Tuesday, February 7, 2012

1980s Showtime Lakers: The Real McCoy by Gregory Gee

My friends, my friends, my friends...HGP sports editor Gregory Gee - die hard Laker fan - has taken exception to the title-less/ring-less LA Clippers being called the New Showtime in La-La land.

In his own words:

The LA Clippers are not the new Showtime. Granted, Blake Griffin and co. make great ESPN highlights, but the comparisons to the famed 1980's Showtime Lakers ends there. Let me explain.

There was Showtime and now we have A Time To Show. Showtime had substance, it was more than a highlight. The LA Lakers won 3 NBA championships between 1980-1985 - while entertaining us along the way. They educated the basketball world that a well rounded, fundamental sound team could win and look good doing it.

They gave us the  "glitz and glam" of the no look Magic Johnson passes; the Michael "Cooper De Loop"  dunks; James Worthy streaking on the wings and finishing with the "snow cone" slams; and to seal the deal, the Kareem Abdul Jabber sky hook - the most unstoppable shot in NBA history.

These plays wowed us but take away the "glitz and glam" and what is revealed: solid coaching of superstars by Pat Riley, stellar leadership by Magic/Kareem - they led by example on and off the court. Next, this team played great defense or should I say great team defense. Lastly, General Manager and Laker great Jerry West provided the team with quality support players - who knew their roles - and star players responded by tossing aside their egos in the name of winning. The result: on any given night, anyone from Jabbar to Magic to Worthy to Byron Scott and even 6th man Michael Cooper could be the star.

The San Diego Slippers LA Clippers are nothing but a glitzy and glam guest in the Staples Center. Lob City tandem of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are talented--and to reiterate, the duo are producing some great ESPN and Youtube highlights. Former champion Chauncy Billups' leadership has helped stablize a young team but once again, the comparsions end there. They have moments in a game or a week of "oohs and ahhhs" whereas the sustainable Showtime was symbiotic with basketball talent and fundamentals: SUBSTANCE FOLKS! Where can you find this on the, uh..., uh...Clippers?

Oh, by the way, the Shaq/Kolbe teams were the closest to the 1980's Showtime - that is until egos  prematurely ended the show.

Related Story: Are the Clippers the best team in LA?

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