EppsNet Archive: Los Angeles Lakers

Jerry Buss, 1933-2013

18 Feb 2013 /

I’m sad. As a lifelong Laker fan, I kind of feel like I knew the guy. He bought the Lakers in 1979, which means he was younger than I am today, and now he’s dead at the age of 80. I feel old.

Dr. Buss was a USC alum. Fight on.

R.I.P. Jerry Buss

jerry-buss


Why Kyrie Irving is a Better Basketball Player Than Anyone in My Family

16 Jan 2013 /
Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

My son (age 19) and I are driving to Staples Center to see the Lakers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, listening to the pre-game show on the radio. Because the Cavs are basically a one-man roster, and that one man is Kyrie Irving, there’s a lot of talk about Irving on the pre-game.

One of the analysts offers up his opinion that Irving is as good as he is at such a young age (he’s 20) because Irving’s dad was hard on him as a kid and pushed him and didn’t let him take breaks.

As always, when the topic of someone’s dad bullying him to greatness comes up, the boy gives me a melancholy look to say that my lack of abusiveness as a parent is the reason he’s not a professional athlete. “You let me take breaks,” he says.

“You know,” I say, “I think for every guy who says, ‘My dad wouldn’t let me back in the house until I made 100 layups with each hand and now I’m in the NBA,’ there’s 900 other guys whose dads tried the same shit and these guys got nowhere and now they’re extremely angry about it. You just never hear from those 900 guys because they’re nowhere, as I just said.”


You Can Make It If You Try

14 Jan 2012 /

“It’s becoming conventional wisdom that the U.S. does not have as much [economic] mobility as most other advanced countries,” said Isabel V. Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “I don’t think you’ll find too many people who will argue with that.”

English: Jerry Buss (LA Lakers owner) playing ...

Jerry Buss

I’ll argue with it . . . the fact that people are not doing something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hard thing to do. Maybe people aren’t trying to do it. Maybe people don’t want to do it.

From Daniel Kahneman‘s Thinking, Fast and Slow:

A large-scale study of the impact of higher education . . . revealed striking evidence of the lifelong effects of the goals that young people set for themselves. The relevant data were drawn from questionnaires collected in 1995-1997 from approximately 12,000 people who had started their higher education in elite schools in 1976. When they were 17 or 18, the participants had filled out a questionnaire in which they rated the goal of “being very well-off financially” on a 4-point scale ranging from “not important” to “essential.” . . .

Goals make a large difference. Nineteen years after they stated their financial aspirations, many of the people who wanted a high income had achieved it. Among the 597 physicians and other medical professionals in the sample, for example, each additional point on the money-importance scale was associated with an increment of over $14,000 of job income in 1995 dollars!

In other words, one reason that people differ in their incomes is that some people care more about having a high income than others. People have different ambitions. Some people will gladly sacrifice things like family and leisure time for money and some people won’t.

Here’s an example of what it takes to be rich in America: Laker owner Jerry Buss spent so little time with his family when his kids were growing up that when he and his wife separated, they didn’t tell the kids, and it was five years before any of them noticed the difference.

True story.

Not everyone is willing to show a Jerry Buss level of ruthless disregard for their family in their pursuit of financial success.

I’ve spent a lot of time with my family. Jerry Buss owns a basketball team and I don’t. Good for him! I’ve lived my life a certain way and I could have lived it a different way if I’d wanted to.

A lot of Americans are self-absorbed morons whose principal activities are eating and watching television. The fact that these people are not shooting up the economic ladder doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hard thing to do if you really want to do it.


What Are the Laker Girls Going to Do?

30 Aug 2011 /

The Laker Girls 2011 squad has been selected. (You can watch the auditions.) But with no Laker games, what are they going to do?

Idea: Come over to the office, stand behind me all day and dance around every time I school someone.

“Bob, let me be direct. Your idea has one problem. It’s stupid.”

OHHHHHHH! Loud music! Dancing! Cheering!


Meeting Ron Artest

19 Mar 2011 /
Ron Artest

My kid and a few of his high school friends are on their way to see Ron Artest at Living Spaces in Irvine. He’s doing a meet and greet from 3:00 to 5:00.

What kind of advertising is that? Those kids don’t have money to buy furniture.


A Question

18 Jun 2010 /
Lakers logo

Trevor Ariza went to Houston for more money. Ron Artest came to L.A. for less money.

Who made the better choice?


Lakers 83, Celtics 79

18 Jun 2010 /
Lakers logo

“I’m really going to be sad if the Lakers lose,” my son said before the game.

“Yeah,” I said, “a lot of people are going to be sad. Of course, a lot of people are going to be sad if the Celtics lose too, but at least it will be the right people.”


Khloe and Lamar’s Gift Registry

24 Sep 2009 /

Here’s the link to Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom’s gift registry at Geary’s Beverly Hills.

Least expensive item: a $90 fish fork. Or how about a $1,140 soup ladle?


The Streets of Irvine Were Deserted

15 Jun 2009 /

It was like a ghost town yesterday. The Lakers were playing a close-out game. It’s Finals Week at the local high schools. Everyone young and old had something to do.

My own 10th-grade boy spent 12 hours Saturday studying at the Barnes and Noble cafe at the Marketplace, followed by an Extreme English Breakdown session yesterday at Starbucks on Culver . . .

Good luck, students!


A Trade, Not a Steal

16 Feb 2009 /

We were watching the NBA All-Star Game yesterday when someone — Marv Albert, I think — said that Pau Gasol was acquired in a “steal” by the Los Angeles Lakers.

My son takes exception.

“That wasn’t a steal,” he says. “It was a trade. Javaris Crittenton is a very capable player.”


At the Lakers Game

8 Oct 2008 /

My son and I went to the Lakers game last night, a pre-season game against Utah . . .

Pre-game

As we were walking in, he pointed out an Asian girl with a spiky-haired Asian guy wearing an Olympics jersey and said, “That guy with the Olympic jersey pulled a hotter Asian woman than you.”

The girl was hotter than my wife is now, but not hotter than she was at that age.

“You don’t know anything,” I said. “Mom was pretty hot.”

“Yeah. Right.”

Game

Pretty good game! The starters played more than I thought they would.

Andrew Bynum is back. He looked good!

Jerry Buss was there. He looked terrible. Thirty minutes before the game, a guy rolled him out in a wheelchair to the end of the court. It took him several minutes to hobble from there to his courtside seat. My son said he had a leg injury. I thought he was just too old.

The girl sitting next to him — his date or his great-granddaughter, I’m not sure which — looked really good.

 
Laker Girls

The Laker Girls totally set the bar for whatever you call these kinds of groups — cheerleaders? Dance teams?

I realized that what’s missing from my workplace is hot girls in extremely short skirts who jump around and cheer whenever something noteworthy happens.

We check in a bug fix? Gooooo team!

Then at halftime — or “lunch” as we call it — they’d change into tight pants and belly shirts and jump around in the new outfits all afternoon.

Good times!

Post-game

On the drive home, my wife called my son’s cell phone. The conversation was focused on exactly where we were and how long it would take us to get home.

“Why does she care about that?” I asked.

“She’s probably up to something and wants to make sure she stops doing it before we get there.”


Overheard

9 Jun 2008 /

Web comic

Related Links


Wasted Time

1 Aug 2004 /
Magnetism

There was a profile of Jerry Buss, the owner of the Lakers, on TV the other night . . .

Buss spent very little time with his family when his kids were growing up. When he and his wife separated, they didn’t tell the kids, and it was five years before any of them noticed the difference.

True story!

Clearly, I have not been nearly as ruthless as I could have been at disregarding my family in my pursuit of success.