Happy Thanksgiving!

Darius Soriano —  November 25, 2010

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First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving! We Laker fans have lots to be thankful for and here’s a few things that I’m especially thankful for this year (both Lakers and in my personal life)…

Back to back NBA championships and a team that’s ready to compete for even more.

Kobe Bryant.

(At least) One last year of Phil Jackson coaching this team.

My fantastic family and their love and support in everything I do. Right this moment they’re cooking a feast for the ages as I’m holed up in another room typing. I couldn’t run this site without their encouragement.

Mitch Kupchak – whose ability to improve a championship roster every year is amazing.

Jerry Buss and entire Buss family. Simply put, the best owners in sports.

That Pau Gasol was traded here from Memphis in 2008. (This is something I’ll continue to be thankful for, seemingly for eternity.)

Shannon Brown’s summer shooting regimen.

Kurt Helin deciding to start this site a little more than 6 years ago.

Phillip, Jeff, Zephid, Bill Bridges and all the other writers and moderators that produce insightful and thought provoking content day after day.

Speaking of our great group of contributors, Jeff emailed me some of things that he’s thankful for this year:

Matt Barnes’ scowl and the tenacity he’s added to this team. At least this year, we’ll be on the other side of his next Twitter war.

Ron Artest’s instant redemption game-winner in Game 5 against Phoenix, only to be topped by his epic trey against the C’s in Game 7.

That we still have at least another four to five years of watching one of the undisputed greatest players of all-time. These are precious moments in Kobe’s career and I’m not only thankful for #24’s accomplishments, but also feel a responsibility to savor every last one of them.

The Lakers’ relative good health the past two seasons.

The fact that — contrary to popular belief — Sasha Vujacic’s career highlight at this point isn’t asking Maria Sharapova to marry him, but syncing two series-clinching free throws in the waning moments of Game 7 of last year’s Finals.

And finally, all of you – the readers and commenters – that have turned a website into a community and a place where we can all come and discuss the team and learn more about this team and the game that we love. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more informed, passionate basketball community on all the web.

Darius Soriano

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to Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. I’m thankful for the best blog around and the joy of following the best team in sports.


  2. Thank you Darius and to all the writers, contributors and moderators of this site. This is a great haven for Laker fans.


  3. Happy Thanksgiving to all! Let’s go bowling!


  4. Big thanks to the staff and contributors on this site too. I don’t post often, but I do read nearly everything 🙂


  5. Buss, Mitch, Phil, Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Artest, Brown, Fisher, Barnes, and Blake. And in that amazing order. If it were not for Buss and Mitch behind Kobe and Lamar would still be Smush, Walton, Mihm, Kwame, and Cook. Wait? How did Kobe take those guys to game 7 against the Suns? Maybe I should have put Kobe #1 😉


  6. Happy Turkey Day, FBaG Nation! I’m thankful that instead of this site dropping off with Kurt’s departure, it’s only gotten stronger. We knew Darius would hold it down, but with Phillip and Jeff and Zephid stepping up, the posts have never been better.

    Also thankful for the pu-pu platter of TNT games the NBA is serving up tonight (Atlanta, Sacramento, seriously?) – it’ll make it much easier to focus on the food than be tempted by an irresistible game.


  7. Thanks to Smush, Mihm, Kwame, Cook, Vlad, Coby and a few others for helping me appreciate the current version of the Lakers.


  8. Thank you to whoever voodoo’d Lebron James and his seemingly-Miami Cold.


  9. I first want to give thanks to being able to sit with my family and enjoy an abundance of food that I can already smell will be delicious.

    I want to give thanks that sites such as this one, and others like NBA Playbook, FreeDarko, TBJ, Disciples of Clyde, TrueHoop and many other sites on that network have only increased the joy I take from basketball. They not only make the NBA more fun but I play the game better because of how basketball is discussed on these sites.

