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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
NBA FUN FACTS:
LOS ANGELES LAKERS



"Hey, Sasha."

[Ed's note: We're rolling out a 'Fun Facts' on every team in the NBA before the season starts. For more information and to see the other teams profiled, please go here.]

If your name is Michelle Tafoya (sadly, for you, it's not), the Lakers are a pretty fun team to cover. First time the producer gets in your ear? "Yea, hold on, let me get Jeremy Piven." Next time he or she hollers? "Yea, I'll go talk to Will and Jada." Third bellowing? "Oh look, Steven Spielberg is sitting with James Franco and Mos Def, talking about a live-action version of The Little Engine That Could. Don't mind if I do!" Finally, by the fourth quarter, you've made your way over to Jack, who says something like "Don't mess with Kobe; Kobe's my boy." This becomes a viral sensation for some reason and next week, when you're doing Rockets/Mavs, the celebrity pickings ("Hey, is that Jessica Simpson?") seem less cool. The Lakers are super fun. An investigation:

1. Born in Philadelphia, making a name for himself in L.A.? Kobe Bryant is the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

2. It's probably one of the craziest sports stories of all time.

3. Phil Jackson likens his relationship with Vladimir Radmanovic to that between Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson in Anger Management. Wonder if that entails this.

4. "Stone Hands" afflicts both former and current Lakers centers apparently.

5. Sasha Vujacic's nickname is The Machine. (We're not exactly sure why.) Sometimes he needs new batteries though.

6. The Lakers brought out old-school style last season. No one needs to see that much Bynum.

7. Oh, how we miss Da Ali G show. He asks the tough questions when he sits down with Kobe here and here.

8. The top ten celebrity Lakers fans: Any list that links Doris Day and Ice Cube is a good bet.

9. Reason #234,852 we think Zac Efron is dreamy: he's a Kobe fan.

10. He's the MVP for a reason: this link will make you dance around your living room if you like hoops.