Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shannon Brass.

The Lakers have their own version of New Moon, apparently. During an interview with Derek Fisher last night after the Lakers win over the OKC Thunder, the full moon rose from the east to say hello to all.

Credit to CachookaReborn and...Shannon's mom?

The Lakers like to kick butt. And sometimes, they also like to show it. Enjoy this while you can, you people who enjoy this kind of stuff...It'll most likely be taken down soon. And not just for copyright reasons.

Monday, December 21, 2009

(Purple and) Gold-Finger: Kobe Bryant is a Road Scholar

My preciousss...ring.

Finger This Out:

Four and one – that would be the Lakers’ most recent record on their first extensive road trip of the season. It could also just as easily describe the number of healthy fingers Kobe Bryant's been working with on his right hand and the one bummy finger that he’s been forced to adjust to on the very same hand. More significantly, however, four and one might better allude to the obsessive image that’s taken captive of Mamba’s mind ever since last season ended – the image of the four rings he’s won and the one ring he still has left to claim for the season. And if his performance on this past road trip was any indication, there was clearly only one finger on Kobe’s mind the entire time - his fifth-ring finger.

Needless to say, starting out a road-trip with your best player’s prized index finger fractured and overly-padded is never an encouraging sign for any team. Fortunately, this is the Lakers we’re talking about, and the best player in discussion just so happens to be the best player for every other team out there as well. So despite fracturing his index finger against the Minnesota Timberwolves last Friday, Kobe Bryant sucked it up like he did a year ago when his pinkie was falling off and converted some of that pain he had to endure through into pain that his opponents could never withstand.

But Superman can only endure so much, and as the Lakers opened up their trip against the Utah Jazz, Kobe came down with a fever that really sucked the life out of his game and his team. If it wasn’t for this one untimely illness in Utah which only added further insult to injury, the Lakers would be sitting right now with a 5-0 record, a 16-game win streak, and an MVP award presentation for Kobe Bryant in December. Kobe’s response? He wants the MVP award handed to him immediately anyway, as he averaged a cool 34.5 pts on 51% shooting, leading the Lakers to a 4-1 road record the rest of the way. In Chicago, he caught fire and made John Salmons look like chopped salmon and Captain Kirk look like Cap’n Crunch ( I don’t even know what this means, but it flows). In Milwaukee came the epic game-winning shot that didn’t happen and then did happen, as Kobe made Charlie Bell look like the Kobe-stopper one second, and then like Charlie the Unicorn the next. Yet another legendary finish to add to an already voluminous archive of Mamba lore. The next two games against the Nets and Pistons were status quo performances for the Mamba, who did his damage early by helping the Lakers build insurmountable leads that their Stench would, inevitably, make surmountable (the bench will regain its proper name when it starts playing more intelligent and controlled team basketball and does a better job of maintaining our 20 point leads), but still hold on to win.

Team Assessment Summary:

Pau Gasol was a beast and really helped Kobe man the team on this past road trip. He demanded the ball more, scored with his norma,l efficient ease, played some solid defense, and “got all the effin’ rebounds” as Andrew Bynum would say (but not do himself). But really, outside of Pau Gasol, Kobe didn’t have much else to rely on in terms of consistency regarding all the rest of his teammates, especially the Stench. Andrew Bynum, of course, continued to show everyone that he hates In-N-Out double-doubles by averaging a paltry 3.8 rebounds and failing to do much else outside of getting his own shots up. He’s yet to have a double-double game since Pau’s return and is quickly reminding everyone why Pau, despite missing the first 11 games of the season, still deserves the All-Star nod over him come February. Ron Artest played consistent defense, but he sure played some inconsistent offense as well. Lamar Odom continued to rebound the ball well and played with a little more intelligent assertiveness, but still only scored in double figures just once. Furthermore, as the supposed leader of the second-unit, Odom has yet to do much leading, unable to steady the Stench scrubs and help maintain the proper flow and balance that the triangle offense entails. Derek Fisher, of course, hit another clutch shot, yet also had another 0 pt game (his fourth of the season, can you believe it, Ripley?). Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar each had their respective moments (especially Shannon’s Chicago special), but were also mired here and there by questionable shot selection and decision-making, most evident in both their play against Detroit. Adam Morrison, Josh Powell, Sasha Vujacic, and DJ Mbenga…I won’t go any further. The overall point: TGWHK. Thank God we have Kobe. Or as Ron would say – Thank God we have…god? Blasphemous.

Back to Kobe, All-day, Every-day:

Despite all these minor quips, the Lakers are still looking like a dominant powerhouse (especially on defense) that just needs a little tweaking here-and-there to reach full invincibility. The fact that they look this way even with all their inconsistencies is a testament to just how solid the leaders on this team are and a bigger testament to just how much of a consistent guiding force Kobe truly is to this team. As we saw on Saturday night when the Lakers fell to Utah - when Kobe’s out of sorts and unable to passionately lead by example, the team ends up looking just as ill and fractured as he does. Luckily, when Kobe’s Kobe and only has one finger injury to worry about, the Lakers never look like they’re in trouble – even when their Stench gives up big leads or when they find themselves in a jam, trailing by one. Kobe’s still there to save the day. He is, after all, a Road Scholar (and probably a Rhodes Scholar as well) who knows how to steady the ship and get his guys ready for long trips such as these. Four and one against sub-500 teams may not sound impressive, but let’s not forget that everyone plays their best ball against the Lakers – and while they try to play their best against Kobe as well, it never really works out. The Mamba loves playing on the road more than he does at home; undeniably ruthless in the sadistic satisfaction he gets from ripping out the hearts of opposing fans in sold-out arenas who end up chanting his praise anyway…as if he were right at home.

