Winning and Misery: A Love Story


What’s most interesting about LBJ going to the Lakers is that it simply feels like another vacation for the dude. He went to Miami for four years and then came home to Cleveland. Now he’s going to the other coast for another four years, and is there any doubt he resigns with the Cavaliers to finish out his career? Unless, that is, James plans on playing as long as Tom Brady- who plans on playing until he’s forty five . . . or until someone discovers that he is, in fact, a cyborg. Whichever comes first.

Personally, I’m thankful James didn’t drag “Decision 3” out . . because the World Cup is way more interesting news, even if most sports media here in the states ain’t shutting off the LBJ spigot till it runs dry. So we’ll get more devotionals to the King and more questions as to who might come join his posse. And make no mistake, he ain’t beating the Warriors unless he gets him some deputies . . not even close.

Hopefully all that baller business happens sooner than later, because I want me some open highway for the beautiful game of futbol. Unlike the NBA off-season gossip pages that James books passage on every four years, soccer’s four year itch is actually filled with live action; and if you ain’t been paying attention to this particular World Cup, I am sorry.

I ain’t throwing shade at us state side simpletons for possessing a drive-thru attention span when it comes to sports. After all, we are what we eat. And most sports outlets behave like hired lemmings in that they follow one story after the next over the cliff, regardless of its verity or relevance.

I hope LaBron 2K works if only because I still root for Magic Johnson, even now. And because the Lakers haven’t been likable since forever. And because I believes James paid his debt in full to Cleveland when he brought them a title. Let’s please not inject ‘loyalty’ into this when it comes to a free agent athlete choosing his work place. Owners and front office peeps don’t make bank based on being loyal, and neither should the players.

I can see the way James is playing this thing. He figures his great white whale- the Warriors- stands in the way of his title legacy either way; so by moving into their conference, he doesn’t have to worry about losing to them in the finals again. Plus, his presence puts LA in ‘win now’ mode, which means that Magic will do everything in his power to get his new stud a second, and maybe even third star. If that happens, LBJ doesn’t believe Boston, or any other team in the East, can beat him so long as he gets past Golden State.

This is a Michael Corleone move for James. He’s moving the family out West while he still has the clout whilst looking at laying down a monolithic paradigm for next gen superstars. James has always been a vocal presence and a civic minded individual, so what better spot to lay down his ascension to future NBA owner than in the land where power brokers play?

In the present, all James has to do is resurrect some agreeable facsimile of the Showtime Lakers- a team that was born inside my favorite decade- the ’80’s. Unless of course he gets his sidekicks. Because in that case . . expectations go bling.

Showtime Lakers

The Showtime Lakers were Magic and Kareem, James Worthy and Byron Scott and lemme put it this way: If Cirque du Soleil was a basketball team? They would’ve been the Showtime Lakers. And while I patterned my set shot after Worthy, he wasn’t the reason I slicked back my hair. Pat Riley was the coolest cat in the room and I fell in love with the way he coached up a starting five. Riles was style and substance. With his Armani suits and slicked back hair, he was the living breathing embodiment of a Hollywood ad campaign.

And those Lakers teams led by Riley are the reason I fell in love with the Association in the first place. They were a mythological advancement for a league they had helped save- along with the Boston Celtics- years earlier. Pat Riley put it best when he said it was an all or nothing proposition when you play for a star laden Lakers club. “There’s winning and there’s misery,”. All or nothing. Hang a title banner or get out of town. I’m thinking if Riley were to offer any advice to LeBron in the event he builds an LA ‘superteam’, it would be short and sweet.

You better fucking win it.

25 thoughts on “Winning and Misery: A Love Story

  1. As a resident of Northern California, my strongest sports hope is that bad things happen to Southern California sports teams. The Dodgers and Lakers represent all that is evil in the world and I can only hope that Lebron going there produces absolutely nothing for the team and its fans. Sure, they just became a playoff team and Lebron wants to be the conquering hero who returns a fabled franchise to glory, but I wonder if they’re going to be able to put the mix of players together to be competitive for a championship. Have you seen the players the Lakers would have to give up to get Kawhi Leonard? Meanwhile, Paul George re-upped with OKC and other free agents are committing elsewhere already also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • King,
      LA is already off to a dubious start with the Rondo signing. Unless they plan on trading Ball, which makes zero sense to me. If they trade their young assets for veterans, the idea has to be to win right now. And I seriously doubt they’re going to take down the Warriors right now.
      The Dubs signing of Cousins is proof positive that the other teams in the West ain’t gonna stand still. And IF Cousins comes back healthy for the playoffs? LeBron might be getting swept by Golden State again . . if they even get to them.


      • I expect the Lakers will find a way to get rid of Ball at some point. I don’t see the Lebron Show and the Lavar Show co-existing very well. Signing Rondo (and apparently they are taking to Tyreke also) suggests they are in a ‘win now” dynamic, but I don’t see anything they’re doing now as getting them close.

        As for the Dubs signing Cousins — I’m disgusted. I live in Sacramento. I have witnessed up close the attitude that is Cousins. He easily is in the top three of my least favorite professional athletes — not just the NBA, but of any sport. The Warriors are playing with fire by signing him.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Trading Ball would be a mistake, I think. But it looks like they are headed that way. Daddy Ball best pipe down because he is about to become even more irrelevant if his kid does get traded though.
          Interesting take on Cousins. I saw it as a bargain basement move for a big whose value would be through the roof come playoff time. But that’s assuming he doesn’t become a cancer in the clubhouse. It’s funny but sometimes champions are not unseated by what the other guys do but by their own actions. Or inaction in the case of the Jordan Bulls, who were dismantled before they had a shot to go for four in a row.

