It is currently 112° outside. I’ve had nine Otter Pops in the last two hours and there is not a lick of NBA basketball on.


That sounds like summer.

I have long since buried the 2007-08 season in a shallow and easily accessible grave and have been pining for some sort of respite from beach days and staying up all night.

If I may, I would like to humbly submit the Varsityoptimism’s Fool Proof Summer Kit for SUCCESS! These are things you can do to save yourself from Summer sorrow and certain heat exhaustion, use them as necessary and as often as you can…


Do you enjoy marginally organized basketball? Do you like watching raw young “talent” displayed in the fabulous Pyramid in Long Beach? Well, for a magical few afternoons, make the pilgrimage to the land of the Dirtbag and Sublime for undoubtedly the best Pro-Am basketball taking place within a 30 mile radius.

I have always wanted to get really into the SPL teams. Treat it like it is something more than just a glorified Pick-up Rec. Center league, and I really feel 2008 could be that year. JOIN ME!


Last summer we had Kobe Watch, which, for what it was, was an exhilarating and thrilling time in all of our lives. The summer of ’08 has a little different tone, yet it is of ultimate importance that these dudes are given their contracts. They were integral parts in the Lakers NBA Finals run and need to be rewarded as such.

That is why I am calling for all members of the Lakers Nation to be on high alert for our Slovenian and Martiniquais warriors. Keep the Nation abreast of their every move.

If you see Ronny suspiciously wearing the Teal and Purple of the Hurrrrrrrnets, make sure to bust out that camera phone and snap that.

If Sash is caught even thinking about one of the Association’s 29 glorious squads (especially them darn HAWKS*), walk up to him, grab him by his fashionably scruffy face, lightly tap his cheek and tell him in your proudest voice: “La Macchina vive soltanto a Los Angeles!”

*After reading the word “Hawks” make your best vicious bird noise.

3. Ολυμπιακές πάλες or 奧林匹克!




Could there be a better key to Summer SUCCESS!?

The greatest players on Earth are going to gather in Beijing for fierce competition on the World’s biggest stage.

The Red, White, and Blue of the USA fields it’s strongest team in years, anchored by none other than NBA’s MVP Kobe Bryant, who will lead his team (which I will affectionately refer to henceforth as the Screaming Eagles**) into a opening round battle against World Champion Spain who is led by fellow Laker Pau Gasol.

Dangat, this is going to be too cool.

So strike up that nationalistic spirit and brew that patriotism, because come August 8th, it needs to be simmering for some world-class basketball (oh yeah, and like a million other competitive physical feats).

Hell, I might even dust off my Pregame pen and do some hardcore propaganda for TLN. I can see it now: VARSITY SHOOTAROUND: USA SCREAMING EAGLES VS. ANGOLA FIGHTIN’ TITANS. Trust me you have to watch out for that Olimpio Cipriano, he has Olyimpics in his NAME!

** Why the Screaming Eagles? A: It is kickass. B: It is already the name of a Memorial Highway near my Hometown. C: Eagle+Screaming= AMERICA! D: I get to do those ferocious Bird of prey noises through the whole Olympiad.


Option four of the Varsityoptimism Proof Summer Kit for SUCCESS! actually has very little to do with basketball or the Lakers in general for that matter, but here at TLN, we are well versed, well read, and highly cultured gentlemen who all gingerly puff on pipes, live in palatial estates, race our private yachts and have spouses named Muffy.

Okay, mayyyyyybe that is not true, but we do branch out, and what better time to enlighten yourself than the dog days of summer?

Go to the record store and choose something completely new to tickle your ears and provide the soundtrack to your life for the glorious two remaining months of summer (may I suggest the new Mates of State called Re-arrange Us or The Tallest Man on Earth’s record called Shallow Grave? Do it. It will be good for you).

Dust off that copy of Phil Jackson’s Sacred Hoops and try to pick apart the Zen Master’s brain. Or, if you feel like stimulating that cerebrum a bit more, try anything by Kurt Vonnegut.

Go see a smart movie that will make all your friends hem and haw at how smart you are. I would suggest the documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster*. It is about the world of Steroids, so its sports-esque. Just do not go see The Love Guru. I will give you $9.25 to not see that piece of garbage.

*The asterisk is part of the title, but if you want to let out another “KAWWWW” for the Screaming Eagles, feel free.


Or, less alliteratively, get really mad at the Celtics.

It is a masochistic path indeed, and it will lead to a dark cloud forming over the natural bright sunniness of summer, but it may provide you with a powerful journey into the depths of your very soul.

I could see it as some epic spirit quest to find your identity as a fan.

Or it might kill you.

I am too scared to even spend one more second thinking about blowing a 24 point lead in Game 4 or James Posey’s stupid mouthgaurd or Sam Cassel’s alien face or Kevin Garnett’s Crystal Skull or Ray Allen making 22 Three-Pointers in the series, of which 21 were wide open, or Leon Powe or Paul Pierce’s dang knee stunt or the human flathead screwdriver P.J. Brown or that dang Leprechaun on stilts wearing light up mittens or MARK WHALBERG OR OH MY GOSH I HATE THE CELTICS!!!!!! I HATE THEM SO MUCH!!! I EFFIN HATE THE EFFIN CELTICS! AHHHH, THEY ARE ON MY TELEVISION GALLAVANTING ABOUT! RAJON RONDO LOOKS LIKE A KITTY CAT! AHHHHHH, I HATE THE CELTICS!!!!!!

