By Bob Keisser, Press Telegram
The last time there was a thorough check of the Los Angeles Lakers’ fragile psyche, there were calls to bring in Dr. Phil to talk to, well, Dr. Phil Jackson and other members of the dysfunctional franchise.
No need now. The Lakers have undergone one quick metamorphosis to become a franchise that not only can win a NBA title now but stay on top of the league for years to come.
Here’s what we know about the team that we didn’t know six weeks ago:
Kobe Bryant is the best player in the game when he’s happy. Finding ways to make him happy, of course, aren’t always easy, but for now he’s the happiest camper this side of Yosemite.
The Pau Gasol deal was the biggest theft since the Lakers received Kobe Bryant from Charlotte for Vlade Divac in 1996. Or, since obtaining Mychal Thompson in 1986 for Frank Brickowski. Or, since the Lakers got Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from Milwaukee for Brian Winters and Elmore Smith in 1975. Or, since the Lakers received Wilt Chamberlain from Philadelphia for Darrell Imhoff in 1968.
The Lakers steal a player once a decade.
Gasol may be the best European player in the league, with all due respect to Manu Ginobili.