The Lakers Should Trade Odom

June 24, 2008

Lamar Odom defends Ron Artest

by Brian Williams

Media chatter about Forward Lamar Odom being traded has been going on ever since he put on a Lakers uniform.  Odom’s recent playoff performance only increased the talk about sending him somewhere for a more consistent and true small forward. 

Odom averaged 14 points per game (ppg), 10 rebounds per game (rpg), and shot over 52% from the field last season.  Odom has also shown up in the playoffs throughout his career; he has averaged 16 ppg, 10 rpg, and has shot 47%.  So you’d think that having a player like Odom would be a plus for a finals-bound team.  Think again.

When the Lakers won championships in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant played alongside third option Glen Rice, who had a role that Odom should have filled.  Rice averaged 16 ppg over those two seasons and provided a three-point shot that was consistent and undeniable.  He was a true small forward. With Center Andrew Bynum coming back next year, Pau Gasol will move to power forward and Odom will move to small forward.

I think Odom is confused about what position he plays, and it’s not his fault.  The Lakers will want him to be the small forward in the triangle offense next year, but he plays like a 6’10″ point guard.  Odom is arguably one of the most talented players in the NBA: he is 6’10″, he can dribble, shoot, drive, pass, post-up, jam, and play smart… sometimes.  The only problem is that Odom is inconsistent.  One night he will put up 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 assists, and the next night you will barely notice he’s in the game. 

This is why the Lakers, despite Odom’s raw talent, need to trade for a true small forward who can fill the role that’s needed.  There have been rumors about the Lakers possibly acquiring Richard Jefferson from the New Jersey Nets, but I would stray away from that.

If the Lakers want to go all the way, they need a small forward who can defend against players like Paul Pierce.  While a Bynum-Gasol-Odom presence offers rebounding advantages, I would look into trading for Ron Artest.  While Artest is a hothead, so was Rodman, so was Payton, and Phil Jackson handled those guys.  The Lakers need a small forward who can pass, defend, and play within the offense, not necessarily someone who rebounds well. 

Artest can score, shoot the three-ball, and defend one-on-one like nobody else in the NBA.  I don’t doubt the Lakers will be successful with the players they currently have, but I think a trade for Artest would only boost their chances at an NBA title.  

and Artest wouldn’t do the following…


VID: Marshawn Lynch Interview

June 22, 2008

He’s a Cal Bear, no wonder he’s so smart.

-The Pink Elephants


Why Baseball is Better than Soccer

June 21, 2008

Baseball is better than Soccer

 

by Brian Williams

Woah there, Mr. Horowitz.  As soon as I read your headline, “Why Soccer is Better than Baseball,” I knew something was wrong with your head.  Maybe it’s from heading the soccer ball one too many times during your glory years, but something is a little off up there.

To pose the question: “How could you sit and watch an entire baseball game?” is like asking, ‘how could someone enjoy taking a vacation to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.’  You obviously don’t like chocolate.  Baseball is not just a sport, it’s truly a pastime.  It takes some grit, some dirt, and to quote you, some “chewing and spitting.”  Those aspects of the game are what make Americans turn off the Euro Cup and turn on a baseball game.  Americans like the fact that their sport involves getting dirty, not like those pretty-boys running around on the perfectly pristine green field.

Yet, you’re correct on a few points.  Soccer players definitely are some of the best conditioned players in the world, while Babe Ruth was a fat alcoholic.  But isn’t that a reason to love baseball even more?  The greatness of baseball lies in the fact that a common man, like any of us, could be a legend.  It doesn’t take a six-pack of muscles but a six-pack of brews.

However, even your point about The Babe, which the baseball gods will punish you for at a later time, is false when  it comes to today’s game.  Sure he was fat and an alcoholic, but look at today’s baseball players.  Do you think Jose Reyes is fat and a drunk?  Today’s baseball players must have a plethora of skills that older players didn’t need to have.  Speed, quickness, strength, and stamina are all needed to stay healthy over the long MLB season. 

