Saturday, March 3, 2012

The 2011-12 Lakers Midseason ParentTeacher Conference Part 1 (Management)

Since I started this blog, I have been asked to write about the Lakers. But I promised myself I would only write what comes naturally. I haven't had to put much effort into any of my articles thus far because that is what I was thinking and feeling at the time, so it was easy to put into words. Up until I know, I didn't really feel like writing about the Lakers so I didn't want to force my writing. However, this morning I woke up with wood. Not that kind of wood. Get your mind out of the gutter. But I did wake up with a hard-on for writing...writing about the Lakers to be specific. So here it goes...

I remember going to parent teacher conferences in elementary school. (It was an uncle-teacher conference for me.) I think these things should happen more often. There is a major disconnect between teachers and parents. The parent teacher conference offers many benefits. So why not do it at the professional level? God knows some of our beloved Lakers could use some parental guidance...Since I am wise and all-knowing, I'll be the teacher...

Student: Jim Buss - Parent: Jerry Buss

Teacher: "Hello Dr. Buss. Welcome. I'm glad you are able to take a break from driving around town drunk with 19 year-olds to discuss your son's performance."

Dr. Buss: [A growing concerned look on his face] "What did he do now? Did he start doing drugs again? Or he did he knock up a stranger? Or did he mismanage another franchise and put it in bankruptcy? Please tell me it's the drugs. Please tell me he didn't do to the Lakers what he did with the Los Angeles Lazers..."

Teacher: "Well that's just the thing Dr. Buss. I am not too concerned about the history of drug use. At least not yet. But Jim has a huge problem with managing people. Communication, loyalty, humility, listening to experts and delegating responsibility are not his strong suits. Forget being strong suits, he is not good at those things at all! That just doesn't bode well for someone in charge of an NBA franchise...especially the Lakers."

Jim: "Dude...screw you! I don't care what anyone thinks. And that includes the fans, my employees, other owners, the coaches, the players, the league and the media! I am a billionaire and I own the freaking Lakers! I MADE Andrew Bynum."

Teacher: "See? This is exactly what I mean Dr. Buss. First of all Jim, you are not a billionaire. Your father is. You just happened to be lucky enough to be the sperm that was able to squirt out of your father's penis and penetrate your mother's ovum. And you are lucky he made himself into a billionaire and handed the Lakers over to you."

Dr. Buss: "Jim, we talked about this son. Our scouts, Kurt Rambis, Kareem, and Phil Jackson are the real reasons why Andrew Bynum has become an all-star. Not you. He couldn't tell the difference between a basketball and a watermelon when you drafted him. You are not the one that spent hours coaching and giving him lessons on how to play basketball."

Teacher: "I am glad you are offering your input here and there Dr. Buss. But you seriously need to think about handing over the franchise to someone else. Even your daughter Jeanie, who is already in charge of the business side of the Lakers, would be a better choice to handle the basketball side. Let me just give you this report card. It doesn't have a grade on it. But it does have a list of bad moves Jim has already made this season." [The teacher hands over a sheet of paper to Dr. Buss.] It reads:

1. He alienated and fired long time loyal employees including assistant GM Ronnie Lester.
2. He didn't even give Brian Shaw a chance at the head coaching job just because he was associated with Phil Jackson.
3. He hired Mike Brown. There is nothing wrong with Mike Brown and he might work out just fine. But he hired him just because it was his own choice. Mike Brown doesn't fit with this team. He is a great defensive coach but this is not his kind of roster.
4. Whether or not you believe a player should have input in the hiring of a coach, you should at least return his call. If anyone has earned a right to at least get a call-back, it's Kobe Bryant. Jim didn't even call him back.
5. This is mid way through the season. There are many other things. Some we know about. Some we don't. My concern is that this list is going to grow much larger as we continue through this season and next.

Dr. Buss: [After examining the list, the concerned look on his face turns into real worry.] "You know, there are many similarities between me and the Godfather Vito Corleone. We both came from nothing and made ourselves into something. But unlike the Godfather, I don't have a son like Michael Corleone. Instead, I am stuck with a weird combination of Sonny and Fredo in Jim. Sigh..."

Teacher: "Once again, Dr. Buss...I strongly urge you to get a professional that knows what they are doing to take over. I hope you see the light. Please don't let the Lakers turn into Frank Mccourt's Dodgers. Los Angeles deserves better. Good day sir..."

Student: Mitch Kupchak - Parent: Jerry West

Teacher: "Good day Mr. West. Since you are Mitch Kupchak's former boss, mentor, and he is your protege, it is only fitting that you sit in as his legal guardian for this parent teacher conference. How is the consultant gig with Golden State going?"

Jerry West: "Things are good. I keep receiving these "consultant" offers. I don't know why. But hey...who am I to complain? I don't do any work and I get paid for giving my two cents on a player that I don't even know. I didn't really do any great things in Memphis either. My skills as a talent evaluator might be exaggerated and wildly overrated. I mean even a monkey could have figured out that Shaq and Kobe were good. But that's not why we are here. Let's talk about Mitch."

Teacher: "Well...contrary to what many people think, I actually think Mitch is doing a good job. He is dealing with a lot of challenges. For one, this new CBA, which punishes luxury tax teams extremely harshly, has Mitch in the corner. This type of rule was intended exactly to hurt teams just like the Lakers so that duechbag owners like Dan Gilbert in small markets can make up for their mistakes. They overpaid for their teams, handed out horrible contracts left and right, and mismanaged their franchises. And now they want teams like the Lakers, Bulls, Knicks and Mavericks to bail them out. This new CBA really has limited what Mitch can do."

