Lakers put up a sorry effort against Heat

Kobe Bryant in the 4th quarter of Saturday’s loss to Miami 


Yes, that’s a Pittsburgh Steelers thong. And yes, you can buy it, or one just like it with your favorite NFL team’s logo, for the lady in your life or yourself. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to blow my brains out. 


“It’s like Christian holidays don’t mean to them anything anymore. Just go out and play and entertain the TV. It’s really weird, but it is what it is. We have to go to work and make the best of it. “I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day. I don’t understand it.” – Lakers coach Phil Jackson reiterating his opposition to NBA games on Christmas.

“I have no comments at all on Christmas Day games. My suggestion to my staff this morning was that I think the NBA is so important to Christmas that what we really need to do is increase from five games to 10, and we need to start them at midnight on what would have been Christmas Eve and play them all through the day so there’s not a minute of Christmas Day where there’s not an NBA game on TV. Because, it’s great.

The NBA is Christmas, to me, anyway. It’s what it’s all about.” – Magic coach Stan Van Gundy sarcastically talking about playing on Christmas Day. (Van Gundy has said the Magic were hit with a “hefty” fine for his critical comments last year about playing on the holiday.)

“That was embarrassing!” – Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Earvin “Magic” Johnson after the Lakers were blown out at home by the Heat on Christmas Day.


“I do the same game-day thing. Starting at 2:30 helps. Guys with young kids, they’re up at 5:30 in the morning, if you remember young kids’ Christmases. I have teenagers, we have to wake them up now on Christmas and remind them that there are gifts so that I can go to the arena. Afterward, we have a big family team dinner at the hotel, which is really nice. 

I agree with any player who says he wishes we didn’t play on Christmas. But we do and it’s just part of our business. I think we know that when we sign our contracts, and we all sign on, and the fact that you guys are going to be there too makes it that much better.” – Celtics coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers on the Celtics’ Christmas Day regimen for their 2:30 p.m. game at Orlando, where Rivers makes his offseason home with his family.

“It was only a matter of time before they figured things out.” – Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on the Miami Heat’s recent 12 game winning streak which ended Monday in a loss to Dallas.

“It happened in the past, it happened in the present, it happened in the future. Not just for him. All players (get ejected). That happens a lot of times. You see guys get ejected. Rip Hamilton got ejected (recently) in Detroit. Bob Cousy got ejected … The only person who never got ejected was Jesus.” [Artest was asked if he had checked Jesus’ box scores.] “No ejections. He was 10 for 10s, a lot of 20 for 20s (in shooting). Perfect from the free-throw line. Infinity rebounding stats.” – Laker Ron Artest when asked what he thought about teammate Kobe Bryant’s ejection from Tuesday’s night loss to the Bucks.








“This isn’t going to be easy. If it was easy to three-peat, you’d see a lot of teams do it in the past. That’s why so few teams have been able to do it. If we’re going to do it we’re going to need to get our butts in gear.

The game has to be the most important thing. You have to focus on it, you have to play every game like it’s your last, you have to be attentive to what’s going on. This is serious stuff. You don’t just have two rings and say we’re satisfied with what we got. I’m not rolling with that. I’m not going to let that slide.

I think these [Christmas Day] games mean more to our opponent than they do us. I think we need to get that straight. I think we need to play with more focus and put more importance on these games. I don’t like it.” – Laker Kobe Bryant after Saturday’s loss to the Heat at Staples Center.


“For we are not a nation that says, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says, ‘Out of many, we are one.’  We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot.  We are a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal.  Those are the ideals that generations have fought for.  Those are the ideals that we uphold today.  And now, it is my honor to sign this bill into law.” – President Barack Obama to 500 guests at a packed signing ceremony for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at the Interior Department on Wednesday morning.

“I’ve never been around anything like this in my life. It’s about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there.” – New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin after Sunday’s stunning come-from-ahead loss to the Eagles.

“I think my stubbornness, hard-headedness and stupidity is what has allowed me to play for 20 years.” – Vikings QB Brett Favre after Monday’s night loss to the Bears that he left after suffering a concussion.


