8:12 PM, Wednesday, January 9th, 2013:
Coming from Columbus, I always said if I ever lived in an NBA city, that team would be "my team". I got pretty lucky with LA. Have seen 5 championship seasons and more than anything? Have adored the drama that went along with them. Being in this city gives you access to so much more than I ever heard in Columbus. All the local talk shows... and even though this is a showbiz town people talk Lakers.
When I got here it was always whose side were you on: Shaq or Kobe. It was always Kobe for me. His work ethic was Jordanesque and he took this shit seriously. It's how I would do it if I were in the NBA. Every minute, every point, every shot would be my utmost obsession. Rings, playoff wins... I would do everything in my power to be as good as humanly possible - and I never felt that from Shaq. Though he's probably a lot more fun to hang out with? He came into training camp out of shape, he sat out plays, he sleepwalked through games - it always rubbed me the wrong way.
That's not to say Kobe is perfect in all of this, and don't even start with the MJ debate - it's impossible. Just because MJ may end up achieving more when it's all said and done doesn't make him the better player (though history will probably rightfully say that). Had Jordan been drafted onto the Lakers with Magic Johnson and Kareem? Are you kidding? Can you imagine the battles? Considering the situation Kobe came into? He dealt with it pretty well. Offensively? 81 people. 55 in a half. I mean, Jordan only got to 69 and believe me, he tried. Him scoring 55 TOTAL in '95 was the stuff of legend and Kobe did it in a half.  But again, all of this is early because if he wants? Kobe has 5 years left in him. Yes, he may retire at the end of next year, but he is in such impeccable shape for his (jesus) 17th year in the league, I just can't see him walking away.
But that brings us to the insanity swirling around this city right now. The Lakers are 15-20 and everyone is old and hurt. In fact, that's the remarkable thing about the video I took at the Denver game on Sunday: it could be the last time their starting 5 ever play together again. If Dwight can somehow avoid surgery (he says he will) it won't be, but if he does? That pushes his return to March when they'll most likely be so far gone he won't bother coming back. And if that's the case? He won't return next year either. Nash broke his freaking leg earlier this year and always seems to be one wrong step away from the end. I mean, the man is 39 in a couple weeks. How a point guard can play in the NBA at that age is beyond me. So, to the video...
The whole concept of DSLR cameras is just mind-numbingly obvious to me, I cannot believe it took so long for them to figure it out. Record what's happening through your still frame camera. And voila, you get video like that which is so filmlike it hurts. If only they had that when I shot my Jordan Documentary:
Then again, that's what makes that so precious... no "fan" could pull off what I did in 1995. And the fact that I edited it with 2 VCRs and a CD player?!?!? Oh how the youngins will never know what we went through before computers.
But now, of course, I can throw this together easily. I have 55 minutes of raw, unbelievable footage saved on my harddrive that I will cherish decades from now.
This Laker experiment however will be considered the biggest bust in NBA history decades from now the way things are going. Part of me feels like it's karma for the way they treated Phil. You tell Phil he has until Monday to give his answer, he accepts it and is ready to go - and then you hire D'Antoni in the middle of the night Sunday without giving him the chance? What the shit is that?
And, wait, really? You didn't take PHIL FREAKING JACKSON? That guy that coached 11 Championship teams? Uhhhhh. The guy that can make slow old guys WIN? The system that relies on experience, not speed? Instead you choose D'Antoni who is all offense and energy and lacking defense (and lacking any success even getting TO the championship game)?
Ridiculous. I would love to see Phil coach the Knicks and ROLL over everybody one last time. What a catastrophe...
...but what a great show to watch. The Great Lakeshow. Wouldn't have it any other way.