Memo to Jack Nicholson, part-time actor and full-time Lakers fanatic: You want the truth? You can't handle the truth. But here goes anyway.
Your team isn't going to win the NBA championship.
Sorry, Jack. I'm sure you thought this was as good as it gets, that it was going to be an easy ride to that shining trophy. But it isn't going to happen now that the Lakers have become one big cuckoo's nest. Their starting lineup once looked like five easy pieces, but it's goin' South in a hurry.
I'll give the Lakers one thing. No, I'll give them more than that.
They're still the most chic team in the business, still attract the most beautiful people, still generate the most headlines. They may not play in the Fabulous Forum anymore, but bling is still the thing at Lakers games.
I mean, what other NBA franchise can compete with the Laker Girls and front-office exec Jeanie Buss, the owner's daughter and one-time Playboy model? For that matter, longtime courtside observer Dyan Cannon, considerably closer to 80 than 40, isn't exactly looking like Whistler's Mother, either.
The problem isn't in the seats. It's in the locker room, where the Lakers could use a few good men. Things may have looked good on paper before the season, but at the moment, their team chemistry isn't worth Schmidt.
What's the problem? Let's start with Eagle, Colorado's most famous resident, Kobe Bryant. He makes an occasional appearance in a Lakers uniform whether he wants to or not. Kobe in the past year has accumulated more baggage than Imelda Marcos. There was the infamous preseason spat with Shaq, the nonstop speculation that he'll opt out of his contract, and his recent admission that, while he didn't like coach Phil Jackson, he could play for him. Well, for the time being anyway.
Not that Kobe is the only Laker with issues. Shaq doesn't like Kobe, can't make a free throw, and is a candidate for the injured list with every step he takes. Not only that, he dissed GM Mitch Kupchak the other day for not extending his contract. Makes sense if you think about it. Shaq only has two years and almost $60 million left on his deal.
Things are so bad in L.A., even Karl Malone has fallen victim to the bad karma. The Mailman, who had missed about a dozen games in 18 seasons with the Jazz, hurt his knee early in the season and hasn't been heard from since. He hopes to return to the court in the next few days, whereupon things figure to get dicier then ever.
When Malone returns, Gary Payton could become the fourth option in the Lakers' offense, just ahead of Luke Walton, not to be confused with his father. And don't think for a minute the Glove is happy about it. Payton recently went on a me-me-me tirade, saying, like Charlie Sheen, he wants more touches.
The good news is no one has put Ben Gay in Shaq's jock or accused a teammate of chilling with Barry Bonds' personal trainer. For that matter, no one has given up hope of winning an NBA title, either. But then, you and I know better. The Lakers are yesterday's news, a team seemingly destined for greatness, but no more. But hey, don't take my word for it. Check out the standings.
The Lakers went into the weekend as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Five NBA teams had better road records. This is a team that's going to win an NBA championship? Fact is, the Lakers aren't even the best team in their own state. Though I must say they talk a considerably better game than that band of misfits in Sacramento.
Shaq calls the Kings the Queens, a reference to Sacramento's lack of toughness and past playoff failures. He and Kings point guard Mike Bibby have carried on a He Said, Shaq Said feud for years, with Shaq claiming, among other things, Bibby isn't worthy of the U.S. Olympic team. And it isn't just Shaq. Jackson, the proud owner of no points or rebounds this season, likes nothing better than to talk trash about the Boys of Bibby.
Don't look now, fellas, but the Kings are the class of the NBA. The Lakers have the stars, but Sacramento has the players. Can't deal with it Jack? Get anger management.
I must tell you, nothing get's me in a better mood than Laker Bashing, well, maybe Bush bashing, but Laker bashing is pretty damn close! By the way, I love my Kings. Go Sac!
What else? I was in a crappy mood this morning, feeling sorry for myself and honestly I'm not even sure why. I talked to Eunice for a little bit and she told me to smile, though that didn't exactly happen. That said, after a few games of internet Mah-Jong and Jewel Quest, and getting an A on my Euro paper, I feel much better. Considering I was scared out of my mind about that paper, I feel much better. I worked hard, but I didn't. I put it off till the last minute, but tried, even though I didn't. Anyway, I am so friggin' happy! That will help my grade if I don't get an A on the midterm which sadly I don't expect. I should get a B though... Disappointed though. Grrr. Damn French Revolution.
Speaking of French, that is the easiest class I have ever taken in my life. It's nice not to have to worry about how I do in it since I should get an A of some sort without really trying. Yay me!!!