shout out to Funky Cold Mark Medina who is heading to the Warriors

One of the funnest parts of overseeing the blogs at the LAT way back in the day was our sports blogs.

the Lakers Blog was one of the first blogs at the Times and it was already a monster before I ever got there.

i was able to convince LA’s best Dodger blogger to blog for us, and i was able to do it without costing the paper a lot of money (because we had just gotten rid of some salary elsewhere).

but when ESPN poached the Kam Bros I was suddenly lost because i never expected them to leave us.

I tried everything in the book to convince them to stay saying things like, “radio isn’t where intellectuals go, it’s where washed up journalists and jocks go. You are both young, pretty, full of life, do you really want Bill from Downey to tell you that he thinks Kobe should pass the rock all day?”

it didn’t work, The Sports Leader ganked the brothers and I had a giant hole to fill.

at first I decided to replace them American Idol style by having 4-5 contenders take over the blog, one applicant per week, and at the end of the trial period we let the readers vote.

but life is rarely that exciting. so we interviewed this guy from that paper and this other dude from this other paper. they were fine.

but Mark Medina had something special that i liked: he was young, totally down for Whatever, and somehow it came up that he lived in El Segundo so he could be close to the Lakers and Clippers practice facilities.

i was all, this is the sort of insane fan/pro that i need to write 3-4 blog posts a day.

so we hired him and expected the worst because the Kams totally dominated the Lakers blogosphere up until that point.

and part of their popularity was the fact that they’d get 100s of comments a day. Could Mark mix it up in the comments AND go to practices AND interview the players AND cut videos AND go to all the games AND give me half or 3/4ths the traffic that the Kams did?

weirdly he Could!

in a total shocker, many of the readers did not follow the Kams to ESPN, they stayed loyal, for reasons I still don’t know (habit maybe), with the Times.

people asked, is Mark really that good of a writer? what’s his secret?

and maybe the secret was the readers saw what I saw: Funky Cold truly loved the game, was earnest, wasn’t full of shit, and was personable.

and for two years straight his numbers were consistent with the kings, the Kams.

Mark was so friendly that when Ron Artest (aka Metta World Peace) first retired from the Lakers he gave a shout out to Funky Cold.

Today Mark announced that the San Jose Mercury is hiring him to cover the world champion Warriors.

Last night he called me to tell me he was going to announce it all today. He thanked me for the help I gave him at the Times.

But the truth is, he wrote everything, he did 60+ hour work weeks, he studied film, he worked as hard as anyone out there.

I am Very happy for him. Boring as that team will be to cover, at least he will get to go to a few more postseason games than if he was stuck covering the Lakers.

Give em hell Mark!

why robots should be allowed into major league baseball


one of the best parts of aging is being able to watch, first hand, as human improve on life by correcting the ills of previous ages

my mother, for example, grew up in the segregated South where she was forced to sit in the back of the movie theatre because of her skin color, drink from the “Colored” water fountains, and suffer far more serious outrages that today would never be tolerated.

likewise teens today can’t even imagine a world without cell phones, the Internet, pausing live tv, a black president, or cars that park themselves.

one day my kids will say “daddy please tell us about olden times when marijuana was illegal, people put gasoline in cars, and umpires were allowed to get the calls wrong in baseball!”

and i will clap my hands twice and a Tupac hologram will materialize and explain that during the Foolish Pride Era of baseball, umpires got most of the calls correct, but embarrassingly goofed on some of the easist


and most historically important plays. and despite having the technology to refer to to correct the error,


just shrugged it off to “the human element” as if robbing someone of their perfect game was in any way acceptable.

yesterday Joe Nathan racked up his 300th save on a low-and-away curveball in the 9th inning with 2 outs

that would have walked the batter, bringing up a dangerous hitter with men on first and second, behind by just one run.

“Did they call it strike three? You have to be kidding me!” the Tampa Bay announcer screamed, “that is absolutely horrible!”

some argue that if computer technology or cameras or robots are able to do things like call the balls and strikes

or OMG outs, it will be too time-consuming and add to the 3-hour-plus ball games.

but technology is so good nowadays that graphics appear on viewers’ “second screen” or on the “instant replay”

before the pitcher can even get the ball back from the catcher.


the only thing slowing up the process is the human element who called the ball a strike in the first place.

also, who are we kidding: even if baseball games turn into 3 1/2 hour epics, so what?

sports fans really need that extra half hour back in their lives so they can return to their garages where they find the cure for cancer?

we have built these ginormous entertainment complexes around our ball parks so that Joe Sixpack can continue his day-long drink fest with his friends. sure we have improved the lifestyle so that instead of having to sit on a tail gate and swig cans of bud from a cooler, the sports fan can stroll into a nearby ESPN Sports Zone for some mixed drinks and replays on any of the dozens of flat screen tvs


those are not the conversations we want to have any more.

we want to talk about the actual game.

infield fly

not how the ump called this an Infield Fly.

