May 2, 2006

Toppling the Favorite Son

one of the really entertaining subplots of the nba in the past, oh, 20 years has been the conflict between LA's two nba teams: the clippers and the lakers. there's really no way to describe the situation beyond taking it out of the context of sports entirely. let's say that a family has two children. one is the good child. he gets straight a's, quarterbacks the high school football team, dates really nice girls, and his parents lavish him with attention and material love. inside, he's actually an incredibly arrogant jerk, but his parents can't seem to see that. that's the lakers, one of the premier basketball franchises in nba history. a franchise where a player as transcendant as james worthy doesn't come close to cracking its all-time starting five. they sell out the arena, jack nicholson comes to watch them play, and dyan cannon remains a pseudo-celebrity just by being a fan. the other child is the clippers. he's spindly and awkward, with bad grades, asshole friends, and no interests beyond hot-boxing the 1980 fiat pass-me-down daily. his parents don't really know what to do with him. they don't want to pour too much money into his interests because he doesn't seem to care about them anyway and, while they say they love both children equally, it's just kinda different. i mean, the biggest "celebrity" fan they have (in LA for christ's sake) is the 35-year old actor that played malcolm in 'malcolm in the middle'. clearly the two children don't like each other either. the older brother's always making fun of the less accomplished son, and is always there to laugh at his failures. heck, they even share the same living space (the staples center), but the favorite son's room is twice as nice (on game days :) ). the younger son's always secretly envious of the favorite's accomplishments. that's how LA professional basketball always was and how it always will be. but a funny thing happened in the last few years. take one part acidic me-first superstar who tears up the lakers franchise. one part nice-guy superstar to put some respectability into the clippers. and mix in one part alien-faced cocky almost-superstar who does a (really bizarre) 'i have huge testicles' dance after he hits huge shots. and suddenly you get this: a potential second round matchup between favorite son and outcast, in which the outcast is actually favored! for emphasis: Lakers vs. Clippers, Western Conference Semifinals the subplots surrounding this potential series are as exciting as you can get in the nba these days. you can tell because the press is already going nuts about it. and if you think that i might be jinxing the lakers by writing about this already, well you're right. but i think some superstars can transcend even the jack chou prediction jinx and kobe might just be one of them. and after kobe and friends have finished off that floppy-haired fake-mvp steve nash, i'm gonna do the only thing any self-respecting basketball fan can do: cheer for the clippers. go clips.

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At 5/02/2006 03:45:00 PM, Anonymous king said...

60% percent of the time, it works all the time.

i'm a huge clippers fan only because they're the black sheep of the LA sports world. I mean, this is the first time they've gotten to the second round of the playoffs in like almost 30 years? sheesh. I cant wait.

p.s. solid analogy with the whole parents/kids thing. really works. except you should have encorporated the testicles dance. f

At 5/03/2006 11:15:00 AM, Blogger half & half said...

Listen, we all know this post wasn't about the Lakers and the Clippers - it was about you and your brother. How could it not be? What, with your brother quarterbacking the baseball team to the state doubles championships 4 years in a row and taking Sally McAmericasSweatheart to the Senior Year Prom. And don't forget the time he borrowed your car and got pulled over and the cops found weed in his pocket and he blamed it on you. That would have pissed me off.

I'm done now.


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