Tag: Cleveland Cavaliers

We’re Moving On Up …………….But It Ain’t To The Eastside Or That Deluxe Apartment In The Sky


We’re Moving On Up …………….But It Ain’t To The Eastside Or That Deluxe Apartment In The Sky

Well it appears even with a horrendous season in prospect things simply aren’t getting any better for the Sacramento Kings at all. Having had a player selected to be a participant in the NBA’s midseason showcase event of the All Star Game it now seems that the organization may well consider the offer to relocate from the Arco Arena in Sacramento to the city of Anaheim , California . It may well have been a tremendous accolade to have both DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans selected to the Rookies’ All Star Western Conference roster but it simply cannot hide the overwhelming problems that this franchise now has from a competitive and financial standpoint.

==================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal.

The Maloof family as owners of this team have simply struggled over the past few seasons merely to keep this franchise a successful and viable concern within the city. And even now with a dwindling attendance for the team’s home games there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the organization. The team is projected to lose in excess of $25 million this year alone but it could quite possibly be a great deal more than that given the economic outlook , albeit that the league hierarchy has already been benevolent to this team as well as several other NBA franchises around the league over the past season.

Courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle


Another Sign Points to Kings’ Desire to Leave Sacramento

By Sam Amick in counjunction with Fanhouse

With a March 1 deadline to file for relocation looming large in Sacramento and the owners of the Kings continuing discussions with Anaheim Ducks officials regarding a possible move to Southern California, a source close to the situation said Monday that they have yet to deliver documents that were promised to the arena development team in California’s Capital City.

It is, without question, yet another sign that the Maloofs (Gavin and Joe above) are strongly considering the possibility of playing elsewhere next season.

After the Sacramento City Council voted to work with developer David Taylor and arena builder ICON venue group on Feb. 8 in attempt to construct a viable arena plan, the Maloofs issued a statement two days later that they would “provide him with the studies, research and documents done during the course of the last 11 years on the feasibility of a new sports and entertainment facility.” Yet the source told FanHouse that documents have yet to be provided, and all indications are that the Maloofs will only turn their attention back to Sacramento if they can’t find a way to strike a deal in Anaheim.

==============================================================================
By clicking on the inset link you can read this article
in its entirety.

=============================================================================

As with any presumed relocation of a franchise it would need a majority vote from the board of governors of the NBA which basically is the league’s hierarchy in conjunction with the team owners in order to facilitate the Kings’ move from the state’s capital to Anaheim. From a financial standpoint it would certainly make sense for the organization and I’ve no doubt that team GM Geoff Petrie sees it as the best option for the Kings at this juncture . And it can only be further sanctioned by both George , Gavin and Joe Maloof , who as principal executives and owners of the family’s business and sporting interests must see this as the best way forward for the organization .

On the other hand , I can help but wonder what must be going through the mind of NBA Commissioner David Stern , because for too long he has simply ignored the major economic problems that the league and the owners have simply overlooked. They’ve seen the revenues of the NBA increase exponentially over the last twenty five years and along with the franchises’ worth have appreciated steadily, where the average value of an NBA team is upwards of $ 375 million but yet somehow in the wake of this type of monetary windfall many of these teams find themselves in something of a financial mess. The NBPA (union ) for its part merely looks at this all as simply another reason why they feel that they’re in need of a larger slice of the revenues that they share with the league. And though NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter along with union President Derek Fisher and their executive committee have been adamant that they will negotiate a fair and equitable agreement as it pertains to the present collective bargaining agreement , you simply get the feeling that though sides are still communicating things are liable to come to a head.

There’s not said to be a great impasse between the two sides but clearly there are some sticking points which neither side will freely admit to _____ that it is creating somewhat of a problem. And if as proposed the union is prepared decertify itself in order to challenge the NBA’s antitrust status within the US Federal Court rather than seek arbitration through a court appointed mediator or the NLRB ( National Labor Relations Board) then you know that the game and the league will be in for dire consequences. League executive Stu Jackson and Billy Hunter have been adamant that they wish for this all to be amicably resolved before the NBA playoffs begin and it seems given the present state of affairs that may well not happen unless both sides are willing to make certain concessions.