So whether he’s putting on a new ring, tearing a ligament in his pinkie, or fracturing the index finger of his shooting hand, Kobe Bryant sure loves making his precious fingers the center of all basketball attention. There’s a reason why his Nike, puppet-hand shirt only has four fingers –not just because he has four rings, but because he always seems to have one finger end up looking like Luke Walton: you know, injured and inactive. Strangely enough, however, a finger missed for Kobe usually means more fire made when it comes to the continual torching of every opponent standing in his way (just ask Charlie, his name might ring a Bell). Just don’t ask Kobe how his finger’s doing - he’ll give you the finger. And by You, I mean the rest of the league.

(Update: Kobe Bryant has just won his 24th Western Conference Player of the Week Award. Like we didn't know.)

There's a lot of rocky road in the fridge,

Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Corey Brewer Retires Derek Fisher's Jersey

Late Thursday night, there was some random commotion being made on the internet about Shaq all of a sudden retiring. It was clearly just a joke that managed to get enough buzz as a Twitter trending topic for one night because Shaq ended up playing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday before getting poked in the eye and exiting the game for retire. Just kidding... I think.

Well, now there's news that Derek Fisher has also considered suddenly retiring as well. Except this time, there may be some truth to this rumor. Check out this video:

(Fisher looks like he got kameha-meha'd in the process too.)

Corey Brewer is Fisher's personal retirement manager. Does such a thing even exist? Who knows, but on this play, it didn't look like Fish existed.

In other news, the Lakers are on an 11-game win-streak and are now a league best 18-3. Fisher also just decided to come out of retirement, beating Allen Iverson for shortest retirement stint ever.

Friday, December 4, 2009

One-Footed, Sideways-Fading, 3-point-Swishing, Kobe-Special

Kobe Bryant won a game of H.O.R.S.E on Friday night. Oh yeah, he also won an actual game at the buzzer over Dwayne Wade while he was at it too...

Kobe hit a buzzer-beating bank-shot to end the first half, then he hit a much longer one to end the 2nd half. Length matters, folks - always. On a side note: Where was Adam Morrison running to? I don't know, but seeing him run across the floor to no one in particular made this Laker celebration even more legendary.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prodigal IverSon to 'Start' Anew in the City of Brotherly Love

Let's just say that Allen Iverson has had a lot of previous 'practice' with this next team he's chosen to sign with - oh wait, maybe he hasn't...

Can somebody please quickly photo-shop a picture of Iverson in a 76ers jersey for me?! Oh what? never mind...

How ironic is it that, for the first time, a jaw wired shut is the Sixers' biggest problem at point guard and their answer to it all is ...well, the answer, who has never known when or how to completely keep his mouth wired shut? Sometimes the NBA is too Hollywood for its own good. Just when we all thought Allen Iverson was about to 'start' anew as a-New York Knick and effectively complete his eerie, downward transformation into Stephon Marbury 2.0, the Knicks ended up making a complete 180 by saying "no" to Regis Philbin's final answer and opening the door for the Philadelphia 76ers to complete their own 360-turn in their ongoing love-hate relationship with one gritty and dynamic, 6-foot point guard out of Georgetown.

After Allen Iverson quickly made 'not starting' his own 'personal matter' in Memphis by basically forcing the Grizzlies (the only team gracious (or insane) enough to offer him a contract this past summer) to cut their losses and waive him, the Sixers effectively cut to the chase (though 'chase' is probably not the right word in this scenario) after losing their starting guard Louis Williams for 2 months and waved a second 'Hello' to their one-time MVP guard on Wednesday. Although these days, that MVP part of Iverson has become more and more a distant memory in many people's final assessment of his colored legacy - one that's, unfortunately, been greatly overshadowed by all of his snobby remarks, selfish complaints, and incessant practice/bench hating (I bet he wouldn't have had as bad a bench experience if his bench did cooler, more productive things during games like the Lakers bench).

Regardless, Iverson is back in his old stomping grounds of Philadelphia, where he hopes to party like its 2001 all over again - the year of his own personal 1776 independence, when he alone reigned free. He'll finally get his wish this season and start, and he'll most likely start even when Louis Williams returns, either at the 1 or the 2 - unless anyone thinks Willie Green is going to stop him. Yeah no. Free Willy couldn't stop Iverson from starting at this point. With the Sixers on a 7-game losing streak and rookie-guard Jrue Holiday struggling to hold the fort down in Williams' absence, Allen Iverson was the best and only option available for the floundering squad - an option that can still score in a flurry, still help a team win some games, and still sell a couple extra tickets on the side. And yes, he will still make the Eastern Conference All-Stars team (It's like death and taxes baby - a certainty).

Iverson looked healthy enough in Memphis, and during the short moments he was allotted time, he was able to produce and even take over the game at the quick rate only AI can. How much Allen Iverson ends up dominating the ball and disrupting the offense on a squad with "AI Iggy" and Elton Brand remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure: the Sixers should no longer lack a true go-to man to turn to in the 4th quarter with A.I. once again at the helm. He'll have some big, exciting, vintage games where he'll score a ton and he might even average 6-7 assists, but if he truly wants to rewrite his final chapter in Philly under better terms, he'll have to do it by not only winning games, but by winning his teammates and his coaches over with a renewed sense of leadership and cooperation (at the very least, compromise). But who am I kidding? Just let Iverson jack up 20 shots a game and average at least 23 pts, 6 assists, and 2 steals a game for my fantasy team, please.

A little 51-point throwback against Vinsanity in the 2001 Eastern Conference Semi's.