And when you say Soccer is the “world’s favorite pastime,” don’t forget about the fact that 29% of MLB players are from outside of the United States.  America is a diverse country, and that’s something we want to see in our pastime.

Don’t get me wrong Horowitz, the Euro Cup is worth watching, but over baseball?  No way!  


Why Soccer is Better than Baseball

June 20, 2008

 Fat Alcoholic

by William Horowitz

            Soccer is not generally accepted in the United States. Asking an American sports fan if they’ve been following the Euro 2008 is like asking a dog to peel a banana. I was talking to a friend of mine who plays soccer if he’d been watching and his response was predictable, “How can you watch an entire soccer game? Don’t you get bored?” Well I must concede soccer can be fairly slow, but no slower than a baseball game. Wouldn’t it make just as much sense to ask, “How could you sit and watch an entire baseball game?” I mean people will sit outside in 90-degree heat and spend their summer day watching a baseball game that takes 3 hours when only about 10 minutes of actual action happens. Americans love baseball because it’s a patient game. It’s a game full of chewing and spitting: tobacco, sunflower seeds, and bubble gum. Soccer players are some of the best conditioned players in the world. They are athletes full and true. The best baseball player of all time was a fat alcoholic. The best soccer players in the world are full of creativity and flare, power and accuracy. What I love about soccer the most however is the competition, especially international competition.

            The Euro 2008 is the championship of European international soccer. It is a tournament that began in 2006 after the World Cup with every European nation given the chance to qualify for the finals. Americans love patriotism. They also love cheering for their home teams. They love their rivalries (see Red Sox/Yankees). The Euro has had all of this, but on a continental level. You have rivalries that extend far beyond sport (see Poland/Germany). You have players who have decided to play for their countries. Imagine the Yankees roster being filled with only New Yorkers and not whomever they can pay the most money. (That’s actually a scary thought. Imagine New Yorkers liking the Yankees anymore than they do. Oh god.) Do yourself a favor, watch the Euro 2008 and try to appreciate soccer. Try and appreciate the world’s favorite pastime. 

 


What’s an L.A. Fan to do?

June 19, 2008

by Brian Williams

 

Hello Doctor.

Hello.  How are you?

Horrible.

Why?  What’s been on your mind lately?

My life isn’t what it used to be.

What do you mean?  Last week you said everything was wonderful?  What suddenly changed?

I know I know.  Things were great.  Incredibly great, in fact.  But now my life has taken a sudden turn that I wasn’t prepared for.

Is it the wife?  The kids?  The job? 

No, no.  Well, it definitely involves kids, but not my kids.  Farmar, Vujacic, and oy, Bynum.  Those kids.

Well if you could be more specific…

It’s everything!  Everything is going badly!  At first, the Lakers make me feel like a million bucks.  It’s as if they were playing with my mind, giving me a false sense of security and hope.  They even gave me a false Lakers flag to believe in.

Brian, c’mon, what’s really going on?  It can’t be sports.

Doc, ahhh.  I can’t even call you that, it makes me want to punch you.  Okay, I’ll calm down.  It’s just those damn guys in the purple and gold went through Denver, no problem.  Utah, no problem.  SAN ANTONIO, no problem.  Boston…I can’t even say it without tensing up.  Do you have any medicine for this sort of ailment?

Hmm, not exactly.  But do you have anything to look forward to?  What’s next?  What about the Dodgers?

The Dodgers!  Oh yeah, I’m so excited to start rooting for a 34-38 ball club who I know could maybe make it to the playoffs, but lets face it, they will play with my mind and give me false hope and eventually abandon me like the Lakers.

Brian, you obviously have some serious issues you need to work out.  What about a vacation away from all of this?

Hmm, that’s not a half-bad idea.  Screw all of it, I’m moving to Germany or the Netherlands or even Croatia and becoming a soccer fan.  Thanks, Doc!  Wait, I’m going to punch you.