The NBA hierarchy has certainly never been willing to open up its books for public scrutiny , albeit , that it is in fact a private enterprise . But at the same time the league is given advantageous tax breaks and with its antitrust exemption guaranteed by the House Oversight Committee and you can well understand why David Stern and the owners would rather keep their financial records one big secret altogether and away from prying eyes.

Given the tumultuous season that the Sacramento Kings have had the only bright spot one might say has been the play of both Tyreke Evans and to a lesser extent DeMarcus Cousins who’s still showing his immaturity and unwillingness to defer to others when needed. Unfortunately Cousins’ talents at the college level and the latitude allowed by John Calipari shows how ill disciplined a player he was and still is . But that asides the real problem facing the Kings is that they’re simply still a work in progress with a great many flaws to this team. And most noticeably there’s a distinct lack of veteran leadership on the floor and that’s something that’s most definitely needed if the team is to improve.

Certainly Paul Westphal is trying to get the youngsters on this roster to buy into his style of coaching and to learn the nuances of the game . But that in of-itself may not be enough to stave off the inevitable concerning the team and its present record (13-40). They’re now in something of a dog fight with the Cleveland Cavaliers , Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards as to who may well end up with the worse record in the NBA come season’s end. It doesn’t take a betting man at this juncture that barring either Wizards or Kings’ implosion that dubious distinction may well end up belonging to Byron Scott’s ——- team . God knows , the Cavaliers simply find even more redundnant ways of losing games explicably and inexplicably , such has been their ineptitude and abundantly mediocre season !

It’s sad to think that the Sacramento Kings are no longer viewed as a legitimate and perennial contender within the league for an NBA title. But that hasn’t happened since the days when former players Mike Bibby and Chris Webber made the Arco Arena and the Kings a “must see”, can’t miss place to watch an exciting brand of basketball. Those days now appear to be long gone and all but now a distant memory for the most avowed of Sacramento Kings’ fans.

As to what might be the impending move of the Sacramento Kings, it seems that it may well inevitably take place in the off-season. As it’s unlikely that the team would be allowed to move during the season. The organization and the city of Sacramento have had numerous discussions over the team’s domicile and the very fact that neither party can agree upon who ought to be responsible for any refurbishments or the complete upgrade of the venue has in fact led the organization to its present predicament. The team’s lease on the venue is due to expire and even in discussion with the city’s mayor Kevin Johnson no acceptable compromise could in fact be reached concerning both parties’ wishes. In this day and age , when municipalities are cash strapped because of budgetary deficits and constraints the last thing they ought to be doing is to be spending money on a facility that in large part the leasee with their financial resources seems to be unwilling to spend the funds themselves on any specific upgrades even in conjunction with the leaseholder . It has become all the more asinine when repeatedly multi millionaire sports franchise owners who live high on the hog now have the municipalities at their beck and call merely to spend money when those funds are needed elsewhere for services that are of vital benefit to the residents within that city . But you’d be hard pressed to hear the owners , much less the NBA hierarchy or the politicians question the rationale behind spending the funds in such a way. Especially now given the current economic climate and the inane stupidity that has been shown by the NBA with regard to its finances .

This may not be the last such case we have concerning an NBA franchise and its financial situation as it’s clear that many other teams are in a rather precarious situation . One only has to survey the landscape to realize that the New Orleans Hornets now under league ownership and the long drawn out financial debacle that has now engulfed the Detroit Pistons and its reluctant owner Karen Davidson has simply shown us how wayward and somewhat irresponsible the NBA and its owners have become ______ and are !

==================================================================================

By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original
formatted size.

