Monday, 5 September 2011
Honoring the alumni.
By TIM DAVID HARVEY.
With last years three-peat hopes finding no feet and a lockout not opening up anybodies chances for next season, Laker fans will be forgiven not to look to the championship past. The team still have their biggest stars intact but the Lakers still miss the players they lost to free agency over this last year. To begin last season on ring night Phil Jackson (a man who is missed the most) and the Staples crowd recognised this when the Zen mentioned and the crowd motioned towards these four. Farmar, Powell, Mbenga and Morrison may nave to wait for their championship rings in the post but they don't have to look too far for the love from Lakerland, as does another part of the Laker machine.
JORDAN FARMAR: Jordan could of been the heir to Derek Fishers starting point job. Still Farmar needed more than heavy rotation guard minutes. That's just how good he is. You better watch Jordan as he breaks out. He could be a star. Sure Steve Blake is a great replacement but it'll always be intriguing to know what could of been with this Los Angeles native and UCLA grad. His speed, tenacity, defence and shooting make him an all round scouts favourite. The Lakers loss is New Jersey's net gain however. Jordan and Devin Harris could give the Brooklyn to be Nets one of the quickest, most potential filled backcourts around, by way of a years experience overseas. Look for the Meadowlands to soon become Farmars boulevard.
ADAM MORRISON: He may have been the butt of many jokes for years, but despite the tears and 'tache Mo is no joke. Despite the highlight reels made by Jimmy Kimmell, Adam Morrison can play. "He can really go", Kobe told Kimmel and take it from me this guys got more sharp shots than suits and more twine than pine. This former lottery ticket is no bust. Adam can score like a starter but with all the options the Lakers had he had to take his ticket and wait in line. Sure a few more years here could of helped both parties but it's the Wizards however that made the real pooper to begin last years campaign. Morrison may have been cut but he's got plenty more tricks up his sleeve. Lets just hope another team can provide the vest.
JOSH POWELL: Josh may be a quiet guy who seldomly played for the Lakers but he will be missed. He will always be remembered like Mark Madsen for coming in and giving the Lake Show everything he had in any minutes he got. He even put up big numbers in Bynums absence. When it was time to step up Josh answered a call that wasn't even meant for him, but he received and connected. A fan and team favourite, Powell's good sounding taste in music provided a playlist for the team and Lakers.com. As a player too J-Peezy sounded a lot better than most people are willing to hear. He clicked in a shuffled Lakers rotation as he helped the team repeat. Josh plays like a tall guard or forward in a big mans body, is raw and seasoned with championship experience. Now this young Hawk is still in the playoff hunt as the necessary cover required to help this running and winning team flow. All Hawk eyes are on him.
D.J. MBENGA: Sure with just a mere mention of the word 'taco' Mbenga may provide more entertainment then when the Lake Show hit 100 on burrito night but D.J. will be missed for more character 'hits' than that. Sure Mbenga may have been posterized more times than Shawn Bradley acting like a camera man in a dunk contest but D.J. could put it down too. Now yes when he died his hair gold with Artest, Mbenga may have looked more like the other NBA wild man, Dennis Rodman was ready to hit a retirement home but when D.J. was requested he manned the boards and helped the Lakers rebound from injuries etc. Baby Mutombo is an ambassador to defence and now he serves for the sensational city of New Orleans where he'll show the nest what a real king looks like.
SASHA VUJACIC: We can't forget about Sasha, who was traded in the middle of last season. Sure this machine gunner at times was in a funk and was wild and erratic but he still served well like Maria Sharapova. Speaking of his beau-like Gasol-we saw him courtside this Summer in London for Wimbledon but we sure do miss him at times on court in STAPLES. Earlier on in 2011 in London after the big trade he hit many big clutch shots or his new, New Jersey Nets as he helped thaw the Toronto Raptors in their international double-header. Even when the Lakers hit England's capital last year the Slovenian still drew cheers and charges despite all eyes on Kob'. A popular character because of his shot, style, defence and passion. Erratic but enigmatic, inconsistent but still a champion. The title and praise speaks for itself. The machine motors on along with Farmar in New Jersey. No sleep 'till Brooklyn.
Bottom line all these guys will be missed as we wish them well. They will all be an asset wherever they play and even if the Lakers rebound to a championship next season, somehow it just won't be the same without them. Take good care guys. All the best.