Saturday, December 31, 2011


Riding on a sea of screens, screens and more screens, the new minimum-wagers have bonded with fellow humans Matt Barnes and Metta World Peace. The result is the dawning of a lunch-bucket paradigm in Los Angeles – Bryant, Gasol and Bynum now have a platoon of mad bombers and Constructicons in tow. If this seems like hyperbole, it is no more so than icon Magic Johnson’s assertion on national television, that the Lakers’ satellite has gone way up to Mars, and soon it’ll be filled with parking cars.

Tantalizing preseason glimpses aside, Devastator was last seen clotheslining Bumblebee in the second round of last season’s playoffs, resulting in mass exoduses and an epic dark mountain tale. Brian Shaw spoke frankly, months after it was all over, about feeling like a leper, the incongruity of not only a complete housecleaning, but a feeling league-wide, that those associated with so many rings would simply not be allowed into the network. The Lakers organization might have felt some karmic blowback during the long, painful lockout, when hardliners sought to banish them from the Crystal City.

Just a perfect day, problems all left alone. You’re going to reap just what you sow.

We’ve gotten to know Mike Brown in bits and pieces, only in recent weeks has the league even allowed communication with the players. The first few games have been lurching first steps, not only here but throughout much of the NBA. A .500 team, the Lakers face the Denver Nuggets this afternoon. It will be the first game back from suspension for Andrew Bynum. He’s expected to get a lot more touches in the new system, a combining of bodies and minds into a single purpose, allowing the destruction of anything and everything in his way.

It was harder to imagine greatness without iconoclasm, without double-meanings and secret plans. The drums and incense pots are gone now, replaced by a palpable and more direct energy. Does it equal rings? Who could possibly know. I walked outside this morning, a clear and sunny day without a cloud in the sky. Cool enough to wear a sweatshirt, walking down the street for coffee. It’s the last day of the year.

I'm glad I spent it with you.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent as always. Sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it.