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T.J. SIMERS

Clippers are exciting, Lakers make folks grouchy

That's the conclusion a certain columnist has reached by watching both teams play and by reading readers' comments.

January 30, 2012|T.J. Simers
  • Clippers guard Chauncey Billups fires a pass across the face of Thunder forward Kevin Durant in the second half Monday night at Staples Center.
Clippers guard Chauncey Billups fires a pass across the face of Thunder… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

I'll get to what all this has to do with the Clippers, Lakers and why you shouldn't get down on yourself for being critical of Page 2 in a moment.

On Sunday we went to see "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close."

Across the street there was a line of maybe a 100 or more waiting, and that's waiting, to get into a Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour in Brea.

It might take that many to drag me inside.

When the movie was over I was expecting the daughter and wife to be sobbing into their buttered popcorn-stained napkins, but I've seen golf fans more emotional while telling me the movie was OK at best.

Across the street, meanwhile, the line had grown. I don't understand the attraction of pinstriped vests, old-fashioned ties, cane hats and a bunch of yahoos breaking out in Happy Birthday every 30 seconds as if they really care.

But then I didn't understand why the wife and daughter didn't see what I saw in the Tom Hanks/Sandra Bullock/cute kid/old man movie.

I thought it clever and emotional. They said they go to the movies to be entertained and they don't find 9/11 entertaining. They suggested going to Farrell's.

OK, so it's taken some time, almost a lifetime, to be truthful, but I realize now everyone doesn't always agree with me.

Why people would choose to be just wrong, I do not know.

But some people do disagree, as an online commentator did on a recent glowing, controversy-free column about Alvin Gentry. "Isn't T.J. Simers dead yet?" it read. I've heard of people who have no life, but I'm not sure we're talking the same thing here. "Let me know," continued the comment. "The quality of the L.A. Times will improve tenfold when he does."

I might've substituted demoted, laid off or retired in place of dead, maybe even "on extended vacation," but fortunately someone else jumped to my defense.

"Simers is a horror show of a human being and a writer," read another comment, "but wishing for his death is classless."

I felt so much better, thrilled to find yet another comment in my favor: "The only level lower than T.J. is six feet under … but it does no one any good to wish for another person's death. It would be nice, however, if he disappeared."

It hasn't gotten to that yet with the wife and daughter, and maybe others wouldn't be so quick to say such nasty things if I was buying their movie tickets, popcorn and dinner.

But that would mean hanging with these people who have the time and inclination to offer a comment below a sports column, and I'd rather be dead.

Just a figure of speech, but I do blame this excess anger out there — so many people losing perspective with sports and wanting to sound idiotic — on the Lakers.

I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever had anything nasty to say about Page 2 is just an unhappy Lakers fan who has nowhere else to go to take out their frustration.

Let's face it, Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and the players really don't care what you think. How would you even begin to email them anonymously? And you probably know exactly what's wrong with the Lakers, so it's all bottled inside and when it comes out, it's ugly.

And you can't very well wish Derek Fisher would just disappear, because that would leave Goulash playing point guard.

I presume that's why folks were lined up outside Farrell's, frustrated, starving for entertainment and willing to get fatter if they didn't have to watch or listen to another Lakers road game.

Let's face it, the Lakers are depressing and short on promise these days. By game time Sunday, they were an underdog to Minnesota, a team the Lakers had defeated something like 15 times in a row. How much lower might they sink?

Well, to beat the Timberwolves, they had to play their best players every second of the second half.

As necessary as entertainment is to folks today in this economically challenged world, fans obviously don't need to be reminded all the time what their favorite team lacks.

But you can't turn on the radio these days without hearing talk about the trade the Lakers need to make.

The Lakers have problems, everyone knows it and maybe the Clippers have just as many, but who cares?

That's not what people are talking about when they come to see these guys. There's a buzz in the place, and that's just pregame warmups with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan working on circus-like dunks.

Who knows if there is any championship substance here? It's just fun, and so far the Lakers just don't have a fun feel to them.

On Monday, the Clippers took on Oklahoma City, the best in the West, or so some might've thought before the game.

It begins with Jordan being called for goaltending and everyone on their feet in awe of the athletic ability it took to get so high.

He goes on to dunk three times in the first quarter, each better than the last, maybe his most impressive move the one-hander he misses that rockets off the rim.

As entertainment statements go, this one has the feel of another turning point for this franchise to rival the preseason dismantling of the Lakers.

Chris Paul is doing for the Clippers what Manny initially did for the Dodgers.

The Clippers score 36 points in the first quarter and I'm not sure Staples can be any louder after a series of steals and four threes to close out the half.

I'm wrong. Nothing but entertainment and a humongous slam in the third quarter by Griffin that just devours Kendrick Perkins! The exclamation point never more needed at the end of a sentence as everyone leaps to their feet.

What a blast, so refreshing and worth every ridiculous and stupid comment that will surely follow now.

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