Photo by USA Today

As the Lakers prepare to face the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center tonight, there will be a new (but familiar) face prowling (maybe sometimes sitting) on the Lakers sideline tonight.

There is a new sheriff in town, & his name is Bernie Bickerstaff.

Bernie is going to be laying down the law in La La land at least for the next 48 hrs or so. He has the dubious task of playing stand in coach until Mitch & the Buss boys figure out who will be the real coach the rest of this season. We don’t know who that guy is going to be, although names galore have been flying around all day. Whoever it is, I’m sure the announcement will make a big splash in the Laker pond. It won’t be a little ripple, it will be a wave any surfer boy or girl would proudly want to jump on & ride.

It will be gnarly dude.

But let’s get back to Bernie’s big night on the town. The upstart Warriors from the Bay are here. They come in with a winning record (3-2), a hunger to hang another L on the Lakers, & head on out of town. With all that said, I thought I would introduce everyone to our new coach. He may not have the title long, so here goes. Bernie Bickerstaff.

Prior to the Lakers, Bickerstaff was an assistant for both the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls as well as Executive Vice President of the Charlotte Bobcats. He also coached the Seattle SuperSonics, Denver Nuggets and Washington Bullets/Wizards before becoming the first head coach and general manager in Bobcats history. Bickerstaff has a career record of 414–512. His total wins rank 33rd all-time among head coaches. He has served in numerous positions in the front office on these teams, including president, general manager, and assistant coach, in spite have never having won an NBA Championship and having lost 98 more games than he has won as a head coach. He has also served as the head coach for the Harlem Globetrotters. WOW! There you have it. The resume of one Bernie Bickerstaff. He will bring that wealth of experience to the game with him tonight. Do you think a little old game with Golden State Warriors is going to intimidate him? I mean, he has at least tonight’s game & maybe just maybe 1 or 2 more after that to get the Lakers back on that championship path.

Ok enough of my tongue in cheek humor.

Here’s the deal Laker Nation. We are 5 (count them), 5 games into this season. Change has come, & more is coming. Which direction is the pendulum going to swing after all the changes is the question. Does it keep swinging in the direction of a season lost (or wasted) as some in Laker Nation might say? Or does it swing in the direction of the NBA Finals where many believed they would be? The first answer to those questions are forthcoming. This is a game the Lakers must win & should win. This is a game the Lakers could & should use as the springboard to a winning streak. This is a chance for Bernie to get his first career coaching victory as the head guy. This isn’t about lamenting about the past. This isn’t about pointing fingers, shifting blame, or wondering why are we 1-4? This is gut check time. This is about restoring that Laker winning tradition. This is about hoisting NBA Championship trophies! Come on Lakers!

Come on Laker Nation! Go out there & make Bernie proud. Let’s make this a weekend to remember for all the right reasons.