    I give thanks that I was able to go to the gym today and get a run on. The courts were filled with people owning different skills and different athletic talents but the love for the game was in everyone. Basketball is only getting more enjoyable as I age.

    I give thanks that the Lakers play such an enjoyable brand of basketball. The talent on that team is already of a high quality. The coaches obviously know how to maximize the abilities of the players, but the way they play balances style and substance on a sublime edge that cuts through the respected opponents.

    It seems as though many of us understand that we are watching a culmination. None of us know that it will bring a Threepeat but it is clear that a healthy Lakers team, at this time, would be fully ripe. It has the right mix of talent, the right amount of comfort in the system, a respectful attitude but a confidence that adds to a teams edge, the right amount of hunger, and the right level of skill. I fully expect that this team will ferment slowly but this just seems to be the right time to pop open the bottle and enjoy one of the finest vintages of Lakers basketball that any of us will have had the pleasure to enjoy. I didn’t get to see the West, Baylor, Wilt Lakers but I did see Showtime in it’s prime. I loved the Lakeshow years (they replayed Magic’s comeback game and I had chills listening to the crowed welcome him back to the court. I couldn’t wait to see that play where Magic moved Spreewell out of his way into the lane with a look into the corner. He literally looked a defender into giving him an open lane to the basket). The Shaq-Kobe years were fun to watch, from Kobe airballs in Utah to Malone’s last game as a pro. There was a story to every season, some sense of drama, and always a hope that the team was going to show us something special. 81 point games, going up 3-1 against the Suns, watching Caron Butler show what he would be for a couple of years in Washington, what might Kobe be traded for after his Bynum tirade, “how did we get Pau for that”? But, this team on this Thanksgiving looks transcendent in the way that PDX looked in ’78 and the Knicks did at their peak under Holtzman. They know their roles, they move the ball, they communicate on defense, they work hard, and they are extremely skilled. So, I am thankful for all that.

    Last and not least, I am thankful that we killed last years’ brood of Lepers. Here is to my greedy wish that we get #17 against this even older, even more injury prone group of Celtics that manage to make that shade of green look uglier and uglier with every season that the Forum Blue and Gold gets closer and closer to the record number of championships. These Lakers were made to catch and break that record. For that I give thanks as well.


  10. I’m thankful for having such a world class basketball franchise in LA(obviously I don’t mean the Clippers)- how many other cities wish they had a fraction of our titles-thank you Dr.Buss and Mitch Kupchak for not pulling the trigger on trading away Kobe a few years ago when he was frustrated with the team losing its been all up hill since-and in agreement with this post I’ll be forever thankful for the Pau Gasol trade, I can’t believe we got him and were able to keep Lamar and Drew!!


  11. I’m thankful to my husband for introducing me to Laker basketball 🙂

    I’m also thankful that I met him, despite all impossible odds, but that’s another story… I am now going to go fall over in turkey-induced near coma, happy that the Saints beat the Cowboys, and that I will not be forced to go to any Black Friday sales at all tomorrow, since I’m working. Tomorrow, there will be Lakers and college football, and left-over turkey sandwiches, and life will be good.


  12. Truly enjoyable read at the end of this very good Thanksgiving day. Thanks


  13. Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to all at FB&G. Definitely a great way to end the Thanksgiving day today, reading this post and all the comments.


  14. Happy thanksgiving to everyone here. I’m celebrating a day late (dollar short, etc.) half way around the world. Hopefully I will be waking up to a Laker route of the Utah Jazz. But I am still thankful.


  15. Thanks to all people here at FB&G for allowing me to enjoy this special Laker season all the way in Germany and being able to share my thoughts in such a great environment.

    And thanks to whoever made this brilliant mash-up of ads, MJ telling LeBron how it’s done:



  16. LOL…on ESPN’s top ten blooper roundup just now, #5 was a missed fast break dunk from our very own ex-Laker, Josh Powell. Guess he still needs dunking practice.