Point Of No Return

Darius Soriano —  July 12, 2010

Jun. 08, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02192987 Los Angeles Lakers' Jordan Farmar (L) drives past Boston Celtics' Nate Robinson during the first half of game three of the NBA Finals at TD Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 08 June 2010. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 91-84 to lead the series 2-1 in the best of seven games.

It’s now official: Jordan Farmar is no longer a Laker but instead is a member of the New Jersey Nets.  Last night he inked a 3 year/$12 million dollar contract to play point guard with the team in Jersey.  So, what looked to be a sure bet after his exit interview and at the beginning of free agency has now come to fruition, so this should be of little surprise to Lakers fans.  Personally, I wish Farmar nothing but the best.  Yes, I’ve been hard on Farmar over his career (more on that later) but he was a key contributor to the Lakers three consecutive trips to the Finals and the two championships they’ve won in the past two seasons.  Serving as the back up PG and the first guard off the bench nearly every night, Farmar may not have been the most dependable player but he played hard and did have a knack of hitting key shots when the Lakers needed them.  So, in a way, I’ll miss him.  I just won’t miss him a lot.

Because when it comes right down to it, Jordan Farmar wasn’t a player that had a long term future with the Lakers.  While the Triangle is an offense that nearly any player can adapt to – if you can’t shoot, you can slash; if you’re not a good ball handler, you can spot up; etc – Farmar was always a reluctant participant in the Lakers’ sets often casting himself as a floor general in a system that did not require it.  Farmar seems to see himself as a director of the action; as a guard that operates best with the ball in his hands where he can call out the sets and improvise off the dribble to get himself or his teammates a shot.  And the offense he found himself in just wasn’t that type of scheme.  Plus, when you compound that with the Lakers also employing Kobe, Pau, Fisher, and Odom, it’s not like Farmar was ever going to find a role where he was the main player with the ball in his hands even when the offense calls for isolation sets or pick and rolls.

The thing is, even though Farmar likely saw himself as more, he had the requisite skill to really excel as a support player in the Triangle.  Farmar is a good enough shooter from both the mid-range and the three point line (for players that had more than 17 attempts, he actually led the Lakers in 3pt FG% at 37.6% this past season) to be a threat off the ball.  He’s a very good ball handler and has shown the ability to be a good decision maker by making the proper reads within the offense.  He’s an explosive driver that can finish at the rim in the half court and in transition – traits that served him well when up against the shot clock or in the P&R sets that are built into the Triangle.  And he also had  moxie; a confidence to him that allowed him to play fearlessly in games where the stakes were high.  Granted, this didn’t always lead to the best results, but he’s played well in some big games and hit some big shots in the the OKC series and against Phoenix in the WCF in this years’ playoffs.  He also made some key hustle plays in the Finals including a diving grab of a loose ball in game 6 that exemplified the effort the Lakers displayed in forcing a fateful game 7.  So when looking at his game, it’s obvious that Farmar could have been a contributing player for the Lakers for years to come had he just been at peace with his role.

But during his tenure with the Lakers, he never fully embraced being that player.  And in the end, this is why I’ve been so hard on Farmar and why I was left disappointed on many a night with his performance.  Farmar was always a player with the requisite game and the smarts to know what to do and when to do it, but he too often broke away from that role to try and do more.  Rather than making the simple pass into the post, he’d call Gasol out to the perimeter so he could run the P&R.  Instead of making the next pass in the progression reads of the Triangle, he’d put his head down and try to attack the basket.  What was most frustrating was that it was clear that he could play in a manner that was mutually beneficial to him an the team – a perfect example of this was his performance in the 2009 playoffs against Houston when Fisher was suspended – but on too many nights Farmar pushed away from that role like the style he wanted to play and the Triangle offense were two magnets at opposite poles.  When you throw in his sometimes commitment to defense where losing track of his man off the ball or his getting beat off the dribble in a manner where his man wasn’t funneled to help defenders was a bit too frequent, my frustration often grew even higher.  This all left me with a sense of “he should be better, but he’s just not” and in the end, that’s a tough way of looking at a player night after night.

And now he’s gone.  But again, I hope he succeeds in Jersey (and I think he will).  He’s seemingly going to a situation where he’ll again be asked to be a back up player, but the isolation and P&R schemes of Avery Johnson will likely suit him better than the constraints of the Triangle.  Plus with the Nets, there is no Kobe Bryant to dominate the ball on the wing to the point that Farmar will be a spectator just standing in the corner waiting for the ball to swing back to him.  He’ll be able to play with an up an coming big man, so he should still have the relief of having a strong post presence that he can play off of while still being able to create off the dribble for himself or his mates.  And while I’m not sure if this is the best career move for Farmar – he’s leaving a defending champion for the team with the worst record in the league last season – I do think this will give him a chance to see if he can indeed flourish in a more traditional system for a point guard.  He has the talent, but whether he gets the opportunity he’s been seeking for years remains to be seen.  Either way, good luck Jordy.  I’ll miss his buzzer beaters at the end of quarters, open court dunks and that swagger that he carried himself with and hope he brings all that and more with him to the Nets.

Darius Soriano

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to Point Of No Return

  1. I followed Jordan through UCLA and supported him through his first couple of years with the Lakers. However, it became evident that he not only didn’t like the triangle, but wasn’t going to make much of an adjustment to playing in it. At that point he became somewhat a liability and the only thing that kept him with the club was the fact that we couldn’t find a replacement. Well, it was obvious the Lakers really didn’t want him back – and, when they signed Steve Blake, they had found their replacement.

    You have more to give than you gave here Jordy and I hope you are able to function better under the ‘little general’.


  2. I hope the best for him, I did like his play and I liked that things changed a little bit when he was on the floor, it just seemed more open and less triangle and that seemed to disrupt what the opposing defense was used to during the course of the game.

    I don’t get this move for him though. If he wants to start like it seems he does, he goes to New Jersey? Where Devin Harris is already eating up 35 to 40 minutes a game?


