morneau ‘cause Morneau hasn’t been the same since he suffered a concussion last season.
I watched the NBA finals and I haven’t been so happy to see a team besides mine win a championship since … the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
It was satisfying to warch the arrogant and the entitled (good name for a soap opera) trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh get their asses handed to them … on their own floor! The only thing that would have been better would have been if, during the waning minutes, Miami’s arena had played all the clips of Lebron, Wade and Bosh at the preseason press conference dancing and yelling and suggesting they might win seven titles before they even played a game together. I would have loved to see that s%$# rolling on the Jumbotron.
Dwayne Wade. I was a fan of his ‘til this year. He has turned into an entitled little bitch. The whole episode of he and Lebron mocking Dirk Nowitzki and suggesting Dirk hadn’t been that sick – bush league.
Chris Bosh. Why the got a max contract or anything close to it is laughable. There’s a difference between being the best player on a sorry team in Toronto, and deserving a max contract. I heard someone call him BOSH SPICE. Funny. You wanna know what he is … a freeloader. He signed with the Heat and thought he had hit the motherlode. He just figured he was gonna get a championship right away.
Now for LeBron. He was George Costanza in the NBA finals … SHRINKAGE. And just like George, he made excuses. It was cold (I had a bad game), all men have shrinkage when it’s cold (I carried the team while Wade sucked during the Chicago series).
Lebron said “The Man upstairs (God for you non-believers like myself) know when it’s my time.” Really? Who is his P.R. rep? Who lets him talk out loud and tweet at will? His agent and P.R. people should be fired. If I were his P.R. person, I would take away his cellphone or set him up with WIFI that doesn’t work. Because every time he opens his mouth … stupid comes out.
He sat at the press conference after Game 6 and said: “all the people that don’t like Lebron and the Heat will still wake up tomorrow with all their same personal problems and their same life and I will still live my life the way I want.” WOW. Let me translate for you. “You poor hardworking jackasses who pay my salary are just jealous and you can kiss my ass.”
LeBron has been called King James since he was in grade school and hasn’t figured out what to do when the going gets tough. Weak in the mind. Why do you think he signed wtih two other
If you watched the games, you would see LeBron “facilitating” late in games by getting passes from Wade after Wade would drive and kick it back to him. LeBron would immediately make a chest pass to someone else. Didn’t even look at the basket. LeBron was waiting for ANYONE else to take over. He just disappeared.
And don’t tell me “he is still only 26 years old.” He has been in the league for eight years. He’s not a kid. I heard someone say ‘Michael Jordan didn’t win for eight years.’” But the difference is Michael wasn’t folding. Michael needed Scottie Pippen to step up with him, but make no mistake … everyone knew Mike would step on your ass at crunch time.
LeBron is not one of the all-time greats. The greats are great ‘cause they KNOW it, not ‘cause other people tell them.
The U.S. Open is underway. And I don’t care. No Tiger Woods. No watch. I may scan on Saturday and Sunday for about an hour to see who is winning.
By the time you see this, someone with no chance of winning the whole thing will be in the lead and all the golf experts will be telling you WHY he CAN hold on and win it. When he hasn’t won anything since he was 15. There will be an old ass 56 year old near the leaderboard and the experts will be telling us why he “is the only one that age who can win the tourney by playing smart golf ‘cause he has been here before.” There will be John Daly, Vijay Singh, David Toms or some other has-been near the lead after one round and the experts will tell us how they have revived their game. Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson will be near the top after round one and everyone will talk about them winning when we both know they will pull a LeBron by Sunday. But I don’t care about any of it ‘cause Tiger isn’t there. And without Tiger, the so-called Tiger challengers will not win. There are 10 different major winners since Tiger last won.
Former Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent was on the radio the other day and he said, “I don’t think [Dallas Mavericks owner] Mark Cuban’s been an easy partner or owner for [NBA Commissioner] David Stern, and that would put me on my guard if he were to come to baseball … The rules are the rules. I think this enormous criticism — the screaming about officials, the kinds of things that got him fined by David — those are not actions of a sensible, responsible owner. I mean winning is not everything, and I’m afraid for some of these owners they get so carried away with winning they believe that’s the objective.”
That sums up baseball right there. Good old boys club that doesn’t want to move forward or improve. They want to keep someone like Cuban from coming in and making a franchise relevant and invigorating the fans and trying to WIN.
Meanwhile, they now have about 10 teams that are losing money. The Dodgers can’t even make payroll! And to say “winning isn’t everything and some owners … believe that is the objective.” What other objective is there? Fans are there to see their team win. Who keeps paying for parking and $8 beers to see teams lose forever?
You want to know what is wrong with baseball. The Mets are paying Bobby Bonilla starting July 1, 2011. Some of you just said, ”WHO?” Yes, Bobby Bonilla is 47 years old and retired 9 years ago and due to the ridiculous contract the Mets signed him to, he had a buyout clause which entitles him to $1 million a year for the next 25 years.
Let’s finish with a sampling of LeBron jokes that have been making the rounds:
LeBron James was just traded to the Florida Panthers. He should be wildly successful, since in the NHL, there are only 3 periods.
I saw LeBron before the game and I asked for $1. He gave me 75 cents. I said where’s the rest? He replied i don’t have a 4th quarter.
What’s the difference between Saturn and LeBron James? Saturn has rings.
