You don’t need to script drama for the Los Angeles Lakers. They create enough on their own that it’s to the point they need an editor to tie together all the continuous plotlines.
So it comes as no surprise that the upcoming seven game series with the Oklahoma City Thunder is ripe with dramatic elements not found in many feature films.
At the top of the list has got to be the Metta World Peace-James Harden elbowgate revisited. Last time these two were on the same court together was the last time World Peace played until Game 7 against Denver.
The elbow heard round the NBA became one of the most infamous moments in Metta’s career, one that has had no shortage of controversy. Recently Metta even mused on why he refused to contact Harden just to check on the concussed sixth man’s health.
Outside of the World Peace-Harden rematch, there’s also the supposed passing of the Western Conference guard from Kobe Bryant to Kevin Durant.
Durant is ascending the NBA hierarchy with each passing year and now he’s entering the championship expectation phase of his career. Kobe’s been dealing with that for years. Of course he’s not settling for the five rings he’s got. Kobe wants more and he pushed Durant to the last day for his scoring crown so you know he’ll do the same with KD looking to hang his first banner.
In the post there is an old and ugly face in a new place. The last time the Lakers saw Kendrick Perkins in the postseason he was wearing a vomit green jersey. Now in Oklahoma City, Perkins was acquired to give the Thunder the post presence they so desperately desired.
Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol flexed their muscle against Denver and finally closed the series. If they’re anything as active against OKC then Perkins will have his hands full.
Gasol and Serge Ibaka also have a bit of a hoops relationship as the two played together during the Euro championships last summer. Ibaka’s Spanish citizenship gave him a spot on the same roster with Pau and his brother during Spain’s domination of Europe. Athletic and active big men give the Lakers problems as we saw against Denver so that will be something to keep one eye on as a potential X-factor,
Finally there is the Derek Fisher drama.
We know the story. 5 rings with the Lakers. Countless clutch moments. Leadership qualities usually reserved for military generals.
We also know how Fisher’s L.A. story ended with an unceremonious exit via trade. As soon as D-Fish became a member of the Thunder you knew he was going to see the Lakers in the postseason. That is some drama that is too real to be scripted. All of this and we have yet to even see one game played. Just think of all the talking points once this thing is three games deep.
Get your popcorn ready!