Friday, December 14, 2007

Bynum ejected, Turiaf dances Lakers to win

Last night I attended my first home Laker game since Kobe scored his 10, 000 point. I know it's been a long time but my blogging salary doesn't allow for extravagant expenses.

My Ronny Turiaf jersey was a success. Turiaf replaced the ejected Andrew Bynum, played 24 minutes and scored 8 points to go along with 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists, 1 steal, and plenty of energy and dancing. LA fans apparently haven't caught on though. I didn't see another Turiaf jersey in the crowd but one of the guys selling t-shirts thought I was wearing a Michael Cooper jersey. Have no fear, the Ronny show is just beginning.

Without Bynum, the bench stepped up and led the Lakers to a 102-97 victory over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, sans Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, who both missed the game with injuries.

Speaking of Bynum, the 20 year old was ejected for the first time in his career. He bumped Fabricio Oberto as he was running down the floor and then went after the officials. It wasn't quite the infamous Bynum/Shaq bumping of two years ago, but it was significant.

Bynum apologized to everyone after the game for getting ejected. His teammates, the fans, the coaches.

But I don't need an apology from him. I like his competitive spirit. I like that he cares. The knock on him coming out of high school was his dedication to the game. Did he really enjoy basketball or was he just a 7-footer forced into the sport?

"Andrew should be proud of himself," Kobe Bryant said after the game. "First ejection. He went out in style."

Now that's what I'm talking about. An aggressive, angry, and competitive 7-foot center. Where have we seen that before? And best of all Kobe likes the fire he sees from the youngster.

And also: Kobe says he's happy to be here

Not smarter than a fifth grader: Asked for a one word assessment of his team, Mets GM Omar Minaya said, "championship caliber."

Sinking ship: You know hockey is dead when the league takes out an advertisement section for its players in Sports Illustrated because the magazine and its writers never cover the league.

As always, an updated Lakers +/- (through 21 games) Lakers: 13-8, 5th in West

Fisher +53
Kobe +57
Turiaf -12
Odom +27
Mihm -21
Walton +72
Bynum +89
Farmar +63
Radmanovic +135
Brown -5
Vujacic +17
Crittenton -21
Karl +5
Ariza +5

Up Next: vs. Golden State 7:30 p.m. PST


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