Sunday, February 20, 2011
EVERYBODY IS A STAR
I'd been meaning to move the last post down a slot and so spent a couple days of sporadic laboring on an epic treatise - where the Lakers have been and where they might be headed - all tied into All-Star weekend, a Sly Stone song and a photo of Hook Mitchell. There were some actual organized thoughts and tidy paragraphs and late last night I went to copy and paste and deleted the whole damned thing. Expletive deleted!! Is there no way to get these things back? I even downloaded some crappy free software but couldn't find the lost thread and finally went to bed.
Sunday afternoon, somewhere over the timeline. I'm not about to try and recall whatever it was I was so bent on writing; my short-term memory's for crap lately. My mom's got Alzheimer's and I'm wondering if it runs in the family. I still want some words on the page though - just don't expect anything cogent or relevant or even divided into manageable parts. I'm gonna literally set the timer for five minutes and type until it goes off - I've got other stuff to do today. There were thoughts about the seven-game road trip, solid wins until it started going bad in sections; the wheels on the bus go bumpity-bump. And like some others I didn't much like the attitude of certain players, Ron Artest spraying 'Unbreakable' as a reporter asked sensible questions, Lamar laughing about this and that. I was reminded of something he said earlier in the season - asked about the new-look Miami Heat, he replied "well, we're all rock stars here in L.A., y'know." And I found myself wondering as the break loomed, whether the team had squandered an opportunity - a triumphant roadie and they could have reigned throughout the weekend on their home turf. Instead, it wound up being about hall mate Blake Griffin and when's the last time the Clippers got the attention? It's not over, the main event hasn't yet taken place and Kobe hasn't had his say but one thing that does strike me is how the recent fan angst and talking heads trade talk, tends to fall away a little as the pagentry takes over. And, how other players and coaches still pay homage and Popovitch might be laying in the weeds when he says the Lakers are still the best in the west but he also has a particular vantage point. As fans and observers, we tend to see the game in a TV tunnel vision, wins and losses and good and bad get parsed out and examined beyond reason. Players and coaches see it from the floor, they go though it in real time, game time, practice time and all the time. They live the game, we watch it. Maybe the All-Star buffer zone's just what's needed, rest and relaxation, a time when players and celebs and music and fans all come together and maybe this year's model Lakers will be something akin to the team from exactly ten years ago - the 2000-2001 Lakers went into the break with a nearly identical win percentage, unable to focus or put together a convincing streak. The second half showed a different team and they roared though the playoffs in dominant fashion.
Friday had the celebrity challenge and as much as I loathe the little Keebler elf, he actually showed he could play some ball and won the MVP of that particular contest. The freshman/sophomore game came next and I was watching and typing the post that would ultimately go missing and I'm conscious of this oscillating sound - it's this keening waveform, the kids are screaming throughout and it reminds me of the Beatles and the teenyboppers. And then last night, the 3-point shootout which seems to have lost some soul over the years - I'd love to see them invite the most maverick of the league's true gunners and just have them go at it all at the same time, just jacking up ridiculous outside shots. Shaq comes on the TNT set and he's no longer a part as an All-Star player but he's relaxed, comfortable about his place in the twilight of a remarkable career and then the dunk contest which has disappointed in recent years but this one was choice - DeRozan, Ibaka, JaVale and Griffin were all jamming with authority. There was the usual debate about who was best but it was pretty closely matched and Griffin's car-hop befitted the grandiosity of the occasion. I was reminded of another,much earlier dunk over a car - the amazing, five-foot-nine Demitrius "Hook" Mitchell, his dunks being a lot more low-tech and raw and his cautionary tale is worth more than this brief mention. I'll do a piece at some point about some of those who came and went around the hard way, stars in their own unreachable orbits. I'm not gonna lie - the timer started dinging ten minutes ago and whatever I just wrote doesn't have the form or context of what I was trying to get across last night before I went and hit the wrong key. Still, it's a shiny day outside and I told myself I'd get out into it. I'll spellcheck and add the photo and the song that first got me thinking, the hell with the usual links - just press "publish" and hope it doesn't all go away.