Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go

Kurt —  October 30, 2006

I can’t wait; it feels like that ticker to the right is moving painfully slowly. As we wait, here are a few notes heading into the big game.

• While I have yet to see the official notice, Devin Green is expected to be cut today, meaning Aaron Mckie gets the final roster spot. We’ve said before that could be paving the way for a midseason trade, but also is $2.5 million that the Lakers don’t have to eat.

• There may be no two better teams for Andrew Bynum to get his first two starts against than who he faces in the next couple days. Phoenix lacks a classic NBA center and Bynum could establish an inside presence (like Kwame did in the early parts of the playoff series against the Suns last season). Then there is Golden State, where Troy Murphy will spend time at center. Enough said.

• Did you really think Kobe wasn’t going to play? He’s too much of a competitor to miss it. It’s fair to wonder how effective he will be, although 60% of Kobe is still damn good, and the Suns have to respect what he can do.

• One thing I’m curious about is the “Lights Out” look. In case you haven’t heard, the Lakers will be keeping the arena outside the court much darker this season, it will look more like classic boxing match lighting than what we’re used to at basketball games. I can’t wait to see what that will be like for watching games from the seats at Staples, I think it will be cool. But I have no idea how it will play on television.

• Today the last NBA blog preview went live, as friend-of-the-site (despite being a Kings fan) Tom Ziller from Sactown Royalty nearly goes Martin Luther. There is some great stuff in these blog previews, and while we fans tend to be optomistic the information is first rate and worth a read.

• Matt from Blog-a-Bull has a fun Eastern Conference preview up:

12. New York
– There’s a difference between a ‘bad coach’ and ‘coach trying to deliberately sabotage the team to try and force a power play between himself and the GM resulting in the GM’s firing’. So you may read in a lot of places that the Knicks will be better because Larry Brown is gone. But they still won’t be any good, since before he was an awful GM, Isaiah Thomas was a coach of some underachieving Pacers teams. And the words ‘Knicks’ and ‘underachieving’ go together like ‘Larry Brown’ and ‘jackass’.

• Ryan at Hoopsaddict has started his own magazine — actual, not just online. But you can check it out from your computer.

• Jerry Buss is getting a star on the Hollywood walk of frame today, ostensibly for his help in founding Prime Ticket (now Fox Sports Net West). It just feels like he should have one whatever reason they could come up for it.

• Buss getting that star was the first topic for my latest writing gig – I’m now the Laker contributor for the LAist blog. The stuff there will be aimed at the more casual fan (fewer stats and minutia, more big picture), but you can expect my favorite themes to appear. By the way, you can’t imagine how thrilled my wife was when I told her I found another place I could write for free.

to Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go

  1. i hadn’t heard yet about the lights-out thing. it sounds cool. i think they did this at the all star game a few years ago (in atlanta?). anyone have more details?

    as for the j-buss star: they’ve handed out so many of those that they’re almost meaningless, right? freakin ryan seacrest has one …


  2. re: the lights out thing: is it really more like a boxing match or is it just that they’ll no longer be lighting the lower bowl. I always just assumed they light the lower bowl so that the who’s who can see who else is who and all that. will this be a darker kind of event than at other stadiums?

    if so, i’m way in favor of this. this is really good news. maybe people will focus on the court, and that could be really good news for the lakers.


  3. Dan, I don’t know the exact answer to the lighting question. However, the Laker PR staff used the “Madison Square boxing match” comparison.

    Now, if they had used the MGM boxing ring reference, we could have talked about a Tyson/Hollyfield riot in the casino postgame. But alas…


  4. This isn’t a matter of turning out a few lights. They are installing an entirely new set of lights to use. They are complex enough that they stress the ceiling and will be removed except for Laker home games. Sounds like a fairly large promotion – just to get Staples Center to look like the Forum.

    I will be curious.


  5. This is from Ross Siler in the Daily News:

    The Lakers cannot keep the lights up for more than Tuesday’s game because of structural concerns at Staples Center. They would consider making a permanent change if fan feedback supports the new lights.


  6. tell your wife LA and LAist is thrilled that youre part of the team!


  7. The impending tip-off has me so excited that I’m beginning to come up with CONSPIRACY theories:

    Specifically, what if this “Kobe is injured” thing was all just a Phil Jackson orchestrated mind-game?

    After all, we should all agree that the Lakers’ role players benefited from the playing time they got in Kobe’s absence and also from the fact that they had to learn to score without Kobe being on the court.

    Therefore, it seems at least possible that Phil Jackson may have orchestrated this whole thing. What if Phil sat Kobe down a month ago and said: “You know what, Kobe, I think we should play this injury thing for all it’s worth. Work hard, rehab your knee, practice with the team, but let’s tell everyone you can’t play, so the other guys can get some reps.”

    To which Kobe responded: “Sure, whatever you say Coach.”

    Am I hallucinating on the eve of the regular season?


  8. 6. Tony,

    In all honesty, I was hesitant because of my schedule, it was my wife, a big fan of LAist, who convinced me. She’s even editing my stuff (she’s an editor for a living), something she won’t do for this blog (and it shows).


  9. My brother has been lucky enough to score tickets for tonight. I’ll get a report back from him on the lights…

    I think the point is to put the focus back on the game. Guess I’ll save my post on what famous people sit where at Staples for another day.

    Is anybody concerned about our new shooter having strained ligaments that won’t heal unitl he has off season surgery? I know Brian Cook isn’t.


  10. OC Register

    From the article: “The new lights are adding some stress to the Staples Center ceiling, so they’ll have to be removed after homestands.”

    So are the lights just going down between games, or staying down permanently. This seems to contradict the earlier report.