=================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the Sacramento Kings and its present predicament and how do you feel it will ultimately end for the organization ? Also your thoughts if any you might have concerning that of the both Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Hornets ? Simply wade in with your comments on these matters or anything else you feel that is pertinent to this topic and the NBA at large .

ūüėõ

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

Picture and slide show details below.
——————————————————————————————–

(1) Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden (L) and Portland Trailblazers’ Wesley Matthews (C), both of the Sophmore Team, go after a rebound against Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins (R) of the Rookie Team during the NBA All Star – Rookie Challenge at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 18, 2011. The Rookies won 148-140 . AFP/Getty Images/Mark J Terrill ……

(2) LOS ANGELES, CA ,. (L-R) Eric Bledsoe (12) of the Los Angeles Clippers and Rookie Team, Greg Monroe (10) of the Detroit Pistons and the Rookie Team, DeMarcus Cousins (15) of the Sacramento Kings and the Rookie Team and Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors and the Sophomore Team react during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at Staples Center on February 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images …….

(3) Tyreke Evans (6) of the Sacramento Kings, who is missing the game due to injury, throws the ball during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at Staples Center on February 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(4) Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal, left, questions official John Goble about a foul call during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. The Thunder beat the Kings 99-97 . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ……

(5) (L-R) Brothers George Maloof, Gavin Maloof and Joe Maloof watch a preseason game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center October 13, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers won 98-95. Getty Images North America / Ethan Miller ….

(6) Inset Sacramento Kings general manager Geoff Petrie joins the Grant Napear show to talk about the Kings‚Äô incredible victory over the Grizzlies and he feels the Kings are a better team than their record indicates and sees the Kings improving with each game. courtesy of CBS Sacramento/Grant Napier Show …… @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(7) Former NBA star Kevin Johnson the current mayor of Sacramento. The city council and the Kings’ organization have been at odds concerning the team’s lease of the city owned ARCO Arena . Many of the Kings’ grievances lay in the fact that the aged venue is in need of refurbishing and major renovation and neither side can agree on who should bear the burden of the costs or whether or not the expense should be shared between the two parties. At the same time the Kings’ leaseof the facility is due to expire . AFP/Photo/ Carter Yates ……….

——————————————————————————————

NB : By clicking on the respective links below you can view the latest news , stats and details as it relates to the NBA and Sacramento Kings.

NBA Standings Conreference & Division

NBA news

Sacramento Kings’ profile

Sacramento Kings news

Sacramento Kings’ front office

Sacramento Kings roster

Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal

Assistant coaches

Sacramento Kings’ history

Sacramento Kings’ 2010-11 schedule

Sacramento Kings’ team stats

Sacramento Kings current form by win streak

===========================================================================

Eye candy …………… the ubiquitous Tammy Torres Not so debilitating after all !

It’s hard knock life and I’d to knock the shizz-nick out Tammy !

Who wouldn’t want to share with Tammy a lick of her ‘lollipops’ ?

——————————————————————————————————

The Family Stand …………………. “Ghetto Heaven”

==========================================================================

Advertisements

Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League


Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League

I found this story somewhat unbelievable when I’d heard that Detroit Lions’ President Tom Lewand has plead guilty to a DUI charge . Now far be it for me to suggest that it should just be the players that be held accountable for their actions both on and off the field of play. The image conscious NFL has been somewhat none compliant on this issue concerning the team executives . Had this been an NFL player pleading guilty to these serious charges then the story would be front and center with everyone opining on the matter. Instead it has been placed at the foot of the sports pages almost nowhere to be seen.

=============================================================================

=============================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal. Just click on a frame to view in its original format.

Courtesy of The Detroit News

Lions’ Tom Lewand apologizes for ‘very, very serious mistake’

By Tim Twentyman , The Detroit News

Roscommon, Mich. –Tom Lewand stood in front of 83rd District Court Judge Daniel L. Sutton in Roscommon on Friday and admitted his guilt.

