Like many people, I was incredulous when I heard about the recent Steve Blake foot spike. On the scale of freak accidents it ranks pretty high but when it comes to sports, maybe not so much so. These are the vagaries of chance. The new Lakers roster has been compared to the 2003/04 team for obvious reasons – the star-studded aspect and the expectations game. We all remember what happened to Karl Malone that season – Scottie Williams landed on his knee and the season changed in a moment. Freak chances aren’t always injuries – the public’s attention was captured in a freeze-frame instant when replacement referees blew a late call in the Seahawks/Packers game. Did the outcry hasten a resolution to the union dispute? Maybe, maybe not. These things become part of the time continuum – we can say we know but we don’t really know. The narrative however, is often the way into the story. Some links for a Friday:
We’ve been winding our way through a ‘favorite role-players’ series here at FB&G. Dexter Fishmore and the gang at Silver Screen and Roll have also put up a great article on the subject matter. I especially enjoyed Actuarially Sound tabbing the Machine as his one true favorite. Bold move.
Andy Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers offers a brief video snippet of Dwight Howard working out, along with some typically enjoyable commentary. And, on the subject of good writing and Superman, if you haven’t read Emile’s extraordinarily good piece here, do it now.
Keeping it on the Dwight Howard beat, Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie reports on DH’s visit to the Ellen Show. This is the kind of stuff that keeps PR people fed and happy and I’m cringing just a little bit. Please feel free to complain.
Also at BDL, Eric Freeman has an update on the breaking news that the NBA is implementing measures to fine players that flop.
With training camp around the corner, players all around the league are in their teams’ cities, hitting the facilities, and getting in their last sessions before the fully structured days of an NBA season take hold. Over at Lakers.com, Mike Trudell has been observing the work guys like Jamison, Jordan Hill, Darius Morris, and several others are putting in. Here are his notes from a scrimmage last week as well as a couple of videos from action on other days.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the new Time Warner Lakers broadcast package. Joe Flint at the L.A. Times checks into some of the details. And speaking of the TWC’s Lakers’ coverage, another reminder that you can check to see whether or not your provider is slated to carry the channel and what you can do about it if they’re not.
I was browsing through HoopsHype and found this article about Keyon Dooling’s retirement, by Jessica Camerato. This is an article that I probably would have skipped right by but I began to read and got pulled in. It’s a substantial piece and covers some tough stuff.
On the subject of HoopsHype, this is a resource that’s been around for ten years now. I don’t spend as much time reading it as I once did, but it was one of the earliest internet basketball sites and data bases, and it has filled a lot of gaps over the years. It even predates Hunter S. Thompson and his ‘Hey Rube’ columns for ESPN and that’s going back a ways.
While they interest me, I tend not to put too much trust into polls and predictions. They are snapshots, opinions, quantifiers. We can’t be assured of health, we can’t be assured of a championship season, we can’t be assured that a new offensive scheme will work or that it won’t work. We can however discuss it and anticipate it and above all, we can be along for the ride. Training camp begins next week and a summer of change fades from view and a new season begins – full of hope, promise and chance.
– Dave Murphy