Friday, May 27, 2011
THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL HOUSE
Hibernation has suited me just fine since my last post. Still, events keep rolling along and I can’t hide forever, my fingers will atrophy from lack of typing. Dallas is going back to the finals for the first time since ‘06 and they’ll face Miami once again. Dream scenario - Dallas sweeps. Speaking of the Mavs, I wrote about J.J. Barea during the second round, something of a scathing lark which I figured on deleting after a day or so. Surprise of surprises, it’s still getting hits - ten times as many as any other SfS entry. Ironic, bothersome and somehow awesome. Thanks, evil munchkin.
The finals will begin and they will end and the possibility of a work stoppage will rapidly grow - it doesn’t appear that the league will be satisfied with anything less than a scorched and barren earth. There’s ample precedent when it comes to undermining labor of course - the disastrous air traffic controllers strike in 1981 comes to mind as well as the decimation of large-scale manufacturing in the United States and the recent state-sponsored union bustings in Wisconsin. Don’t even get me started on the vast retail workforce, now being systematically snuffed out of existence. Bring on the warm robots.
Derek Fisher says the latest CBA proposal is very similar to the one the league submitted a year ago and Billy Hunter says it’s worse than the one he tore up in February. Owners publically protest at the idea of hard salary caps but make no mistake, they’re the ones demanding it - along with decreased revenue sharing for players, a reduction in health and welfare and a ban on all new tattoos. A lockout could cost the owners $3 billion dollars as well as a billion to the networks. Why are they so eager to bite the hand that feeds them? Because they can.
There are contingency plans of course, in the event that cooler heads prevail and a season is somehow salvaged. For the Lakers, this entailed finding a coach who could follow Phil Jackson, a coach who would bring a fractured team back together and lead them to the promised land. After careful consideration, they hired Mike Brown. Pause for the sound of a gigantic shoe dropping with a loud, dull thud. Yes, that guy from the Cavs, the one last seen with LeBron’s tire tracks across his back. He was on ESPN the other night, grinning huge at the prospect of working with Kobe. I’m sure Kobe’s excited to work with Brown as well, henceforth to be known as the big bulls-eye.
What was Jim Buss thinking? You probably don’t want to know, I suspect his mind is a soggy and dangerous place. He often talks about learning at the hand of Mitch Kupchak but it’s a crock - the only guy who sat at the right hand of Kupchak was Ronnie Lester, 25 years with the Lakers and the one really responsible for scouting and championing Andrew Bynum. Lester’s now joining the exiting conga-line of coaches, scouts, trainers and video staff, courtesy of Jimmy's sloppily wielded truncheon. Bonnie-Jill Laflin though, is expected to stay.
Is there anything left to look forward to? I hope so. There’s been entertainment value, even in the lean years. Actually, scratch that, the 2004-05 season shouldn’t be wished on anyone. There’s always the draft to anticipate - the Lakers have four second-round picks this year and I’m hoping they spend them all on nutcase outside shooters. Maybe they'll transplant Hubie Brown's brain into Mike's, beg Kobe to pretty-please show human kindness to his teammates and who knows, we might make it to the second round again.