  3. As has been mentioned, Devin Harris gets hurt. A LOT. Jordy will get plenty of playing time in NJ, and for better money. Good for him. He’s a good guy, and he contributed to three Finals runs. He’s got two rings now, and he’ll get $12 million over the next three years. As for his triangle PG play, my biggest complaint with him was his initial entry and post entry passes. Whether it was to a big man in the post (he had so much trouble doing that), or the initial entry pass to Kobe on the wing (frequently lazy passes that got stolen, plus one horrible pass that got Kobe’s finger broken), his entry passes left much to be desired. Anyway, best of luck Jordy!


  4. Welcome back, Fish! I think the catalyst was Haslem re-signing with Miami for $3 million less per season than his Dallas offer. No more cap space to sign Fish if Mike Miller goes there.


  5. Well Darius, that’s what you get for taking Sunday off. On the heels of this post, I’m sure you’ll have another one for our starting PG for next year. Interesting read on ESPN that he got a number of offers for more money (whether true or not).

    Welcome back Fisher King.


  6. In addition to the poor entry passes, he jacked up a three before even considering a pass way too much for my taste, although I always appreciated his aggressive energy.

    Now that Fish is back, I don’t really care too much about how the rest of the roster gets filled out.


  7. For a native L.A. jew, it was fun having a Laker who was . . . a native L.A. jew (the only jew in the NBA, I believe, until Israeli, Omri Caspi, joined the Sacto Kings).

    So I really wanted him to succeed. But that didn’t blind me to the weaknesses and hubris he, sadly, continued to display over the years.

    Alas, our hometown ucla jew has gone away. good riddance, best wishes.

    Omri Caspi, eh?


  8. Woah . . . just read that Fish has a _three (3)_ year deal?? (Third year a player option.) That’s what’s reported. So he’ll be, what, 47 years old in the last year? Yikes.


  9. #7. Taylor,
    Ha! Serves me right, indeed. We’ll have some thoughts on Fisher up at some point, but I can honestly say I was never worried about him leaving. I am interested in the terms of the contract, though. Three years is a bit long, but until we know the money on the contract, it’s tough to judge what payroll implications this has.

    Anyway, welcome back Fish! He’s one player that I’ve supported for a long time, so I’m quite happy he’s back in the fold.


  10. The analytical side of me not crazy about it being a 3yr deal (if as reported) but Fish seems exactly like the type of guy who would retire rather than collecting a check for nothing, especially if there is a coaching spot waiting for him so it’s not a big deal.

    In Keeping Fisher and replacing Farmer with Blake we have certainly upgraded the PG position.

    2 more roster spots available.

    Nice post Darius, Good luck Jordan thanks for the memories. Mostly good IMO


  11. thisisweaksauce July 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Can we have a post on the remainder of our possible offseason moves, now that Fisher is back? For example, let’s discuss whether or not we should bring back Shannon, who else to get with the rest of the mid-level (1.8 mil), our needs at which positions, etc.


  12. Definitely hope for the best from Farmar. Hopefully the new system is one that suits him better. Maybe if he can rely on his intuition more he’ll make less boneheaded plays.


  13. So long Miami, and thanks for all the Fish!


  14. Welcome back, DFish!

    Thank you, Jordan. Good luck in Jersey


  15. Did anyone Really believe that Captain Fish was leaving? Too Much Respect 4 The Black Mamba. Too Much Love 4 Our Organization. Too Much @ Stake this year. Like he said “Let the hunt for six begin.”


  16. Since we have won the last two titles, I have no regrets w/ Farmar. I wouldn’t change a thing!

    Best of luck and I hope there the separation anxiety isn’t too bad, since this will be his first time living outside of S. California. Get that In n Out while you can!


  17. Re Fish: Awesome!

    Now we only have two open roster spots open (right?). So who do we target?


  18. For the sake of $1million Fish was going to blow up his legacy, forgo a position in the Laker organization when he retires, reduce the value of sponsorship deals?

    My guess is that his total $ value was about even and for that his legacy and family matter more.


  19. Losing Farmar and gaining Steve Blake + resigning Fisher? Nothing but net gains.


  20. My hope is that the three contract was done so the Lakers could pay Fish less per year, but overall more money than he would have gotten in a two year deal. With Fish retiring after the 2nd year.

    I believe he still gets paid if he retires. (not sure though)


  21. No one has yet answered my question about Crit. Is an injury the reason he is not on the Summer League team, or what?

    I still think he would be a good addition in training camp to compete for a combo guard spot.

    Other than that we need a center – if no one else materializes we might go with DJ Mbenga.


  22. @20…a bit harsh, but new math can support addition by subtraction. fishblake combo should be rather tasty……


  23. Good bye Jordan. Thank you for everything, and best of luck to you as you move on. 🙂

    Welcome back, Fisher King! I never really doubted you’d return, but it’s nice to see it confirmed. Thanks for returning. Let’s go for the 6th!

    So what do we do for a back-up center now? Is the rumor about Rony Turiaf officially nothing but smoke, or was there something to it?


  24. @15. I see what you did there 😀


  25. @23
    LA Times: Free-agent guard Javaris Crittenton is not on the Lakers’ summer-league roster because he is still recovering from foot surgery. Crittenton was originally drafted by the Lakers in 2007 and could be an inexpensive backcourt option…

    So he still could be a possible training camp invitee.



  26. 19. Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Artest, Kobe, Fish, Sasha, Luke, and Blake. That makes nine players signed. Room for four more. I would imagine that both our 2nd round picks will make the team, leaving room for a veteran big man with the remaining $1.7m on the MLE, and either a PG or a wing for the vet minimum.

    I take it you were assuming that both Ebanks and Caracter make the team.


  27. 25. I’ll take Ronny if the Knicks want Luke! 😀


  28. Thanks Steve.


  29. Aaron may not like the deal, but I’m glad to see FIsh hopefully end his career in the Forum Blue & Gold. Way to spurn the Heat and help us hopefully get another ring (or more)!


  30. Great post about Farmar. I think he’ll have more fun and get better stats in NJ.

    But if he’d been more coachable, he’d be the starting point guard on the NBA champs for the next few years. Instead of being FIsher, Horry or Shaw, he wants to be, well, Devin Harris.

    I unconditionally wish the best for Powell, Turiaf, Brown, Ariza and others who tried their best to play the role that fit the team. Farmar… I can’t help but want him to feel he made the wrong decision in his LA years.