Charged with driving under the influence June 25, the Lions president pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months of probation, received a $532 fine and will have to complete an “intensive” outpatient alcohol recovery program. He is also not allowed to consume alcohol while on probation.

If Lewand does not complete the program or violates probation, he could spend 60 days in jail, according to Sutton.

“I’d first like to thank Judge Sutton and prosecutor (Mark) Jernigan and Sheriff Stevenson for their professionalism and efficiency in dealing with this matter,” Lewand said afterward. “As I said before, I offer my complete apologies for my actions. I take full responsibility for them.

“I’m glad that this portion of those consequences for my actions is completed and I look forward to coming out of this a stronger and better person as a result of it.”

Lewand was stopped the night of June 25 by Roscommon County sheriff’s deputies on M-55 after deputies saw his Lincoln MKX moving erratically while exiting the Limberlost bar and restaurant near Houghton Lake.

Lewand failed a sobriety test, and when he refused to take a breathalyzer (PBT) test, he was handcuffed and arrested. The charge of failing to take a PBT test was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Lewand was in Houghton Lake attending the 30th annual Kolo Golf Outing, a charity event founded by Bob Kowalkowski, a former Lions offensive lineman who died last September.


===========================================================================

Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

============================================================================

Commissioner Roger Goodell has been playing his cards close to his chest where no one can see them . And now when “the image” of the NFL is at its lowest up comes a story that would have most asking what the hell is going on ? An NFL executive being charged with drunk driving and the league itself has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Never mind that the Detroit Lions have not issued a statement on the matter but rather a curt apology from Lewand and that has been it. Why oh why am I not surprised by any of this at all ?

Call me crazy but now that the LeBron James’ saga is now over perhaps the most disappointed individuals are none other than the Cavaliers’ fans . But what I found most surprising was the fact that comedic actress Betty White had an opinion on the matter and the actress was very eloquent in her thoughts on the matter. White went so far as to suggest that she’d have spent the night with the young superstar if it was enough to entice him to remain with the team . Pardon me for saying but this might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back as LeBron probably didn’t want it to get that the cause of him remaining in Cleveland was the fact that he bedded the octogenarian actress. Way to go LeBron , you missed out on a glorious opportunity but that being said could you have handled Betty to begin with ?

Hold unto your horses but the New York Yankees lost out on obtaining Seattle Mariners‚Äô starting ace Cliff Lee . The two sides couldn‚Äôt agree on the compensation sought by the AL West team. And instead Lee will make his way to the Texas Rangers within the Mariner‚Äô own division. As to the Yankees they may well now pursue other opportunities in terms of acquiring a starting pitcher to add their already burgeoning roster of pitchers. And it appears that team GM Brian Cashman won‚Äôt let this minor occurrence get in his way of strengthening the roster of this team. As good as they‚Äôve been Cashman knows that nothing can be overlooked not when you‚Äôve got both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays chasing you down within the division __(AL East) . Now when it‚Äôs all said and done the defending World Series champions would like to make another return to the postseason and thereby successfully defend their crown. Nothing less is expected from the organization where success is deemed the pinnacle and where “failure” is seen as not an option.

HBO the much vaulted cable network more widely known for its dramatic staple and first runs of box office success movies is also home to rather influential niche in the sport of boxing. Especially within the heavyweight division but recently the head of the sports programming Ross Greenburg has stated the cable network is no longer interested in televising fights within the heavyweight division as the public interest is no longer there. Now that statement should not come as a surprise to anyone with a keen interest in the sport. But given the lack of credibility within the division and wherein the two best heavyweights refuse to meet each other in an undisputed unification bout because of familial ties. This decision will have some serious ramifications for the sport as HBO and its parent company Time Warner are one of the primary sponsors of PPV. And without that to hang its hat on then the division and the various international governing bodies within the sport are at something of a loss. And for champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko the big paydays that they’re both no doubt looking for won’t be forthcoming, not unless they are prepared to fight each other in an undisputed title unification bout. The fighters , their managers and respective promoters have simply made a mockery of the division and the pretext that the problem as to the malaise within the division has nothing to do with them is a complete misnomer. As it has everything to do with and the diabolical situation within the heavyweight division.

