The bandwagon has slowed only because it has become overloaded. Last season's underrated player has become one of this season's heroes to many, with Eddie Jones continuing to be one of the leading vote-getters among Western Conference guards for the All-Star game.
In totals released Tuesday, Jones again was second only to Seattle's Gary Payton in the West backcourt. That and shocked.
"Hell, yeah," the Laker shooting guard said. "Excuse my language, but, yeah. Eddie, a vote-getter?"
Eddie a vote-getter.
He wasn't the only Laker vote-getter. Shaquille O'Neal still leads David Robinson at center despite having played only eight games, and Kobe Bryant is third at guard and Nick Van Exel sixth. Elden Campbell is eighth among forwards.
"It's beautiful," Jones said of the fan support, evident at every home game. "It's fine that people like you and your play on the court. It's wonderful. But at the same time, I don't know. I worry about if that's a fluke."
In a season well on its way to becoming a big success, the Boston Celtics are counting their victory over the Lakers on Sunday as one of the biggest. The only one that is comparable for Gang Green, which is one victory from tying last season's total, is the one opening night against the Chicago Bulls.
"However," Celtic Coach Rick Pitino said, "that was a home game. It is much more difficult to win on the road versus a terrific team that has so many weapons."
Said forward Antoine Walker: "This was a big win for us because they are playing so well, and they are the Lakers. Lakers and Celtics. Something that we are trying to do is build this rivalry back up."
Even if both teams aren't yet at championship caliber again, the series record the last two seasons is 2-2.
Laker Coach Del Harris is undecided about whether he will start O'Neal the first game back, likely Friday against the Atlanta Hawks, but said he is leaning toward bringing O'Neal off the bench. Part of the decision may depend on the time constraints imposed by doctors for a few outings. . . . Corie Blount went into Tuesday's game as one of only three players averaging at least five rebounds and fewer than 20 minutes. The others were Utah's Greg Ostertag and Vancouver's George Lynch, a former Laker.