Arash Markazi of “For The Record” writes:
“Just like last season, the Lakers’ chances of winning a championship may hinge on the health of Andrew Bynum, who has been out since February with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee.
Coach Phil Jackson said recently that Bynum could be at least a few weeks away from returning. Now, I’m no doctor, of course, but at the Playboy Mansion on Saturday, the Lakers’ 7-foot center looked to be well on the road to recovery.
While the Lakers were in Atlanta preparing for what would be an 86-76 loss to the Hawks on Sunday, Bynum was in Los Angeles mingling at a pajamas and lingerie party after the Playboy Golf Finals.
Wearing a green smoking jacket and slippers, Bynum, whose injury status is generating daily headlines in Los Angeles, partied like a rock star near the infamous grotto.
He picked up Playmate Nicole Narain and placed her on his shoulders and got somebody to take a picture with his digital camera.
Upper-body strength, check.
He hopped over a velvet rope near the DJ booth so he could take a picture with Narain and other Playmates who ended up sitting on his lap.
Jumping ability, check.
He sidestepped a few of the roaming cameras and got down with some Playmates on the checkered dance floor set up in the backyard.
Lateral movement, check.
Later, with lines around the bar getting longer, he pulled out a bottled beverage from one pocket and four plastic cups from another and offered up drinks to three Playmates who were with him.
Ability to adjust to game situations, check.
If Bynum isn’t healthy enough to play, should he be able to live out his Playboy fantasy in the meantime? Maybe, but while he’s rehabbing his injury and the Lakers play shorthanded without him, perhaps it’d be wise for him to keep a low profile and sit out a couple of pajama parties. The grotto and Playmates will still be there. The Lakers can only hope the same can be said for Bynum come playoff time.”
Phil responded to the media’s need to blow things out of proportion with the following statement:
“I think there’s a lot being made out of that that is unnecessary. This is a young guy. I don’t think Andrew is 22 yet, is he? He’s a 21-year-old guy. He’s been out of basketball 5½-6 weeks. He’s got to have some energy and vent and have some fun. Now I don’t know if putting a girl on your shoulders…The fact that people are beating him up over that, I think that’s crazy. Andrew is doing fine and he’s going to be fine.”
Yea! What Phil said. Do your thing Drew!
Let’s face it, Trevor played the ball. This type of thing happens in the modern game of basketball when players are going at high speeds and coming down at awkward angles. So Portland, stop being gay. The only person who got suspended from this was Lamar just because he got out of his seat on the bench.
This also reminds me of last year when the Blazers admittedly worked the Lakers yet again. This frustration tends to lead to short tempers and half-way altercations. The following clip is of when Lamar played the ball and happened to foul Brandon Roy fairly hard. Though the video quality isn’t great you can tell that Lamar played the ball; it’s just that he is a bit sloppy and doesn’t control his limbs very well. Again, Portland, stop being queerfags. This is a sport. This happens at LA Fitnesses around the country so deal with it. Even the commentators are too caught up in the moment and say how dirty of a play it was. This makes me thankful that Laker broadcasters, Stu Lantz and Joel Meyers, are very objective in their basketball analyses. Compared to broadcasters of other cities (i.e. Toronto and Portland), they are very fair and balanced in their assessments of things. One might say they are the Fox News of sports commentating…;).
Kobe calls him Congo Ca$h. Others call him The Belgian Blocker. Whatever his moniker, D.J. Mbenga just had the best game of his career and has started to really play a vital role on the Lakers in Bynum’s absence. He finished the night with 10 points and 5 blocks in just 17 minutes. It’s not so much what he did, but how he did it.
He’s filling the role left void by Turiaf’s departure this past summer by playing with constant energy and, of course, stuffing the shit out of people. These aren’t “fake blocks” where he’s sneaking up on someone from the weak side. These are on-ball blocks and in succession, too. It’s become clear that Mbenga has Turiaf’s sense of timing along with his added physical gift.
Mitch Kupchak has done an excellent job of shedding un-athletic players for specimens the past couple seasons. We have ditched Radmanovic for Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown; that’s plus one specimen points. We somehow got rid of Chris Mihm and received a bag of marbles in return; that’s plus two. Who can forget the Brian Cook and Mo Evans trade for Trevor Ariza. Though Mo Evans was a specimen he lacked skills, whereas Brian Cook lacked both; so that’s plus five. The Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown trade was even more Mario bonus points. Kupchak is just pulling shit out of his ass and just making it happen. He’s basically making Memphis and Charlotte the Laker recycle bin. We just unload our garbage and out comes something tight. Now if only such a thing was commodified and commercialized. What am I talking about? Mbenga and Shannon Brown all day.