The fact of the matter is that the division has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since the retirement of the British fighter Lennox Lewis in 2004. And since then the championship has found itself in its various forms in the hands of the Ukrainian, Klitschko brothers. Ability wise , watching either brother fight is a rather mundane and at time painful experience . A tooth extraction without the use of anesthesia would be far less painful than watching either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko. And such is the scene of heavyweight boxing that there are no real credible opponents within the division and that’s with due respect to WBA champion David Haye .

Well known and legendary promoters Don King and Bob Arum once the most gregarious of showmen seem to be more interested in dividing the spoils between them in the lighter divisions. And for King this would be something of a come down given the stable of credible heavyweight fighters that he’s either managed or promoted over the years. And Bob Arum for his part , well his main concern is to create the buzz and promote what has been described as what will be the biggest fight in boxing . The proposed bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao promises to be that and a great deal more . But as of yet no concrete timetable has been set as to where the bout will be staged. This much we do know however , it will be by far the most anticipated and biggest grossing fight in history without a doubt. And the fight itself will be co-promoted by Top Rank Inc , Golden Boy Promotions Inc in conjunction with Mayweather’s own fledgling promotional company.

Everyone involved in that aspect of the bout will end up being a winner. At $49-95 per viewer and with an anticipated 2 million buys expected the gross via the sales only here in North America will top $100 million and when one takes into account the international interest that figure is liable to double without taking into account ticket sales and merchandising .

A $200 million grossing fight would be unimaginable but it is in the offing should this proposed bout take place. One would expect both fighters to be handsomely rewarded for their exploits and suffice to say that having fought then retirement could very well be beckoning for both fighters. With Pacquiao pursuing a political career in his native Philippines and Mayweather looking to cross over into the business side of the sport , boxing could very well face some lean times ahead.. Say what you will however much of this malaise within the sport has been brought about by the lack of authority from the various international governing bodies and their unwillingness to do what is inherently best for the sport.

===============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal. Use the arrow indicators to guide through the frames.

If sport is so much about its image then why is it a great deal of the time when there’s something inherently wrong , so why is it that the proper authorities are so slow to act ? The answer could well lie in the fact that those who are actually in power either have very little intelligence or they are for all sense purpose merely a puppet while it is the marionette who is indeed pulling the strings . Your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece are welcome and I will do my best to respond with a succinct and clear answer. Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… ūüôā

Chris Brown ……….. feat’g Tyga & Kevin McCall …….. ” Deuces”

It Never Rains In Southern California …………


 
 
 

It Never Rains In Southern California  …………. 

 

 

 

 

 

Well  after  last  night’s  euphoric   victory by the  Los Angeles  Lakers over their   fiercest  rivals   for  NBA supremacy  in the Boston Celtics. There’ll   now  be  many  amongst  telling us  that  the  Lakers  are  now  indeed  the  best  team  in the NBA. Record wise  and   statistically  that’d  prove  to be  the  case.    But the argument  does   continue  even  amongst  the  most   discerning  of  fans  of  not  just  the  NBA  but  amongst   both  teams’ legions   of  fans. 

 

 

 

Bryant and  Garnett  shake  hands  prior  to the  game  played  last  night  at  the TD Banknorth Center  in Boston,  Mass,.
Bryant and Garnett acknowledge each other by shaking hands prior to the game played last night at the TD Banknorth Center played in Boston , Mass,. ...............

 

 

Bryant¬† and Garnett¬† shake¬† hands¬†¬† prior¬† to¬† the¬† game¬† played¬† last¬† night¬† at the TD Banknorth Center in Boston , Mass. ………..

