Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at 2:05 pm  |  58 responses

Los Angeles Lakers Season Preview

Beverly Hills 9021-KOB, Episode Two…

by Myles Brown

For those of you who are just looking for my useless September prognostication, I’d say 57-25 and another trip to the Conference Finals. After that, I can’t call it and neither can you. For those of you who are just looking for the useless figments of my imagination, let’s get on with the show….

The sun had reached its peak on this beautiful Sunday afternoon and a refreshing breeze whisked through streets filled with bronzed Angelinos prepared to consume and copulate. However, despite the clear skies and canceled practice – Coach Jackson was tending to an urgent matter with his ‘spiritual advisor’ – the forecast still called for rain inside the Lakers facilities. Kobe Bryant awoke in a foul mood and as he is oft to do in such an irritable state, the superstar decided to channel his frustrations in the gym. An attempt to lighten his spirits by frolicking with his two princesses through their palace was unsuccessful, so after kissing Gianna and Natalia ciao bella, the Tickle Man revved his Ferrari’s engine and headed south towards El Segundo. His wife reminded him to pick up some diamonds from the market on his way home.

Following some light lifting, Bryant headed downstairs and watched the lights flicker on above the empty court. He intently pounded the ball into the hardwood and never took his eyes off the rim as he worked his way through an assortment of shooting drills. Pull up jumpers, pivots into fadeaways over both shoulders and impossibly deep three pointers were all highlights of a one-man symphony, the leathers percussion consistently complemented by a harmonious string section. Boom, boom, boom, Swish. Boom, boom, boom, Swish. Suddenly, his rhythm was interrupted by the squeaking sneakers of an uninvited guest. Kobe paid it no mind-fully engrossed in conducting his latest composition-until his melody was brought to a screeching halt.

“Watch out!” the voice cried from under the opposing basket. Midair, arms fully extended in textbook form, Bryant found himself helplessly craning his neck to heed the anonymous warning, but it was too late. “Ball!” Instead of landing safely on the court, his heels came to rest on another basketball just as his launch found its target. His arms flailed wildly trying to regain balance, only to result in the most inharmonious series of sounds. Swish, squeak, gasp, Thud. Taking just the briefest pause to absorb the pain of his skull slapping the floor, he leapt to his feet with blood lust only to be disarmed by his assailants beauty.

Candace Parker innocently batted her eyelashes at him and his rage subsided. “Sorry, damn ball just got away from me.” They’d exchanged pleasantries on a few other occasions but never engaged in any substantive conversation. He massaged his scalp as she searched for the right words. “It must be hard” she said. He looked at her quizzically, and she smirked before elaborating. “Striving to achieve a perfection that everyone else wants to define or contain. They only let you off the leash when it’s time to pick up their slack and should you fail, you have to be ready to take the blame. Not them.” “Depends on who you ask” he shrugged. “Well it certainly looks that way to me.” she said confidently.

Before he knew it, they were sitting at half court sharing their philosophies on the game, each nodding in assent to the others theories. They chatted for hours. Occasionally, he’d tilt his head and squint at her in utter amazement as she unearthed truths he hadn’t realized himself. “…and that’s how I’m able to maintain my confidence without sacrificing my relationships with others.” she explained. In a rare moment of discomfort, he broke eye contact and began to scratch his branded right arm. His jaw clenched tightly and he quickly rose to his feet, reminded of his unattended errand. “I have to go. Tiffany closes at 9. But I’ll see you around.” She gazed at him knowingly, maintaining her dribble. “It’s cool. You know where to find me.” Her jumper made a familiar sound as the metallic door shut behind him. Boom, boom, boom, Swish.

Meanwhile across town, Sasha Vujacic was holding court with teammates at The Apple Seed, the teams new favorite hangout ever since his tragic misinterpretation of ‘bottle service’ ruined their stay at The Mint. “Masheen is ready for more responsebeeleety. Masheen get results.” Close knit Cali natives Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza all laughed at Vujacic’s bluster. Over time he’d absorbed Kobe’s unshakable confidence and when mixed with his ever present effervescence, it made for quite lively conversation. “I’m seereous.” he continued. “I make teammates bettar. Masheen step game up, Kobe become MVP. No coeenceedence.” “Pau and Lahmar go like this” he said as his hand and forearm moved in an exaggerated wave. “Masheen go like this.” He balled his hand into a fist and flexed the muscles of his forearm. “Steadee. Like rhock.” He scanned their expressions for approval. “Yes” Farmar nodded, “A rock. Like a statue.” Mouth agape, he giggled while swiveling his neck in a mock defensive stance, mimicking Sasha’s attempts to guard an isolated Ray Allen.

