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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

After the Purple and Gold Rush.

Posted by AR

"You just say you're out there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come."


Sometimes things just aren't meant to be.No people currently with-pulse know this to be true more than Lakers fans.Rewinding things back to the start of the season makes for some interesting thinking and discoveries.Well they're maybe not discoveries so much as they are realizations.If you put yourself into Laker fan mode[TM]for a minute [and I don't mean that to mean thinking things like 'I can't fucking believe I missed George Clooney and Judd Apatow hanging out at the Ivy the other day' and 'Tanning should be tax-free' by the way] and set your mind back to October 31st,you realize a few things about this past season.You'll realize that after a summer of insane and inane trade speculation sparked by your best player things might not go so well this season and maybe things in LA are about to change drastically.It is entirely possible that you might get to thinking that this guy is not all he's cracked up to be,after all,why would he insist on having the team to himself and then start complaining that the team isn't good enough when he got his wish?Why was he requesting things he knew he couldn't have?Why would he criticize the team's brightest talent?Was it a sign of him wanting out or maybe a contrived way of showing his leadership 'technique',as if it's him saying:'Sure I'll I'm free from the Lakers for the summer and sure I'll be playing with the best for the US,but I'm still the leader of this team and Bynum,you better bring it next year!',maybe just another poor Money parody,this is of course pure speculation and is now very irrelevant so we'll move on.Maybe you start to think that all this thinking is hopeless and maybe he won't be a Laker much longer anyway.He gets moved before trade deadline and the Lakers get a new start,not like that fake new start like after Shaq left,I mean a real new start-a-wipe-the-slate-clean-and-start-actively-scouting-Ricky Rubio new start.A win-less hope driven new start that will be as depressing as it would be exciting,as exhausting as it would be worthwile,a most appropriate style of new start for a city wherein hope is born and killed simultaneosly,dreams shattered and realized in the blink of an eye,just look at the Clippers.

This maudlin thinking may have gotten you down,so you prefer to deal with the guaranteed's,the here and nows,the things we know we have instead of dreaming up plausible yet unlikely doomsday scenarios.So,the deal is(my storytelling isn't great so remember,we're still in October 31st,2007),Bean is still in LA and the Lakers have a second round of the playoffs if they play their cards right type of team.Things could be worse.I mean it's not like your the Clippers with little hope and a team who's star player is fittingly injured for the season,a succinct yet cruel commentary on the organization's place in basketball,with one perrennial all star and one mould breaking point guard with a sky high ceiling,and they can use neither.You take little solace when thinking about this however,after all the Clippers are not the Lakers,the Clippers never had a point guard playing center and winning a finals game,they have never had teams with their own names.The 'Showtime Clippers' have never and will never exist,ditto for 'Clipshow'.The Clippers are very much the seedy under-belly of LA,representing everything that can and does go wrong in the town.The Clippers are the Porn Industry,the B Movies while the Lakers represent the glitz,the red carpets and the award shows.The Clippers are the 29 year old actor from North Dakota,who decided to give Hollywood a shot and ends up with nothing more than a few bit roles in indie movies,a slew waitering jobs and a heroin habit.A victim of following his own dreams.Conversely the Lakers are the celebs the whole world are interested in,regardless of talent or ability.A raper of good fortune and social status(most likely a republican).Not that the plight of the Clippers will ever bother the Lakers fan and why should it?The Lakers fan has its own team in turmoil to worry about.The important thing for this Lakers team and perhaps its one saving grace will be the development of some of their up and comers,most notably Andrew Bynum,maybe winning's a lost cause this season but not out of the question next season.If development is accompanied by some savvy off-season moves-that is.By now,your thinking in Laker fan mode has probably made you come to the realizations that a)an immediate ring is completely out of the question and b)that the upcoming season with all it's variables and lack of real Lakers history relevance might not be so fun.You'd be forgiven for thinking the only thing that could make this a real worthwhile year for the Lakers as an organisation(This clearly means a 'chip) and for you as a fan(see last bracketed sentence) of an historic organization would be a minor miracle.

If you thought that,you were both wrong and right at the same time.

Fast forward to Tuesday June 17th,2008 .The same feelings lie within the Lakers faithful,disappointment,serious questions about the team and very unsure about the future.The feelings are not so different to those felt at the end of October,but are more visceral,they cut deeper,though the feelings are the same,the circumstances couldn't be anymore different if one was represent by GeorgeW.Bush and the other by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.You see,you got your miracle and what good did it do?Sure you may have rid the crest of a wave for about three months,the Lakers temporarily became box-office again,people were even talking about dynasties.What I'm asking(only half in jest) is would the Lakers have been better off in the long run without the Gasol trade?The first and almost reflexive answer would be a resounding no.But I think there might be something to this thought,call it reactionary or contraryist all you want but maybe the Lakers might have been better off rebuilding naturally rather than having to deal with the expectations that come with a block busting trade,maybe their finals fall was because of the weight of expectations,maybe they crumbled because of it.It could also be argued that their meteoric rise post Gasol trade could be attributed to how the players responded to the expectations,it is entirely possible they used the new found interest and hope held by the fans for good and as a catylist for wins,over performing their way to the finals and eventually being found out by the better team.But whatever your take on it is,the facts are that the fans were made subject to dissapointments the likes of which they could only dream about at the beggining of the season.I'm still not quite sure whether that's a bad or a good thing,in sports,I find,the lows are always lower than the highs are high,something,as a fan you come to know and come to get sick of.Who reading has never questioned their interest in sport?Who after a crushing defeat hasn't screamed to themselves 'Fuck you sports,you evil fucking pig dog!You've taken all I've got you filthy swine.I give up,I fucking give up'.If you say you've never done this,then you're a better person than I am.You'd no doubt expect these feelings to be the feelings of the Lakers faithful,you could see why but would you feel any sympathy?The same Lakers fans screaming 'dynasty' prematurily,the same Lakers fans who seemed to have at least quadrupled magically since the trade,something you'll only see the next time the Lakers start winning big.