  31. great post.

    i thought you captured the essence of why farmar never truly fit in, but could never be really frozen out of the rotation. he is really gifted, but at the same time, he’s also a misfit.


  32. Now that Fish has been taken care of, time for my pipe dream of Matt Barnes and Kurt Thomas to come to fruition. Matt Barnes with the remaining money in the MLE and Kurt Thomas at the vet minimum. Round out that rotation so that the Lakers have a real bench.

    I hope that Jabeer gets a training camp invite and sneaks his way onto the team.


  33. For someone with ESPN Insider privileges.

    How about suggesting ‘Nazgûls’ as the name for the three players in Miami. They are looking for a name for these three and this was suggested last Friday. Apparently it hasn’t made its way to the ‘Great Satan’ ESPN and I thought someone here could forward it.

    Of course, the Nazgûls are the Ringwraiths in Lord of the Rings. They sacrificed their humanity in pursuit of the power of the 9 rings and gained immortal power, but failed in their ultimate goal.


  34. Andres Garcia July 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Dude I totally agree with this (and also add that it is true for Shannon to a certain extent),

    “As for his triangle PG play, my biggest complaint with him was his initial entry and post entry passes. Whether it was to a big man in the post (he had so much trouble doing that), or the initial entry pass to Kobe on the wing (frequently lazy passes that got stolen, plus one horrible pass that got Kobe’s finger broken), his entry passes left much to be desired.”

    The post entry passes, and the failure to be able to make them, killed me. Often, the inability to make the pass would result in more dribbling around the perimeter then a jacked up late clock J from either Jordan or Shannon.

    As a former Bruin, I wish him well, thank him for his help with winning two rings, and thank him for the hustle and floor burns from this past title run.


  35. @Craig
    But there were nine of them. They did have a King, admittedly, but I’d prefer to hold off until we know at least six other players on the Heat roster before making that nick-name official. If the six turn out to be ring-less 30-somethings who all sign for the vet minimum, then I’m all for it!

    “The Miami Nazgûl” has a nice ring to it… 🙂


  36. Any word on Shannon’s chances of returning?


  37. Regarding Fish’s contract, pure speculation on my part, but it’s probably a total contract of close to 10 mill. That way, Lakers minimize impact of yearly cap while still getting Fish the money he was looking for.

    Lakers are probably also gambling on the fact that Fish is proud and at the end of two years if he feels like he doesn’t have much else to contribute, then he won’t pick up the 3rd year.

    Either way, team will be on the hook for about 3mill/yr which isn’t too far off from what they budgeted.

    That’s my guess and if it’s true, it’s a good compromise deal for both sides.


  38. Lets Take A Look @ Where We Stand As Of Now:

    SF – Artest
    PF – Gasol/Odom
    C – Bynum
    SG – Bryant/Vujacic
    PG – Fisher/Blake

    Walton (SF) is also under contract & I’m not taking into account our 2 Second Rounders due to the fact that they’ll have to earn a spot/make the team.

    So @ the Moment, we basically have an 8 Man Rotation, since in reality, all we’ve done is substitute Vujacic for Shannon & Blake for Farmar. Do I believe Blake is an Upgrade over Farmar? Within our system, Yes. Do I believe Vujacic is an Upgrade over Shannon? Not Neccessarily, (though I like Sasha) but it’s debateable .

    In all Honesty, as of the Moment, the Question begs to Ask. Have we really IMPROVED the Roster? With all do respect to Josh, D.J. & Morrison, we carried too much Dead Weight last year and because of injuries (Walton) and being in the Dog House (Vujacic), we were relegated to an 8 Man Rotation last season. Did we ‘Retain The Belts’? Yes. But with whats been going on this off season, although difficult because of what we have remaining under the financial guidelines, we’ll need to fill out @ least 2 more Spots with Individuals who can actually Contribute this upcoming season.


  39. mikeinchitown July 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    1. echo people’s comments re: fish. he was absolutely critical, and loved his statement. stay classy fish.

    2. in a similar vein, anyone else think it’s a little sad that both fish and haslem took less money to sign with their current teams, to play with the guys they came into the league with (kobe, wade, respectively). yes i understand NBA salaries are millions, etc., but these are the guys at the medium-low end of the salary totem pole.

    great story, and i guess that’s why they are fan-favorites, but also a joke that the top players can’t/don’t/won’t pitch into a “go sign fish” type-fund despite their talk of championship, etc. when these are the guys that help make it happen.


  40. Yay for Fisher returning! Next I hope LA can sign Kurt Thomas and Raja Bell. I still think Bell signs with Miami. But Miami is going to sign Miller to a 5 year $25 million deal and Haslem to a 5 year $20 million deal so I read. This takes up the rest of the Heat money I believe, meaning they can only offer the vet minimums and rookie contracts. So…LA probably could sign Raja Bell for more money.

    Also, looking at the Heat’s front line, Bosh is 6-10, Joel Anthony is 6-9, Haslem is 6-8. The Heat may have huge talent in Wade and James, but I can’t see their front line giving us fits against 7 footers Gasol and Bynum and 6-10 Lamar Odom…


  41. I will miss Farmar. Of course he was tantalizingly frustrating, but he gave the team a nice uptempo game and was fearless driving to the basket. He was one of the few who could create his own shot.

    I’d really like to get ShanWow back – that athleticism is important – anyone heard anything about his options?

    Basically the Lakers need a solid fourth big – whether its powell/mbenga or someone else – and they are about done, depending on the 2 second round picks who have been impressive thus far.

    I loved Fisher’s quotes about coming back!!!


  42. @35. If the Heat are the Nazgul, does that make Lebron the Witch King of Angmar? I can just see a huge hologram poster of Lebron that changes from his trademark headband to the the huge iron-spiked crown of the Witch King!


  43. If the Heat are the Nazgul, we should have signed Luke “Frodo” Ridnour to boost our chances.


  44. 42, Vet min for a 10 year player like Bell is $1.3M. We have $1.75M reportedly left in our MLE after the Blake signing. Factor in the fact that Miami has no income tax, and he’ll probably be making more money in Miami on a minimum contract than he would here for our MLE leftovers. Add in that Miami is Bell’s hometown, and you’ve got Raja Bell going to Miami.