“Rajon Rondo [Celtics] is the engine that stirs the drink.” – Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley. Ah, I love Sir Charles who continues to prove that while he may have played basketball at Auburn University, he sure as hell didn’t pass any of his English courses. If he had any.


Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who said “I just don’t remember it as being that bad”, when asked about the tensions of the civil rights movement in his home state in a lengthy Weekly Standard profile of the potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate. Barbour went on to say that he also felt terrible when he heard the news that civil rights leader Medgar Evers had died after tripping and falling in his driveway one night. Okay, I might have made that last one up.


Miami Heat is sports world's newest super-villain, and LeBron James is public enemy No. 1

 (L-R Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James

Miami Heat is sports world’s newest super-villain, and LeBron James is public enemy No. 1   

The Miami Heat, which played the Lakers at Staples Center on Saturday, has provoked sports fans’ ire in a way that few other professional teams do. 


Lakers put up a sorry effort against Heat

Much-hyped game turns into a lopsided win for Miami, one that clearly showed that the Lakers better shape up or forget about retaining their NBA title.








A passing of the torch? Miami Heat grabs it – Israel Gutierrez  

Mark Heisler on the NBA: Lakers have bigger problems than the Heat  

Los Angeles Lakers in disarray after loss to Miami Heat – ESPN

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant breaks his silence – ESPN Los Angeles

NBA Coast to Coast: Michael Jordan has work to do after departure of Larry Brown   

Kobe Bryant-LeBron James: The ups and downs of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James  

Bobcats show mark of Jordan









“Well, now I know why ‘BET Bob’ was so eager to sell.”

 Arenas energized by trade to Magic

NBA Trade Rumors: What Should Every Team Do? Dump, Make a Move or Stay Put?  

LeBron undermines union with comments  

Los Angeles Lakers guard, NBPA president Derek Fisher responds to Miami Heat F LeBron James’ comments on NBA contraction  


Video: Blake Griffin with his head at the rim  


Video: J.R. Smith joins Team 360-Degree Layup  (Again)


Well, that was fun for somebody. You know, everybody NOT associated with the Lakers. 

Yesterday’s game is the reason why Phil Jackson will never, ever put any of his Laker teams above those he coached in Chicago. In their championship eras, the Bulls never came out and gave less than 100% effort each and every night. Michael Jordan simply wouldn’t allow it.

If someone from NBA headquarters in New York City had asked me, and to be 100% honest, they didn’t, I would have scheduled the Celtics to play the Lakers at Staples Center yesterday because a) it would have been a repeat of last season’s Finals, b) Shaq v Kobe; ‘nuff said and c) because it’s a real rivalry between the two greatest franchises in league history. I’m sure the ratings were great for the Lakers and the Heat but, you can’t convince me that they wouldn’t have been just as high if it had been a Celtics/Lakers battle royale on ABC.

I cannot tell a lie. I was dead set against the Clippers signing of Vinny Del Negro as head coach. I thought they could do better considering some of the other coaches available at the time. That said, I take back everything I said about Del Negro and the hire. He is the right coach for this young Clipper team. I just hope Donald T. Sterling gives him the time to grow with them. Wait a minute, did I just write the words “hope” and “Donald T. Sterling” in the same sentence? Forgive me Father, for I know not what I write.

Let’s say we were playing “NBA Trivia 2010” and I asked you to guess which NBA player’s father has been charged with trying to kill a police officer (or anyone for that matter). How long would it take you to say “O. J. Mayo”? Ten seconds? Fifteen? O. J. Mayo’s father faces charges in W.Va.

Something tells me that Larry Brown is probably coaching somewhere, right this minute, even if it’s in the kitchen at home: “Son, I want you to flash out to the left elbow, pick your sister with your right hip as I reverse curl, then go back door as your mother passes me the roast beef and I lay it down on the table.”

Kevin Hart seems to be stepping into the “Lil Penny” role for Dwyane Wade that Chris Rock filled for Penny Hardaway. And, Hart and Lil Penny are just about the same height.