Jerry West: "Yeah tell me about it. But I think he still has tried to make some nice little moves. What happened with the whole Lamar Odom thing? He came home crying one day and kept saying 'Lamar made me do it...Lamar made me do it...' What was that all about?"

Mitch Kupchak: [A combination of anger and innocence covers his face] "He wanted to get traded! It wasn't my fault! It's wrong that people blame me for trading Lamar Odom. I mean every single NBA player knows that they can be traded at any time. I was just trying to make my team better. I tried trading him in the whole Chris Paul thing and then he got his feelings hurt. I mean seriously? He is a grown man and a professional! He acted like he was picked last in an elementary school game on the blacktop. He came crying to me telling me he wanted me to trade him and he wasn't happy. What am I supposed to do? He wanted out. What a freaking baby! Get over it and play! You are playing a game for a living and making millions of dollars doing it! I was still willing to work it out but I guess he just doesn't know how to be a professional. And plus, there is so much pressure on me with this whole luxury tax thing, I had to trade him."

Teacher: "You are exactly right Mitch. Don't listen to people who criticize you on this. I mean just look at Lamar Odom now! He is an emotional physical and mental mess! That mess would've been on our team if we kept him. And Khloe Kardashian? Who needs her? That fat bitch doesn't belong in Hollywood anyways. She should be in Dallas with the rest of obese America! Maybe Lamar is secretly ruining Dallas from the inside and then they will buy him out and we can resign him for the minimum. Let's keep our fingers crossed... But Jerry...Mitch...on a serious note...I did want to talk to both of you about the bullying that Mitch has become a victim of."

Jerry West: [Clueless look on his face] "Bullying? Who can possible bully Mitch Kupchak?"

Teacher: "David Stern. Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers absolutely got hosed on the whole Chris Paul thing. Now...I understand the fact that the league owns the hornets so David Stern can control their trades. That is not the issue. But all throughout last season and even the off-season David Stern kept preaching that Dell Demps has full authority to make all of the trades and the league office will not interfere. Then, after receiving this letter from duechbag Dan Gilbert, David Stern changes his mind and nixes the trade. Are you kidding me? Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers are a victim of David Stern and his gang of small market owners."

Jerry West: "Yes you are right. But what can we do now? The only thing we can do is win a championship before the Clippers and then shove the trophy up Stern's ass when he is handing it to us."

Teacher: "Well said sir. This has been a great meeting. Keep up the great work Mitch! I don't mind that you are still trying to make big moves. But don't forget about the small moves either. Finding Goudelock was a nice little move. I would rather have a GM be active and always involved in trade rumors rather than one that is sitting on his ass. Good luck at the trading deadline!"

Student: Mike Brown - Parent: Phil Jackson

Teacher: "Phil, I am sure you are asking yourself why you are here. Let me explain. Mike Brown's biological father abandoned his family when Mike was a child. (Not really sure if this is true or not but considering that Mike Brown is's not a huge stretch.) So that is why you are here as his legal guardian. You are the best coach of all time in any sport. You have 11 rings. So who better to help evaluate Mike Brown's performance? I am glad you are enjoying yourself in your huge Montana home smoking weed all day and banging Jeanie Buss. Let me know if you need your Cialis refilled. To be honest, I am surprised your relationship is still going on. Please share your secret about women with me some day. I thought it would be a tabloid thing. But you have kept it long term and classy. Congratulations!"

Phil: "Yes...Jeanie is great."

Teacher: "Okay let's talk about Mike Brown. I have a mixed report. Let's start with the positive. Great defensive mind. This Laker defense has improved greatly from last year. It is still a work in progress. But with this aging roster, Mike Brown is pretty much getting the most he can out of them at the defensive end. Let's just hope they improve and bring it in the playoffs."

Phil: "That's good to hear. I always had mixed feelings towards defense. What is the bad news?"

Teacher: "There are a couple of things that concern me. First of all, the offense looks bad. Terrible. Ridiculous. Horrendous. Ugly. Not just regular ugly...I mean Newt Gingrich ugly! When Mike was hired, some people said that these players are so smart and good at offense that they will take care of it own their own. That has not been the case. I guess at the end of the day, players are just players. That's why they pay coaches millions."

Mike: "It's not my fault. Kobe is jacking up shots and its ruining the entire offensive strategy. He realizes he is getting old and losing precious time. Plus losing all those games in the off-season...I mean...I don't want to say it...but you know what I mean right? [Mike Brown trying to hint at the fact that Kobe is gunning for the scoring record while he still has some ability left and making up for the lost lockout games but he cannot say it out loud.]

Teacher: See that is my other issue with you Mike. You don't have the balls to stand up to star players like Kobe. If you see him make a mistake...say it! Stand up to him! I mean you are the freaking coach for crying out loud. Take control man! If you are not going to do least pretend like you are in charge. Don't act like a fan when they make great plays! I mean sometimes you act like Kobe's little daughters out there. You are not a comedic sidekick. What's next? When Kobe hits a game winner, are you going to go up to the other team and say 'You just got knocked the fuck out!' like Chris Tucker in Friday?"

Phil: "You see Mike...dealing with star players requires a combination of wisdom, patience and even a little ego. Unfortunately for you, I am the master at it and you are not. You will never be me. So stop trying. I am the greatest of all time. You cannot fill my shoes. But you know what? For what it's would be an excellent defensive assistant coach."

Teacher: You are right once again Phil Jackson. Please come back? Please? Pretty Please? [Phil leaves the classroom with his wise words just oozing of wisdom and rides off into the sunset with his 11 rings...]

And with that we end part one of the Lakers' Parent Teacher Conference. Stay tuned for Part 2...when we bring in the players!

Thanks for reading!
Yours truly,
The King of Nothing

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