Mike Bresnahan covers the Lakers for The Times and ties up loose ends on the day of his self-designated "game of the week." The Lakers play Friday night at Phoenix.
It's too bad the Phoenix Suns traded Amare Stoudemire and gutted their team.
I've always enjoyed that city and I'll miss the chance at going there for the playoffs, seeing the ageless Steve Nash in action, getting the free ice cream they hand out in the media room at halftime, which actually leads to races among certain reporters (I'm not even kidding) and I'll also miss … wait, what?
Oh, Stoudemire's still on the team. And the Suns are a lock to make the playoffs? Maybe even finish in the top five in the Western Conference? Cold Stone Creamery for everyone!
News outlets all over the country had Stoudemire getting traded last month for a box of basketballs in the Suns' desire to shed salary, but he didn't go to Cleveland, Miami or New Jersey, and the Suns have won nine of 11.
Glad to see Phoenix is a possible playoff destination for the Lakers. Now if Oklahoma City and Utah could somehow be barred from postseason play...
Q&A of the day
Q: Kobe has more trouble on the road with "stomach issues" than any other player in the league! Could restaurant chefs in rival cities be putting stuff in his food to make him sick so he doesn't perform as well?
I have a suggestion that can fix this potential problem and it involves you. Maybe you could order room service for Kobe and vice versa. He stays healthy, you take one for the team (be sure to stay close to the john) and the Lakers have a healthy KB24 and a legitimate shot to win another banner. So, are you in?
Kevin Guttman, Colorado Springs
A: Our readers always have such kind and generous offers for me. I think I'll pass, though. I already take enough chances eating as much arena food as I do.
Record in weekly picks: 8-10
Neither my parents nor lovely ex-flame Emma could help me out of my swoon (1-9 in my last 10 picks, in case anybody's still counting) so I'm back to doing it on my own…with a little help from reader Jai Kohli of Pasadena, who sent me this e-mail a few days ago.
"For the love of God and the sanity of all in Lakerdom, can you PLEASE just pick against the Lakers in your game of the week? Each time I see the article and you pick the Lakers, they lose! Don't make me get the entire Laker Nation on this...we're angry and we're lookin' for some scapegoats! Ahh, to have been in the 1600s with the Salem witch trials..."
I think I'll take Phoenix this week.