Posts Tagged ‘Lakers’

Of all the worthless ways to spend time on Twitter, few are as pointless as when I engage the site’s search function and seek out people who believe there are basketball players who were, or now are, better passers than Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Whenever Lebron James pulls off a fancy assist someone claims he’s a better passer than Magic. Not surprisingly some say Pistol Pete Maravich was a superior disher. Jason Williams fans still champion their king of the elbow pass. Even Ben Simmons supporters believe that one day, the former LSU product will prove superior to Magic as a passer.

On some level, I understand it’s senseless to get upset or annoyed over any of these opinions from strangers. And yet, each time I torture myself by searching out these beliefs I want to no-look-pass my computer across the living room.

There’s never been a better passer than Magic Johnson. Not LeBron, not Pistol, not White Chocolate, not John Stockton, not Larry Bird, not Chris Paul, not Bob Cousy, not Steve Nash, not Jason Kidd, not anyone. It’s ultimately all subjective, of course, but in the same way a consensus has formed around the idea Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter of all-time — despite that being an equally abstract title — any list about the best passer in the game’s history should always start with Magic.


Life among the Laker fanatics

Posted: December 24, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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At one point last week I spent about 30 minutes arguing with strangers about the effect of Kobe Bryant’s absence from the Lakers. Some thought LA was actually better without him, some wanted him never to return. I pointed out the general ridiculousness of this sentiment — the team was 10-9 before Kobe returned, nice with the talent available and totally average, a pace that, if it continued, would represent one of the worst records in team history. This didn’t happen with a fellow subway rider or with someone holding a sandwich board in Times Square. All of this took place in the comfort of my apartment, as I sat on my couch with my computer on my lap. It was another night spent on, one of the main messageboards for Lakers fans, and a spot I frequent with alarming regularity.


The first games of an NBA season don’t carry the prestige of opening day in baseball or the opening week of the NFL season. There’s nothing poetic about them, no national celebration that includes new songs from our favorite country singers. The start of the NBA season is simply the first chapter in a book that can seem neverending.

Still, it’s always nice to welcome back the league. Answers to the big questions won’t come for months — can the Heat repeat, can Derrick Rose return to form, can Kobe do the same, can the Timberwolves make the playoffs — but there’s always a chance for memorable moments. As the 2014 season begins, a look back at some top opening nights from the past:


At long last, the NBA season is (almost) upon us.

TV and Fury take an early look at potential contenders, as well as breaking down another NBA preview podcast.

It’s all very meta.

Here’s the link.

Many people consider the Twins season a failure and by any statistical or intangible measure it most certainly was. Yet the Minnesota Nine did prevail in one key area: The franchise gave Mariano Rivera the coolest retirement present.

Every Major League city the great Yankees closer visited gave him a going-away gift, something to say thanks and goodbye. The Twins brought out a rocking chair made of the bats Rivera broke with his devastating cutter, which is the actual two-word phrase for his signature pitch. It was original, thoughtful, creative and fun.


“The NBA is expected to make a major change to its traditional Finals schedule, ending the 2-3-2 format and returning to the 2-2-1-1-1 game rotation used in all other playoff rounds, multiple sources told”—Brian Windhorst

Nothing in sports makes me as happy as watching the Lakers win a title, but if I had to list the next-best thing it might be watching the Boston Celtics lose and listening to their fans complain.

They complain about John Havlicek’s injury costing them the 1973 NBA title and talk about how many more titles they’d won with Len Bias. If only Kendrick Perkins had been healthy for Game 7 in 2010, his offensive brilliance would have led the Celtics over the Lakers, they say with their annoying accents. And they might have three-peated if not for Kevin Garnett’s bad knee in 2009. Injuries cost them the 1987 title. So many complaints for a franchise with 17 NBA titles.


Being Metta

Posted: July 16, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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Something strange happened during Metta World Peace’s four years with the Lakers. As he regressed as a basketball player but progressed as a person, becoming one of the likable guys in the league with his goofy personality and willingness to speak out on issues like mental health, I liked him more and more as a complete player, even as every one of his individual skills got worse and worse.

It’s difficult to explain. World Peace was nothing like the Ron Artest who was once the best defender in the league and capable of being a team’s best offensive player. He no longer possessed any vertical, meaning the rim blocked him on layups, if not a 7-footer. When he started dribbling every fan expected something terrible to happen, something truly awful, which, once you’d seen it, meant the game could never be the same. I was pleasantly surprised if he’d make both free throws. Small forwards could blow past him more than you’d think. His post moves consisted of bullying his way into the lane, like a 50-year-old playing against his 8-year-old son, except with less success around the basket. The jumper was iffy — there one game, gone the next six. Yet I enjoyed the Metta World Peace Era.

A great sense of timing makes up for a lot.


The main topic on this week’s TVFury podcast: Is Dwight Howard a great buy on the NBA free-agent market or an overrated clown.

TV has an opinion on the matter. More importantly, so does the Lakers loving Fury – he watched Howard intently last season.

The question probably comes down to this: Do teams sign free agents solely to win titles? And might Houston quietly intend to use Howard as a second banana?

Here’s the link.

The Fury household in Janesville always holds some surprises. Old science papers, bizarre medical books, magazines that are a century old, records with Cheech & Chong skits that my parents pretend they never listened to.

On my current trip I discovered another relic — and another example of my nonexistent art skills. In my old bedroom, sitting under some printing paper and scrap paper — which was underneath a red clothes hanger — was a scrapbook I created in 1987 and finished in 1991. It was my Lakers scrapbook and contained clippings that heralded their 1987 title and run through the 1989 playoffs. It ends in 1991 because Magic Johnson’s career ended in 1991.

But let’s start at the beginning.


It’s been two weeks since Kobe Bryant played a game and could be nine months before he plays another one. But on a weekend when the opening round of the playoffs featured dominant performances by the home teams and not much Game 1 drama — save for the Nuggets-Warriors — the injured 34-year-old still managed to be the most interesting story, or at least the most controversial.

Kobe, stuck at home with his Achilles injury, had promised to tweet during the opening game, an intriguing prospect because he’s proven to be an entertaining presence on social media, whether it’s his Facebook post after his devastating injury or his appearance on Twitter earlier this season.