The season hasn’t gone as planned, and the season before didn’t go as planned, or the one before that.
The mind-numbing tape-loop of sequential injuries provided fodder for a while, as did an avalanche of losses that finally lost their power and simply continued to accrue, silently, impotently.
Like snow falling at night.
You mined the controversy and misery, you found effective hit-seeking hooks and far-reaching narratives that fed upon themselves until all the good stuff had been chewed out, and what was left felt tasteless and plasticine. The concentric circles of hell began to flatten out and dissipate.
It felt this way long ago but you were younger then and media strip-mining hadn’t yet sucked your soul clean of caring. Losing meant more, then.
You go from watching three games at once to none at all. You pretend to become deeply obsessed in the story of a missing airliner instead. You take too much time choosing between a five-dollar frozen pizza and the one that cost 3-for-$10 with your store discount card.
The lockout season was better than this.
You decide that it’s all part of the greater good. That stuff—about renewal and Sisyphusian challenges—and you devote a small portion of think-power to constructing something grand and beautiful but then Netflix happens instead.
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently at 22-44 and have a few days off. They were dead last in the Western Conference standings, but somehow, Utah must have lost additional games faster than the Lakers lost additional games, so now the Jazz are dead last.
You stare at the screen, knowing that the Lakers paragraph should move up several spaces for maximum efficiency. And that you need to put a block quote some place.
You forget that the oven timer went off. The 3-for$10 pizza is now an unappealing shade of brown around the edges.
Someone from Milwaukee or Cleveland would hit you in the face with a two-by-four just to shut you up.
You take a moment to gather small pieces of foam rubber from a destroyed dog bed and kneel on a damp spot from puppy piss from many hours earlier, or even days ago.
Every now and then, people still wonder whatever happened to Slava. The answer is actually quite simple—he returned to the Ukraine several years ago and has been working with youth basketball, including the U16/17 National Team.
Per Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer, Mike Fratello, coach of the Ukrainian National Team during tournament play, recently visited Kiev, as violence was escalating:
"Obviously, it has escalated in the last five days. Things have gotten much worse. They closed the basketball federation offices last week. I think that was the smart thing to do. A bullet doesn't know where it's going when it leaves the gun."
It’s one thing to have a few bad seasons in a row. It’s another thing when the tanks start rolling in.
On Monday, the Lakers announced that Jordan Farmar had strained his right groin in practice. His return to the lineup is uncertain.
It's just one more stumbling block in a larger narrative of loss, and an ongoing sense of dysfunction that feels murky and ill-defined, like a recipe randomly put together by bored children.
The Lakers host the San Antonio Spurs, at Staples Center on Wednesday.