Me being somewhat of a basketball atheist(with one exception),I usually don't care much about the outcome of a series or a finals as long as the basketball is worth watching-I'm happy.I will sometimes take an interest in certain players that I find intruiging or likeable or whatever.But I never root for one team over another-not in basketball.So,what made these last finals so different?I mean both teams have intruiging players and sub-plots,both have a likeable story.I have nothing against a single player on either team,not even Bean.Odom has long been one of my favorites,ditto KG.So,in theory I should have been laying back and enjoying what was to come with no bias.This wasn't the case,I was biased,very biased.I wanted the Lakers to lose,very much,it wasn't even a case of wanting the Celtics to win,I wanted the Lakers to win.I was confused at the time and I now know why.To put it simply it was the fans,but it wasn't just the fans.Sports and especially teams like the Lakers always fall the merry victim to the bandwagoner,I'm sure the population of Lakers fans swelled during the Showtime Lakers and Lakeshow era and that made sense,it was understandable,it wasn't even a bad thing.These teams had massive public appeal,celebrities that people loves supported the Showtime Lakers.James Worthy would grab a rebound,fling an outlet,run up the court-on the way having sex with at least 3 of LA's finest actresses and still end up finishing the break with a smooth dunk.LA equals celebrity and could you blame people wanting to be an indirect peer to those they respected and admire?The same goes for the Lakeshow era Lakers,they represented celebrity and evevrything most people wanted to be,such was the perception of celebrity back then.But,even since the Lakeshow era,things have changed,celebrity has changed.People are more interested in watching and laughing at the demise of celebrities.The same celebrities who were once lauded and loved by many seemed to outstay their welcome,people may not have been enamoured by these stars constant and very public displays of gaudy wealth and superiority.So,somewhere between one Lakers era and another peoples perception of what the Lakers stand for.For some it's the awesome place where the girls from the Hills live,to others it's the mildly disgusting place where people with little talent and bare vaginas get more exposure and interest than stories of actual importance.I'm very much in the second camp,along with many others.Though as shown by the volume of new Lakers fans that were recently exposed,the first phrase is not without it's supporters.Both sides are polar opposites and cannot peacefully co-exist,thus my recent anti Lakers agenda.In short,as long the Celebutard movement is still alive and well,I will be rooting against LA.It may seem meaningless and unrelated,but it's not.....but it is.

So the Lakers have a cloudy yet bright future after a spectcular yet depressing season.Confused yet?

Be careful what you wish for.

16 comments:

TADOne said...

Yes, i'm VERY confused. Thanks.

AR said...

I figured I should give something.

Goodbye for a while

TADOne said...

There is some great stuff in there, i'm just confused as to where you were going.

On a good note: that is by far the longest entry you have written!

TADOne said...

There is some great stuff in there, i'm just confused as to where you were going.

On a good note: that is by far the longest entry you have written!

TADOne said...

Oops. Not sure why that posted twice??

Eboy said...

Only a drunk could put something like this together and keep me enthralled until the end.

Eboy said...

Also nice that you used the Neil Young title.

Eboy said...

"James Worthy would grab a rebound,fling an outlet,run up the court-on the way having sex with at least 3 of LA's finest actresses and still end up finishing the break with a smooth dunk." Gangsta.

Hursty said...

Nice AR, but it would be WAY easier to read it if you used paragraphs to make things easier to read. Is ASPOV due to bring something to the hypothetical table soon?

TADOne said...

Where, oh where, has my Cheryl gone??

Eboy said...

ASPOV= A Sister Playing On Vacation

BETCATS said...

if the Clippers are Porn and B-List movies, i m now a Clipper fan. Does this mean that Baron Davis is Jenna Jameison?

AR said...

Baron Davis,quite obviously,is 70's porn muff.

B. Long said...

@AR: I understand your article (as much as humanly possible) but I think it's important to understand that only bandwagon riding Laker fans feel they way your describing. Was I pissed about the way the Finals turned out? Fu(k yeah. But after a couple of weeks of pouting I was able to look back at last season as a great year that I will remember for a long time. We weren't supposed to get past the first round and we came 3 games or a couple of injuries away from winning a ring. I got nothing but love for this team and I'm gonna be just as big of an annoying Laker fan this year as I was last year. Your welcome.

AR said...

B.Long:You were a Lakers fan at the start of the season(from what I gather)AND a Lakers fan when they started to win.You,by and large don't count in this.

B. Long said...

Thanx. You are right about alot of Laker fans. I almost thru up when I was at a bar watching game 3 and a guy in a KB throwback asked why they weren't playing Robert Horry. Ugh.