    The key to the Heat-Lakers matchup will be *gasp* the referees. If they let the Three DB-migos get fouls for every little tap, they will win. If our bigs are allowed to hold their ground and defend the paint, we will win. If our bigs can stay out of foul trouble and on the floor, we will eat them alive on the offensive boards like we did against Boston in Game 7.

    But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Right now all I’d like to see are the terms of the Fisher contract. I’d be ok with 3 years 10 mil, because it gives Fish his money and also keeps our cap figure low. Plus he’ll be expiring at the same time Odom & Bynum will (team options on both), so the Lakers will have lots of moves they can make that summer.


  45. Eh with Wade AND haslem, it sounds like they’re going to have two ring holders. Wade as Sauron works but not with Haslem there.

    … think this offseason is driving me crazy. I can’t believe this is amusing me.

    PS – PJax as gandalf works. But I can’t resist this urge to cast DJ as a bad guy lackey. Kurt Thomas really has no place in the fellowship on looks alone. Is he an Ent?


  46. put up or shut up time for farmar. hope it works out for him. maybe i’m just too familiar with losing for all my years in organized sports, but i’d rather have as many championship rings as possible than potentially start in new jersey. he clearly dug himself into a hole with the coaching staff here, and frankly, i don’t know how much happier he’ll be dealing with avery johnson. he didn’t have that tough of a job here: just play better than sasha or shannon, play good defense and you’ll get to play with a couple hall of famer players and one of the best coaches ever. darius was right on when he said that farmar could have been a laker for a loooong time.
    going to jersey seems to suggest how how much his ego drove him.


  47. Dear Los Angeles, All of Southern California and Los Angeles Lakers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

    As you now know, our back-up point guard, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Los Angeles Laker.

    This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a public cable access special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
    Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

    The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Lakers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

    There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

    You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

    You have given so much and deserve so much more.

    In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:


    You can take it to the bank.

    If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Los Angeles, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

    Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

    Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.

    This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “unchosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.

    But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Los Angeles, California.

    The self-declared starting caliber point guard will be taking the “curse” with him to the left coast. And until he does “right” by Los Angeles and California, Farmar (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

    Just watch.

    Sleep well, Los Angeles

    Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….

    I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

    DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….

    uh…thank god my parents moved from the midwest before squeezing me out!~


  48. I’m two minds about the whole Fisher signing.

    First part of me thinks: Good, we have the leader again. The guy KOBE wanted back to help lead the team and tell people what to do. Our coach on the floor. Our spiritual leader. Our 2nd guy who doesn’t mind the criticism when he fails because he knows he will come up big when it matters.

    Second part: damn, another year of Aaron complaining that we have the worst point guard and that’s why we won’t win a title. Plus, we’ll have a year of “We should have signed T. Mac.”


  49. @Shaky
    Wade as Saruman works great on the other hand, with Haslem as Grima. 😉 But then we are left with LeBron as Sauron with doesn’t work out at all since he never had a ring to lose.

    The solution is obvious:

    LeBron is the Witch King, obsessed with winning the ring, and Pat Riley is Sauron! He wants the ring again, and now is summoning the Nazgûl to his side, to hunt down the fellowship led by Gandalf (Phil Jackson) and Aragorn, secretly the King of the free world (Kobe), with Derek Fisher as the short and unlikely hero Frodo, without whom everything is lost.

    DJ MBenga is obviously the ent on the roster.

    Actually, Aaron promised after our recent championship win, that he’d never bash Fisher again. We just need to hold him to that. 😉


  50. With Fisher back, I just hope that we would have a full season free from Fisher-Bashing!!!


  51. i would rather have ammo back than shannon brown. that inability to pass into the post is a fatal flaw.


  52. “@ray
    Actually, Aaron promised after our recent championship win, that he’d never bash Fisher again. We just need to hold him to that.”

    Yeah, but he’s already started in about how Chris Botch, errr Bosh is the best PF in the league.


  53. But Bosh doesn’t play point guard, does he?


  54. Great summation, Mimzy! To he great seers of ESPN Sauron’s victory will seem inevitable, but with Gandalf the White, Aragorn and Frodo on our side, good will triumph!


  55. With Fisher Back what would be our roster next season-

    Pg- Fisher/Blake
    SG- Kobe\Sasha
    SF -Ron\Luke
    PF -Pau\odom
    C – Bynum/Pau

    The way our drafts are playing I think the Lakers stole two decent draft picks in Ebanks and Caracter.


  56. Wow, leave for a weekend and come back to Fish re-signing, tons of LOTR references, and a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy quote. God Bless FB&G.

    P.S. Pau does remind me a little of Treebeard.


  57. Since I’ve not watched the Lord of the Rings, nor did I read it, I’m not following any of this… my tastes are too Wheel of Time-ish for me to enjoy Tolkien, though I stopped reading WoT as well.

    I’m kinda thinking that the Heat may now look like Matrix 🙂 The Chosen one, Morpheus, and Trinity. It really makes sense. Morpheus searches for the Chosen One, with Trinity strongly following Morpheus until Neo comes along then attaches himself…err.. herself to Neo.

    And it’s been a while since I watched the whole trilogy, but I remember not much changing at the end of the movie. No real end of the Matrix or anything. The world order pretty much in tact 🙂

    -Bernie, now i remember where the Fish thing is from! I was getting frustrated by remembering it but not knowing where it was from!


  58. Mimsy,
    I love your take. Let’s keep this allegorical reference going.

    Obviously Ron is Gimli and Lamar is Legolas. But is Farmar really Boromir, or am I taking this thing entirely too far? Well, I say Shannon could be Pippin.

    It may take a while, but I am curious who would you say Gollum is represented by?


  59. Gollum – Leprechaun.

    I don’t need to know much of the LotR to get that 😉


  60. I was more thinking that Pau is Legolas actually… Farmar is obviously Boromir. Sasha is Pippin — the one who does dumb things all the time, but who in the end turns out to have been as vital to the group as anyone else. Shannon Brown is Merry, of course.

