Giving the masses what they want: Lakers hype

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The last few days much of the e-mail has been the same, but written the best in concise exasperation by Dustin Knackstedt: "The Lakers are No. 1 in the Western Conference and you are writing about NASCAR?"

My mistake, and I certainly won't do that again.

But then I thought we were all up to date on the Lakers, and I wasn't aware of any controversy, drama or opposition in proclaiming our heroes champions once again.

Dwyre's already got them playing the Celtics in June, and as old as he is, he's not one to look too far ahead if there's something he can sink his teeth into. Or, maybe give it a good gumming, if you know what I mean.

Maybe Dwyre and I missed something really newsy, but it sure looks as if the Lakers are doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing this month against opponents who collectively are more than 100 games below .500.

They were favored to win by 15 points against Portland on Tuesday night, the Blazers without leading scorer Brandon Roy, before taking on Miami and then Portland again.

I can see Dwyre getting excited, because he gets fired up writing about horse racing, boxing and tennis, and now finally gets the chance to write about something folks might actually read.

But when I asked Phil Jackson whether he was more excited now that the Lakers are doing so well, he said, "No."

Hard to write a story about the Lakers every day based on one-word responses from a guy who couldn't care less whether anything is written about the Lakers.

Jackson said he gets excited when the playoffs begin, but you wait for the playoffs to begin before getting excited as a columnist and Lakers fans are going to want to know what you have against their favorite team.

But then I guess knowing that if someone writes "Lakers, Lakers, Lakers, Lakers" in the first paragraph, and "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe" in the second -- making it one of the most viewed stories on The Times' website -- it really doesn't matter what you write about the Lakers.

Just as long as you write about the Lakers.

So here goes.

"The Lakers are No. 1 in the Western Conference," and no matter how many times someone writes that, I've got to believe Lakers fans never get tired of reading it.

"The Lakers look really good, beating Seattle the other night, maybe the best 15-40 team in the league," and you write that and you know what? Some Lakers fans are going to nod their heads in approval.

"Everyone is saying now Kobe Bryant should be the league's MVP because he's such a team player," and although I might think that's pretty funny after everything that happened last summer, I'm just here to report that "everyone is saying now Kobe Bryant should be the league's MVP because he's such a team player."

"Some Lakers fans have e-mailed to say the Lakers wouldn't be as good as they are today had Kobe not thrown a tantrum last summer."

I will just point out that these people live among you.

HOW MANY times can you write how good Pau Gasol looks in a Lakers uniform?

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