I for one, am genuinely still excited to see the little warrior play because no matter how much drama is always seemingly surrounding him, he still always manages to make it seem like he's playing for his championship life out there on the court each and every single night. His rawest, truest moments as a player and person are seen out on that court, not in the press conference like we're led to believe, when he gets an and1 off a hard blow or hits a clutch jumper and screams in infectious passion. Which makes it all the more sad that such a hard-working, passionare player of Iverson's caliber refuses to go out in a greater blaze of glory and humbly accept a contributing role on a team much better equipped than the Sixers to match his championship ferocity. Then again, at this point, so much damage has already been done to his image that no contender would even dare entertain playing with that kind of fire. But what does that say about Iverson when even Stephon Marbarbie-world was able to make a relatively sane and productive contribution to the Boston Celtics' playoff run last season? I don't know. But at least Iverson isn't wearing a #3 Knicks jersey in honor of Starbury this year.

In the end, I feel kind of jipped that Iverson left the Grizzlies without even having one of his token press conference moments where he either cries, has Larry Brown suddenly pop up out of nowhere, or reiterates the same word a countless number of times. Although, he did provide a little something new this time by retiring for about a week after only playing for about a week...

"The Bench? We talkin' 'bout the bench? Not starting...not starting the game I love - the game I go out there and start for...but playing off the bench. Man, how silly is that? We sittin' here, I'm 'spose to be franchise player, and we in here talkin' bout the bench."

Whether or not Iverson can truly resurrect his career and help turn the struggling Sixers into a competitive team once again will be the main, ongoing questions of his stop-gap stay this season. But if he can at least recreate some of those magical press-interview moments that made him such an entertaining spectacle to watch and listen to, it will all have been worth it in the end. Well, at least for
DJ Steve Porter, who likes to make song remixes centered around Allen Iverson quotables.

Joking aside, the little girly fanboy in me (starburst contradiction I know) truly wants to give Iverson the benefit of the doubt this time around and say that he will recapture a piece of his glory days and lead the 76ers to the playoffs, but it's definitely hard to do that when all Iverson has left us with lately are very many doubts with very little to no benefits. We'll get our first answer next Monday, when A.I. is prepared to make his home debut against another one of his old teams, the Denver Nuggets. Once again - perfect poetry. Poetry?! We talkin' about - just kidding. Welcome back, A.I., welcome back.

Some wrong Answers just always seem so right,

The Fridge (Jonathan Hernandez)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Clippers Set A Bear Trap: 22 Point 4th Quarter Comeback

Yes, it's true. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers played defense. So good a defense in fact that the Memphis Grizzlies didn't score in the final 5 minutes of the game. The Grizzlies only scored 7 points the entire quarter. I'm pretty sure Smokey the Bear is a Grizzly bear because the Memphis Grizzlies did everything in their power to help the Clippers put-out whatever offensive fire they had going coming into the 4th (try a 22 point lead). Well, good job, Grizzlies - another forest fire prevented. Either that or the whole team just decided to hibernate for the entire 4th. I could go on forever with the bear references, but check out this 6 minute video of how the Clippers kept the Memphis Grizzlies at 88 for what seemed like...forever:

(Credit to thecalminsanity for this calmly insane video recap. The 4:31 mark is a gem, with Sebastian Telfair awkwardly being held up by Deandre Jordan while looking like a constipated baby...or something. )

The New Jersey Nets could have used a comeback like this against the Lakers last night because just hours after the Clippers made their exciting 4th quarter run on Sunday afternoon, the Nets took to the same court and became the third team to start 0-17. The last team to go 0-17? Why yes, your Comeback Clips. How poetic indeed. News just in: The Nets hate poetry.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shannon Ball: Shot Straight Out A Shannon

Benjamin Franklin once said that there are only two certainties in life: Death and taxes. Well, Ben, make that three: Death, taxes, and Shannon Brown dunking on everyone and their moms (well, except for Jason Maxiell, who takes Mother's Day very seriously). What? Yeah, I don't know either. But who cares when you're that high, right? Shannon knows what's up (like...literally):

(Credit to LD2K of for a dynoomitee job!)

Shannon Brown surely makes the idea of a Block Contest sound more and more intriguing and less and less idiotic, doesn't he? And this coming from a guy who still manages to make getting blocked look ridiculously sexy. Now if only we could find some willing victims...(Insert countless links of poor, unfortunate defenders who were caught at the wrong place and the wrong time here! I'm lookin' at you, Varejao.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Steve Nash: You Need to Wear A Batman Mask!!

Remember how, as kids, we used to take both our left and right hands, shape them into the 'a-ok' symbols, and then flip them upside down around our eyes to make a Batman-like face mask?

Well, Steve Nash wants all to know that such a gesture is now the new symbolic stand-in for saying: "ARE YOU BLIND?! YOU NEED TO WEAR A BATMAN MASK!, GLASSES!"

I love how completely normal and natural Steve Nash acts as he proceeds to bust out such a complicated hand gesture as this in the middle of such a heated moment...and how unfunny and purely serious he finds himself amidst it all. You think this is funny? You need to get yourself some glasses.

Well, on this night, you didn't need Batman glasses to know that the Phoenix Suns were simply no match for their Pacific Division rivals - your Los Angeles Lakers.

The NBA is funnier during in-season than out,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lakers' Post Preseason Wrap-Up: What We've Learned Thus Far

Kobe: "Yeah, and aside from Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom, I too also play for the Lakers!!" Artest: "Damnnn, we're that good?!"