Celtics 1 Lakers 0

June 18, 2008

by William Horowitz

Okay great, The Boston Celtics won the NBA Finals to cap off the best year for sports in one city ever. Too bad the Patriots lost.

Woo. What a great story, huh? The Big Three finally get their rings. So deserved? As my Kazakh friend might say, “This story is great NOT.”

The Celtics beat a team who didn’t show up for the Finals. A team that played with so much confidence in beating the Spurs, the defending champions. The Lakers played their worst game of the year in a game they HAD to win. So you know what I say to Boston? Enjoy the moment because you will never have an easier road to a championship.

You weren’t even that good until the conference finals. You couldn’t beat two inferior teams on the road. I mean going 7 games against the Atlanta Hawks and the Lebrons? You guys played like the Lakers in the finals against those two teams. Enjoy the moment Boston, you will never “win” a championship with the Big Three again.

When the Lakers are truly the Lakers, and not missing their second best player you will not have a chance Boston. Add a healthy Andrew Bynum, subtract Vladamir Radmonovic from the starting lineup and add a year of experience to a Lakers team that Phil Jackson referred to as “young and stupid” and you have a scary team.

Enjoy the moment Boston, because next time won’t be so easy. 

 


Living on a Prayer

June 17, 2008

by Brian Williams

Nothing applies to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” more than the Lakers run for an NBA Finals Championship.  After losing Game 3 at Staples Center, and going down 3-1, I thought it was over, done deal, in the bag, jello-jiggling and all that.  

But it’s still possible.  Yes, no team in the Finals has come back from a 3-1 deficit to win.  And yes, the two games the Lakers won were as ugly as Sam Cassell and Craig Sager’s suits put together.  And yes, the media, besides the overly biased L.A. Times, are counting the Lakers out of the finals. 

But there’s one more factor: Hollywood.  If the Lakers do win games 6 and 7 and end up winning the title, what a story it will be.  And that’s what we’re all about in Hollywood: the story.  A team comes back from a 3-1 series and makes history!  No story is better than that.  It could happen.  The fact of the matter is that the Lakers are still in it; the opportunity is still there.

Drastic changes must be made to win this series.  The two ugly wins the Lakers pulled off in L.A. won’t fly in Boston.  With a loud Boston crowd and a pumped up Boston team, the Lakers need to play the best basketball they can play.  They can’t score 94 points, their average against Boston in the NBA Finals.  What happened to the 106 points per game they averaged in the first three rounds of the playoffs?  That’s what they need to get back to.  If the Lakers can score 105 points, they will win this game. 

On a sad note, the Lakers season could end tonight.  It’s a horrible thought, and I know, as a Lakers fan, I shouldn’t be considering it.  But I’m going to be brutally honest…I have.  And yes, if they lose, I will be sad.  Yet, the things I will miss most about this team aren’t a Kobe turn-around fade-away with six defenders on him jumper, or a Derek Fisher baseline three pointer–you know, the shot that escalates to the sky and forces everyone to hold their breath in anticipation.  I’m not even going to miss Phil Jackson sitting in his oversized chair and looking as if he’s twelve feet tall.  Those are not a few of my favorite things. 

I will miss Los Angeles and the energy it exudes when the Lakers battle in the Finals.  The other day a friend of mine seemed upset.  I asked why.  “My Lakers flag fell off of my car.”

At lunch, a random stranger wearing purple and gold walked by me, and we struck up a conversation about our predictions.  Or while driving, I saw a guy wearing a Kobe jersey riding his bike.  He gave me a number one signal and I yelled, “We got this.”

Los Angeles is so spread out and so disconnected, it’s nice to have something that brings us together.  That is what I’ll miss most.  So, L.A. fans, say your prayers, put on your purple and gold, get out the chips and guac, and even Cactus Cooler if necessary, and lets see if this “young and dumb” Lakers team will pull of a Hollywood ending.