PRE-DONUT: The Portland Trail Blazers have come and gone. We prepared you for the "Sports Hate" that might ensued and are happy it didn't get near any kind of "code red" level.
Sure, there were a few spats here and there: Wesley Matthews vowing revenge on Brian Cardinal if it's the last thing he does. Patty Mills almost getting his hobbit beard knocked off. Chris Johnson horse-collaring people by the face.
Back to D-League Dakota with you!
Brandon Roy added a nice wrinkle to the "THIS guy is beating us!?!" type of Sports-Hate since he didn't necessarily come out of nowhere, as much as he came back from the dead and led a legendary comeback as some kind of basketball hero-zombie.
Learn the basic concepts of how and why to Sports-Hate here. And now, in our passionately infantile manner, let's go Sports-Hate the Lakers, one-by-one … but in REVERSE order!
DONUT 12. Land O' Lakes. You know what makes sense? A team based out of Minnesota being called the Lakers. You know what doesn't? A team with that name being from LOS ANGELES. Unless you count the cesspool of pollution, you won't find too many lakes in greater LA.
In the battle of the mascots, it's an easy win for the Mavericks because when a horse comes to a body of water, a lake perhaps, he either drinks it or pees in it. Either way, he OWNS it.
For this series, give us the latter option.
DONUT 11. Questionable Caracters. Just this week Lakers rookie forward Derrick Caracter was arrested and jailed after a playoff game in New Orleans on counts of battery, public intoxication, and resisting arrest. The story goes that he allegedly struck a cashier at an IHOP.
Hey, some people take their all-you-can-eat pancakes seriously at 2 a.m.
To my point though, how can anyone support a team of angry, obsessive pancake eaters? Is that how Laker forwards spend their time after games?
Maverick forwards spend their time delivering babies after games… probably.
Dirk and ‘Trix love the kids.
DONUT 10. Two Words: Luke Walton. You know that guy who doesn't really do much at all and you don't even encounter him that often, but he just annoys the hell out of you for some reason? Who has a goofy haircut and a terrible rock-star stick man tattoo? This guy.
We actually don't really have that big of a problem with Luke Walton, mainly because we have a mechanical pencil with no lead that is more useful. But at 1.7 ppg, 1.1 apg, and 1.2 rpg, feel free to play as many minutes for the Lakers as you want, buddy. Shawn Marion could use the rest.
Don't forget about the obvious nepotism thanks to this guy.
If only t-shirts had a face to punch.
Don't mean to keep taking shots at ya, Portland, sorry for killing the vibe. Or whatever.
DONUT 9. Leisure Suit Jerry. Mark Cuban takes abuse from around the league for his ownership style, but at least he can go a day without losing a million dollars at a poker table or hitting up Vickie's Vixens (whoops) unlike Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss. You can argue all day over the hands-on vs. hands-off ownership approach debate, but Buss went to go gamble instead of attending, or even watching, the team's victory parade after last year's championship.
And likely did so with two women who were mistaken for his great-grand-daughters draped over each shoulder.
DONUT 8. Steve Blake's Headband. The funny thing about Sports-Hate is that it can make little things relevant. Little things like …Steve Blake. Apparently, after recovering from a quick bout with the chicken pox, Blake set out on a personal vendetta against the headband to ruin it forever. How could one man do this?
In his defense, we guess he is just using the headband for a security-blanket type effect after getting over a sickness. When we had the chicken pox, our strategy was to wear my Ninja Turtles pajamas all day every day.
We were also 4.
DONUT 7. Lamar Kardashian. Despite growing up with humble beginnings and overcoming a turbulent start to his NBA career, Lamar Odom had carved out a respectable reputation as a player and a man even amongst the constant media circus in L.A.
Now he IS the media circus.
Since he is an opponent to the Mavs though, we're glad he's doing it. Any smart man knows that in a relationship it's wise to let the woman lead the way. But Lamar has gone from being known as man who uses candy for food to a man being used as arm candy on a cheesy reality show.
DONUT 6. Phil JackZen. It's a given that 11 championship rings will naturally breed some arrogance. And no one wears that crown better, or more proudly, than the Zen master himself, Phil Jackson.
He's smarter than you. He knows more about basketball than your coach could ever know. He's dating more owners' daughters than you.
We know he has had hip surgery so he needs a special chair on the sidelines, but don't kid yourself because it is no coincidence that he demands to sit two feet above everyone else on the floor.
That's not a chair. Look closely. It's a throne.
We would be delighted for his last game coaching to be a loss against the Mavericks. … for Dallas to overtake that throne.
DONUT 5. Tru Warrier Ron-Ron. In truth, it has been an unusually quiet year for former Malice at the Palace star Ron Artest. The only noise he made this year was actually positive. That positivity took place when he won the league's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship award, despite our polity that anyone who ever teams up with Stephen Jackson to "keep it real'' against an entire stadium should never receive a citizenship award of any kind.
Give us a shout when he pulls his first stunt after making a shot in the Mavs series and we can reevaluate our Sports-Hate for Artest together.
In the meantime, nothing spells Sports-Hate like a guy who misspells "true warrior.''
He was so young. Our Sports-Hate was so new.
Well, he's back.