So apparently D.J. Mbenga really, and I mean really, likes to shoot mid-range jump shots. Why? I have absolutely no clue. At times it seems as though he just erroneously comes to this horribly misled conclusion that he needs to help pick up the scoring slack behind Kobe and carry this young, offensively challenged team (yeah right) all on his own. Well, I don’t care if he makes 10 jump shots in a row, I will never trust D.J. Mbenga with that shot…unless he’s blocking himself and the ball ricochets off to any other Laker player for a better shot. Stick to the blocks, Deej - that's one area you can let yourself get carried away with all you want (especially on all the Kenyon Martins of the world).

With that little vent out of the way, let’s move on to the more significant developments of the preseason – LIKE
BLAKE GRIFFIN ABSOLUTELY ERASING D.J. MBENGA’S LIFE with a thunderous dunk during the Lakers-Clippers Staples shoot out!! Ok ok, I’ll lay off Congo Cash. Promise.

So as the Lakers wrapped up their preseason run this past Friday against the Denver Nuggets to finish 6-2, Laker fans across the nation were finally afforded a more complete and tangible picture of just how much potential damage and firepower this Laker team can dish-out to the rest of the league this upcoming season. While most of our previous theories were confirmed, there were still some surprisingly welcome, new developments that came to the forefront as well that exceeded even our own expectations. Here’s a mini-recap of all the players and events that proved noteworthy of mention in my mind this preseason (and yes, no more DJ Mbenga talk):

- Ron Artest is who we thought he was – or at least has played how we thought he would play. I had a feeling Ron-Ron would come out as a willing facilitator and a consummate role-player, but even he was a little too tentative for my liking. In spite of this, Artest really surprised me with his crafty handles and his overall court vision, proving himself an adept passer and solid triangle operator. I guess on a team like this, Artest’s underrated playmaking abilities can finally gain the credit it deserves; as he had many great passes to many of the Lakers’ big men this preseason (most notably Andrew Bynum). And even if his shot wasn’t on every night, Artest never failed to bring the intensity and grit on both ends of the court that the Lakers are counting on him for this season. Although, doesn’t it seem like Artest makes a better percentage of his threes by floating and fading away off curls than he does by spotting up as a stand-still, Ariza-like shooter? Regardless, this was, overall, a very solid showing for the Tru Warier in his first, unofficial games as a Laker.

- Andrew Bynum looks like he’s in mid-season, beast-mode form. You know that little mad run Bynum had near the end of December and into January last season when he was a consistent 20-10-2 beast? Yeah, that could come a little earlier this year and even carry itself through the ring ceremony of 10-11. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…Going into preseason, many of us questioned just how healthy and dedicated Bynum would be this year, coming from an inactive off-season filled primarily by college-like sightseeing and backpacking across the world. Well, those doubts have all been erased after Bynum averaged a cool 20.3 ppg and 7.6 rpg in 6 preseason games for the Lakers. While his blocks, rebounds, and overall defense leave something to be desired for, there’s no questioning the fact that Bynum’s offensive game and diverse skill set in the post are primed and ready to propel him into a break-out, All-Star season. So put your braces on kid, time to show the rest of the league why you were picked ahead of Yaroslav Korolev…I mean, Danny Granger.

- Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown have switched bodies. In a strange new turn of events, our two young point guards have apparently swapped mentalities this season, as Farmar is now the more triangle-sound and under-control, playmaking point guard while Brown has suddenly become the more offensively assertive, jump-shooting friendly scoring guard (complete with high-flying peanut butter jelly jam-time action, of course). While both have done very admirable jobs with the new roles they’ve undertaken this preseason (even playing surprisingly well together on the court at times), it’s definitely interesting to note the changed dynamic between the two. I have to give it up to Farmar, he has played exceptionally well thus far and has shown a real effective knack for finding his teammates at just the right spots on the floor. We always knew Farmar had the ability to become a great playmaker, but now he finally has the mentality to follow suit with it. We can only hope he continues to keep up this stellar play throughout this season and beyond – especially after we get coaxed into resigning him for the midlevel like we’ve done for so many of our other guys in the past. Regarding Farmar’s counterpart, Brown, who's been a little too trigger happy this preseason, we’ve at least got to hand it to him for making a fair amount of all those shots he's hoisted up (including this new turn-around jay of his from the key that he’s effectively added to his repertoire). We also can’t leave out the fact that Brown has been our most consistent, human highlight reel this entire preseason. Gotta love those statue of liberties from just inside the free throw line – and we also gotta love the prevalent 'guard-pushing-guard' dynamic that’s sure to continue between him and Farmar for the rest of the season.

- The Machine has been retooled. It’s just preseason, but Sasha has definitely started to look like that same-old, annoying prepubescent teen shooter that we’ve all grown to love or hate over these past few years. His shot looks wet, he looks a lot more under-control on offense, and even his pesky, out-of-control defense and oscar-winning flops look just as effective as well. Chalk it up to the Samson-Reversal Effect.

- Adam Morrison, ironically, needs some more ammo in his NBA arsenal. Outside of one hot-streak he went on against the Clippers, where he went 4-4 from downtown, Morrison has, unfortunately, been but a shell of his Gonzaga self this preseason. While things look a bit bleak for him this upcoming season, hopefully he gets another small opportunity here and there to prove that he can contribute in any small way.

- Josh Powell is the next Udonis Haslem. Except Haslem starts for the Heat, and Powell is a secondary reserve on the Lakers’ bench. Enough said. Powell to the people!

- Lamar Odom thinks he’s Antawn Jamison. Odom’s shot has surprisingly been very Khloe Kardashian-on from downtown this preseason. He was also very consistent from three during the playoffs as well last season. Is there a positive correlation of sorts developing here? Hmm…Can Lamar Odom re-define his game to become not only a deadly rebounder, but a deadly outside shooter like Antawn Jamison as well? Well, let’s hope so, because he still apparently can’t make wide open lay-ups. Just don’t get too Mbenga-shot happy, LO.

