Mike Bresnahan covers the Lakers for The Times and ties up loose ends on the day of his self-designated "Lakers game of the week." The Lakers play tonight at Portland.
It's an amazing thing, really.
I took over the Lakers beat for The Times in 2004, one month after Shaq was traded (great timing on that), and I've seen them win once in Portland. That's right. Once.
Back on Feb. 23, 2005. Final score: 86-83.
And that was only after Shareef Abdur-Rahim's three-point attempt hit the front of the rim at the buzzer.
Here's all you need to know from that game: Tierre Brown was the Lakers' second-leading scorer that night. I don't even know who that is.
Here's what I've witnessed, season after season after season: The Lakers go up to Portland, it's usually raining, Phil Jackson makes a joke about the weather, and then they lose.
Eight times in a row it has happened. Make it nine after tonight.
Q&A of the day
Don't know how you stand it, sir, with some of this incessant whining from Lakers fans. Clippers fans do less complaining than Lakers fans. The Lakers are on the path of another great season and I feel they will step it up come playoff time. Let us walk in their shoes and see if we can bring it for 82 games. For now, I will enjoy the Genius that is Phil Jackson and the Gladiator that is Kobe Bryant.
-- Cecil Parker, Texas
Cecil obviously sent this before the Lakers-Clippers game.
Hilarious. Just hilarious.
Is there anything sillier than letting fans vote for NBA All-Stars?
Let's see. Tracy McGrady is currently second among Western Conference guards and Allen Iverson is second among Eastern guards.
McGrady has played in six games, is averaging 3.2 points and is involved in a heated game of "chicken" with his front office. Who in their right mind looks at a ballot and says, "Hmmmm . . . Tracy McGrady sure sounds like an All-Star to me!"
Then there's Iverson, who has already burned one front office this season (see: Memphis, bad off-season ideas) and has played a total of 13 games. His stats aren't awful (14 points, 4.5 assists a game), but he has three times as many votes as Joe Johnson and Rajon Rondo, guys who are much more deserving and play on much better teams.
Nice job, everybody. Nice job.
Record in weekly picks: 7-3
I've taken a tumble the last two weeks, picking the Lakers to beat Cleveland on Christmas and win in Phoenix. Oops.
Not to fear, though, because . . .
The Trail Blazers could suit up Arvydas Sabonis at center and it still wouldn't matter. I'll take the Blazers over the Lakers in Portland until further notice.