After 76 contests, 50 victories and 15 Kobe Bryant technical fouls, I have come to a point where I cannot remain silent any longer. I am, in fact, mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.
After every game, win or loss, we are treated to a wonderful post-game program on AM570 called Lakers Line, in which fans can phone in their opinions, gripes, quibbles, anecdotes and nonsensical ramblings to host (and my personal hero) Matt “Money” Smith.
The only problem with this is that Laker fans blatantly misuse this phone forum for evil.
And this is not some newly formed opinion. I have been rolling my eyes at callers since Stu was the host and Lakers Line aired only following home games.
But rejoice my brothers and sisters, for I have descended down the Mountain and I have been given Ten Commandments for calling into the hallowed and revered Lakers Line.
As Brad Hamilton once told Jeff Spicoli “Learn it, know it, live it.”
I. Thou Shalt Not Complain About How Long You Have Been on Hold.
If you are familiar with Lakers Line at all you know that one of the few rules is that if you complain about the length of time you have been on hold…you get put back on hold. Think of it as a timeout to think about what you’ve done. It sounds simple, but you would be amazed at how many people begin their conversation with a “Wow! I can’t believe I finally got through, I was on hold for an HOUR!” Do not be mistaken. Money will throw you back into queue faster than Lamar will hoist up and ill advised three-pointer.
II. Thou Shalt Not Play GM.
Is your name Mitch Kupchak?
Did you just get off the line with an envoy from the Milwaukee Bucks?
Are you a direct descendant of Jerry West?
If you answered yes to any of the queries, then congratulations, you have earned the right to blindly postulate about player personnel. If you do not meet this specific criteria, unfortunately, you must accept the roster as currently constructed. No talk of sending a bag of cash to Minnesota for Al Jefferson (somebody named Lightning actually suggested that one). No “we should sign…” or “we should trade…” This pointless and futile behavior is irresponsible and undermining to the Front Office.
III. Thou Shalt Not Take Phil’s Name in Vain.
This is elementary. Phil Jackson has NINE championships. Yes, his methods may be unorthodox and at times his rotations can be questionable, but something he does works. He has led his teams to Fifty win seasons on all but three occasions, and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Enough said.
IV. Thou Shalt Not Be A Know It All.
Again, there are some conditions here. Unless you are Ric Bucher, Mark Heisler or you get paid to have an opinion about basketball, you are classified as a fan. Fans know one facet of the game, and that is what they see before their eyes. Do not come on the radio and feign that you know something more than what ol’ Patty O’Neal or John Ireland tells us from the sidelines.
V. Thou Shalt Not Argue With Money.
This happens more frequently than you’d think. Remember, Money works for the Lakers. He isn’t just some beardy dude who got his hands on a radio microphone and some wattage. His information and opinions are based on years of experience and first hand accounts. As far as Lakers Line goes, Money is infallible.
VI. Thou shall always have great look-alikes.
If you think a player or coach bears some sort of a resemblance to another person, fictional character or inanimate object, let everybody know. It is imperative that we all can share in these doppelganger delights. If you are unfamiliar with how this process works, here are some examples:
VII. Thou shall make fun of the Television broadcast team.
Spero and Mychal are off limits for they are champions.
As for Joel and Stu, it is open season.
Take your best shot and, for God’s sake, make it count.
Whether it is their petty arguments about Andrew Bynum’s development:
Joel: He’s going to be a 20-10 guy in the near future!
Stu: Don’t you put that kind of pressure on him!!!!
Ambiguously homosexual quips:
Joel: Pau, with soft hands, down low.
Stu: They got caught ballwatching on that play
Joel: Lamar stuffs it in!
Stu: He shouldn’t be afraid to get down and dirty with the big boys.
The Television Broadcast team must be held accountable for their missteps and vapid commentary.
VIII. Thou Shalt Take Answers Off the Air.
If you call in with a specific, one faceted question, simply ask, and get off the phone. I hear people breathing into the phone. I hear people yelling at their kids. It is my favorite thing in the entire world when people utter their inquiry and say those magic words: “…and I’ll take your answer off the air.”
IX. Thou Shalt Never Reference a Box Score While Calling.
I know you are reading from it. I know the Internet is freaking awesome and that that +/- is arguably the most interesting stat ever, yet that job is not yours. I don’t need you to tell me that Sasha was 6/13 from three-point range. I don’t need you to tell me that “Noodles” Nick Young was a -11 while Jordan was a +13. It is not good radio fodder.
X. Thou Shalt Turn Your Radio Down!
It never fails. At least once a show the call begins with the typical greeting, followed by a cacophonous sledgehammer of feedback. This is the radio on a seven second delay. It makes communication impossible and unbearable. The bad news is, you are not going to get to hear yourself on the radio. It is just not going to happen. If you really need the ego stroke or instant nostalgia of hearing your voice talk to Money, visit AM570radio.com and just podcast the show.
Do no subject us to your narcissism.
It is both unfair and irritating.
Follow these these simple guidelines and you will not make a complete blockhead of yourself on local radio. And I will not make fun of you in my articles. And you can actually have salient conversations about a team we all love and cherish. I know I may seem caustic, but rest assured, I am merely trying to protect the sanctity and holiness of Lakers Line.