- Kobe is Kobe. If he’s in contention for the MVP award this year, he’ll win it purely off of his unrelenting intensity and tireless ferocity out on the floor. I mean, the man was diving, throwing his body around, and making fun of Cap’n Kid-Jack all at the same time – during PRESEASON! Who knows, he may only average 24 pts this season, but old pops could still end up holding all the hardware in his hands before all is said and done.

- Get better, Pau-pau! Hopefully between now and Tuesday, Pau gets some good old TLC for his sore hamstring and he’ll be good to go for his showdown with Blake Griffin in the Lakers’ season opener against the Clips.

-The Laker Bench mob likes to ‘stand up’ for their rights by sitting down and crossing their legs. Proving that they’re an innovative, fun bunch, the Laker bench has successfully created the new 09-10 pre-made-basket ritual by which all other teams will try and measure up to for the rest of the season. Cross leg right, stomp twice with right leg, then switch and cross leg left.

Ok, enough talk - let’s Beyonce-up this show already, put a ring on it on Tuesday, and get our Laker basketball on for another championship run in Los Angeles! We'll let D.J. be the first to hoist up the trophy next year too because he's just that money - congo cash money.

The Jello's Jigglin' with anticipation,
Jonathan Hernandez
(Chick's Fridge)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Take That, Stern

This year, NBA players on the bench are no longer allowed to stand - automatically negating the common team ritual around the league of bench players standing before their respective team's first basket is made. On Thursday night, during the Lakers preseason game against the Denver Nuggets, the Laker bench made sure that they would stand up for their rights...well, not literally, cus they can't anymore, but... they did stomp and cross their legs from left to right.

Props to the Laker bench for being the first to set this creative, new trend which will most likely see many new and interesting variations from many teams as the year goes on. See, benchwarmers can be productive too. Makes Sasha, Luke, and Adam Morrison's $5 mill. contracts apiece look a little more reasona - ridiculous.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weapon of Mass Destruction: Unleashing the AMMO Within

During the past few years, Adam Morrison has drawn a closer resemblance to Academy Award-Winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio than to any passable NBA player currently playing in the league right now. As a more than likely, soon-to-be inductee into the NBA Busts Hall of Fame, Morrison, who once led the nation in scoring while he was at Gonzaga, has seemingly solidified the fact that you can never trust really good, collegiate white players who come out of Gonzaga (see Dan Dickau...John Stockton doesn't count; he was clearly black). While in college, Dan Dickau was to Steve Nash as Adam Morrison was to Larry Bird. In the NBA, both have just become 'was-es' who now only gain notoriety through mention of their past collegiate careers.

As far as the Lakers are concerned, during summer league and into training camp, Morrison was able to make progressive strides in his rehabilitation from a freak knee injury and substantial swagger-loss by averaging 20 pts in summer league play and adopting the role as the team's purest 11am shooter in training-camp. But through the Lakers' first few preseason games, Morrison has seemed like the same timid and lost player that he was just a year prior when he couldn't crack the rotation in either L.A. or Charlotte. On Sunday night during the Lakers preseason game against the Clippers, however, Morrison was determined to prove to the world that unlike Leonardo's sinking fate in Titanic, he wasn't ready to see his own NBA career forever submerged by the depths of utter suckness.

After finally getting some consistent playing time, Morrison was able to settle himself down, patiently find his spots on the floor, and hit his wide open threes en route to an efficient 14 point-outing (easily the most anyone has seen him score in purple and gold) - which also included one off-the-dribble, jump-stop jumper over an opponent that brought back flashes of Gonzaga glory. Ok fine, so the 4 threes that Morrison hit were as wide open as houses with no doors, and the opponent he was able to take advantage of on his one driving shot was former-Laker Kareem Rush, who has had just as hard a time trying to find minutes as Morrison has - but let's not take too much away from a humble, awkwardly-humored guy who can use any positive signs of hope to hang onto in his current state.

Aslan, is that you?
Speaking for myself personally, it's hard not to root for the former college-superstar who has patiently and humbly accepted his lowered state of debasement and stuck through with the gradual renewal process of his NBA game from such a standpoint - this on top of all his struggles with diabetes, crying, making bad commercials about making other people cry, and being unable to bounce back from disappointing seasons marred by injury. But if Morrison can fully regain his confidence and continue to build on his 11am shooting masterpieces by inching closer, hour by hour, to showcasing some of that touch in more real-game situations, he just might be able to reinvent himself as a contributing role-player. Whether or not he'll have any chance to prove himself for the Lakers this upcoming season is unknown, but hopefully for all of Lakers Nation, he'll continue to shoot the lights-out in practice and push Sasha Vujacic to be the best and most annoying Sasha that he can be.

Judging from Morrison's showing on Sunday night, things can only look up from here. He may look like Leonardo Dicaprio, but he sure doesn't want to simply 'act' his way through an NBA career - he wants to truly play it out and belong. His fast track to success: working hard and doing the right things everyday (watch the video for the tips):

That 'stache holds too much depth.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Walk Like A Man, Prance Like A Pony

I'm a pony! Be ponies out here!
- Lamar Odom

Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic - watch out. Lamar Odom wants you all to know that...The ponies are here. What? Yes. You heard me - Ponies. Odom's not trippin', he's gallopin'. Why didn't the Detroit Pistons ever think of that? Detroit Ponies would have definitely been a more terrifying alternative in team name and mascot choice.

Check out the Lakers' new, alternate road uniforms. It's sure to strike fear into every bodily organ of every opposing straight man.