Here are the current league leaders in technical fouls:

1. Dwight Howard, Orlando 11
2. Carmelo Anthony, Denver 9 (1 ejection)
T3. Richard Hamilton, Detroit 8 (3 ejections)
T3. Stephen Jackson, Charlotte 8 (1 ejection)
T3. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York 8
T6. Chauncey Billups, Denver 5
T6. Andray Blatche, Washington 4
T6. Joakim Noah, Chicago 5
T9. Jason Williams, Orlando 4 (2 ejections)
T9. Kobe Bryant, Lakers 4 (1 ejection)
T9. Gerald Wallace, Charlotte 4 (1 ejection)
T9. Kevin Garnett, Boston 4
T9. Blake Griffin, Clippers 4
T9. Nene, Denver 4
T9. Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte 4

10. Rasheed Wallace 3 


Lakers @ Spurs – Tuesday. Forget what happened yesterday at Staples Center. This is a game that truly matters to the Lakers playoff hopes this season.


1. Mitch “Mr Toad” McConnell is anti-American.

2. John McCain has lost his mind.

3. I have a dream and that dream is a 2012 GOP ticket of Sarah Palin and Haley Barbour.

4. Apparently, only the loss of a limb or sweet death itself can end Brett Favre’s NFL career. Maybe.

5. Now that I know that Al Michaels is good friends with Rush Limbaugh – Limbaugh was Michaels’ guest last Saturday at a dinner hosted by Patriots owner Robert Kraft – I’ll never be able to listen to him broadcast a game again without feeling slightly ill.

6. I doubt that any other former professional athlete become as identified with another sport as a broadcaster like Ahmad Rashad, a former NFL wide receiver, has become with the NBA. I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that many young NBA players watching last Monday’s Bears/Vikings game had to be absolutely stunned when they saw him being honored during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Vikings franchise because they had no idea he’d played football. Or that his birth name was Bobby Moore. Or that he was once married to Claire Huxtable. Or that he was Michael Jordan’s valet during the Bulls’ championship seasons. Ok, I made that last one up. Sort of.

7. For my money, and admittedly I don’t have a lot, there’s not a better tradition on late-night television than the annual David Letterman last show before Christmas that features Paul Shaffer’s impersonation of Cher singing “Oh Holy Night”, actor/DJ Jay Thomas’ great story about the Lone Ranger and he and Letterman trying to knock a meatball off the top of the on-set Christmas tree with a football and Darlene Love (just voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) belting out “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.

8. Noah was the least-likely name of boys born in Southern California this past week.

9. Michael Vick’s life was saved by his going to prison.

10. I am blessed.

RANKINGS, WE’VE GOT RANKINGS! (my comments in italics)

Mark Heisler’s NBA rankings – A look at the contenders, pretenders and others.

December 25, 2010

Tribune Newspapers

Rk. TEAM (Record) Comment


1. BOSTON (23-5) On 14-0 run, got to be Christmas warmup act for Heat-Lakers. (2) Sure, they lost to Orlando but, that was without both Rando and “Mushmouth” Perkins.

2. SAN ANTONIO (25-4) On 73-win pace, until losing in Orlando. (1) I predict they beat the Lakers by 15 Tuesday night.

3. DALLAS (23-5) So much for Eastie Boys: Won back-to-back in Miami, Orlando.(5) The Mavericks are better now than when they lost to the Heat in the ’06 Finals.

4. MIAMI (23-9) Ask the Lakers if they’re for real or can beat bigger teams. (3) I’ll take “Hell yeah for a thousand please Alex.”

5. OKLAHOMA CITY (21-10) Oops: Went 14-4 before giving up 113, 112 in losses to Suns, Knicks. (6) Baby steps.

6. UTAH (21-9) If Jefferson isn’t what he was, improved Millsap takes up slack. (7) I’m trying to remember the last time the Jazz were ranked above the Lakers. The second Clinton administration?

7. ORLANDO (18-12) Lost eight of nine before new guys help them beat Spurs, Celtics. (10) Need to get one more BIG and I’m sure GM Otis “Black Amish Goatee” Smith is working on it like Michael Jackson: “Night and Day”.

8. LAKERS (21-9) If they get better from this point, it’ll be first time since Showtime. (4) I thought Magic Johnson was going to cry on ESPN.

9. CHICAGO (19-10) 2-2 since Noah left, with Knicks beating them on Christmas. (9) To be fair, he did have to supervise Ark operations in Southern California last week.

