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
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
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
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
would love to see Phil coach the Knicks and
ROLL over everybody one last time. What a
...but what a
great show to watch. The Great Lakeshow. Wouldn't have
it any other way.