The Lakers opened up training camp this past Tuesday and the latest newlywed, Lamar Odom, has already laid out the declarative motto of this Championship-Repeating Year. 1,2,3, ring-ring? No, that was soo last year. Try: Bring the Fright with Pony Bright! I don't think even Phil Jackson, in all of his meditative glory, has ever once asked his players to envision themselves as ponies. Frogs on a lily pad, yes. But ponies? Maybe Lamar's going for the counter intuitive approach and letting the rest of the league know that the Lakers are so secure in their manhood that they're fully capable of embracing the pony's prance...

You're not showing me enough PONY out there!!

Forget the Show-Time fastbreak; this year, we're effectively calling it: The Pony Express. This season should prove to be one helluva ride for everyone involved. Pony ride, that is. Put your quarter in, please.

Charlie the Unicorn is pissed,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)
Now part of the TheLakersNation Crew!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Novakian Domino: Clippers Re-sign Steve Novak As Fear Spreads Across the League

If you're ever in need of a warm, reassuring hug, Novak's your man.

Talk about stealing Allen Iverson's thunder. Today, the Clippers moved one step closer to Championship lore with the re-signing of 3-point specialist Steve Novak. Sometime late last year during the Clipper's dismal season, Novak was able to provide a refreshing albeit temporal moment of euphoria for Clipper Nation when he sunk in a game winning trey at home against the Nets. You can hear Ralph Lawler's refreshingly nostalgic "Bingo" yell (perhaps the only one he's yelled all year long) ring through amidst the melee in this clip:

Shades of Larry Bird? Same shade of skin tone...

This year, those wide open threes just might hold a little more weight, as Novak will surely become the main beneficiary of a motivated Blake Griffin, a more poised Eric Gordon, an allegedly revived Baron Davis, and...a more sedated, but focused Chris Kaman. Novak will no longer have to get his shots by coming off of multiple screens, but by finding the multiple open spaces he'll now have at his disposal when his man leaves to double up on Blake and Gordon.

Kevin Arnovitz of reports that Novak was better than 60% in true shooting percentage last year, meaning he is a rarity in the NBA. Furthermore, Novak is 100% white, another rarity in the NBA.

And it's because of this that Novak shall thrive in his biggest role yet with the Clippers - filling the void that Mark Madsen left behind when he got waived - as top candidate for the 2009-10 congenial white guy of the year award. Adam Morrison, put up or shut up.

Lawler says Bingo for only one man - and that's Steve,
Mike Whang (Lawler's Bingo Card)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Allen Iverson: Their Burden to Bear (Grizzlies Bear that is...)

The Memphis Grizzlies have just signed Allen Iverson to a one year, $3.5 million contract and I can almost hear Regis Philbin in the background, bemoaningly asking the Memphis front-office, "Is that really your final answer?"


So it seems as though Allen Iverson's past forays of chemistry tampering with his recent teams were just mere 'practice' (had to) for the true challenges that lay ahead for him and the Memphis Grizzlies. Whether or not these Grizzlies will be forced to 'bear' the burden of having to coddle and cater to an aging superstar who seems to be tightly hanging onto the laurels of his 2001 glory days will depend primarily upon what Answer they get on and off the court.

In recent years, Allen Iverson has been degraded and resigned to an almost Starbury-like status, in which every team he's been traded to has significantly gotten worse, while every team he's left behind has significantly gotten better. Even the USA Team faltered under his leadership - or maybe we can just blame Marbury for also being on that team. Luckily for Iverson, the comparisons (we hope) start and end with basketball, for he has yet to fully fall off the edge of sanity like Marbury has. Although the two do share an eerily similar love for...crying. Unlike Iverson however, who's emotional breakdowns are usually backed up by sentimentally humanistic triggers, Marbury enjoys videotaping his weep-fests and syncing it up to background gospel music without giving us any explanation whatsoever as to what's going on or why he's even crying. The Grizzlies can only pray that Iverson's final bow takes on a vastly different route than that of Starbury's - or there will be a lot of tears and gospel music (or Elvis music) to go around in Memphis.

Overall though, Iverson has always remained a fan favorite - the small, gritty player that everyone loved to root for because he seemed to represent every underdog's struggle. He always carried this 'prodigal son, bad-boy' image, but because he's always been so open and real about himself, these characteristics made him a more relatable player to the normal everyday person who struggled to live up to the expectations of the world. And though on the court, people like former coach Larry Brown may have continually questioned his shot selection, no one ever questioned his heart and fight. But now as a newly signed Memphis Grizzly, the 'toughest pound-for-pound player' in the league must show that he can be the toughest mind-for-mind player in the league by keeping his mental composure in check if he has any chance at resurrecting his career.

What? You're saying I need practice on how I answer my own questions?

Yes, there will be lots of practices involved - and not just the ones that happen on court, but the ones that will involve relational patience and amiable coexistence with teammates and coaches. And no, Allen Iverson will not be able to jack up the same number of shots that he was able to when he once iterated the word 'practice' in a post-game interview approximately 24 1/2 times (which is already a low in terms of shot-attempts for a man who once led the league in scoring on several different every 1/2 counts). Can he develop a more consistent outside shot that will allow the real future cornerstones of the franchise to have more of the ball in their hands? Can he become a Rip Hamilton player and play off screens and cuts? Can he actually become a pass-first 7 apg point-guard rather than the shoot-first 7 apg point guard that he's always been throughout his career? All these questions and more will continue to loom over all our heads until the season begins, but more than anything, Iverson's real battle will happen internally between himself and his ego and whether or not he's willing to sacrifice his own decorated resume for the betterment of his impressionable young teammates.

