After an unassuming loss to Utah Tuesday night in Anaheim, the Laker preseason Tour de Love rolls up to the bleeding heart of the Golden State’s Central Valley.
A bastion of both agriculture and a newspaper called the Bee, the Lakers venture to Fresno, California, for tonight’s second preseason contest against inter-city rivals and Staples Center co-tenants, the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers come into their first preseason contest on the heels of the resignation/firing/deportation of longtime General Manager and Laker Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, in addition to fielding a roster of which only four are returning from last season.
With newcomers Baron Davis, Marcus Camby and rookie Eric Gordon leading the new Clipper charge, the Red, White and Blue across the hall look to become something more than an afterthought in Los Angeles basketball lexicon.
I just picture the Clippers as the Lakers nerdy kid brother who loves the indie rock, plays Ultimate Frisbee and has a penchant for all things Star Wars. Just enough of a geek to remain relevant yet still is intriguingly cool.
As previously stated, the Lakers do not have too much to prove in this preseason. In fact, it would be to their advantage not to prove much of anything this preseason.
Unlike last season, expectations are astronomically high and irrational trepidation is at an all-time low. So, the best thing to do for the duration of this exhibition schedule is to simply put on your fresh Pau Gasol jersey, drink a Capri Sun and soak in the calming thought that there are only twenty days until the real fun commences.
- Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Questionable: Sasha Vujacic (ankle)
- Doubtful: Luke Walton (ankle surgery), Sun Yue (God’s wrath for cheating on Gu Chen)
Dwyane Mitchell, we hardly knew ye: The first casualty of camp has been named. Guard Dwyane Mitchell was waived by the Lakers yesterday after being limited by a sore knee. Mitchell, despite certainly being a kind young gentleman, will not be missed in the slightest.
Welcome Back!: The name on everybody’s lips is Andrew Bynum. And, naturally, the massive dominating storyline of Tuesday’s contest in Anaheim was the unofficial return of the same Andrew Bynum.
After not playing in a full speed NBA contest since January, Bynum played half of a ¾ speed NBA preseason game. It is difficult to draw any conclusions about Andy’s performance, aside from the fact that he transformed into a swolled out dude, not to mention the goatee. OH! The GOATEE!
Brotherly Love: This may be the only time I suggest something so audacious, but overlapping our Lakers tomorrow evening is the first NLCS featuring the Los Angeles Dodgers since 1988. So, if only for support of our fair city, pop the channel up a couple of dials and root, root, root for the DOYYYYYYYYYYYERS!
Varsity Challenge -
(Prize: a #23 Dwayne Mitchell jersey…he’s not going to need it)
What current NBA players call the city of Fresno home?