Like little kids anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus at Christmas time, & all the gifts he will unload from his sleigh & into their stockings, Laker Nation has been just as childlike when their thoughts turned to the new season. Surely, we had been nice & not naughty, especially after enduring the painful end of last year & that lump of coal served up by the OKC Thunder.
Visions of sugar plums started dancing in our heads, with the news that Dwight Howard was coming to town. Follow that with the acquisition of Steve Nash, & Antawn Jamison, & the return of Kobe, Pau, & MWP (the artist formerly known as Ron Artest). Why that was enough to make Laker Nation giddy again. It was as a calm had come over the city of Angels. There was something different in the air. It was the smell of new. New, like that new car smell. New, like nothing that went wrong last year mattered anymore.
This was a great package delivered by old Saint Mitch. Once unwrapped, this box of new toys & gadgets was surely going to give us the best season EVER. Laker Nation was new & soon to be relevant sooner than anyone could ever imagine. We just knew the new was definitely going to be better than the old.
And so, it began. The new journey, with the new players, the new gameplan & the newly invigorated fans. But somewhere around game 3, we knew something wasn’t quite right. The new look Lakers were on the floor, but the end result of seven of their 14 games hasn’t smelled like that new car anymore. It’s been smelling like our old car. Heck, we haven’t even looked forward to spending as much time with our new toys as we did when we first got them. As a matter of fact, one of the shiny new additions to our existing collection is already broken. Steve Nash is on the shelf, & we were forced to take out the Steve Blake model & give him the type of love & attention we had given him when we first got him. Once Blake stopped working, we turned our attention to Darius Morris. He’s been buried at the bottom of the toy box for over a year. Seriously? Darius Morris?
We were wondering why all the spare parts on our bench weren’t any better than the ones we got rid of last year. Sessions, Murphy, Barnes, & the other cast offs suddenly didn’t seem so bad compared to what we had this year. We even decided coach Brown couldn’t do anything right anymore. The winds of change were blowing, & Laker Nation knew something had to be done.
That something came in the form of a NEW coach. The NEW coach was an old assistant coach by the name of Bernie Bickerstaff. He was told to use glue, band aids, shoe strings, or whatever means necessary to keep the broken toys together until the Real New coach got to Hollywood. Enter Mike D’antoni. Now he is the NEW coach. He was going to bring in NEW assistant coaches, New game plans, & instill New attitudes with the players. The Lakers would be good as New in no time at all. Well, that’s yet to be seen.
The script reads well. New coach comes in, scraps the Princeton style offense in favor of his flash and dash, run & gun, score 130 every night arsenal. Nash comes off the injury list, takes charge of distributing the pumpkin, & is dropping more dimes than a pair of pants with a hole in the pocket. Howard & Gasol are getting more easy looks than they can handle, are doing their King Kong impersonations in the paint, getting lob after lob pass, or breaking free on the pick and rolls. Kobe is free to roam, & has more air space, giving him the ability to drop 40 every night. Metta is locking down players with his stellar defense, & all the players off the bench become better players because that’s what happy endings are made of.
Sounds good right? We just flip the switch, everything changes, & poof we are playing for the NBA Championship. There should be no concerns about how this Lakers team is older than what D’antoni worked with in Phoenix right? We shouldn’t lose any sleep over how some of the older Lakers may not be able to find that overdrive gear & maintain maximum speed on a consistent basis should we? There should be no nail biting over how many minutes the starters will be able to log, or how the bench guys respond in the desperate hours of need come winning time.
No, this is Hollywood. This is where average is made great. This is where the good guys where purple and gold, never say die, & always get the trophy at the end. So what do we really know? Right now we know the Lakers have won just as many games as they have lost. We know that we don’t really know who these guys are right now. But all things being equal, we know the Lakers are the Lakers, & all will be well in Laker Nation again.
Afterall, there’s always a Hollywood ending right around the corner.