37 reasons why the Lakers repeat … you on board?


1. Jordan Farmer changed his number. To this one. The one he wore at Taft High. Does that not show he’s rededicated himself to being No. 1? That’s one way to look at it.


2. Derek Fisher wrote an autobiography this offseason called “Character Driven: Life, Lessons and Basketball.” It concludes: “The high I’ve experienced since we closed out the (Orlando) Magic (in last year’s NBA Final) hasn’t worn off . . . I’m driven and I see no sign of that changing. My eye is firmly fixed on the rim and no opportunity is going to pass me by.”


Trevor Ariza was holding everyone back.

4. Luke Walton is tired of being mistaken for another Luke Walton – a retired U.S. Olympic oarsman, also from San Diego. Google it.

5. It fits into Larry David’s story arch on the current season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” – go back to Episode 3 where the guys from NBC gave him seats to a Lakers game, but he was up in the 300 level at Staples Center. Where he couldn’t trip Shaq.

6. Adam Morrison, with the tight haircut, has dedicated himself to making Laker fans forget they’ve ever heard of Vlad Radmanovich.

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7. Lamar Odom, knowing the cameras will be on him during his every move, has renewed Hollywood reality show credibility at stake. Watch for (at least for now) step-father in law Bruce Jenner blowing kisses near the player tunnel.


8. Jack Nicholson hasn’t been in a movie since “The Bucket List.” On his real bucket list, after curing cancer and before finding Roman Polanski to clean up the mess he left at his house 32 years ago: One more Laker title for a season-seat holder since 1967.

9. Four games against the Clippers during the regular season. Four aut-o-matic clicks in the win column without having to check into the scorer’s table.

10. The Lakers only have to play the Charlotte Bobcats twice this season – Feb. 3 (home) and March 5 (away).

11. Phil Jackson broke the tie last year with Red Auerbach for most career NBA coaching titles. He has 10. Why not turn it up to 11?

12. George Karl still coaches the Denver Nuggets.

13. Mark Cuban’s best player is still a tall gawky German guy.

14. Shannon Brown is still the fastest guy off the bench when he gets called into a game. Hear that, Rondo?

15. Yao Ming . . . MIA.


16. Pau Gasol can afford to sit out the start of the regular season if he so chooses. “Whether he makes it or doesn’t make it, I’m not worried,” says Jackson. That’s confidence.

17. Andrew Bynum, named by Forbes.com as the “most overpaid” player in the NBA, seems to be ready, willing and able to perform. In October, November and December. Check back in 2010.


18. Listen …The San Antonio Spurs’ roster just got another day older. Not so good for a cougar like Eva Longoria.

19. Last season’s victory in the finals against a Mickey Mouse franchise like Orlando, in existence only 19 seasons, doesn’t count.

20. Sasha Vujacic is angling to getting Sasha Baron Cohen courtside seats this year . . . next to him.

21. Josh Powell has it figured out: 60 games (and one start) at 11 minutes a pop for the Lakers has a bigger upside than 65 games (and 25 starts) at 19 minutes a pop for the Clippers.

22. Trainer Gary Vitti has horded all available H1N1 flu shots.

23. Tony Gaffney made the roster apparently . . . an undrafted rookie. Dyan Cannon has cheek implants younger than him.


Kobe Bryant … where do we start?

25. Kobe has four rings. So does Shaq. So does Tim Duncan. One more, and Ocho-Times-Three has cinco, the most among active players. Bring on the braggadocio. (Sorry, DFish would also have five if the Lakers win this year, so . . . he must be traded at some point).

26. Kobe’s latest trade demand was again denied by Mitch Kupchak.

27. Replacement refs would have thrown Kobe out at least once every four games. Regular refs are back, and respectfully tune out his whining, knowing where their bread is buttered in the big picture.


28. Golden State’s Stephen “Kobe Killer” Jackson hasn’t learned to shut up.

29. DJ Mbenga won’t get blocked trying to enter the arena.

30. It was 30 years ago when Jerry Buss purchased this franchise (plus the Forum, the Kings and a big ol’ ranch) from Jack Kent Cooke, for the lump sum of $67.5 mil. It was, at the time, the biggest transaction in sports history. The payoff: Nine NBA titles, and 14 NBA Finals appearances, in 29 seasons. Want to make it 10 and 15 in 30?


31. It was, like, forever years ago when Jeanie Buss started dating Phil Jackson (and led to Jerry West’s departure). And still, she has no ring. Yet, she perseveres. If only for an appearance with him in a T-Mobile commercial.


32. Magic Johnson is still part owner. No matter what Isiah Thomas has to say about it behind everyone’s back.

33. Kareem Abdul Jabbar is still a part-time coach. No matter if Andrew Bynum thinks it time to take him off speed-dial. And whether Kareem thinks he’s next in line.

34. Shaquille O’Neal is still in the NBA as a part-time player with Cleveland, but back to wearing No. 33. Like it matters.

35. Sports Illustrated has forecast a Celtics’ victory over the Lakers in the final. Jinx!

36. Let’s face it: The NBA wants it to happen.


Ron Artest, the new pink elephant in the room, said before deciding on joining the Lakers he considered playing for Olympacos or Panthinaikos, the two biggest teams in Greece. Living in L.A. already must seem Greek to him. Maybe that’s good. The Lakers can pay him in Euros, and it doesn’t go against the salary cap. And if he’s daring enough to go up in the stands during a skirmish, he’s more likely to run into someone like Michael Clark Duncan.

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