 

 

 

 

But  as  the  title  of  this  piece  reads  and   it  can  be  attributed  to the  neo-soul  r&b  group Tony, Toni , Tone !  One of the  premiere  r&b groups  of the  late 80’s  and  early  90s, fronted  by  Raphael Saadiq.  An  accomplished   musician and  producer  in  his  own  right.

 

 

 

The game  itself  though  not overly suspenseful  did   pit   two  teams  who  as  of  late have been  playing  some  excellent  basketball. And  if  nothing  else  the   hierarchy  of the NBA  has  to  be  pleased with the way   the  season  seems  to  be  turning  out  thus  far.   We’ve seen  the  consistency  of  one   of  its  brightest  stars  in LeBron James  of  the  Cleveland  Cavaliers. Who’s  now  leading  them  to  great  heights   this season.  He’s  ably  abetted  by the  likes  of   Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams  and  others.   

 

 

 

Garnett looks to make  a move  against  Gasol   of the Lakers ................
Celtics' Kevin Garnett looks to make a move against the Lakers' Pau Gasol ............

 

 

Kevin Garnett¬† of¬† the¬† Celtics¬† looks¬† to¬† make¬† a¬† move¬†¬† against the¬† Lakers’ Pau¬† Gasol.

 

 

 

 

 

But  it  is the  Lakers  and  Celtics    whom  the  league appears  to live and  die  by  when  it  comes  to  equating   its   success.  Especially   on the   business  side   of the  equation.  Anyone  who’d  think otherwise  clearly  hasn’t  seen  the  sort   product that the  two   teams  move   in  terms  of  merchandising,  not  only  domestically  but  also  internationally.  And  for  a  sport  that  now  generates  in  excess of  $8.5bn  annually  in  revenues.  One can  only   think  that this   brings a  smile  to  the  face  of  Commissioner  David  Stern  when  both  teams are  successful  and  sit  atop  of  the game.

 

 

 

(more…)

Kobe’ll Get His No Matter What ………


 
 
 
 
 

Kobe’ll  Get His No Matter  What  ………

 

OK  so  Kobe Bryant  has  proved  once  again  why he  might  just  be  the  greatest  offensive presence  there  is in the NBA today.  Not  only  has  he  lived up  to the  expectations  one  believed  his  talents   belied.  But  the  euphoria  over the player   now  borders  on  a  God like  status and  adoration of the  player. 

 

 

 

 

But  there  are  opponents  of  this  view   who  see  and   feel that   LeBron James  of  the Cleveland  Cavaliers may  well  be  the  better   player  at  this   juncture  in their  careers.  Well  last  night  night  Bryant   took  it  upon  himself   to  drop   61  points   on the  lamentable  New  York Knicks.  Whose   defense   shall  we  say  is   about  as  notable   as  that  of   the  Trojans’  defense  of  Troy  when  they   came   under  the  attack  from  the  Greeks.  Suffice  to  say there   was  no  wooden  horse  needed   here  to  break   down  the  Knicks’  defense   at Madison Square  Gardens  last  night. Bryant  and  the  Los Angeles   Lakers   had  their   way  with the  team. 

 

 

 

Wilson Chandler  of  the Knicks  tries to  defend  the Lakers' Kobe Bryant  ......picture  appears courtesy of  nbae/getty images/ Doug  Watts .........
Wilson Chandler of the Knicks tries to defend the Lakers' Kobe Bryant. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Doug Watts ..........

