April Fool’s Day: The Joke is On Us


The Pelicans play the Lakers at Staples Center on Wednesday night. The Pelicans have a 3-0 series lead.

April Fool’s Day, the celebrated 24 hour period in which hoaxes and jokes are mandatory, has a long history dating back hundreds of years. In Poland, the day of joking was taking so seriously that in 1683 Poland signed an anti-Turkish alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I, the day before April Fool’s Day, just in case.

In France they call it “April Fish Day” and try to attach a dead fish to someone’s back without them noticing but inevitably when the pranking victim begins to smell something slimy and rotten on the back of his shirt, he figures it out.

In Portugal, you throw flour in someone’s face. In Scotland, you run all over town doing one stupid errand or another- you are called a gowk which means you have been stupid all day long. You are a cuckoo bird.

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In Lakers land, the prank and the hoaxes and the jokes are counterintuitive.

For months, the Lakers have been a tragic comedy as they pretend to be one thing despite evidence to the contrary. Perhaps the joke was Mitch Kupchak saying the Lakers weren’t tanking. Or, when Byron Scott benched Jeremy Lin for Ronnie Price. Or picking up Carlos Boozer off the waiver wire and trying to sell the Boozer-benched-on-a-playoff-team as a Boozer who would suddenly reinvent himself. Or, trying to package Nick Young as something more than a carefree entertainer.

A NBA team that plays like a D-league team for much of the season except when it matters, and then they pretend they are a NBA team, which is just good enough to destroy their chances at the lottery, now that is the real joke. But, very few Lakers fans are laughing.

Tonight, against the Pelicans who the Lakers simply cannot beat because of the match-ups, is one more opportunity for a bad team to right a wrong this late in the year. Nine games are left and the race to keep their coveted slot at #4 is the only thing that can wrap this Lakers season in a nice pretty bow.

But, this is the Lakers 2014-15. Just when you think they understand their destiny, they do a 360 and win a game they should lose. It’s flour in the face or a dead fish on the back or the Taco Bell prank. A stupid joke that is no longer funny.

In 1996, a couple of months before Kobe Bryant was drafted and then traded to the Lakers, in Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia, Taco Bell took out a full page newspaper ad that said they had just bought the Liberty Bell. Who would believe that? A bunch of idiotic people who called the National Historic Park where the Liberty Bell is located vented their anger and disgust.

Anger was the theme of the last month. Fans were furious at Lakers (players) who didn’t seem to care about the lottery pick and a future they probably won’t be a part of. The madness will only continue tonight. The Lakers will try not to lose to the Pelicans, they’ll play hard. The fans will be appropriately bitter.  Luckily, the Pelicans are too good to fall for the Lakers joke.

Next: Report: Jim Buss Fired After Fight With Kupchak