Recon mission into enemy territory

As we all know, the L.A. Lakers are not going to repeat as champions this year, but will still be like an annoying animal darting out in front of the Celtics' bandwagon on the road to ultimate triumphantry. The only question is whether it will be like a taurus versus a deer or a tank versus a salmon. ... one of those new-fangled land-salmon. So let's see what's goin on over in L.A., where the fans care about the game, just as long as the E! network is on re-runs, and there are no mirrors in sight.

Derek the Gnome, pictured here celebrating with his team after getting a rebound, is getting old and ineffective, but not to worry, he has compensated for this by... writing a book about his life story and remaining old and ineffective. reports record sales as literally dozens of people order the book and select "never" as their shipping option. Well, maybe he plans to read excerpts to opponents when they start games and bore them to sleep by halftime. He reportedly has been training hard in the off-season however, so whatever his strategy will be, you can bet it will be a big waste of time and energy.

Everyone's least favorite egomaniac, seen here looking dumb, is in talks with the Lakers for an extension to his contract. From the L.A. Times: "On top of the $47.8 million he could earn over the next two seasons, Bryant can sign a three-year extension worth another $86 million to $91 million." I think this may backfire for the Lakers though. Physicists theorize that this huge contract offer will generate enough self-importance in Kobe Bryant that it will cause his head to literally explode. So if I understand this correctly, and I probably don't, that's a potential total of $138,800,000. Now that's a lot of money, but I recall a great point (although he uses Shaq as an example rather than Kobe) from comedian Chris Rock (caution: link contains profanity and controversial viewpoints) differentiating that kind of money from serious wealth. My point is that someone is paying Kobe that insane amount of money not because he deserves it, but because Kobe will make the executives way more money. I think if I could afford to hire someone for that much money, I would instead first punch myself in the face for even considering it, then retire and take a look at this website. Obviously Kobe is the face of the Lakers and isn't going anywhere, should Celtics fans be worried? Not while Artest is there to ballhog and steal attention away from him. As the season goes, Kobe will soon recall that he's Jesus and this pair will prove to be as effective as Michael Jackson and a case of sedatives.

That last joke was in great taste. Anyways, Kurt Rambis, the laker's version of Thibs, left to bring his brand of defense to the T-wolves, so we should see a shift in the Laker's defensive strategy. For those of you wondering, Rambis's brand of defense consists mainly of getting clothes-lined while rocking goofy glasses and only the dirtiest of mustaches. For those of you who missed the '84 finals and are all like "wtfuck are you talking about?" Here. Laker's head coach and chief Col. Sanders impersonator Phil Jackson has said that he will use 3 assistant head coachs: no name 1, who knows 2 and some guy 3 to split up the other NBA teams evenly and figure out how to defend them. He needs them to do this because he's too busy not moving for extended periods of time. Some scientists think that, like those creepy, camouflaged fish, this is how he catches his prey.

OK, moving on to big dumb waste-of-space Luke Walton (The NBA player with the douchey straw hat... on the right), he will be playing less with Artest in the mix, which is not a new concept, I guess, but Walton was asked about it recently and said he will be working his tail off to get minutes. This is unfortunate for non-Lakers fans cause the only stat category Luke bested his father in is minutes-sucked. Walton's desperation can be seen here (and anytime he's in uniform), when he says "Hey, I'll play some 1, Magic Johnson style. I'll just back people all the way down the court." I assume by "Magic Johnson style" Luke means he will get fat and do bad commercials, cause lord knows he's not shooting over 50% with 20 ppg and 11 apg . Either way, it's insulting to the Magic man. Show some respect, lesser walton. Maybe Artest will break his hand on some C-list celebrity's face this season and Luke will finally get the minutes he needs for that elusive 4:1 turnovers-to-points ratio.

This next picture is great.


Anyways, second to last on the list, this summer's training camp has proved that Sasha Booyabitch still sucks at one of the two things he does well, shooting. Yes, he can still bitch, moan and tweak-out with the best of them. This makes him half as effective but just as eastern-european as before, a dangerous combination. I remember when it seemed like he wouldn't miss a shot, that was a couple years ago. Last season his percentage dropped almost 7 points from the year prior when he was good. Yes, that's a lot for a shooter. While having a girl name, girl hair, and girl menstruation cycles here and there never seemed to slow him down before, I think it's time for him to silently transition into the WNBA, where maybe Sasha will finally be able to score, both literally and figuratively. I mean, some of those players have got to be lesbians.

And last on the list, um, every other player on the team. Look for them all to put up about 2.5 points a game and exhibit "you got it"-style rebounding. Overall I think a valid PPG equation for the Lakers this season will be take Ron and Kobe's point total, subtract the number of minutes walton plays, divide by how many times Gasol gets molested in the paint, and add the number of gatorade coolers sasha abuses. You should get a reasonable figure if you did the math right. Conclusion: the Lakers will win five games this season before Kobe bankrupts the team and Artest punches all the fans in the face.