10. NEW ORLEANS (17-12) Remember when he just took open shots as Laker? Ariza at 36%. (9) It’s much easier being the 4th or 5th option on a championship team than it is to be the 2nd on a team like the Hornets.

11. DENVER (16-12) What kept you? Just won in San Antonio with KMart finally back. (8) Wal-Mart and Target expected back as soon as post-Christmas sales wrap up.

12. ATLANTA (19-12) Johnson, supposed to be out 3 more weeks, averages 18 in 3-1 run. (11) I could make a “Johnson” joke here but I won’t in honor of the holidays.

13. NEW YORK (18-12) After 0-3 swoon with loss to Cavs, came back to beat Thunder, Bulls. (13) Yeah, but what was up with those green uniforms on Christmas?

14. PORTLAND (15-15) Let’s see, who can they rebuild around: Aldridge, Matthews… (16) Is Jesus available?

15. HOUSTON (14-15) Like that Lakers series: 4-0 since losing Yao, three on the road. (17) I told you Yao was holding them back!

16. MILWAUKEE (12-16) No-names beat Lakers, Kings with Jennings out. Boykins gets 22-19. (20) Add those numbers together and you’ve got Earl Boykins’ real age.

17. INDIANA (13-14) Smallest Ball: Collison, Ford on floor at the end in upending Hornets. (15) I hope “Smallest Ball” wasn’t the name of a weird locker room contest.

18. PHOENIX (13-15) At least Sarver, who kept taking on money, finally knows it’s over. (14) Cue the Ohio Players as Steve Nash prepares to depart the Valley of the Sun.

19. MEMPHIS (12-17) GM Chris Wallace says if you want one of these guys, just call. (19) Chris Wallace only NBA GM with a 800 # on his nightstand phone at home.


20. PHILADELPHIA (11-18) Collins getting over: Gave up 100 three times since Thanksgiving. (21) Yeah but it’s killing him a game at a time. I hope they’ve got the defibrillator close by.

21. GOLDEN STATE (11-18) Best player flying under radar: Ellis averaging 28 this month. (23) Can you say “Who Wants Monta Ellis In A Multi-Team Trade”?

22. CHARLOTTE (9-19) Good luck, Paul Silas: No one has picked up where Brown left off yet. (22) Honest to God, I had no idea Paul Silas was still alive.

23. TORONTO (10-19) If only USC guys just played Lakers: DeRozan gets 19 in one quarter. (24) If Toronto wasn’t such a great party city, the league would have moved this franchise to KC by now.

24. CLIPPERS (8-22) Larry Brown talk everywhere — and it will pick up if they don’t. (21) Oh yeah, like Larry Brown wants to coach again so bad that he’d come back to work for Donald T. Wait a minute, this is Larry Brown we’re talking about. OF COURSE, he’s crazy enough to do it! And, he still owns a home in Malibu. I’m getting all tingly again.

25. DETROIT (10-19) Accused of quitting after benching, Hamilton gets 35 vs. Raptors. (26) Then, quits again.

26. NEW JERSEY (9-21) Hurt or had his feelings hurt: Lopez averaging 6.2 rebounds. (25) It’s one thing for Omar Epps to co-star in “House” and coach the Steelers but, I think it’s more impressive for George Lopez to have a late-night talk show on TBS and play in the NBA at the same time.

27. WASHINGTON (7-20) Welcome, $118-Million Man: Lewis scores eight in Wizards debut. (27) Rashard is Swahili for “Ripping You Off on the 1st and 15th”.

28. CLEVELAND (8-21) Learning who’s who without LeBron: Once-hot prospect Hickson cools. (28) Has Byron Scott killed anyone with his bare hands yet?

29. MINNESOTA (6-24) Like Griffin, Love can be free in 2013, so they better pick it up. (29) Must be the money that’s keeping Kurt Rambis from performing a “Mark Madoff”.

30. SACRAMENTO (5-22) After 2-21 plummet, GM Petrie, who built power there, in trouble too. (30) I wonder what the odds are in Vegas of the Maloofs ever getting a new arena built in Sac-town. A Ga-zillion to one?


CIARA: Singer Talks New CD, Keri Hilson & 'Mama I Want To Sing'

Actress/Singer Ciara


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