David, Los Angeles:
The Lakers started out 0-2 and look particularly awful. Are they making the playoffs?
NFL teams can overcome an 0-2 start to win the Super Bowl. 64 more games is plenty of time for an NBA team to right the ship. Except the Lakers won’t, because their fourth best player is Josh McRoberts. I don’t buy the whole “Andrew Bynum is out” excuse. Andrew Bynum plays basketball with the aggression of a wounded panda. I don’t care how many times Kobe Bryant cryogenically freezes his knees, he’s basically four years away from the prime onset age of osteoporosis. Due to the botched Chris Paul trade, Pau Gasol reminds me of one of those abused puppies on TV that you feel guilty for not adopting. This team was built for championships. Now they’re just a random amalgamation of Mitch Kupchak’s past glory and quick fixes. Although the Ron Artest/Metta World Peace announcer dilemma is wondrous in all of its confusing glory. No one knows whether to call him “Metta,” “World Peace,” “Peace,” or “Artest.” In their last game against the Jazz, Kevin Harlan settled on “Metta…World…PEEEEAAACCCEEEEEEE!!!!” I think that wins.
And don’t forget that Kobe Bryant is the anti-championship: Superstar money, superstar attitude, regular star power. He’ll never not be the alpha dog, no matter how good his teammates are. On Christmas day, Hubie Brown was gushing his face off as Kobe and Mike Brown diagrammed a play with the other Lakers looking on. Except Hubie was delusional: Mike Brown stood idly by while Kobe coached. We suspected before the season that Kobe might not take a liking to Brown, let alone respect his attempt at coaching. This was that evidence. I look forward to Kobe giving pointers to Pau, whose anger will finally boil over and lead to an on-court profanity-laced tirade.