An Open Letter to Mr. Mitch Kupchak:
Dear Mr. General Manager, I would like to express my deepest dismay about the shoddy way you have put together this year's version of the Lakers and the serious deficiencies in their play.
For starters, know that like many fans, I am not for one moment buying the empty bill of goods that says this team is a contender for anything much more than the 2008-09 Most Valuable Staples Center Tenant award.
Sure, after the Sacramento Kings finally capitulated in the second half Friday night, giving the Lakers 19 wins and three losses, the naive out there may believe this is a pretty good team with just a few minor blemishes that can be fixed. But astute fans like me are not fooled.
Take away those two games against the Clippers, who should in no way be considered a professional basketball team, and that record falls to 17-3. Strip off a chunk of those ugly wins against the Philadelphias of the world -- which, by the way, Magic's Lakers would have won by a minimum of 45 points -- and it is not hard to imagine the Lakers as slightly better than a .500 team.
Nineteen and three? LOL! There is no doubt that this team lacks the eye of the tiger.
The way they are playing defense, the Lakers couldn't keep the St. Mary's Gaels from scoring 110 points. Forget about Friday night, that was a mirage. The Kings were lulled to sleep by the way they poleaxed my team early this week. Long-term, do you really think this sort of Sominex Strategy is going to work?
Mitch, if I'm you, I pull Phil Jackson aside and give him the straight dope: "Look, pal, no more living in the past. From now on, every game is an audition."
Sure, Jackson has nine titles, but if you ask me and a lot of my pals he should have eight. He was lucky to beat Utah in '98. Despite those eight titles, Phil is clearly in need of advice. I am willing to lend him my $10.02 copy of the fine instructional DVD, "How to Play Better Basketball."
I will throw in, gratis, a copy of Tony Robbins' classic, "Live With Passion: Strategies for Creating a Compelling Future," because we have lacked resolve all season.
If Mr. Jackson balks, I suggest either hiring John Wooden as a special assistant to teach weak-side help, or forcing Coach J and his squad to watch "Hoosiers" so they can learn how to bend their knees and check their man.
A few more thoughts: Derek Fisher would benefit from a daily, 20-minute jump-rope session. Please speak with Jordan Farmar about moving his feet. It is becoming obvious why Ben Howland told him to leave UCLA.
And that's just the point guards. Honestly, this year, Kobe, I'm not impressed. He's dogging it on offense (something is wrong; is he sick?) and I just don't understand why he can't shut down every point guard in the Western Conference. I hate to say it, but the guy is obviously losing his legs. My suggestions? First, start Trevor Ariza and sic him on the opposing point guard every night. Sure, Chris Paul is eight inches shorter and twice as quick, but Trev will still smother that little guy. Second, if Kobe threatens to go to Europe, let him walk.
Speaking of Europe, that softy Spaniard and his pals from the former Communist bloc, look, they're fun to watch score (even though they can't create), but all of the flops and whining, that's downright un-American. They should be lectured. If it doesn't stop, trade them to Oklahoma City. Besides, the Euros have clearly tainted young Andrew Bynum, who was on the path to becoming Wilt/Hakeem/Shaq/Kareem all put together until your soft Euro-roster began providing a negative influence.
Please, do something, Mitch. And if all else fails, you must make trades. We must have a point guard. How about Deron Williams? We offer Farmar, Lamar Odom and a No. 1, we're there.
Mitch, please forgive all of the nasty comments on my blog, BringBackShowtime. I took down that site after last season, replacing it with myLakersareGods.com. But if you do not alter the dynamic on this poor excuse for a 19-3 team, I am afraid I will have no excuse but to go negative once again. And be forewarned, sir, I will not be alone.
Best Regards, Kwame Petitpoulet.
(Editors' note: The above was not an actual, bona fide letter but was, in fact, based on opinions culled from various e-mails to the writer and a Google search with the terms: Lakers and "sky is falling." None of the above -- or very little of it, even after Friday's close call -- is actually believed by Mr. Streeter.