          Liked by 1 person

          • As I said to some friends last night, Cousins won’t make it to the offensive end of the floor before the Warriors score on most possessions. He slows things down in so many different ways. He is not a fit for the Warriors style of play. The other thing that bothers me is that the Warriors at the beginning of this run were pure joy and fun. As Green’s antics have increased, and then Durant turned surly this year, the joy and fun has been disappearing. Add Cousins to the mix and it just gets worse.

            Liked by 1 person

          • New Orleans wasn’t rushing to sign him because their style of game opened up when Boogie went buh bye before the playoffs. And I agree as far as likability. They took the league by storm during their first title run and it was fun to watch. KD . . he got under my skin this year a ‘lil bit.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. B,

    I am by no means a fan of sports the way you are. Your passion comes through loud and clear with these posts. Hell, it comes through so much, I actually googled some of the stuff you wrote – just so I could hopefully comment without sounding like a maroon! Basketball, though invented up here in the Great White North, does not garner the same fanatic following as it does for you guys in the States, though it did feel like it increased soewhat with the arrival of Steve Nash. Truth be told, I don’t know anyone who does follow it here… Hmmmm… Futbal, yes; Football – both American and Canadian, yes; baseball, not as much as once upon a time; hockey – please, of course…

    Still, you could write about just about anything and I’ll read it, enjoy it, learn from it…

    To sports, passion and writing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      How sweet are you?!
      I used to dig the Montreal Expos back in the day. Ironically, the baseball strike of 1994 ruined the organization’s best chance of actually advancing to the World Series. And to add some irony to the irony, which is a whole lotta irony . . when the baseball strike cancelled the season, the teams with the two best records in the game were the Expos . . . and the Yankees.
      The CFL is fun to watch. And the only reason I can’t get into the Raptors,is because I cannot stand watching Drake make a fool of himself at their home games.
      As for hockey north of the border . . it’s about dang time youse guys took back the Cup! I’m seeing the Jets and Oilers as legit contenders next season, but really . . I would root for any Canadian team to bring it home . . .
      To the Cup returning to Canada . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • B,

        I.can be. Very.
        I used to love to go to one game per season. Don’t I know it – had some very upset peeps and yeah, irony at its best.
        CFL – so many of my friends (Or rather, peeps I know a bit) diss the CFL over the NFL.
        Does he? I wouldn’t know 😉
        Hockey. Sigh. Will the Habs ever get it together again?
        To the Cup!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LeBron has a home in the LA area and business interests as well as a desire to do some big screen things so the move was understandable. As for us state-side simpletons, our drive-thru attention span goes far beyond sports. Sadly. The arrogance is only surpassed by our pomposity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tails,
    LBJ isn’t a short term thinker, you are right. He’s looking and booking all his options in the LA basket because at cuddly as staying put would be as a storyline . . he’s got bigger fish to fry. Fish the size of a Peter Benchly antagonist.


  5. First off … AWESOME SONG. That is our theme down here. In fact I just heard it last night! Every Angeleno gets the feel goods when they hear that one. Newman rocks. 🙂

    Second … I couldn’t stop laughing when this happened. I just couldn’t. Now, like you, I completely agree that the Lakers haven’t been likable in a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time. I’m not into the trash talking of the Kobe and Ball type of players. I liked Fisher. He was clutch. I loved Magic and Kareem, AC Green, and Worthy. And you know how I feel about Slick Pat. There are just not enough words. They let their game talk. In fact I saw Kareem at a game last night. He got a standing ovation 🙂 And I crack up at the Northern California people who say they want bad things to happen to my folk because it’s ironic how much flash they were when I was up there (with the exception of Curry, it’s just the fans that do most of the talking, he lets his game talk for him and I really like that). In any case the talkiest of the talkers is gonna settle in here with the Randy Newman loving L.A. crowd and I’m cracking up. The Kobe and Shaq fans like my relatives were King James haters and I am just rolling at how the universe is bringing him here and now they have to cheer for him. It’s funny and I find it great. They’ve been cheering for this type of player for years. Years! But now that he’s coming from a different colored jersey they feel conflicted. It’s hilarious. As always bud, this was a good post!

    I completely agree with you on the World Cup Soccer. The Argentina, Columbia, and the Spanish games killlllllllllllled me. Totally out! Mannnnnn! All my teams are out. But the madness keeps fans crazed. Although I got a noise complaint from my neighbor who said if what was going on next door, and if we could keep it down. I was like it’s the World Cup. It did not seem to register. So I told her we’d keep the cheers and cries of disappointment to a whisper level. Some people did not catch World Cup Fever. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali,

      You packed a wallop with this comment, tell you what, lol. But of course you would seeing as it concerns your town.
      I kinda dig the rivalry between peeps up north and the folks further on down south in Cali. Because as laid back as the rep is, the truth is, you peeps play for keeps when it comes to your rivalries!
      We both crush on Riles, I know this . . haha!
      And those old Showtime Lakers, so damned good! I am glad I got to see that group play because what a thrill. Arguments can be made as to ‘best ever’ and that’s all well and good. But most fun? Gotta be those Showtime Lakers.
      And it IS funny how LBJ is welcomed with open arms now, huh? It always works that way in sports.
      Futbol hangover? Well at least the games have been solid for the most part.


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