It will be interesting to see how a backcourt of Allen Iverson, O.J. Mayo, and one ball will all fit, but the bigger question lies on whether or not Iverson will hamper the promising developments of the Grizzlies other burgeoning young players - Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Hasheem Thabeet. Oh yeah, and there's that Zach Randolph guy too, but one can only wonder if that guy's fate will only end up quickly crumbling down like that of another New York Knickerbocker's - Eddy Curry. Either way, if Iverson's truly ready to prove the world wrong, he'll need to re-develop his game as quickly as his young teammates have theirs, or else we could truly end up seeing not one, but several, NBA players' careers die-out because of...'canswer'.

The Fridge has the final answer,
Jonathan Hernandez
(Chick's Fridge)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chris Mihm: The Lost *NSYNC Member

Contrary to popular belief, the Lakers did not trade Chris Mihm to the Memphis Grizzlies for cash. They actually went back in time to 2001 and traded him to boy-band phenomenon, *NSYNC, in exchange for future amazing NBA mixes 'sync'ed up to flamingly poppish pop music - no strings attached. Well, ladies and gentleman, it's time to reap the benefits of such a transaction:

Probably the only highlight reel that includes clips of the showcased player being posterized.

This video mix ranks right up there with Yi Jianlian's "Beautiful Soul" by Jesse McCartney reel as one of the most obscure and awkward player-music choice mergers in NBA mix history. At the 30 second mark, when Mihm and Mbenga engage in a little scuffle during practice, the lyrics perfectly complement the intensity (and stupidity) of the moment. "It's hard to say I'm sorry. It's hard to make the things I did undone. A lesson I've learned too well for sure." It's only too fitting. And the constant one-second pop ups of DJ Mbenga saying "Daco" are merely extra icings on this already very...white...cake.

Please NBA Season, we 'want you back'.

The Fridge is melting,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kobe Bryant Strikes Out for His Birthday

First off - Happy Birthday to the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant! After being in the league for a thrilling 12 seasons, Kobe Bryant is finally ready to enter his prime years and defiantly prove to the world that 31 is the new 21...Congratulations Kobe, you can now legally drink.

In celebration, ESPN decided to randomly flash up a picture of Kobe Bryant in the middle of a Little League World Series game today during a strike-out replay (via ResultsInconclusive):

Kid: "Hey come back here, Kobe! You can't do that!"

I don't know about you, but I absolutely love watching Kobe Bryant leak out for those easy, break-away...home runs. In the meantime, this little kid can now forever happily say that he was once able to share some ESPN screen time with the great Kobe Bryant on the day of his 31st birthday. Now how many kids can say that? Happy Birthday to you too, little fella.

The Fridge Keeps Things Fresh Well Into Their 30's,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Friday, August 21, 2009

3-Year Old Kid Knows the Lakers Better Than Your Mom Does

I'm not even going to add some idiotic, witless intro to this like I usually do, so... just watch this whiz kid:

I bet the Celtic kid can't do that. This little guy is amazing. I'm pretty sure he's the main reason why Lamar Odom decided to stay in LA. Ironic that he had to spend like 24 seconds, the longest out of any player, to decipher Kobe Bryant's number, but only 0.5 seconds to cutely shout out 'Mbenga'. All I know is - impressive. How old are you? And did you even know that Kurt Rambis' jersey number was 31? I only knew he was white. I just hope the cute kid knows his ABC's and 123's just as well though, cus...knowing that #18 is Sasha 'the Machine' Vujacic will never get you very far in life. Neither will actually being Sasha Vujacic the person...

The Fridge Loves Educational Laker Learning,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some Guy...Dunking

In the continual battle against the dog days of summer, I strive to not only bring you the most entertaining/amusing NBA content, but also do it in the most unwittiest of ways. So what better way to cure the summer drought than with a little bit of dunking madness from a guy who gets his due pay whenever his feet leave the ground - Guy Dupay. Probably one of the coolest names ever. And probably one of the easiest to clown on. Dupay attention (see, too easy):

The behind the back dunk over 3 peeps was my personal favorite. Just look at how far he takes off on every dunk. His dunking game surely raises his seemingly uninspired name to ever new heights, helping prove that, when it comes to aerial mastery, he's not just another 'guy' in the crowd. He's a guy with a capital G. Guy. Like that.

The Fridge is getting unwittier by the day,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vindicating Videos

For the avid NBA fan in August who obsessively continues to stare at rosters and dream of the endless possibilities for the season and his team, there can be no vindication found for the incessant boredom and lack of NBA substance he feels anxiously waiting for the dream season to finally - well, wake up and become a reality. Luckily for Lakers fans, we're blessed and spoiled to have a variety of different quality resources to get us through the dry well of NBA news. Whether it be actual artists like Lil Wayne making rap songs for the team or even unknown talents rapping about the Summer happenings, or a massive variety of witty blogs/forums by which to choose from, or the insane amount of gifted video-editors that Laker Nation has at its disposal who are continually dishing out amazingly professional montages that put the typical NBA intros to shame, Laker fans still have the most to work with. Oh, and I guess winning a championship helps too.

Regardless, I have always been absolutely amazed by and in awe of the continual top-notch quality of Lakers' mixes, which are probably the best and most goosebump-inducing montages on youtube out of any other sports highlights. Well, ok, maybe Yi Jianlian's Jesse McCartney mix tape still tops out at #1, but Laker fan editors and their videos come in at a close second. Anyway, in a continual effort to help assuage Summer nothingness, I bring to you one of the best Kobe Bryant reels I've seen this summer. I know people always say that, but this video, with its seamless blend of music and film, is definitely up there amongst any other video you've once deemed epic. It's definitely emotionally stirring to say the least. Make sure to watch it in HD - it's so real you get to actually feel how it's like to futilely try to defend Kobe Bryant and fail. But feel Vindicated:

(Credit goes to 'theperson18' for making theperson24 the video he deserves.)

