After an informal hiatus, Love in the Time Of Lebron is back and totally psyched, you guys, about basketball. The pre-season started on Friday and all the teams are getting warmed up for whats sure to be an exciting season. In the same way, this blog is going to get warme dup with the hoariest of pre-season blog cliches: TEAM PREVIEWS!
Love in the Time of Lebron will be breaking down for you all thirty teams in the League, and telling you whether you should love them or hate them and why. We have opinions so you don't have to.
Team That I Hate and Love
What I Like
"The Lakers are mulling starting a big lineup of Bryant, Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Odom, who regularly came off the bench last season."
That's fucked up in the best possible way. I love it when teams take a risk with a bizarre line-up that will, at the least, make the other team sweat trying to think of a counter. In some ways that was the entire rationale behind the Orlando Magic last season. But, lets contemplate this highly speculative line-up: It is, offensively and defensively as nasty as it gets. The idea of Kobe Bryant guarding point guards alone is one that should make a lot of teams lose a lot of sleep. The odds of the Lakers going to this line-up regularly is slim because of their commitment to sticking with, you know, the strategies that have helped them win so much. Still, the idea of this line up is a big draw to me.
Other reasons to watch and like the Lakers: Lamar Odom is a delightful human being and a freakish basketball player who can change games by doing a million little things at once. Mercurial forward Ron Artest is a chippy badass who makes any game he is in suddenly potentially explosive. Adam Morrison is skeezy in a legendary way. Kobe Bryant is a basketball savant whose dedication to his craft is mesmerizing and impossible not to watch.
What I Don't Like
Kobe Bryant is a ruthless potential sociopath. Kobe, what is best in life? "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women." - Kobe Bryant. That is why you should be scared if your friend tells you that Kobe is their favorite player.
This team is a soulless juggernaut, and the flashes of fire that seem most interesting (notably, mercurial forward Ron Artest) are the things Laker's fans fear most. Pau Gasol is undeniably effective, but I don't think I've ever seen a more empty eyed look from a power forward outside of Tim Duncan. The slack-jawed glazed look couple with the most epic neckbeard in the NBA makes for an undeniably talented face that I don't think even Marc can love. Sasha Vujacic is an easy target, but there's a reason for that; anyone who gives them self the nickname "The Machine" is totally worthy of some scorn. Also, Luke Walton is simply the worst.
Lots of people have discussed the Lamar Odom's love of candy. He's been dubbed by more than one person, "The Candyman." But are we overlooking something obvious?
I'm not making any accusations, but I am urging some careful consideration. Is it possible that the legendary supernatural killer is hiding in the spotlight. Could it be that the Candyman is the Candyman? Is Lamar Odom's aww-shucks attitude and cheerful demeanor a mere act? More importantly: WHO WAS IT WHO SUMMONED HIM?
In January, the Lakers will set a record for greatest use of on-court demonic powers when, simultaneously, Lamar Odom reveals himself as the Candyman, an exorcism (performed by an unknown figure hidden deep within the bowels of the Staples Center) sends a small horde of cacodemons pouring out of Ron Artest's mouth to ravage the specators, and Kobe Bryant kneels down at half-court and completes the final stage of his diabolic pact causing him to sprout horns and leathery wings in hopes of countering Lebron's recent angelic transformation. Also, Walton and Vujacic are revealed as some kind of demons of incompetence and Adam Morrison is revealed as the newest incarnation of the Laker's Skeeze Demon legacy (most famous incarnation: Kurt Rambis).
Watch them when they play because they are terribly good and wield unholy powers. Hate and fear them for the same reasons. Also, because the triangle offense is boring and Pau Gasol is hard to look at.