Monday, October 27, 2008
Oh yeah. Now we're having fun.
Los Angeles Lakers: Before Team USA's opening game against China in August. Kobe Bryant auspiciously disappeared while both USA and China made their ways to the court. As the teams were shooting around, warming up, a quick thinking NBC camera caught Kobe, standing at the top of the mezzanine. He then descended through the general admission stands while the thousands in attendance flocked to attempt to touch Kobe. The teams representing the two greatest nations in the world stood and watched. Yao Ming, the most popular player from the most populous nation the world has ever seen watched as Kobe one-upped him. Why did this happen? Because game recognize game, and the Chinese have found out what we already knew. Kobe Bean Bryant is the best basketball player in the world. The Lakers also feature Andrew Bynum, whose absence from the playoffs last year was notable, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Derek Fisher. However, I am most looking forward to seeing how Sun Yue fits in. Sun Yue was referred to as the "Chinese Magic Johnson" before he let us know that he prefers the nickname "Monkey King." You're the boss!
Phoenix Suns: After their first round bouncing at the hands of the Spurs, people clamored that the "Suns were setting." Mike D'Antoni took some mad cash to go and attempt to rein in the colossal clusterfuck that is the New York Knicks. But sans D'Antoni, does that mean failure for the team that was famous for their ability to outrun everybody, coining the phrase, "seven seconds or less"? In my opinion, no. One, you can't run with Shaq. You could, but that was more than a decade ago. Two, you can't run with Grant Hill. You could, but that was two decades ago. Also, if and when they want to outrun everybody, they take those guys out, and put in virtually every single player that made them great (sans Shawn Marion). Steve Nash is still Steve Nash, and he still has Amare "STAT" Stoudemire and Leandro "Captain" Barbosa. Matt Barnes will add an interesting twist, and some badly needed hair gel and tattoos. And finally, Alando Tucker has been off the radar since getting out of Wisconsin, but don't forget that he is a freak of nature.
Golden State Warriors: Shit, I don't know. They lost Baron Davis, and I always thought that he was the thing that made them go. Now they have three players with more than four years experience. Those players are, in order of experience: Al Harrington (10 years), Corey Maggette (9 years), and everybody's favorite native of Port Arthur, TX, Stephen Jackson (8 years). After that, you have Andris Biedrins (4 years in the league), and then Monta Ellis. the problem with Monta Ellis, however, is that he's out for about three months, and suspended without pay for that time, since he hurt his ankle falling off of a moped, then lied about it to the Golden State brass (you'd lie to Chris Mullin, too). I would like to say that Don Nelson cooked up something crazy while spending his off season in the usual drunken stupor, but this just feels too much like the collapse that the Oakland Globetrotters suffered after the whole Chris Webber/Tim Hardaway/Avery Johnson phase put its foot in its own dick. I'm pulling for success, though.
Los Angeles Clippers: Did you forget about the Clipshow? You might as well have. Then things looked absolutely dismal after Elton Brand and Corey Maggette left. But then Baron Davis signed a huge contract with them. Hmm. Then they acquired Marcus Camby for literally nothing. Even more interesting. They still have "Cool-as-a-cat" Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas, who, despite their relative anonymity, are crafty-ass vets who can knock down shots and play D. Ricky Davis is there for some reason, as is the creepiest NBAer, Chris Kaman. But the rest are guys just out to make a name for themselves. Al Thornton and Eric Gordon head up this crew of hungry young guys who can ball. I bet the Clips make the playoffs this year, because there's not enough room for them, plus the Warriors, Blazers, Nuggets, and Mavs.
Sacramento Kings: Beno Udrih made Kobe fall in a preseason game. Kevin Martin flushed on Greg Oden in a preseason game, for which Mikki Moore awarded him $1,000. That's about it for the highlights for this season for this team. The Kings have the douchiest owners in the league, the Maloof brothers. The Maloof brothers are way more interested in moving the team to Las Vegas, except this will never happen because when David "The Sternbot" Stern thinks of Las Vegas, he thinks of Tim Donaghy's gambling and the odyssey of a one Adam "Pacman" Jones at All-Star Weekend in Vegas. Fuck this team.