    And that gives us the following Fellowship:

    Phil Jackson – Gandalf
    Kobe Bryant – Aragorn
    Ron Artest – Gimli
    Pau Gasol – Legolas
    Derek Fisher – Frodo
    Shannon Brown – Sam
    Lamar Odom – Merry
    Sasha Vujacic – Pippin
    Jordan Farmar – Boromir

    Bonus member: DJ Mbenga – Fangorn the Ent

    And Kevin Garnett is Gollum. Of course. (Or any random Leprechaun. Thanks harold! 🙂 )

    And if this doesn’t make my be far the biggest geek on FB&G I don’t know what it would take… 😀


  61. Caracter had another double double today. This guy is looking like a second round steal. Mitch and the front office coming through again.

    I was calling for his head, myself, when he was signing Luke et al to horrible deals, but he is really pulling his weight lately. Three cheers for Kupchak!


  62. Dear Jordan Farmar,

    How do I say this…


    That was easy.

    Every Laker Fan.


  63. That should have been “Shannon Brown is Sam, of course.” My bad.


  64. Hey Guys,
    Although we of course did over pay for Fisher (the only other team to offer him a contract was Miami and it was for the min) I love this deal. It is the reason players want to sign with the Lakers. We are more loyal that any other team. And if you don’t think players talk… they do.

    Moving onto next season now that Miami has signed Mike Miller and will most likely player Wade at PG with LeBron at SG and Miller at SF… the Lakers now more than ever have to bring in a SG type like TMac to play starting PG in order to deal with Miami’s size. That way a TMac sized player can guard Mike Miller with Kobe on Wade and Artest on James. The last thing we want to see in the Finals is Steve Blake or Derek Fisher on Mike Miller.


  65. Mike Miller isn’t going to play the point in Miami–he’s not a good enough ball handler or defender on the quick PGs… It might work if they played the triangle but they don’t.

    Also, kinda funny that Miller turned down a 5 year $30 million deal from LA to take a 5 year $25 million deal from an unproven Miami team with a small frontline and a weak bench. Nice choice Mike. You obviously made the right choice.


  66. Since we’re talking Lord of the Rings:

    Kobe = Aragorn – the rightful king to the throne.
    Luke = Ent – slow moving, is attached to the ground, but has good roots.
    Gandalf the Grey = Phil Jackson
    Gandalf the White = Tex Winters


  67. Mimsy,

    Awesome. Just awesome.

    Now we just need to get some one to photoshop Lebron’s face on the Witch King’s body.


  68. I’m having trouble with Lamar as Merry. LO’s just a bit to scatterbrained, seems to do things wrong, but adds to the cake by the end of the day. However, he just has too much innate talent to equate to Pippen – I agree with you there Mimsy.

    Somehow every time I see your name I think of the movie “The Last Mimsy”


  69. (50) Jon,

    Do you ghost write for the Cavaliers on the side?

    Great job.



  70. Aaron- If miami decides to go that big… We can use our “ULTIMATE LINE UP!” (use your deep voice when you read it)

    I wish they would Aaron, I wish they would.

    Miami is going to sit at least one star for the whole game except the start of the 1st, 3rd, and end of the 4th.


  71. @Craig
    Well I think of Lamar as Merry in that while the whole quest/war for the ring is going on, no one is really sure exactly what he is contributing, other than the fact he’s in there somewhere and occasionally getting in everyone’s way. And yet in the end, you look back and you realize that he was necessary all along.

    And I’ve had this name online since 2002. That movie owes me royalties!


  72. Sorry for the re post:

    If we want to compare trilogies to our beloved Laker Franchise, at least use the greatest trilogy of all time…

    Star Wars… duh! (The originals of course)

    Phil- Yoda (really, do I need to explain)
    Obi Wan- Shaw (started off by guiding “the great one” while fighting next to him and then transcended to being a more powerful teaching figure)
    Chewbacca- Pau (the hair)
    Han- Artest (characters that add spice and heroics to the stories despite their odd personality)
    Leia- Sasha (the hair)
    Luke- Kobe (successfully completing the path to greatness)
    R2D2- Fisher (rusty old can that served it’s purpose time and time again in dire moments.)
    C-3PO- Farmar (my least favorite characters)
    Lando- Bynum (Not really sure what you’re going to get out of them but in the end they serve their purpose.)

    Now that makes more sense to O.G’s like me. (original geeks)


  73. @Jeremy
    I did. The novels are way older than the Star Wars movies, after all. 😉


  74. Daniel,
    I am sending a composite JPG to Darius with Lebron as the WitchKing. You can just barely identify Lebron’s face in that mask.


  75. Dj Strawberry in place of Shannon Brown, anyone? 🙂


  76. Our needs look like a serviceable/defensive-minded backup center as an insurance policy to Bynum/Pau. *We have been fortunate that Bynum and Pau have not had to sit out due to injuries at the same time.* One of these days, that might be the case, but hopefully not.

    Another wing/scorer/defender to spell Kobe would be the other need. If they can shoot the 3-ball even better.

    I have a good feeling our draft picks can be developed into serviceable rotation players in due time (1-2 years). They seem hungry, have decent talent, and have a willingness to improve and learn. I think the FO has done really well in picking up late draft picks.


    Finally Miami…they are getting some good pickups, and I like their team. They have a glaring missing piece, and that is a legitimate banger in the center spot – the likes who can keep Howard/Perkins/Bynum at bay…. and while not a long term solution, if Big Z went there, they would at least have a presence at the C spot (you know Lebron is probably recruiting him). Thomas would help their case too. I have to hand it to Riles for getting the pieces to their puzzle together. Riles knows what he is doing and he will come out a winner again at some point in time, though I don’t know if this is the year for Miami. Personally, I’d still like to put another nail in Boston’s coffin, as that never gets old and would be supreme satisfaction.


  77. michael zarabi July 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    My favorite new name for Miami

    “The sisterhood of the travelling that is never called”


  78. 67, absolutely no way Wade plays PG. Wade is not a good 1v1 defender, he would be worse than Fisher on defense.

