The end is near.
After 13 days on the road, just one game separates the Lakers from their Los Angeles beds, and the net result in the pregame Memphis locker room resembled the kind of humor you get at a middle school sleepover around 3 a.m.
Lamar Odom and Jordan Farmar both spent a good 10 minutes bantering back and forth with a few media members, detailing such topics as dogs (Farmar has two big dogs, whom he essentially treats like human beings) and video games.
Both Odom and Farmar described their respective roles in a four-man FIFA 2010 match that pitted the two against Luke Walton and Adam Morrison. In the team’s Memphis hotel, team FarOdom claimed France, while Team Walison took the USA (we should mention that Morrison is by far the best player, prompting Walison to go with the lesser side).
The result, you ask? Well, in a big upset, Farmar and Odom pulled out a 2-1 victory, with one goal coming on a breakaway, the other on a cheap blocked punt that Morrison had actually taught to Farmar (a striker runs near the goalie and knocks his punt out of the air, then slots the ball home).
Yet, as Morrison explained (and FarOdom neglected to mention), Walison went on to defeat FarOdom 5-0 in a rematch with the same teams, restoring the power rankings.
With that important stuff now covered, here’s some basketball news…
- Phil Jackson revealed that his post-playing-days aptitude test put on by the NBA Player’s Association listed the following four professions as possibilities: outdoor adventurer, a nursery school teacher, a lawyer and a minister.
- Jackson described the mutual respect he has for Pat Riley, whom he could pass for career Lakers victories if L.A. can beat the Grizzlies. “We have great respect for each other after all those years of competing,” he said. “Pat had a great run with the Showtime Lakers.” Jackson also cited the back-and-forth jabs he and Riley took at one another’s teams through the media in the 1990′s when Riley was with the Knicks and he the Bulls, something he always enjoyed.
- The head coach credited certain relationships between him and the Buss family for his longer-than-expected tenure.
- As far as Memphis: Jackson explained that they’re even better than their 25-21 record (which ranks just 5th in their division but would be 5th in the entire Eastern Conference), since the team started the season 1-8 while dealing with the Allen Iverson situation (Iverson started the season on the team, but left shortly thereafter). He cited the addition of Zach Randolph and solid young talent (Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol) as better than advertised.
- I asked Phil if Pau and Marc Gasol could be the best brother combination ever: “Yes for big guys, without a doubt they can be the best brother combination.”