By T.J. Simers
It was Media Day in Lakerland and after reading the LA Times you would think the Lakers have the worst team out there.
They are ready to implode, we were told by columnists Dylan Hernandez and Bill Plaschke, woe is me because we only have Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook to go along with LeBron James.
How can we have any interest in this season now that it is already lost before the first exhibition game according to our Times’ naysayers.
I’m not familiar with this kind of writing, recently extolling the excellence of Kershaw and Pujols, while knowing they weren’t always perfect.
But this is savagery.
One of the columnists called it Westbrook Hell, and I hope he never has a bad day, week or year trying to think of three things to write in machine gun rapid fire in one of his columns. He forgets how many horrible, trite and ridiculous columns he has written over the years between ambulance calls.
Plaschke writes: “He’s still a Laker. He’s still combative. He’s still Russ,” and what does all that mean?
. The Times has written hundreds of stories about Russ still being here, so no new ground. He’s combative and let me tell you, Kobe Bryant was combative and that wasn’t considered a negative by any means. He’s still Russ, and by gawd, what is Plaschke suggesting, Russ change his name?
Now the Times is hammering a guy for being a Laker who is feisty and refuses to change his first name?
Then we have Hernandez, destroying Davis and writing just like Plaschke: Hernandez writes: “He’s warm. He’s smart. He’s going to point the finger at himself when he screws up.”
And then the kicker: “But he doesn’t get it.”
Hernandez does. He goes to maybe 30 NBA games a year, but he knows more than Davis who agreed—doesn’t play more than 30 games a year the way it seems while always being injured.
But are we going to blame guys because their bodies betray them? We are if we are on the Times’ payroll, and I can tell you I am not.
Oh, Hernandez wants you to know Davis is entering his fourth year with the Lakers and still doesn’t get it.
Clever trap set by Hernandez. Now I have to read on to find out what Davis doesn’t get.
From what I gather reading between the Hernandez lines is that Hernandez wants him to be a Greek God. And Davis doesn’t get that.
We don’t ask much from our athletes, just be a God and fire lightning bolts at the other guys for our amusement.
What do Plaschke and Hernandez do, get together before Media Day and say, “I will slam Davis and you crush Westbrook, and we’ll get to LeBron later?” Do they even know the names of everyone else on the Lakers’ roster?
Yeah, I know Plaschke has written about how bad LeBron is for the Lakers and how he should be traded, but I give that about as much credibility as his picks for the Super Bowl. He probably got this last one correct, because I can’t say I read Plaschke all that much to know, but how would it look for the homer to pick against his hometown football team playing in its hometown stadium?
He’s got something against LeBron because he’s not Shaq or Kobe. Didn’t LeBron win a championship two years ago?
OK, so it’s not going to happen this season, and we know that because Plaschke and Hernandez went belly up on Media Day moaning and groaning about how bad the team is going to be.
I have no idea how good or bad the Lakers are going to be, and I would guess most folks think the same way.
Now I do think Rob Pelinka is a buffoon, and I thought that while he was Kobe’s agent.
I think Jeanie is an airhead and puts her trust in the wrong people.
I think if Westbrook, James and Davis played something like 21 or so games together last season, I’m willing to see if they can play 60 or 70 some games together and finish with a better record than most teams in the NBA.
I appreciate the fact our columnists went after Westbrook—easy pickings, and Davis—a nice guy, but let’s see them go toe-to-toe with James, asking James if maybe it would be best for the Lakers to trade him, or speak power-to-truth about Westbrook and Davis.
Don’t let James off the hook, too frightened to challenge him. I remember when Ron Artest was a scary Laker and he turned out to be just a pussycat. How about getting a relationship with him, instead of being just hit-and-run columnists. Yeah, you’re being called out.
James is the kingpin here, and I’m not sure what a kingpin is, but he’s the guy. So why ignore him?
How do you avoid James on Media Day when access is a guarantee? I admit, I didn’t check to see if the Times’ Lakers beat reporter wrote about James because he writes like a publicist and for mental sanity, I am avoiding such dribble.
I probably should have done that years ago when I started to read Plaschke, and oh boy, now Hernandez is writing like him.
Pretty soon I’m going to have to read Helene Elliott. OK, so no time soon.