 

 

¬†Wilson Chandler¬† of¬† the¬† Knicks tries¬† to¬† defend¬† the¬† Lakers’ Kobe¬† Bryant.¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy of¬† nbae/getty images/ Doug Watts …………

 

 

 

 

Defense at   times   doesn’t appear  to  a  part   of   the  Knicks’  culture   under  the  Mike  D’Antoni tome  when  it comes  to coaching.   And  when  it   does   happen  it’s  something  of a  rarity   to  those  who   follow  the  game  as  well  as  the  Knicks  as  a  whole. Now  far be  it  for  me  to  say  that  the  expectations  perceived   when   D’Antoni   took  over  from the  woefully  inept  Isaiah  Thomas  would  be  high.  But  the  mere   fact   that   at this   point  of the season they’re close  to  exceeding  last  year’s  win  total  of  23  games.  That   does indeed  tell  you  how  far they’ve  come.  At  21-26  they  stand  a  full  18  games  behind the  Atlantic  Division leading  Boston Celtics(40-9).  But  there’s  hope  amongst their   most  ardent   of  fans  that  this’ll  be   the year  that  we’ll  see   a  turnaround  from  the  team.   They’ve  been  playing   well  but  not  consistently  well  enough   for  one  to  believe  that  they  can  make  the  playoffs.  The   jury  is  still   out  on  that  at this  juncture.

 

 

 

 

Last  night’s   game   however   was  a   thrill  a   minute   in  terms of the offense   that  was  on  display.   The  result  itself   speaks   for  itself   whereby  the  Lakers  won  the  game 126-117 with  Pau  Gasol   ably   supporting  Bryant   by  throwing   in  31 points  himself.  The   Lakers’  bench  combined  for  19  points ,  leaving   the  starters   to  produce  the majority  of  the  scoring  on the  night.  Through  each of  the  four   quarters  the  scoring  was   somewhat  even. But  it  was   Bryant’s  display ,  range  and   wide   variety   of  shot  making  that  had  the  fans  beguiled  and  no  doubt  the   viewing  audience  and analysts   alike   searching   for  the right  words   to  describe  the  player’s  feat. 

 

 

 

 

Duhon   tries  to  drive  the lane  under  the  defensive and watchful  eye  of  he Lakers' Kobe Bryant.  picture  appears courtesy of  nbae/getty images/ Doug  Watts .........
Duhon of the Knicks tries to drive the lane under the defensive and watchful eye of the Lakers' Kobe Bryant. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images / Doug Watts .............

 

 

Duhon¬†¬† of¬† the¬† Knicks¬†¬† tries¬†to¬† drive¬† the¬† lane¬† under¬† the¬† watchful and¬† defensive¬† eye¬† of the Lakers’¬† Kobe¬† Bryant.¬†¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy¬† of¬† nbae/getty images/ Doug¬† Watts¬† ………….¬†

 

 

 

 

 

 

With  Bynum   going  down  injured  and   the  play  of Lamar Odom bordering on  being  nauseous  to say the least. It’ll  now be  down  to Bryant  and   whoever  is  prepared  to  step  and  take on  the  mantle  in adding  some added   offensive  and  rebounding  presence    on this   team .   Gasol   has  proven  that  he  can  do it.  But  nowhere  near  the   consistency   that  coach   Phil  Jackson  requires.  As  to  who  of  their   bench  players   would  be  capable  of  assuming  this  mantle.  The one  player   who  I  feel   might  be  well   suited  to   this  may  well  be  Trevor  Ariza. He’s  certainly   tenacious  enough  and   possesses  that  desire  and  will   to   succeed.   But  it’d  be  far  fetched  to  believe  that  he’ll  be  the  cure to   what  ails  the  Lakers  with  the  loss  of  Andrew  Bynum  for  an  indeterminable  period  of  time. But  if  nothing  else  it’s better to  have  Ariza   on  the court  than  anyone  else  on  their bench.

 

 

 

Wilson  Chandler  and David Lee trie  to  sandwich Bryant who's in pursuit of  the ball.   picture  appears courtesy of  nbae/getty images/ Doug Watts ...........
Wilson Chandler and David Lee look to sandwich Bryant who's in pursuit of the loose ball. picture appears courtesy of nabe/getty images/ Doug Watts ............

