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T.J. SIMERS

Message to Lakers: Wake us when the playoffs get here

There's not much drama and frankly life around Staples Center can be downright boring with Phil Jackson.

January 07, 2009|T.J. SIMERS

There's no drama here, no conflict, and after Christmas Day, really no debate.

The Champs are boring, good enough to win every game and so what if they don't?

They're going to go into the playoffs seeded No. 1 in the West, where they dominated a year ago without Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza.

Everyone knows it, and yet you people gobble up everything written about the Champs as if it's breaking news, everything written these days reading more like Lakers press releases, because what's not to like?

The Dodgers are more interesting than the Lakers because they remain a car crash.

The Champs? They start four against five with Vladimir Radmanovic in the lineup and still lap the field. Kobe's great and appealing again because he's great. And everyone else on the team agrees, and so everyone is happy. Happy is boring.

Are you bored, Phil Jackson?

"Occasionally," he said, but suggesting he likes it that way.

Isn't the real fun in coaching -- maybe even doing some coaching, dealing with turmoil and overcoming it?

"That part I don't understand," Jackson said. "You have to work really hard to get it where it's calm and even."

Is there some kind of Zen thing going on?

"I think a lot of people, like you for example, create drama because you like to create it," he said, the alternative writing more about hockey. "You're a pundit and so you criticize and you create anxiety for your readers, more than people that are involved in it."

He tossed in that last part as an afterthought when he realized someone might think what's written has any impact on him or his players. That would suggest he's not in complete control, and create anxiety. His own.

"We on this end of the business are trying to make guys happy, keep their lives pretty simple and not create drama," Jackson said.

So what you're saying -- you've done a lot of coaching (to make it as boring as it is)?

"You took the words right out of my mouth," Jackson said.

THE DODGERS are trying to trade Andruw Jones before Jan. 15, and while you can only imagine the amount of giggling at the other end of the phone, he's no longer showcasing his skills in the Dominican Republic.

Depending on whom you want to believe, he returned home because his wife is ill, or he was asked to leave because he was hitting .148.

Now any team that might be interested in trading for him is going to have to decide which player it's going to get -- the one who hit .148 in the Dominican Republic or the one who hit .158 with the Dodgers last season.

I'VE BEEN negligent in not congratulating the Tipper Gore Lady. Camille Johnston, who did wonders with what she had to work with while serving as PR Whip for the McCourts before getting pushed aside by the Dentist, is going to be special assistant to the new president and director of communications for the first lady.

Congrats also go to Derrick Hall, a good bet to one day become baseball commissioner, who quit rather than work as a PR guy for the McCourts, and who recently was promoted to chief executive of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The way this is going, when the Dentist finally gets the boot, he might very well become surgeon general.

DAVID BECKHAM refused to do interviews with the local media here, the suspicion being his handlers were worried everyone would discover the guy's not all that swift.

Beckham is now on loan to AC Milan, and when an Italian TV station tried to interview him, it was told it would have to pay around $700,000.

As the headline in the Guardian said, "He better have something bloody interesting to say."

The Italian TV station reportedly passed on the interview, probably much to the relief of Beckham's handlers.

YOU ARE never going to have a better chance of walking right up to Jackson and learning what Page 2 has to go through when quizzing the Lakers' commanding general.

Just tell him I sent you.

Jackson will be joined by Jeanie Buss, and if I were you I'd just skip Jackson, along with Derek Fisher, Luke Walton and Jordan Farmar for this year's edition of Basketball 101.

The L.A. Sports & Entertainment Commission's annual event, as much a networking opportunity for business folks as a shot to learn more about basketball, will be Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. at Staples Center.

You can contact ksiam@lasec.us for more information. Don't forget to bring a notebook and pen so Jackson thinks you're going to write down what he has to say. He really likes that.

IN THIS Internet blogging age where it's more important to get it first than be accurate, it has been reported by various sites so far that Mike Scioscia signed a contract extension "through at least 2012," "through 2014," "through at least 2015," and "through 2018."

A reliable source -- someone paid by the Angels -- said "through 2018" is "much closer to being accurate."

In this day and age, much closer to being accurate is too often as good as it gets.

TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Slam:

"In 1993, right before my wedding, I was 185 pounds. This year on the same date, I weighed 235. As the Atlanta Braves' Terry Forster said, 'It just snacked up on me.' I'm 48 years old and want to play touch football with my kids, so I got psyched up and did it. I still have lustful thoughts about Taco Bell, but on Jan. 1, I got on the scale and weighed 185. I feel like a gazillion bucks."

I think my last wedding anniversary is what started me eating so much.

--

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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