Sunday, December 12, 2010
SEASON OF THE WITCH
One of my earliest memories is standing by the side of the road in a small New England town, around age 4, with my older brother and his wiseacre friends. I hear the wail of a fire engine, ask where it’s going. There’s a witch in the woods, comes the answer. I run home sobbing in abject terror. The deepest fear is often anticipation.
There’s a percolating sense of malaise in Laker Nation lately, whispers and gnawing doubts across the cyber universe, are these our championship Lakers? Third place in the west isn’t bad but probably not what Phil Jackson had in mind when he announced his grand last stand. Pau’s got tired legs, Ron’s trying to explain why he still doesn’t get the triangle and Kobe’s putting up circus shots, annoyed about the lack of team energy. You’ve got to pick up every stitch. Lesser teams aren’t going to hand you their hopes on a platter.
After the loss to the Bulls the other night, the press reported that Phil was unfazed and equally ambivalent about the likelihood of it being his last coaching experience at the United Center. Girlfriend Jeanie Buss however, tweeted that he was in a BAAAD mood, made worse by people in Chicago acting like it’s his funeral. "We may never see you again". Who are we supposed to believe, Phil at the podium or Jeanie giving a personal side? Easy answer, we love the game absolutely but can’t help putting a dramatic spin on it, it’s the reason after all for articles, editorials, abstractions in every form of social media and of course, fantasy leagues.
I’ve been an unapologetic fan these many years and don’t mean any doom. It’ll all be fine and after hand-wringing and blame (it’s Sasha’s fault for his .08 seconds of uneventful play), we usually band together in forms of unity. Still, I do think the battery’s having a hard time holding a charge, the oil’s dirty and the cylinder’s aren’t firing all that smooth. A good friend and ardent Spurs fan floated the theory that we’re just mind fucking with everyone. I responded that playing like crap isn’t Montaigne. (actually I used the mind fucking term but spell check just changed it to the father of modern skepticsm - kind of ironic, doncha think?). When I look over my shoulder, what do you think I see? Some other cat, looking over his shoulder at me.
Sunday, the Lakers on the second of their six-game roadie, barely eking out a win against the lowly Nets. Pau says he wasn’t getting any calls, Ron shot 1-for-7, our bench was thoroughly outscored and Kobe’s still pissed about the excuses. Next up, Washington, Indiana, Philadelphia and Toronto with an aggregate win percentage of .374. Why does that worry me? Bynum’s supposed to be back in action at some point and I was supposed to be rich and famous. Christmas Day brings the improving Heat and the pick-and-roll Spurs visit on the 28th, currently playing the best ball in the league. I think I hear sirens, must be the season of the witch.