I don’t even know where to begin with the Lakers. Should I talk about how joyless the basketball is in LA right now? How the entire team looks exhausted? How I am exhausted trying to keep up moment to moment with the seesaw for the eighth seed between the Lakers and the Utah Jazz? How about Lakers nation who have no idea how to deal with the fact that there is a very real possibility the Lakers might miss the playoffs?
But then my prayers were answered in the form of the return of Metta World Peace. People: He is too sexy for his cat. That is right up there with the most nonsensical sentences I’ve ever written. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a moment and watch MWP’s post game interview here. I promise it is worth your time.
At first, I thought he was referring to “He was too sexy for his Cat Scan." No insidious machine results would keep him from coming back to the team 12 days after having his knee scoped. I kept waiting for him to give up the joke to the surrounding reporters who weren’t quite sure what to make of his words. But in true “Right Said Fred” fashion, he kept repeating it. Coincidentally, without his shirt. Was Metta being meta?
What to make of this fortune cookie wisdom? His feline-oriented scale of self-evaluation? I know not.
And then I pictured Metta at home rehabbing his knee and a snooty Siamese lounging on the windowsill twitching its tail, unblinking. Judging.
“I’m too sexy for this!” sayeth Metta. And so, MWP proclaims himself healed and out the door and off to the hardwood where judgmental cats do not lurk.
I have no idea. I really have no idea. Sometimes Metta reminds me of the character Dory voiced by Ellen DeGeneres in the film "Finding Nemo." Flighty, whimsical, easily distracted, but very earnest. Have you ever seen RonRon’s guest turn as a weather announcer? Watch this and you’ll see what I mean. Enjoy.
All this nuttiness aside, I do think having MWP back is good for the Lakers. For one, any minutes he can play are helpful given the astronomical minutes the starters are playing, especially Kobe Bryant.
Second, I think the levity he brings lightens up the locker room. I can only imagine what everybody else was too sexy for on the plane ride up to Portland. Maybe we’ll get some tweets. But I’ll take anything to lighten the mood for the final games of this season, which has gone from grind to grim.
The Lakers control their destiny for now, sitting .5 game up on Utah. They need to keep the pedal down and finish off Portland, then the balance of games. They can't fall into the trap they were in back in January where they would come out sluggish in the first half of games—basically trading baskets with their opponent—only to return after the half and watch their opponents go on hot runs. Daring the them to try to beat the mounting deficit, the Lakers would end up exhausting themselves and coming up short.
The team is running on fumes. This is not sustainable. They must come out for each remaining game firing on all cylinders with an incredible sense of urgency, especially on defense, from the moment the ball tips.
We’ll see in Portland and for the next week whether they understand that or not.