Wow…that is what happens and it is not fun. My soul feels like it has been crushed by Glen Davis’ giant ass.

Like I said, try this at your own risk.

6. Frozen Flavored Ice!

Otter Pops are your friend.

I now present the Otter Pop Roll Call…

  • Louie-Bloo Raspberry!
  • Strawberry Short Kook!
  • Sir Isaac Lime!
  • Poncho Punch!
  • Alexander the Grape!
  • Little Orphan Orange!

I lied about all that other stuff. These icy allies are all you need to get through the long, hot, Lakerless Summer.

  • WeDaBest

    lol… not gonna read all that, but I like the intro and picture. :) There’s a lot of things sports-related left to look forward to this summer. NBA Draft, MLB trade deadline… actually, that’s about it. Sorry.

  • Tim

    KAAWWWWWWWWWWWW. Bird noises are my soundtrack of the summer.

  • nazanin

    otter pops are life.

    and we’re not all gentlemen..there are some ladies too (*cough* me *cough*) just thought i might point that out.

  • ryguy2303

    This is a sad/slow day in laker nation. Articles like this… come on.

  • vudoo

    112 degrees???

    Where you at?

    Here in the OC it’s 90 at most…

  • fabz24lakers


  • BigMoney

    If you feel like you’ve been out in the socal sun too long and are beginning to feel heat exhaustion, put something cold on you, like luke walton!

  • David

    NO SPL at eh Pyramid this year, sorry to tell ya.


    varsity u should do an nba draft preview fro varsity shootaround

  • vida24

    Lakerless summer SUCKS !


    GIVE US THE RUMORS,ya’know,Luke for….Vlad for…. those.

  • vintij

    You forgot to mention something. If anyone wants to catch USA basketballs last game in the states before they head to china, go to Las vegas on friday july 25th to see USA take on Canada, and after you can have a great vegas weekend. That should take your mind off of the lakers finals collapse. Tickets are like 30 bucks for lower level seats, dont buy them through reseller, buy them direct from thomas and mac center.

  • MichaelJordan

    give us rumors news not this !

  • varsityoptimism


    go call elie seckbach if you want rumors.

    you people who thrive on the derelict rubbish that are trade supposition and asinine rumors are seriously trash and should not read this website.

    effin learn the salary cap and what constitutes rational thought and then we can talk.

    i want to trade all you idiots to the Milwaukee Bucks for cash considerations and Ramon Sessions.

  • varsityoptimism

    [Comment ID #41952 Will Be Quoted Here]

    [Comment ID #41952 Will Be Quoted Here]


  • daboss1849

    [Comment ID #41982 Will Be Quoted Here]

    u r a fu cn loser dude…

  • varsityoptimism

    [Comment ID #41985 Will Be Quoted Here]



    Yeah but you gotta admit,IT NEVER GETS BORING TALKIN’ ABOUT’EM!!!




    ….or Haslem

  • vintij

    Rumors are stupid, remember when we got our hopes up about garnett? Well get got him alright, we got him a ring. hahah

  • Jonny

    i don’t know what everyone is female dogging about, this is a genius article. the only thing missing is the “hey get your lazy shaq* outside and do something active. . like play basketball”

    *yes, i just equivocated Shaq to a donkey

  • Tim

    this piece is off the wall. bunch of a-holes up in hurr.

  • ricky

    lakers should think about signing kwame brown and desagana diop for defense in the paint. yes, i know many fans are sick of kwame, but when he was healthy 2 years ago, he did pretty well against the suns in the playoffs when we were up 3-1. kwame and diop are about the same when it comes to being defensive big men who mainly defend, rebound, and block shots but thats what we need right now, since we already have all the offense coming from odom, gasol, and bynum.

    this would make the lakers the biggest team in the league and would give them a roster full of large athletic forwards and centers.

    bynum 7’0
    gasol 7’0
    odom 6’10
    radmanovic 6’10
    turiaf 6’10
    mihm 7’0
    * kwame 6’11
    * diop 7’0

    + fisher, kobe, farmar, vujacic, ariza, walton

    = also add another defensive small forward and we have ourselves an unstoppable force and a trip back to the finals in ’09!

    lets get this off-season started strong with thurs draft.

  • Thuggishdeer

    shaun livingston 6’7
    gasol 7’0
    odom 6’10
    kobe 6’6
    bynum 7’0


    ricky should be kicked off this site

  • ricky



    all who comment here are true laker fans and for you to come out and bash anybody’s idea to try and help this team is BS!! it doesnt matter if its a sensible trade idea or something completely off the wall like wanting to get baron davis and ron artest, and tim duncan, we all have the right to express any type of trade/deal/rumor that may help the team however strange they may be.

    you got no class and do not deserve to be on this site and you should be the one removed from here for even trying to disrespect anyone’s creative ideas and as well as disrespecting thelakersnation.