Andrew Bynum

On L.A. radio, the sky is falling

Besides Damon Bruce and Mychael Urban, this site probably doesn’t have a lot of fans at KNBR 680. Ours is probably the biggest area in the United States where the media refuses to really criticize each other too much. It’s a pretty sensitive area, so even though I probalby consume as much of the Sports Leader as anybody outside Baltimore Dave, Bowler Bob in Brisbane or that “Roy” guy who sounds like Willie Mays, my few jokes at KNBR’s expense might be the only ones that haven’t been confined to a message board.

I’m not here to rip KNBR. I already loved the station for giving us a pretty phenomenal lineup of thought-provoking, eclectic shows, shows that sound so wonderfully unlike the drones at ESPN Radio. Every once in a while the volume and insipidness of the commercials get to me, and every one of the shows have hot streaks and cold streaks (almost like the teams they cover). Now after spending the last two days in Southern California, I wish KNBR came in as well during the day as it does at night.

It’s All-Lakers-All-The-Time here, which for me is no problem. However, with so many hours to fill and a fanbase that would complain if the Lakers won the Finals in 7 games because they didn’t dominate enough, the so-called “knowledge” getting spouted around here is enough to make me sit through Linkin Park on the FM side of the dial (OK, that was a lie because that group makes me break out in hives…but I did enjoy catching Lit’s “Miserable” on KROQ. I liked the Lit era, short as it was).

Here’s some examples of L.A. sports talk wisdom. I’d name names, but I wasn’t paying enough attention and none of the guys had really distinguishing voices (like a bunch of anti-Ralph Barbieris).

Last night before Game 2, which Denver won 106-103: “I think game 2 is much more important to the Lakers, because that will send Denver back home wondering if they can ever win at Staples, and it will really deflate them.”

Sure buddy, much more important for the Lakers. There’s no POSSIBLE way they can win the series if it’s tied 1-1 going to Denver. Denver will have all the momentum, and they won’t believe in the Curse Of Staples anymore! It’s the toughest place to play in the league, for heaven’s sakes!

Today: “You have to wonder what Phil’s doing sometimes. Take a timeout!”

OK, I’ll give you that Phil Jackson has depended way too much on Derek Fisher, to the point where his reluctance to trust anyone besides the Lakers’ future head coach is threatening to ruin their championship chances in two consecutive years. Maybe he is the only person in the world who doesn’t realize that Sasha Vujacic should be benched until September, because this just isn’t his year. And sure, besides the 2001 team Jackson has never been able to get the Lakers to have that “killer instinct,” which means they don’t win series in less than six games very often.

However, has Phil ever screwed up on clock management…ever? Aren’t his teams better in pressure-packed “must-win” situations than any other franchise over the past two decades? But now that Carmelo Anthony and Linas Kleiza are hitting shots it’s time to start coaching as if he’s’ Mike Dunleavy?

Yesterday: “After the Nuggets gave away Game 1 and missed so many free throws, I think they’re going to come in deflated.”

Man, some of these guys on L.A. radio are totally psychic.

Yesterday: “The Nuggets can’t play any better than they did in Game 1, especially their front line. Kenyon Martin was outstanding.”

Yeah, the Nuggets were great. OK, Carmelo Anthony was on fire from the field, but Martin not only missed a key open jumper with less than 2 minutes to go, he fouled Kobe Bryant with less than 30 seconds on a REACH IN ATTEMPT. And I’m pretty sure Lakers owner Jerry Buss called Martin “a real ne’er-do-well” to Kenyon’s mom after the game. Throw in the fact that Nene was completely useless in Game 1’s fourth quarter and that Chauncey Billups couldn’t hit the broad side of a plastic surgery clinic (sorry, L.A.’s starting to rub off on me), the Nuggets played freakin’ fantastic.

Today (heard from a host and then parroted by several callers): “I don’t get why they didn’t play Andrew Bynum more than they did. 18 minutes? What was Phil thinking???”

Did you know that Bynum had 2 rebounds last night? Tony Randolph would have 2 rebounds if he played 18 seconds of a playoff game against the Nuggets. Something tells me Bynum would have been a much more successful center in the ’80’s, when it was acceptable for big men to be offense-only softies. Maybe Bynum should break up his personal sessions with Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and sprinkle in some work with Artis Gilmore or somebody who wasn’t afraid of contact.

–The moronic quotes went on and on, to the point where I actually missed Bob Fitzgerald sticking up for Robert Rowell and Don Nelson…almost. There’s absolutely no talk about the area’s baseball teams right now, which actually isn’t really a bad thing, but still rather strange. The Los Angeles sports focus is strange, though. Everyone here is so arrogant about the Lakers, I don’t blame certain L.A. transplants for hating them even more than they did before they got here. I know it’s the playoffs, but the hosts around here talk in circles about the team that it’s tough to get a read on how everyone feels. It’s almost like winning the NBA Title would be more of a relief to Southern California citizens than a pure celebration. It’s like they just keep bitchin’ about the game. C’mon L.A., enjoy the game!

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