Furrowing his brow, lips pursed in denial, Vujacic remained undeterred. “Bah! Point is, things have changed. Last yeer, everyone say we suck. We surprise them. Now come expectations, big target on chest. We don’t get back to Final, we suck again. Masheen is ready for challenge. Are yoo?” He scanned their expressions again. Their smiles shrunk into solemn contemplation. He’d made his point. They watched as he dug deep into his Louis Vuitton messenger bag and produced a handful of buttons. “Here. For all of yoo.” In unison, they turned the buttons over to see SASHA 4 TEEM CAPTAIN in purple and gold font. In unison, they raised their eyebrows and stared at him incredulously. “Is how it works, no? Deemochracy?” Walton’s chuckle broke the silence. “Sorry homie. not on this team.” “We shall see.” Vujacic replied. “Masheen have three point plan. With responseebeeleety come money, with money come beaches.” “Beaches?” Ariza inquired. “Yes, yes.” he motioned around the room to the various push up bras, halter tops, high heels and mini skirts. “Beaches. Is what this is all about, yes?” They all laughed and ordered another round of drinks.

Andrew Bynum wasn’t having such a good time. The prodigious pivot gaped at his disappearing milkshake as he slurped, trying to ease his mind. It was past closing at Lucky Devils-home to some of L.A.’s best ice cream concoctions-and after midnight their doors only opened for celebrity clientele. Elbows on the counter, his head resting in those massive hands and size 22 Adidas nervously tapping the tiling, Bynum was alone with his troubles until a familiar face took the stool to his right. “I know how you feel.” the man said. Bynum looked up and let the straw drop from his mouth into the empty glass. “I know you, twelth row near center court. You’re that one guy. Um…” The center searched for a name, unsuccessfully. On most occasions the familiar face would need no introduction, but he happily obliged. “Andy. Andy Garcia.” “Andy, huh? Me too.” said Bynum through a faint smile.

Garcia sensed the young man’s reluctance and decided to start with an anecdote. “Hey kid, have you ever seen The Godfather III?” “Nope” the bigger Andy responded. “I saw most of the first two, but people tell me the third one was garbage so I never bothered.” “I was in that. In fact I starred in that.” Garcia scowled. Taken aback, Bynum attempted to apologize, but Garcia proceeded.

“It’s okay kid. I’m just f*cking with you. I did star in that movie, but the thing about it being ‘garbage’ is exactly the point I was getting to anyway. The first two films were masterpieces, flawless I tell you. Your grandkids will be talking about those films. Unfortunately, your grandkids will also be saying that III was ‘garbage’. Well let me tell you something kid, it wasn’t. First of all, it had to be made. You can’t just end the story with Michael killing his brother, he needed his comeuppance. The bad guy can’t win, right? Now there’s talk about Coppolla’s debt forcing him to make this bad movie, but f*ck all that. It needed to be made and the people wanted it. It was expertly written, directed and featured two of the greatest actors of any era in Pacino and Keaton. So what was the problem? ‘Too many new guys’ they said. Of course their chief complaint was Sofia, but she wasn’t even in enough scenes to ruin a film like that. So then who do they look to? Me. They expected another DeNiro, they got me. It wasn’t my performance or the movie that was garbage, it was just that people had such high expectations. Too high. That’s where me and you are alike kid. Last season was Godfather II. Wholly unexpected, ended in tragedy, but still more than a fulfilling experience. This season is Godfather III, people want more than perfection and you’re the new guy. Anything less will be an epic failure and your fault. Now that’s pressure. Like I said kid, I know how you feel.”

Bynum paused and considered his companion’s convoluted analogy. He wasn’t sure he completely understood, but the familiar face did understand what he was going through. “So what do I do then?” black Andy asked. “You do the only thing you can do kid. You do the best you can and if people don’t like it, then f*ck ‘em. They don’t know what they’re talking about anyway.” It was this conclusion that left Bynum face first in his milkshake hours ago, but Garcia’s reassurance somewhat lightened his mood. An entire city expected him to be the final piece to another dynasty and Bynum finally accepted that he’d just have to live with it. Hell, maybe it would actually work. Only way to see was one day and one milkshake at a time.

“Want another one kid? It’s on me.” “Sure.” Bynum gleamed. “Hey kid, have you seen Oceans Eleven? ” “Oh yeah,” said the center. “I’ve seen all three of those. Didn’t like the last one so much. That new guy didn’t do it for me.” “Me neither kid,” Garcia laughed. “Me neither.”

You can read past season previews here.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS


  • http://www.slamonline.com GotHandles?

    Go Knicks

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    I’m officially a Myles Brown groupie. Or wannabe. Or something. Too much to comment on, but in a word, perfect. The combo of Appleman and Brown writing about the Lakers is spoiling me. I’d like the next episode asap, thanks!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    *Slow clap*

  • thesubwayconnection

    Hilarious. “Beaches” LOL

  • starbury&stevey

    to kobe´s wife…Wacht out!!,it´s not imposible
    .Candice is a hot chick with skillz.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I was wondering what was taking so long today for a preview to appear. Now I see. No complaints.

  • starbury&stevey

    and was that a season preview??

  • Diesel

    Sasha looks like Adam Sandler’s Opera Man in that picture.

  • Tom

    daaammmmmn………The perfect preview for Hollywood’s team. Good job Myles!