There's something about symphonic, string-laden, liturgical music with its continual climactic progressions that just makes everything seem quite legendary. Kind of just leaves you in a state of utter awe at how truly epic the Black Mamba has become. Now someone make a mix-tape of Kwame Brown to those liturgical chants and we'll see if epic and legendary still spew from my mouth in response. Good day to you all!

The Fridge has the best casserole mix-tapes,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stephon Mar-Barbie World

So we've come to the month of August. And while the end of June through all of July was a surprisingly upbeat and boisterous time for avid NBA fans, we've unfortunately hit that inevitable wall that is the NBA summer.

Luckily, NBA players know how to entertain. Or torture - depending on the type of person you are.

Stephon Marbury. As if we haven't seen enough insanity and spacey interviews from him already...He's a fan pleaser, though. And what the fans want, the fans get. So it's a no-brainer that he would eventually have to put up a video of himself shirtless, intoxicatedly dancing to 'I'm A Barbie Girl' in a dimly lit room that just screams - eerie.

He never fails to keep it absolutely disturbing, providing the viewers with a variety of awkwardly seductive moves and position switches that occur from the front, to the back, to the side, to the... 'what the H is going on'? But what can you do? Marbury has a knack for knowing exactly what the viewers want to see (sarcasm abounds from here on out). After all, can we really blame him when we as fans have so insistently been clamoring for him to do such a rendition as this for so long? I don't know about you, but it's always been my heart's desire to see fallen NBA stars emphasize their fallen-ness by dancing to such great classics like 'I'm A Barbie Girl'. Well, just like he once catered to his fans with his revolutionary $15 Starbury basketball shoes, Starbury has once again out-did himself and given us what we've always wanted - a little taste of MarBarbie World ( he clearly is in his own world at this point):

Who's down to see Mark Madsen and Stephon Marbury do a little dance number together to the sounds of Mariah Carey's 'Touch My Body' sung by an awkward Korean guy? Ooh, me, me, me!!

Don't look at me like that. It's not like this idea is any more out-of-the-blue than anything else we've seen from the great Vaseline-eating, Devil-blaming, Barbie Girl-Dancing Stephon. Life in plastic, it's fantastic. Or just downright creepy.

The Fridge hates that Barbie and Ken broke up,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Knock-Out NBA News Recap: From Powe to Pau to B-Diddy's Private Pics, Wow!

General NBA News:

- The Cleveland Cavaliers sign Leon Powe to a two-year deal. If he ever gets healthy and returns to his active 2008 form, the league better watch out. Boston will most likely regret the day they let him go, the day he poetically beats them in a wine and gold jersey, and the day Lebron James' decision to stay with the Cavs hinges solely upon Powe's improvement as a rising star. But let's not get ahead of ourselves - he still has till 2010 before he sees the hardwood.

This train has passed, Boston. Right through Powe's out-stretched legs. What.

- Ben Wallace returns to the Detroit Pistons just after seriously considering retirement. He will most likely back-up the great Kwamay Brown (my how the mighty have fallen). In other news, did you know that Ben Wallace first came into the league as a point guard? Him and Nash were point guard rivals in college. And him and the air were free throw rivals during this game:

Lebron knows what's up.


- Kurt Rambis nabs the head coaching job for the Minnesota Timberwolves. We wish him the best and hope he can somehow facilitate Ricky Rubio for Sasha Vujacic trade with the Lakers. What impact will this leaving have on the Lakers' championship hopes? Well...they did just get a little less white.

- Pau Gasol injures his left hand during Team Spain's practice and has subsequent surgery soon after. He will be out for 3 weeks and should be just healthy enough before the season begins to effectively resume looking awkward at the free throw line.

Double goose-neck - impressive. Looking like a sasquatch - impressively priceless.

- Someone suggested that we should bubble wrap all the Lakers players for the rest of the summer to insure nobody gets injured. Sounds like a great idea. While we're at it, let's go one step further with Sasha and place him into a nice UPS box and ship him off as well - nicely bubble wrapped and all.

Clippers News:

- A Ramon Sessions signing by the Clippers appears imminent after the Knicks have apparently dropped out of the race. If Dunleavy can nab this rising, young guard, the supporting cast of the future for the L.A. Blakers would appear to be filling out just nicely.

- The Clippers traded a pick to the Hornets for shooting wing-man Rasual Butler. They continue to get significantly deeper and deeper - by bench and by long-ball...especially if 6'10 shooting goddess Steve Novak accepts the current offer sheet being presented to him as well.

- Baron Davis has reportedly gotten his laptop stolen. He is also reportedly very concerned that some private pictures of his found within the laptop might be leaked onto the internet. His lawyers have gotten involved and have sent out a warning to the culprit that if Davis's privacy is violated and these pictures are released, a lawsuit will be filed. What's more perplexing to me is the fact that Baron Davis could possibly have any more embarrassing and disturbing pictures than this one:

Conan O'Brien: He's not afraid of people seeing any sexual pictures...He's afraid of people seeing him wearing a Clippers jersey. Ouch.

We can only hope that 1. Baron Davis didn't go Vanessa Anne Hudgens on us, 2. that he's not friends with R. Kelly, and 3. that every one involved in those pictures is of legal age to go to Dave and Buster's. In the end, who knows, maybe Davis is just hiding some embarrassing cue pictures that he took at an Asian place. In any case, we're all cue-rious.

The Fridge Neatly Packages NBA News For You In Nice, Witty Tupperware,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)