You might think itâ€™s a script from Amateur Night at the Apollo. Instead, itâ€™s a group of ESPN writers attempting to engage in a dialog about Laker trades. Letâ€™s look at the following:
â€śAs much as we celebrate the likes of Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, the Lakers’ championship heritage was largely built around their unprecedented legacy of big men with George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.â€ť -Arash Markazi
Does Markazi watch basketball on a regular basis? Remember, Gasol came to Los Angeles with only one All-Star appearance and without a single post-season win. Now, thereâ€™s no reason to hate on Gasol; however, itâ€™s important to remember that Gasol never averaged more than 21-points per game. The players mentioned by Markazi averaged 28.4, 50.4, 34.8, and 29.7 in their best seasons, respectively. Gasolâ€™s best season? 20.8 in 27 games before getting traded to the Lakers. His career average is 18.8 points per game. Sure, Pauâ€™s a good playerâ€”but to place him in the lineage of Laker greats? ItÂ makes one wonder if Markazi rode the short bus to school. Everyone knows Markazi is a hater, but this guy really needs to get a grip on realityâ€”or at least wear a helmet to work.
Wait, thereâ€™s more. Take a look at this gem:
â€śThere are two things I do whenever I don’t know or understand something concerning the Lakers or another team in the NBA. E-mail ESPN.com salary-cap guru Larry Coon, or message ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein.â€ť-Arash Markazi
Hmmmâ€¦So thereâ€™s a writer covering a team whom doesn’t really know whatâ€™s happening? Yeah, those are the type of writers from which one can gain deep insights. Oh wait, it’s starting to make sense now, Markazi isn’t really trying to cover basketballâ€”he’sÂ trying to schmooze with his colleagues. It’s one thing to keep it cool with the people with whom you work, but it’s another to gush openly over your peers in a dialog about Laker trades.
Apparently, Markazi isn’t the only one affected by ESPN’s workplace culture. Look what happened to the writer formally known as JA Adande:
â€śWhat makes the thought of Dwight Howard on the Lakers so tantalizing is that it would once again make Kobe Bryant the second-best player on the Lakers.â€ť -JA Adande
Whom said Kobe would be the second best player? Is Howard better than Kobe now? Sure, Howard is the best big man in the game; however, letâ€™s not forget that Kobe averaged more points than Howard in the 2010-11 season on an injured kneeâ€”and he also averaged 35.9 points per game per 48 minutes. Yep, thatâ€™s the highest average in the league. Obviously, Howard is the type of star that could carry the torch in the future; however, Adandeâ€™s assumption that Kobe automatically becomes the second option doesnâ€™t include any evidence that might support the position. Since Adande moved to ESPN from the LA Times, he appears intent on getting more cozy with his boyz at True Hoop than providing objective analyses.
So why does this comedy of errors even exist? Is it really that difficult to analyze the game of basketball? The reality is that ESPN spews more hate on Kobe than Mount Vesuvius spat ash on Pompey and Herculaneum. As a result, youâ€™ll rarely get an objective analysis from the writers at ESPN (even a dose of rationality fromÂ Ramona Shelburne couldnâ€™t keep her half-baked colleagues cool). Think about it. Ever wonder why many writers at the network start walking on eggshells when writing about Kobe Bryant (i.e., an analysis of Kobe that reveals a positive quality must be countered by an equally appealing negative attribute)? Sounds a little like Newtonâ€™s third law of motionâ€”until one realizes that it has nothing to do with physics, rationality, or even basketball. At ESPN, only the big dawgs whom can bring it with both logic and styleâ€”likeÂ Steven A Smithâ€”have the gumption to tell it like it is. As for the rest of the ESPN writers, itâ€™s time to walk off stageâ€”because the jeers are telling you that C.P. Lacy is about make an appearance.