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Posts Tagged Lakers

Clutch performances

My homeboy PauThere were 18 seconds left in the game.  The Lakers had the ball, down by one point, and were going to hold it for the final shot of the exciting 6th game of the playoff series…and my son started to cry.  “Well that’s a new experience!” I thought.  It was time for him to eat; he knew it and I knew it.  “Oh, not right now, buddy!  Can you wait 30 seconds?”  Still unable to comprehend English, he let out another cry.  Crap.  You see, I was in a special physical position that had helped the Lakers perform well over the last minute of the game, and I didn’t want to move from it yet.  (I do too have those powers!) I made some shushing sounds and watched as Kobe’s jumper bounced off the rim right into my homeboy Pau’s hands for a tip-in (and the lead!) with 0.5 seconds on the clock.  I leapt up from the couch giddily and scooped my son out of his bouncy seat.  I then became his bouncy seat as I jumped up and down in excitement repeatedly with him clutched to my chest and we watched Pau’s shot over and over again on replay during the ensuing timeout. 

The little feller hadn’t calmed down yet, so I sang to him a little.  This time though, it was more of a chant: “No fouls, good D, no fouls, good D!”  It seemed to be working, and I wanted to make sure the Lakers themselves got the message, so I kept bouncing and chatting all the way through the Thunder’s missed shot at the buzzer.  Victory was ours – all of ours: The Lakers won the game (with my help), my son “watched” his first series-clinching Laker victory, and it was now food time.  I’m pretty sure that makes it a win-win-win situation.  Gotta love those.  (And if you think I’m not picking him up and chanting the same way the next time the Lakers need a big stop of defense, you clearly don’t know me at all.)

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In the wee hours

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Five thoughts that occurred to me in the middle of the night while waiting for a bottle to heat up:

  1. My Spam folder for my work email makes me nervous.  After I select all of the crappy emails, I need to confirm that I indeed mean to permanently delete them.  However, there’s no such confirmation needed if I accidentally hit the button next to “Delete” which reads “This is not junk.” So every single time I go to clear out my spam, I get a little nervous that I might end up mistakenly saying, “Sorry, Spam Filter, but I would love it if you could please send the fake Rolex, university degree, penis enlargement, and debt consolidation emails directly to my inbox from now on.” 
  2. I feel like people in movies don’t react properly to lightning and thunder.  I’ve never once seen a person say, “Ooh, that was a big one.  Did you see that one?” And with particularly large bolts of lightning, I get ready for some large corresponding thunder, but I don’t see anyone doing that on the big screen either.  (By the way, I didn’t enjoy typing “thunder” after seeing the team of the same name throttle my hometown Lakers in the last game.  The series is still tied, but come on Lakers, it’s time to wake up and put them away.  Exert your will, or some other shit that Phil Jackson would say.)
  3. I got a line from the poem “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell in my head somehow in the middle of the night.  I used to have it memorized (for a class, of course), and though it’s been over a decade, I think I still have a bunch of it floating around somewhere in there.  I should look it up and give it a read.  Great poem, and one that with the proper instruction I think could get a lot of high school students into poetry.  “So this one’s about a guy who’s trying to convince a chick that they should bone.”  You’re telling me that won’t perk up a few students’ ears?
  4. Here’s a thought I never had before becoming a father: “Everything was going great until she shit all over herself just before midnight.”   Oh wait, I have had that thought before: Cabo, ’01.  Now that was a party!
  5. My friend who is getting married next weekend asked me to choose a song to be played during my introduction to the reception.  Just 15-20 seconds, he said.  I gave it way too much thought before settling on the opening beat to “You Know My Name, Look Up the Number” by The Beatles (who must’ve been stoned out of their gourds when they recorded that one).  I came up with another song in the middle of the night and then quickly discounted it.  Alkaline Trio has a song called “My Friend Peter,” which would be cool in theory, but might not fit the setting too well.  I’d have liked to pick a part with the titular phrase in it (heh heh, “titular”), but even a ten-second clip would have this to say: “I’d much rather be drinking anyway with my friend Peter who lives so fucking far away.”  No way to make that work, so I’ll keep it as it’s set and just get a little strut on to the music of some high British folk.

Have a good day, everyone.  May all your bottles warm quickly.

