I’ve been a bit nervous lately, even losing a bit of sleep. No—not about the economy or Obama and Eric Holder’s broken promises. I’m miffed that the feds recently busted out that “no acceptable medical use” line—but that’s not what I’m talking about right now.
No, what’s really got me concerned is this whole NBA lockout. When’s it gonna end?
Will I see my precious Lakers play Oklahoma City Nov. 1 (the first game of the season—though the Guys in Purple and Gold are playing a preseason game in Ontario in late October) Will Staples Center feel like home again?
Lakers fans have been through enough drama lately. The 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons were most excellent (hello, back-to-back championships, anyone?)
But let’s not talk about last season. The humiliating sweep. The anger. The drama. The frustration. The end of the Phil era. It’s enough to make me want to toss my Shannon Brown jersey. Almost.
But I remembered something about the 2009 playoffs, after a Game 6 blowout win by the Lakers over the Denver Nuggets. Sure, the Lakers have had their low points over the years. So have the Nuggets, actually. But almost every time, teams like these have been able to rise to the occasion.
The Lakers are obviously championship material. And the Nuggets aren’t too shabby—even after losing Carmelo Anthony via trade this past season.
After the trade, the Nuggets averaged 24.1 assists, finished with 50 wins (the fourth consecutive 50-win season) and clinched the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
What is the point? Let Nuggets head coach George Karl explain:
“Our guys, when their backs are confronted with a difficult situation, they usually play at a high level.” Phil Jackson’s essentially said the same thing when players had to deal with injuries (Andrew Bynum’s knee) or other off-the-court issues (remember when a Kobe-less Lakers were winning game after game when Mr. Bryant was dealing with those sexual assault charges around 2003?).
That’s the point. When confronted with a “difficult situation,” do you play at a high level or do you just give up? The Nuggets didn’t give up. The Lakers didn’t give up. Why? They’re ballers. They step up . . . and play hard.
So, now we’ve got this lockout. Will it soon end? What is the new coach all about? I don’t have answers, but I know one thing: Lakers fans can rest assured that, as before, we’ll get through these tough times. And emerge victorious.
That’s exactly what happened with rapper Game, the subject of this month’s cover story (who also just happens to be good buddies with Ron Artest, Matt Barnes and other NBA ballers). He’s been through tough times. He’s had to deal with many a “difficult situation” (feuding with 50 Cent, anyone?).
But Game came out on top. As will the Lakers for 2011-2012. As will all of us in SoCal’s MMJ community. Whether you’re a patient, a doctor, an activist, an attorney or anyone else committed to this industry, we know first hand what it is to deal with a “difficult situation.”
Let’s just make sure we continue to play at a high level.