    If the Heat go to war with the lineup they have and don’t sign any more name players, their starting lineup will be Chalmers, Wade, Lebron, Bosh, and Center X. Miller and Haslem will come off the bench. I would also bet on seeing a lot of Lebron at the 4 and Bosh at the 5.


  79. As a LA transplant living in NJ, IF I go to Nets games, I may whimper a “hey what’s up” cheer for Farmar. Good luck to him. If we go with the Star Wars analogy, I was the one who called Lebron Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader). But the LOTR analogy is far superior. The Nazgul…what an awesome name for the Three Me-Egos.


  80. Good for Farmar — gives me another reason to watch an occasional Nets game this year.

    The player option in Fisher’s contract seems like a good way to get him more money without paying it over only two seasons, and the Lakers could buy him out of his option for less if he’s ready to retire prior to the third.

    Anyone else want to get on the “DJ Mbenga – starting center for the Miami Heat” bandwagon?


  81. Jeremy & Mimsy,
    The LOTR was originally published in 1954/5, but the story was mostly written between 1937-49. Tolkien was trying to write an English version of ancient mythology that would be intelligible to Englishmen, not Greeks or Romans.

    The LOTR, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion have a lot of depth that most casual readers have no idea exists. This stuff is actually far more extensive than the Star Wars stories and my guess is that George Lucas drew a lot from the basic form of this mythology.


  82. I guess you’re right Mimsy and Craig W. but I have a question… What are these “books” you speak of? Are they like movies without screens or something?

    Sorry I missed your Star Wars analogy Mimsy. I just saw the 20 some posts related to LOTR


  83. I can’t wait for the season so we can pound 2 men and a baby from Miami!

    James has made a fool of himself with the management team of high school friends.

    Would be sweet if the rumor about Shaq taking the min to really put it in the face of the real big baby James.


  84. DY,
    Your comment of ‘Three Me-Egos’ is almost as good as the ‘Nazgûls’. Nice going.


  85. @CraigW
    I thought he based it on primarily Germanic mythology and sagas? The Nibelungen legends, Beowulf and Sigmund, and that whole deal, among others. That’s where the ring obsession in LotR comes from, the theme of a family cursed by their ancestor in the Silmarillion, the whole saga of Beren and Luthien, and so on… I’m fairly sure that I’ve read somewhere that Tolkien initially just wanted to create a new language, and as he was in the process of doing so, realized that you can’t have a language in a vacuum, you need a culture for it, and it kind of went from there. So in other words, it all started with Quenya.

    Don’t quote me on that though, I’m too tired to bother looking anything up right now, and there are far too many comprehensive wikis out there that can prove me wrong in a second. 🙂


  86. This is by far the most geek-driven post I’ve ever read on this site.

    Fitting that Farmar always reminded me somewhat of Yoda, at least his ears.


  87. Speaking of Miami, I think one writer put it best when he said it was a ‘sorority.’ Now I have nothing against sororities, although I have nothing for them either since my college life was mostly about partying among fellow expats.

    I also like how they’re rounding things up and filling the blanks, it’s going to be fun. They’ll be hollywood and really understand what it’s like to play in LA without playing in LA 😉

    As for analogies, since my Matrix one was buried and forgotten, I’ll have to come up with another… Megatron, Soundwave and Starscream + fillers? The Detroit team that beat us really fit the Devastator model, while we were more or less the Dinobots…

    Oh well, I guess it really is the off-season as we’re debating over analogies 😉

    -As for Star Wars, I think Yoda should be Nike… Do or Do Not, there is no try. And it’s really, really interesting how Darth Vader is now more fitting for LeBron than it is for Kobe now… I really saw Kobe as Darth Vader… Oh well, it is now LeBron that joined the Dark Side, black uniform and all 😉


  88. Man this is good stuff…where else can I find such passion for the lakers mixed in with my favorite epic journey to middle earth? Fb&g, you have really outdone yourself this time… ; )

    I keep wanting to reiterate a fact that sets us far and above being a better team than we were last year. Yes, the Blake signing does make us better, but it’s someone we’ve had the whole time. Drew is very close to being an All-Star caliber player, and we just won it with him legitimately playing around 50%. With our PG upgrade and a (obviously hopeful) healthy Drew, we are a much more dangerous team…and this is somethig we cannot forget. Health ALWAYS will play a roll throughout every team each year, let’s hope we have the boys ready come the second season.


  89. Zephid, Wade can shut down PGs & SGs with his defense when he’s actually trying. He’s become a very good defender, not to mention he gets superstar treatment and doesn’t get many calls against him. LBJ & Wade are also two of the best help defenders in the whole league, which people tend to forget when talking about how their team lacks shot blocking. This team is slowly picking up excellent complimentary pieces. They’re just a couple of players (Bell, Big Z) away from being legitimate contenders.


  90. Aaron, quit huffing paint.

    Craig W
    The Lord of the Rings is a story about living the homosexual lifestyle, in secret. The symbolism is blatent. Look who they even cast for the films.

    “Here Merry, ride in front of me, there is plenty of room on Shadowfax for you.” –gandalf

    Jordan Farmar is exceptionally talented and intelligent. I think NJ is the best destination for him to pursue his personal goals, it is unfortunate that they no longer coincide with the Lakers goal. He gave me a lot of exciting memories as a fan and a lot of footspeed to the Lakers. Hopefully we’ll continue to compensate for losing speed with our resiliency and discipline. Goodbye to the bench mob.


  91. Tolkien was also attempting to present Biblical history in the LoTR narrative.

    It’s especially obvious when you read the creation myth in the Silmarillion.

    The representation of ultimate evil in the figure of Sauron as an “all-seeing eye” is a pretty obvious nod to the Egyptians and their influence on the Babylonian mystery religions and by extension the “Illuminati” conspiracy of our time, which is often symbolized by none other than the All-Seeing Eye atop a pyramid.


  92. You know it’s the offseason when

    (1) every other day, someone hopes the Lakers pick up Kwame Brown as an extra big

    (2) the comments get taken over by Lord of the Rings references.


  93. Whoa, Nellie!

    Speculation concerning any team must follow some step by step thinking, starting with the core team. The Lakers are one of only a few teams with an intact core–quality players who’ve already competed in three consecutive NBA championships.