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Shell game

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mychal thompsonMy beloved Lakers were playing on the east coast this evening (beating the Knicks), so the game started at 5pm PST.  When that happens, I end up listening to the majority of the first half in my car on the way home.  I have some issues with the radio broadcast team (that Mike Honcho or I could spell out in great detail at some point), but I put up with them because…well, I want to listen to the game.  Today, something different happened: I rather enjoyed an interaction between the play-by-play guy and the analyst:

Spero Dedes: Lamar Odom is sporting a different look tonight, wearing a purple headband.

Mychal Thompson: Like Donatello.

Spero: (confused silence)

Mychal: At least I think he was the Ninja Turtle who wore the purple headband.

Yes, Mychal, you were right.  Donatello was visibly identified by his purple headband (or headband-like thing that also covered his eyes), and his weapon of choice was the bo staff.  I know this because when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ comics came out in the mid 1980s, I was a young boy at summer camp who found their antics amusing (especially the orange-masked Michelangelo and his love for pizza). 

I turned 10 years old when the cartoon of the Turtles came out, following the success of the comics.  That same year, Mychal Thompson turned 32 and was traded to the Lakers to help them win the first of two consecutive championships.  Why then did this reference come so easily to him?  His oldest kid is currently in college, so he was too young for their heyday.  I’m at a loss, but that’s fine with me.  Regardless of why he has that knowledge at his fingertips, I certainly enjoyed the comment.  Keep up the random pop culture references from my childhood, guys, and maybe you’ll win me over yet.

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Left on the roster

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Lefty LamarAs a fellow lefty, I’m glad that BKS brought up some of the injustices that we face.  To quote Jack Black in a Tenacious D song, “The tyranny and the bullshit’s gone on too long.”  Most of our plights go unnoticed by our northpaw brethren until we shed light on them.  For example, how many of you have to take off your watches in order to change the date on them?  That’s what I thought.

I’ve realized for my entire life that we lefties are in the minority.  Therefore, every time I see a guy on a tv show or in a movie writing with his left hand, I lean over to my lovely wife and say, “He’s a lefty.”  This also happens with waiters, department store cashiers, and every other category of person I might see writing.  And yet despite that daily eye-witness account of how few of us there are out there, I was still surprised by something I saw on espn.com.

Marc Stein is an NBA writer, and he too is a proud lefty.  He wrote a piece recently (see item 2) about the left-handed players in the NBA, and I just had to share.  At the time of his writing (a couple of weeks ago now), there were 430 basketball players in the NBA.  Of that, how many do you suppose are lefties?  I was astonished to see the number 29 as the answer.  That’s 6.7% of the league, below the national average of PCL (Per Capita Lefthandedness).  Fortunately, two of those 29 are on the Lakers (Fisher and Odom), so they’re doing their part.  29!

The thing that surprises me most about that statistic is that I’ve found being left-handed advantageous in playing basketball.  Most not-so-good players can only drive toward their dominant hands, so defenders get used to playing toward that side to cut off the drive.  With me, I can’t really go right, so my natural instinct to go left catches people off guard a little.  The same is true with my jump shot.  Defenders are used to the ball coming up and out from the shooter’s right hand, and so the slight hesitation that I cause by shooting with my left probably gives me a fraction of a second more to avoid getting my shot blocked.   That, in turn, leads to fewer “Get that weak shit out of here” taunts which are directly proportional to my feelings of inadequacy.

Speaking of sports and handedness, I was once urged to take up fencing by a guy in a college I sat next to for a quarter.  It was my very first quarter and he was a wise and worldly junior (and a Philosophy major at that), so his words naturally carried a lot of weight.  He told me that lefties have a natural advantage in fencing, and I nodded along to show that I found it interesting.  I think he was trying to get me to join the Fencing Club or something, but I remained non-committal.  You see, with my level of body control and coordination, I wouldn’t get through one meeting of the Fencing Club without seriously injuring myself.  So instead I just took that tidbit about my natural advantage as truth and stored it away.  If he was right though, I’d fully expect more than 6.7% of professional fencers are left-handed.

Thanks for bringing this up, BKS.  With our leftiness and MC Squared’s ambidexterity, we’re doing our little part to stick it to the Right Man.

(By the way, Marc Stein’s list shows zero left-handed Celtics, so that’s just another reason to root against them.)

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