 

 

 

Wilson Chandler¬† and¬† David¬† Lee¬† look¬† to¬† sandwich¬† Bryant¬† of the¬† Lakers¬† who’s¬†¬† in pursuit of¬† the¬†loose ball.¬† picture appears¬† courtesy¬† of¬† nbae/getty¬† images/¬† Doug¬† Watts¬†¬† …………….

 

 

 

 

 

As  to  Bryant , last  night’s offensive  output   was  a  record  for  a  game  played  between the two  teams.  And  it  certainly  now  adds  fuel  to the  fire  as  to  who  is  playing   the more  consistently   of  the  two, between  Bryant  and  James.  Both  players  have their   own  legion  of  fans.  And   both  are   equally  aplomb   of  showing   off   their   skills  as  and  when  they  wish. They’ve  both  taken  on the  leadership   mantle  for  their   respective   teams  and  if  nothing  else   this  may  well  be  down  to  the  fact  of  the  Olympic   experience  of  Beijing.  If  anything  the  influence  of  Mike  Krzyzewski   and  his    coaching  seems  to   have  rubbed  off   on  both  players. 

 

 

 

 

Ariza  of  the Lakeras  shoots  against  the  Knicks  with  teammate  Lamar Odom  looking  on .
Ariza of the Lakers shoots against the Knicks while his teammate Lamar Odom looks on. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Doug Watts ................

 

 

Ariza of¬† the Lakers¬† shoots¬† against the¬† Knicks¬† with¬† teammate¬† Lamar Odom looking¬† on.¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy¬† of¬† nbae/getty images/ Doug Watts ……

 

 

 

 

 

Over the  next  few   months  it  will   however be  interesting  to  see   how  the  Lakers  will  fare.  The  loss  of  Bynum  while  significant  oughtn’t  to  waylay   the  Lakers’  chances  of  making  the  playoffs.  However  it  does  make  them  somewhat  more   vulnerable.  And  no  doubt  many  of  their   Western  Conference   foes  will  look   upon  the  situation  to  inflict    further  pain  and  suffering   upon  the  team  if  they  can.  The San  Antonio  Spurs   seem to have   found their  footing. And though   Tim  Duncan  and  his   teammates  aren’t  viewed  as the    team  to  beat.  They’ve a  way   of  appearing   ominously   dangerous to   those  who’ll  view  them  as  nothing  more  than  a  team whose window  of  opportunity  has come  and  gone. It’d  be   foolish  to write  them  off  as  they’ve   seen  it  all  before   and  have   acquitted  themselves  well  as  and  when  needed.  But  after  last   year’s   bitter  loss  in the  conference  finals   to the  Lakers.  Nothing  would  be  sweeter  for them  than  to  exact    revenge   on the  team  deemed   everyone’s   favorites to win  it  all   in  the  West.

 

 

Gasol of  the Lakers   pulls  down a  defensive  rebound  with  the Knicks' David  Lee  looking  on
Gasol of the Lakers pulls down a defensive rebound with the Knicks' David Lee looking on. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Doug Watts ..............

 

 

Gasol of¬†¬† the Lakers¬† pulls¬† down a¬† defensive¬†¬† rebound¬† with¬† the¬† Knicks’¬† David¬† Lee¬† looking¬† on¬†.¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy¬† of¬† nbae/getty¬† images/Doug Watts……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as  we’re  close  to  reaching  the  halfway   point of  the  season. What  seemed  to have  been  ordained   might   just   be  turning  out  to  be   something  of  a  thrilling   event  for  those  who’d   care  to  watch    what  will  happen  in the  ensuing  months.  Can  the Lakers   succeed  or  will  they   fall  because merely   because  of  the absence  of  Andrew  Bynum ?  He  was  sorely  missed  last  year.  And   no   doubt  this  time around  there’s  that  feeling  of   déjà-vu  once  again.   The  irony  isn’t  lost  on their   fans  or  the    organization  as  a  whole.