    Despite all the grandstanding, Miami continues to have two huge holes in their lineup–center and point guard. Good centers are outrageously expensive, and even rather ordinary centers cost more than the veteran’s minimum. As the Laker’s have found, year after year, even moderately good PGs cost–and bargains can backfirewhen one goes looking for a bargain.

    It will be interesting to see whether or not this experiment works. I need to be convinced that this new Heat team will outperform last year’s squad.

    After all, considering the possibilities out there and Heat history, the Miami starting five could be Smush, Wade, James, Kwame, and Bosh–or worse!


  94. Aaron,

    If we meet the Heat in the finals, and they have Mike Miller, wouldn’t they just do what the did with Ray Allen? Put Fisher to just stay on him to make sure he doesn’t curl around and go through? We would have to put Kobe on wade (not rondo) and then just let Fisher trail Miller.


  95. Wait…what?

    I’m not willing to crown the Treacherous Trio


    auto-champs…but the idea that they might not even be as good as last year’s Heat team seems like a huge stretch. Those 3 could definitely carry a group of lesser talents to the 2nd round or better, barring injuries. Kobe was 1 win away from carrying a mostly ridiculous roster where the #2 was Lamar “Inconsistent” Odom to the 2nd round of the playoffs…in the WEST. You don’t think Lebron, Wade, Haslem, Bosh and Miller have enough to do it in the East?

    Look at it this way…for SG’s in this league, Wade is without a doubt second only to Kobe. For SF’s, Lebron is absolutely the best. Alone, those are two of the top 5 (arguably top 3) players in the NBA. On the same team. Then you add Chris Bosh to that- while I certainly don’t believe he’s better than Gasol, is there anyone who would really argue he’s not at least top 5?

    The truth is, speculating about how they will play together is just that…but Lebron was more than willing to pass to what he had in Cleveland…you think he won’t be feeding Wade and Bosh for highlights and vice-versa? Say what you will about their egos in this whole ESPN thing (and I will totally agree)- but they are definitely guys who didn’t mind sharing the ball with lesser players. I foresee a nearly constant highlight reel…especially if Spoelstra has them play an up-tempo offense. They’ll be serious contenders. But I don’t see them, or anybody else, defeating the Lakers.


  96. It pays to remember Cleveland picked up Shaq last year to combat Orlando and the Lakers. Of course they never got to face either of those competitors, but got ousted by Boston.

    Remember this bit of history when talking about how we would match up to the Heat in the finals. We have to get there first – as do they – and that’s the rub.


  97. Ray,

    Ray Allen is 6’5..Fisher is 6’1, so it’s barely ok. Mike Miller is 6’8, do you think someone 6’1 can guard 6’8? Even if Fisher is in his face, he can just shoot over him.


  98. Not sure if this has been linked here previously, but here’s something we can all enjoy – especially Kobe fans.



  99. I don’t think everyone should discount Mario Chalmers ability; he’s a pretty good PG. He can shoot and play pretty good D….watch out for him. He can be the Miami’s equivalent of a Rondo (albeit, a poor man’s version…which is not bad)


  100. Here are the best FA still available at a very low price:

    New York – Eddie House -$2,932,708
    Philadelphia – Allen Iverson – $645,830 (I can’t imagine his price is this low!)
    Memphis – Ronnie Brewer – $2,717,161
    Dallas – Tim Thomas – $825,497
    Orlando – Matt Barnes – $1,600,000
    L.A. Clippers – Craig Smith -$2,300,000
    Phoenix – Louis Amundson – $855,189
    Cleveland – Zydrunas Ilgauskas – $925,000
    Oklahoma City – Etan Thomas – $7,906,088 (Hope he plays for the minimum!)
    Toronto – Rasho Nesterovic – $1,990,000
    Chicago – Jannero Pargo – $1,990,000 (He played with us before, right?)

    So, those are the guys that aren’t that much newsworthy but are ON SALE with their prices.


  101. (96) Ray,

    Miller will be coming off the bench at either the 2 or 3. When he comes in at the 2, the most likely person guarding him would be Sasha. At the 3, it would be Luke.

    (99) aB

    Chalmers is a good PG, but not a starting PG with this ego inflated team. Do you think that Chalmers could ignore Wade or James if they demanded the ball? I don’t think so–he’s no Derek Fisher.


  102. I’d just like to reiterate what others have been saying about the allusions to LotR that we’ve been blessed with in this thread. It’s always good to see/read people that have actually read the books (even to the extent of The Silmarillion, which is always an impressive effort).

    Keep it up one and all!


  103. Even a little shakespeare!


  104. I could think of a lot of other players I’d rather see this year than Raja Bell. He has more than a couple steps.


  105. swedishmeatballs July 13, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I really sincerely hope the Lakers can manage to add Raja Bell to the roster.

    Let’s keep fingers, arms, legs and whatever else crossed for Kobe’s ability to persuade..


  106. Tolkien’s writings were driven by what he experienced in WWI (I think “driven” is a better term than “inspired”), combined with his Christian faith.


  107. +1 Josh

    I don’t know how some people can look at the Heat and think that they are not going to be an improvement over last year’s team or that they won’t be a threat next year.

    They have 2 top 5 players and 1 top 20 (top 10?) player and now have a couple of good role players in miller and haslem. I have no doubt Riley is trying to fill in the remaining gaps.

    I agree that teams win championships and we haven’t seen how this team plays, but they have shown some positive signs that they are willing to sacrifice for the team – the biggest is that they are taking less money including haslem.

    They are not going to have all-stars in every position, but no team does. Like every team does, Riley/Spoelstra are going to figure out how to minimize the impact of their weak positions and maximize the advantages of their strong positions. With LBJ, Wade, Bosh, they have a lot of options.

    The Heat haven’t won anything yet, but they are building a legitimate contender nothing more, nothing less.


  108. thisisweaksauce July 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    34 years old? I’ll pass.


  109. Kobe’s meeting with Raja Bell on Wednesday in LA. The glaring weakness if this signing is done is that LA’s bench has less slashing ability (mostly Ebanks and Odom). But the bench with his signing could have 3 great 3-point shooters in Blake, Vujacic, and Bell. Great ball handlers in Blake, Odom, and Walton. Good defenders in Vujacic, Bell, and Ebanks. Overall, I think our bench would be deeper than last year and the giving up leads won’t be as much of a problem this year.


