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By: Nate Gordon
This is the toughest piece I've ever written. So many mixed emotions at such a defining time in my life, I will try to put those difficult emotions to the side to get through the important stuff to all of you, which is the sports. However, I would like you all to take a second to ask all of you to give positive thoughts to my Mother who is in the hospital at the moment fighting a tough disease; it is not life threatening, but it is almost overwhelming to watch her go through it. Please I ask you to NOT leave comments of condolences or side thoughts pertaining to this above thought, simply think positively - as I do not command anyone to pray. I will only respond in anyway below to comments regarding everything below this opening paragraph, my personal life isn't for you to comment on but I felt it important to share with everyone my mood and situation as I went through the following information and breakdown - thank you for your time and thoughts.
I'm sitting on my buddy Steve's couch this afternoon watching ESPN after stopping by the rental office to pay the rent, it is the first of the month after all. After the relief of paying for the housing and partaking in some after class activities Steve and I stare into the television and allow the PTI guys to inform us of the days events. The problem was that neither of us were focused on what was actually on the television, Steve was ignoring his girlfriend who was talking to him from the other couch, and I was just staring off thinking about everything that had happened in my life in the last 24 hours. I come out of my day dreaming slightly because I see Lakers on the TV but I can't figure out why; then the words at the bottom of the screen jumped out and inject me with a shot of excitement: "Gasol traded to Lakers". I payed attention just in time to hear Korn-hole say that the deal was for 2 picks, Javaris Crittenton and Kwame Brown and Aaron McKey's contracts.
Futility be damned! No longer shall you haunt the halls of Staples Center! No longer shall you turn sure dunks into missed lay ups, and easy And 1s into missed a lay up plus two missed free throws! Kwame Brown had finally been traded from the Los Angeles Lakers and no longer would the fanbase, and team have to suffer through his uselessness and offensive impotencey that could only be compared to another different impotence. I had to call Jeff (who is home sick with the flu) right away and let him know that the days of Kwame Brown were finished.
"Jeff, the Lakers finally traded Kwame Brown"
"What? Are you serious?"
"Ya man, they traded Kwame, two picks and J. Crittenton for Pau Gasol."
"What? You don't like it?"
"No dude - J. Crit. is going to be a star man, that was a big mistake"
"But dude, Pau Gasol -"
"Dude, Kwame, whatever, J. Crit is gonna be huge." *click*
I'm thinking to myself the fever has gotten to Jeff's brain, one of the big reasons this blog was started was that Kwame sucked and needed to be traded. We finally got what we wanted and the kid is hung up on J. Crit? *ring*
"Dude, I'm sorry, the flu must be getting to me, I didn't even realize you said Pau Facking Gasol!"
"Ya dude can you believe it? The Lakers get an All Star big man in his prime to go with Bynum, Lamar, Kobe and D-Fish, this is gonna be huge"
"Ya man Pau can help the Lakers make the Finals"
"And like Steve said to me Jeff, J. Crit would breakthrough before Kobe is done in LA and he will leave for bigger money, this way we get a top notch player for his potential."
That summed it up right there, Lakers management found the right mix of youthful potential, picks and contracts to get the player that could propel the Lakers into the Conference Finals and maybe into the NBA Finals. I would love to see a modern day Lakers vs. Celtics Finals.Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum vs. Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins - what a 7 game series that could turn out to be! There are 6 All Stars in those line ups combined, the ratings would be through the roof. The Finals would finally bring household appeal back to the Playoffs with such an match up. Of course, this is all hypothetical, but one can dream in the hype of the minutes after a blockbuster trade.
The Lakers fanbase pretty much are united in the belief that this trade was a huge step in the right direction for the franchise. Some have gone so far as to say that this is already enough to make Kobe want to commit to the team past 2009. I won't go so far as to say that, but I will say that if he was sitting on the fence when he woke up this morning, he is most likely leaning towards ending his career as a Laker as of right now.
Steve and I agreed that this was a great move and Steve even proclaimed "I'm now going to watch every Lakers game for the rest of my life." He was so happy he even started paying attention to what his girlfriend was saying. I sat back and smiled, finished the after school activities and gathered my things to go home and take care of family business. Even though things were so high in the aftermath of the trade breaking, I was about to be brought back to earth. But then I thought to myself "there is no reason to be brought back down by the upcoming errands, the removal of Kwame Brown from my life was like finally breaking all contact with an ex that was 10% sex and 90% drama and bullshat.
So the Lakers rolled into Toronto with a short bench, but who needs Kwame when Kobe Bryant goes for 46 on 19 of 28 shooting, adding 7 boards and 5 assist. With this 40 point game Kobe moved to 3rd on the all time list with 89, passing James Worthy. The Lakers cruised to a 121-101 victory, Sasha Vujacic was huge in his 26 minutes off the bench dropping 22 points with 4 threes. The Lakers shot 55% and got a much needed win after a tough loss the other night against the Pistons. They are now 1-1 in the 9 game road trip, the inclusion of Gasol on Sunday should increase their odds of finishing the road trip strong.
I called this Good Friday not because it was all good for me, but beacuse it was wonderful for so many people. The day was beautiful, the blockbuster move was made and the Lakers short handed played the Raptors off their own court. Upon reflection it was a good Friday for me as well - the dream I lobbied to have realized for so long was finallly reached - and as Newton theorized "for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction".