Wizards of Los Angeles

I just wrote an enthralling allegory comparing the Lakers upcoming season to the classic Wizard of Oz on my Examiner page.  Here’s a clip, but please click on the link so I get paid for it! Thanks!

 

Kobe and the Lakers aren’t in Kansas anymore. Last year they were able to surprise just about everyone by finishing with the best record in the Western Conference. Not a chance this year, as most analysts are picking the Lakers to come out of the West and win the title. They need to realize they have a target on their backs and know that they’re going to get every opponent’s best game.

The Lakers need to get Vladi Radmanovic a brain, Pau Gasol a heart, and Lamar Odom some courage. If the Lakers are going to return to Championship form, they’ll need to be firing on all cylinders. That includesgetting “space cadet” Radmanovic to figure things out. It also means Pau Gasol needs to show some fire and not allow himself to get consistently pushed 15 feet from the basket in the playoffs. Perhaps most importantly, however, they need Lamar Odom to finally realize how good he is. Every Laker fan has been frustrated seeing Odom’s inconsistencies, and a nice bout of confidence (and perhaps a move to the bench), may allow him to finally flourish.

 

See the full story here.

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I….Fell Off My Bike

You gotta trust that face

You gotta trust that face

 

Golden State Warriors golden boy Monta Ellis has recently turned more of a bronze color due to abrasions found on his right ankle, which he claims was sprained while playing a pick-up game in his home state of Mississippi.

Instead of preparing to take over as the Warriors number one guy, Ellis will spend the next 3-4 months recovering from his injury and trying to get his story straight. Several sources and sports medicine experts have told ESPN that the cuts and abrasions, along with a torn deltoid ligament, are not typical of a basketball-related high ankle sprain.

The Warriors are investigating the injury and if it’s found that Ellis hurt himself doing something other than basketball (taking out the trash, erratic dancing at the club, burning his hands in hot wax), he may be forced to forefit his contract.

 

It appears that Ellis lied about his injury, which is pretty stupid, but he is just following in the footsteps of professional athletes that lie to weasel their way out of losing money. At least Ellis’ excuse was reasonable, unlike these bozos:

– Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic claimed to have separated his shoulder when he slipped on a patch of ice while carrying a cup of coffee. Nobody swallowed this tripe to begin with, since Radmo was at a ski resort in Park City, Utah when the injury happened. He came clean after a few days, admitting that he hurt himself after a nasty snowboarding fall.

– Then-Giants second-baseman Jeff Kent claimed to have broken his wrist when he fell off of his truck while attmepting to give it a thorough cleansing. Reasonably suspicious about how a professional athlete could manage to fall off of his truck, the Giants looked into it and found that two men called 911 about the same time as Kent’s injury. They said that they saw an unidentified rider fall off of his motorcycle while doing a wheelie down the street. Since Jeff Kent was never shy about his love for motorcycles, the Giants continued to look into it, but could never prove that Kent simply couldn’t figure out the appropriate water to soap ratio.

While lying is a despicable act and should never be used to cheat your way out of a fine, it may be a reasonable option for those athletes trying to avoid looking like an idiot. Here is a list of boneheads that probably would have saved some face by lying about their injuries. Some highlights:

  • Astros outfielder Hunter Pence injured himself walking through a sliding glass door at his own apartment.
  • Yankees pitcher David Cone missed a start after being bit on the finger by his mother’s dog. He should have listened to the advice of my college coach (and 1982 World Series Game 6 winner) John Stuper: “Always pet dogs and open blind doors with your non-pitching hand.”
  • Twins outfielder Marty Cordova was benched due to sunburn suffered from forgetting to set the timer while inside the tanning bed.
  • Padres pitcher Adam Eaton stabbed himself in the gut while trying to open a DVD. (Hey, I bet we’ve all done this at least once…or at least wanted to stab ourselves while trying to get the damn thing open!)
  • Brewers pitcher Steve Sparks dislocated his shoulder while trying to rip a phonebook in half during a motivational seminar. Each child in the audience went on to join a gang.

So maybe lying about an injury isn’t the worst thing in the world. Just try to avoid dangerous situations like washing your truck, opening DVD’s, and giving motivational speeches.

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