  110. Correct Me If I’m Wrong, But Isn’t This Suppose To Be A Blog For Intelligent Laker Fans? So To All Those Who Feel That The Heat Are Not Going To Pose A Legitimate Threat To Us, This Is What I Take From It:

    1. They Have Their Lakers Blinders On & Because Of This, They Can’t See Anything Else.
    2. They Don’t Know A Damn Thing About Professional Basketball.
    3. They’ve Accidentally Logged On To The Wrong Site.


  111. Wow nesterovic is still available? He might be a great backup C

    Of course Walton, Sasha, and Ebanks are all higher risk for non-contributors than our big men so I’d rather see a Raja Bell on our bench.


  112. Nothing to be concerned about. If Odom plays to his potential, or Bynum is healthy, the Lakers will have no problem if they meet the Heat in the Finals.


  113. Lebron and Wade will go to the free throw line how many times?


  114. The thing that would worry me about a bell signing is that our roster would get older and less athletic.

    Losing Farmar and Brown would mean we would be losing two of our most athletic players.

    I think although Brown didnt exactly make the right play all the time. He provided energy and athleticism off the bench.


  115. To add to the LOTR theme, which is awesome…I don’t know if we can have Shannon as Sam, since Sam was notable for his unflinching loyalty, while Shannon opted out of his contract. Maybe Shannon could be Theoden (if he ends up leaving the team), and Lamar could be Sam.

    Ammo, of course, is Eomer. And while we know Gandalf would be Phil, I think we need to give Tex Winter an LOTR equivalent…I nominate him to be Elrond. Also, Brian Shaw has to be someone, so I nominate him to be Bilbo as he won some rings with the Lakers.

    I can’t really think of anyone for Josh Powell…maybe Merry, with Luke as Faramir (very close to Farmar/Boromir, directed the ringbearers the right way into Minas Morgul, is noble, and has delusional father Denethor/Bill Walton). And while I think Sasha being cast as Pippin is pretty accurate, he also could be cast as Arwen 😀


  116. Their will be a slight delay with the links and the afternoon post today. My apologies.

    However, the LOTR knowledge on this board is pretty astounding.

    Also, I don’t buy the Heat as not being a very good team – but I still need to see who else fills out the roster. The fact that they’ve gotten Haslem and Miller to sign on is great for them but they’ll have to sort out their minutes and lineups to ensure that their top 5 guys get the minutes that they’ll need as there will be some positional overlap. Ideally, Lebron will be the primary ball handler, Miller will be the shooter, Wade would be the dynamic scorer, Haslem would be the defensive big and Bosh would be the do it all big. That’s a very good line up, but against teams with a double post presence (like, uh, the Lakers) this lineup will be tested with their ability to control the glass and battle against bigger players. That’s not to say the Heat won’t present their own problems to the Lakers, though. But these are conversations for a later day.


  117. Raja Bell is an unknown quantity, who knows what he has left in the tank? Still love Craig Smith, but would you sign him and still keep Caracter?

    Really like to see Shannon come back, but has he already peaked? Still, he has games where he is hot from outside, and there is nothing like him filling a lane.

    LeBron will love to take the Magic role in Miami, he could lead the league in assists, easy.


  118. Fisher is Sam. The loyal friend who comes up big at the end to save the day, even if he can’t carry the ring himself.


  119. KAAAAAAAAAHN did it again! Yahoo reporting that Al Jefferson traded to the Jazz for two 1st round picks.


    I wonder which fan base is the most depressed, Cleveland with LeBron leaving or Minnesota having Kahn who decided to keep Darko instead of Jefferson.


  120. 117- That is my feeling as well. I am not comfortable with the Lakers losing young, quick, athletic players. In 2008-2009 the Lakers bench was considered one of the best in the league. The main reason is the second unit played a very different game from the first unit. With Jordan, Lamar, and Trevor (at first) they were fast. The change in tempo often caught opposing teams off guard.

    Now we seem to be losing that speed altogether. Trevor is gone. Famar is gone. Shannon may not be back. With this reality I just can’t get excited about the possiblity of a 34 year old Bell.

    Last night I watched the 2008 gold medal game for the gazillionith time. Anyone who thinks the Heat won’t contend out the gate is crazy. Image LeBron James in the open floor finishing. Other than Team USA he has never had a chance to do that consistently. Brown’s offense may have inflated his numbers, but it boxed him up too. The Heat will be dangerous. Still they have to get out the East. And the Lakers have their own work to do.


  121. That Heat team will have to remain healthy, if they were to lose one or two of the big three, that would leave a bunch of bench players to continue on. I mean, we were without Kobe and Bynum, and Artest for time spans, injuries are unfortunately bound to happen.


  122. My only problem with this Heat super team is, the Lakers only get to play them twice a year in the regular season.

    sT Re: Heat injuries – yeah but the three “me-egos” are relatively young.


  123. A Miami team that has never played, without a legitimate center or experienced PG, and most of the team composed of minimum salary veterans still unsigned is already being fantasized as playing for the NBA championship against the Lakers next year. So things can be when hype is unchallenged by reality.

    Let’s imagine the recruiting going on right now for Miami–if it were honest: “We’ve already got all the money locked up but we need your help, setting picks, playing on ball defense so we can make steals, getting those effort rebounds so we can make those glorious fast breaks, having to hit critical shots from time to time out of rythmn when everything else breaks down, facing criticism or banishment if the team founders. Oh, and by the way, we get the glory–you don’t get paid–ever.”

    While hype focuses us on fantasy, other NBA teams have made solid progress out of the limelight: Suns, Milwaukee, Jazz as examples. Houston will have Yao Ming.

    The fantasy Miami team is already being evaluated against fantasy defensive schemes. It’s not hard to imagine. Many teams with quality big men will funnel and clog, forcing Miami into being a jump shooting team with limited rebounding help, then pounding the ball inside with a slow deliberate offense and strong rebounding.


  124. Also, Lebron James is Duane Barry from season 2 of the X-Files.