After a prime example of "when keepin' it real goes wrong" in a game against the Mavs on March 31st that saw the pseudo-tough guy push Dallas assistant coach Terry Stotts, Barnes was ejected and suspended. As if that weren't enough, he got in a Twitter war with himself afterwards. Let's review those tweets, shall we?
*Matt_Barnes22: Good win 2nite, game got alil heated but its almost playoff time... #SitBack&EnjoyTheRun
*Matt_Barnes22: Also another thing NO ONES worried bout wat Jason Terry is talkn bout everyone remembers the 07 season(cont)
*Matt_Barnes22: Me & the Golden St homies laid out the blueprint on how to beat Dallas.. "PUNK'EM" Aint $h!t changed homey.. So enough w/the small talk
But here's the thing, homie: $h!t has changed from the Warriors-Mavs days …. Unless you plan to have Baron Davis making behind-the-back 3-pointer And-1s from half-court.
We still believe Jet was making up that "Charminator'' nickname as he was going along. But this much is true: Matt Barnes is still a journeyman small forward who no team seems to want for the long term and is always involved in multiple trade rumors every year.
So homie was right in a way. That doesn't change.
DONUT 3. Pau vs. Dirk. Seriously? Up there with the tired argument that Dirk is "soft," is the nonsensical debate that Pau Gasol is not only in Dirk's stratosphere as a player, but actually better than the UberMan. Most of these arguments come from the worst fans in the world (See number 1 on this list) … though we've heard even the likes of TNT broadcasters say it … and they mind-boggle.
Many say that it is tough to compare since Pau plays with Kobe and proven championship roster while Dirk is forced to be the No. 1 option and carry a team, but the fact is that we DO know what happens to a team when Pau Gasol is forced to carry them.
They turn into the 2001-2007 Memphis Grizzlies!
The same awful Grizzlies that Pau led to the playoffs only three times, to a stellar 0-12 record. We could review the statistical evidence, but that only turns the slant in Dirk's favor into an all out landslide. All you need to know is this:
Pau as the main option = 0-12 in the playoffs in six years.
Dirk as the main option = 11 50-win seasons, 10x All Star, an MVP, a finals appearance, baby deliveries after the game, you name it.
Also, think about the devastation a Kobe-Dirk ‘in their prime' pick and roll combination would have caused across the league.
Open-and-shut case, Johnson.
DONUT 2. Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant is about as likable as a hangnail. Why?
Reasons include him being a ball hog, a self-nicknamer, a prima donna, getting the ‘clutch' label despite numbers that say otherwise, and throwing teammates under the bus like they're ketchup packets (What? You didn't do that when you were little? Me neither…). Oh, and publicly admitting to cheating on his wife after getting caught doing … something.
Don't worry though, he makes up for it by strategically kissing his kids in front of the camera after every nationally televised Lakers game. That's how you know he's a better father than every other player, because he makes sure you see it.
And then there is DB.com's long-time label of him: "The Drama Queen.''
The guy seems to be able to return from his death bed time and time again, in a manner that seems stolen from the scripts of "General Hospital.'' Right now he's suffering from a "severe'' ankle problem that "threatens'' to limit him against Dallas.
It's a set-up. If he performs well, he's Iron Man. If he performs poorly, hey, who could possibly perform well on a severe ankle problem?
Other than that, we have no problem with the guy.
What makes it all worse is he's unbelievably good at basketball. … Jordanesque, really.
To Mavs fans, there are two players in the league that can be labeled the best. The heart's pick wants Dirk in the pantheon. The brain's pick is Kobe. It's not even a debate that the guy is a player (pun intended) and a winner.
And we're about to Sports-Hate him more than ever.
DONUT 1. The Faker Fans. When they're not rooting for "their" New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys (sorry, but it's true), Manchester United, or Duke Blue Devils, they're wearing their triple reversible Lakers/Heat/Knicks jersey and are completely beating down anyone who in unfortunate enough to be within 50 yards of them.
They are Lakers fans. Or, Fakers fans, because their path is so easy. (Not like being a Mavs fan, in other words.)
Nailed it. Kobe jersey? Backwards hat? Tongue sticking out? Horrible watch? Cool hand sign? Check. Check. Double-check. Check. Oh yea, check.
DB.com actually has its own personal encounter with a lovely lady Lakers fan on press row. We'd love to track her down and have her rehash it for you, but it's quite likely that she doesn't remember anything about it.
In the waning moments of a March 12th Mavs loss to LA, a drunk woman in a skin tight Kobe Bryant jersey/dress decided this was the time to express her undying love to The Drama Queen… or at least her desire to be impregnated by him.
Hey, the ladies love guys who've flirted with imprisonment for felony sexual assault.
Sports-Hate is an interesting phenomenon that definitely adds an emotional aspect to being a fan -- maybe our favorite aspect. It adds to the experience and gives follower of competitions like the NBA playoffs a more personal connection to the game. Maybe it's about going Premium as a Mavs fan. Certainly it's about joining up together on the DB.com Dallas Mavericks Facebook Page and giving it a like! It's about passion, sometimes irrational passions (see Fish's recent anti-Spurs tweets!) Teams like the Lakers certainly can take it to a higher degree, but it truly is all in good fun.
Unless the Lakers do the dastardly, and beat the Mavericks in Round 2. At which point the Sports-Hate from this corner will be merciless.