Why did LeBron James get an automatic transmission in his Lamborghini? He’s not good in the clutch.
Why didn’t LeBron James go to college? Because he can’t pass the finals.
What does LeBron James have in common with a fabric store? Neither carries any hardware.
Apple is coming out with a LeBron James iPhone. But it only vibrates because it has no rings.
Why does LeBron only get served boneless buffalo wings? Because he has a tendency to choke.
Tomorrow is LeBron James day, everyone gets to leave work 12 minutes early.
If LeBron wanted a ring, he should have stayed in Ohio and bought one from Terrelle Pryor.
THE NFL lockout will be over soon. They were all waiting for an appropriate time. They are not going to miss out on all that money. Think about this: do the owners want 60% of $9 billion or 100% of nothing?
The Boston Bruins won some cup Wednesday. What sport was that? Curling?
Posted on 12 February 2010.
It all started out with such promise.
While perusing the halls of our local Vons recently, my almost two-year-old son, Jack, noticed a plastic mini-basketball set, seductively hanging above the Fruity Pebbles. After examining it and finding all the parts were there for a game, I decided that despite the fact that makers of the product were clearly dyslexic, for a few bucks the “Street Pro Gamez” basketball set was worth it.
As soon as we got home Jack asked for the ball. Being a former “hoopster” (starting center on the Blaine County Men’s League Final Four squad of an eight team league) and hoops coach (the Mammoth High Boys’ team averaged nearly three wins a season with me on the bench), it was with the sheer delight of a proud first-time father that I assembled the hoop and began teaching my son some of the finer points of the game.
“Here ya go now little buddy, Dunk It!”
Jack took to the game quickly, and within minutes began shoving every ball he could get his mini-mitts on through the basket. As he continued to dunk away, I went about my fatherly duties (took out the trash, burped, scratched my reproductive area), but soon he called me back over to show me his latest move. And that’s when the joy of the moment was destroyed.
After getting my attention, Jack grabbed the little orange basketball, made a cross-over (or what we used to call “traveling”), and dunked the ball through the net. He then took a couple of quick steps away from the basket and dove onto the ground like he had just taken a hard foul. A full-on, full-fledged “flop” if I’ve ever seen one. Neither the dog nor cat was within five feet of the kid when he made the basket and there’s no way they could have fouled him. Still, he lay on the floor crying out, “I down!” paused for a second, and then bounced back up and did the exact same thing, ending on the floor, crying for a foul, over and over again. And that’s when it dawned on me: We’ve been watching too many Lakers’ games.
Between national television, Fox Sports West ad nauseam coverage and the occasional game on KCAL, the Lakers are on the tube around here almost as much as Jay Leno and Ryan Seacrest—only those two look more manly.
Sure, the Lakers may be defending Champs and are a pretty talented bunch, but you could find more tough guys in a middle school choir. Sometimes it seems like an opponent doesn’t even have to touch a Laker; just give him a mean look, and the purple and gold clad player will go flying across the floor. That’s why the average Lakers’ game consists of more flopping around than a net full of Alpers’ trout when Tim is taking another load to the lake.
Tim Alpers actually coached college hoops at Tulsa University and his claim-to-fame (besides breeding monster trout) is having coached against Larry Bird a few times. Now Larry Bird never “flopped.” There was no doubt about it when he got fouled. That’s because Larry Bird is an albino god and played in the NBA’s heyday; the “No blood No foul,” Kurt Rambis-with-taped-glasses-after-getting-clotheslined-by-Kevin-McHale, illustrious Eighties. The Celtics actually brought a little of it back a couple of years ago, but now they’re like that Jerry Garcia classic, “Old and in the Way.” Which means we’re stuck with the “Fakers,” a team softer than butter on the roof of a car stuck in LA traffic.
While it’s easy to make the argument that Kobe “I love Colorado” Bryant is the best player ever (Yes, I’m talking to you Michael Jordan, I saw you in that Wizards uniform, and the White Sox one, too), the rest of the Fakers (besides Derek Fisher) don’t strike fear in the hearts of anyone outside of Sacramento. In fact all Luke Walton usually elicits from opponents is the munchies.
As for the rest of the Fakers, Pau “Grandma-arms” Gasol? No offense intended to any real Grandmas out there, as most of you have better muscle definition than Pau does, but please. The only thing that’s really frightening about Ron “Anger Management” Artest is his rapping. He makes Shaq sound like Snoop Dogg. Lamar Odom married a Kardashian (look what happened to poor Bruce Jenner) and will now also be appearing regularly on the E! Network, which is certainly not a bastion of masculinity. And then there’s “Sasha” “Don’t mess with my hair” Vujacic, who’s real name is Aleksander but prefers to be called by a girl’s name.
Of course, some may argue that my own beloved Celtics have a famous flopper themselves in Paul “Oh my knee, carry me off the court… okay I’m fine” Pierce. It’s a tough argument to contend with, especially since Pierce grew up in LA rooting for the Lakers.
Maybe it’s just that purple and gold just doesn’t intimidate or impress people, even the ball players wearing the fabled colors. I think I’ll make sure Jack wears only Kelly green from here on out.
“If the NBA were on channel 5 and a bunch of frogs making love were on channel 4, I’d watch the frogs, even if they were coming in fuzzy.” –Bob Knight
Photo by McKenna: Jack, pre-flop, goes up for two.