  • fluxland

    Absolutely fricking statless, Myles!! In the words Holly: I loved it! Great work.

  • http://www.youtube.com/teamairyork blackice87

    and once again the lakers bump the clippers out of the spotlight!!!

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    No coeenceedence!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    How much of this actually happened? Because I have my doubts.

  • B. Long

    Myles Brown is a certified genius. I’m calling a 65 win season barring any serious injury.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co


  • nic

    top. shelf. “Masheen go like this.”

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Myles should write for a living!

  • http://hoops4life.com overtime

    brilliant article

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Myles should go script write or ghost write for something more bigger

  • Clockwork

    Damn that was good

  • Tom

    If they can get the front line of Bynum, Odom, and Gasol to give a damn about defense, they would be absolute beasts in the league. Their D got exposed badly in the playoffs last year and the only way they can take the next step is to be able to get stops.

  • http://its-mitch.blogspot.com/ Paps

    Puzo would be proud.

  • tinchek

    i like candace :P

  • Justin

    “Is how it works, no? Deemochracy?” Walton’s chuckle broke the silence. “Sorry homie. not on this team.” “We shall see.” Vujacic replied. “Masheen have three point plan. With responseebeeleety come money, with money come beaches.”


  • KA

    oh god I heart the masheen, more masheen nao plz.

  • http://alloutblitz.com Cordeazy


  • http://alloutblitz.com Cordeazy

    still, Godfather III had serious flaws…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    This is a stupid artical and I think the righter made things up.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    Fah Q.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown


  • Exile

    Tied with Wince’s write-up for creativity and humour. Liked the link for the show too… Very entertaining. (A lot of love for Candace Parker in these laker shorts).

  • http://myspace.com/jrcfl Justin

    To date, I have yet to see the G-O-D Father Part III (hello, Mobb Deep) I think now I have to rent it.

  • http://myspace.com/bodiebarnett jbn74sb

    Not a bad Sasha impression at all. Nice work. Beaches.
    BTW – The Machine was this summer from time to time in the bars and clubs in downtown Santa Barbara. Apparently even Sasha has groupies, and believe me, the girls in SB are dimes. In fact, our sevens are dimes in most of the rest of the country.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    Thats good … but where is the season preview???

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics/ Moose

    Why the Vujacic picture? Why not Kobe, Bynum or even Odom? (even though I hate Odom more than Isiah Thomas)

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Good piece Myles…You’d better keep your head on swivel next time the Kings come to down though. Shelden and his abnormally large head are not going to be happy with your insinuations.

  • andrew

    tremendous stuff. There was a dude on pitchfork that used to write record reviews in this same style, it was the reason that I used to read that site daily…

  • http://asdhotmail.com drew

    hey ryan jones lay off of kobes nuttz, you turning into jim gray. who cares if this article is real or not. your always ready to chime in on kobe. tmacs gonna assault him in next years wcf

  • B. Long

    This “drew” guy is slightly misinformed. Slightly.

  • http://websterhotmail.com webster

    hah drew you make a great point, ha i loved it when russ bengston took his position

  • Anton


    the meeshine needs some new batteries

  • http://www.truthismygame.com/ Kevin


  • http://www.truthismygame.com/ Kevin

    i loved the Candace Parker inclusion, btw.. wasn’t expecting it at all, but it just fits. you should def write more

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Really brilliantly written, the Andy Garcia cameo was simply… sublime. The Candace-Kobe conversation probably has already happened in real life, too.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Cinnamons for unison?

  • matt the jazz fan

    this is f(_)ck!ng brilliant!!!
    great way to start a morning at work (in europe).

  • maeng

    this preview suck!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Who would have thought the Lakers preview would have less than 50 comments after more than 12 hours. I thought we we’re going to be looking at 500 or more.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Butter Myles just butter.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    B. Long calling 65 wins for the Lakers.. surprise surprise.. Why not 75 wins B.? C’mon they won the title last year, and with Bynum (Shaq+) healthy and 24Clutch again outperformning MJ 75 is easily within their grasp.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    From what I’ve read, I think the Lakers go 98-0, no hiccups in sight. This will be a trend for the next 7 seasons.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Andrew’s knee is 110%, so we may as well cancel the next 3 seasons and size them up for some rings, pronto.

  • Anton

    nah, he can’t do it without Shaq

  • iLL 949

    that was one of the most well written, smart, and humourous (although tries too hard sometimes) basketball articles ive ever read, and believe me ive read ALOT. props

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Beverly Hills 9021-k0b

  • chintao

    Really excellent with the “new guy” angle. Sofia Coppolla’s appearance in GF III porked the pig and destroyed any chance of that film being decent. It is extra-poignant that even people who are “new guys” can’t recognize themselves in others (i.e. – Bynum says that the “new guy” in Ocean’s 13 didn’t “do it” for him).

  • Bulldog

    Candace and Kobe got married and I was the minister. Sorry Former Mrs Bryant,No championship this year

  • ballllin*

    …episode 4 ?