last night during the NCAA Finals the refs swallowed their whistles for the most part and just let the youngsters slap each other under the board and struggle to earn every rebound or put-back.

it was obvious that they didn’t want their calls to determine who would be the national champs. honorable, but gutless.

but when you do that, you inevitably blow your whistle on things that are not fouls, like this amazing block:


basketball is harder to officiate than baseball, though, so i will give them a break: however the NBA often goes to the courtside flatscreen to replay certain plays like last minute shots and three pointers.

baseball’s umpires, however, apparently have a stronger union.which, unfortunately, is doing a disservice to its membership when it refuses to let the technology aid them.

if I was commissioner of baseball heres what id do. i’d say strike all you want whiners, we’re gonna have replay in baseball for one season for these things:

– home runs being fair, foul, or not being home runs at all

– plays that end innings

– plays that break or make records

– balks

if this tacks on an extra 20 minutes to baseball games who cares. doesnt MLB want fans in the stadiums for as long as they can have them? don’t tv advertisers want this valuable programming on the air for as long as possible?

aren’t the record books already filled with enough asterisks already?

what is the rush to end the game and why are we dragging our feet in regards to accuracy?

i, for one, would welcome our new robot umpires.

try it in the AL first if you’re skittish.

awwww this is sweet

i have no probs with Lebron.

i left my hometown, the place where i had a great childhood.

i woulda told everyone to kiss my ass if they said oh you have to stay here.

did he handle it in a dumb way? yes.

could he have been the hero to cleveland and the most beloved man in all the midwest


but not all of us give a crap about approval.

we just wanna drive the lane and

bring it home.

kill yr idols

lance armstrong

in the early 80s, sonic youth released a noisy little EP in germany called “kill yr idols”

in which Thurston challenges rock to stop pandering to critics like the Village Voice’s icon Robert Christgau

I don’t know why
you wann’ impress Christgau
ahh let that shit die
and find out the new goal
kill yr. idols
sonic death
it’s the end of the world
and confusion is sex

ever influential, unfortunately some took it the wrong way

and today actual heroes like lance armstrong and phil jackson find themselves where they shouldnt be.

despite the fact that he’s never failed a drug test,

armstrong today stepped down from the board of his charity, Livestrong.

and after a weekend of the Lakers saying they were very close to rehiring the NBAs most winningest coach,

today they said the man who coached teams to 11 championship titles was asking for “too much.”

when the only expectation for your team is the unrealistic one of championships every year

and when the coach in question has come closer to pulling that off more than anyone else,

in history,

what, pray tell, is “too much”?

rumor has it that Jackson asked for a financial part of the team. an ownership stake.

is that all that outrageous?

he’s already going to bed with the boss’s daughter. is now the time to really tell him no? when you have a team filled with aging superstars just poised to disappoint the fans and get upstaged by the hungry and thrilling hallway rival Clippers?

just a few years before Sonic Youth was telling the world that it’s the end of the world,

the Lakers signed 21-year-old Magic Johnson to a 25-year $25 million contract

later they would allow him to purchase a 4.5% stake in the team.

i dont think the Lakers would say that any of those dealings with Magic were regrettable,

thus why would they be reluctant to allow the Zen Master the ability to be a stakeholder in the organization?

sure your value doesnt drop all that much if you dont win championships each year,

but the entire Laker mystique is based on Finals-level success.

and phil jackson is the embodiment of that success.

but we live in a kill yr idols society nowadays. a recyclable era where we are with you in good times

but will turn our backs on you for any number of reasons or scenarios.

or no good reason.

when people talk about wanting their country back, sadly, this is not what they mean.

but it should be, so kill me.

maybe on saturdays I’ll do something new


like tell you how much you mean to me while tossing up a bunch of photos I didn’t get to post through the week


you mean everything to me


this week I got up several days in a row at 4:20 am which means I also took some disco naps. I gotta get better at those.


last night Ali and I had sushi and after I dropped her off I walked around Venice beach cuz it was like 2am and I saw this white guy playing hoops on the court where they shot White Men Can’t Jump.


the gentleman invited me to a sporting game and I said I am pretty much spent how about we play a game of $100 Horse. He said he didn’t have $100


I said well how much do you have? he said I don’t even have my wallet on me, you see my fiancé and I were fighting, so I just got in the car and drove down here to blow off some steam. We sat on the benches and eventually he showed me a picture of her


he asked for advice and I said you should never drive, challenge black dudes to hoops, or leave your woman at home at night alone when you’re pissed off.


he said why? I said omg Bigfoot! and when he looked at where I pointed, I stole his basketball.

lebron lebron lebron

heres what lebron james did wrong:
all he had to do was be a hero and stay in his hometown forever.
was i a hero and stay in my hometown forever?
good try, but my hometown wasnt begging me to stay.
lebrons was.
but lebron moved away like a mean girl to miami.
tonight lebron got beat at home to a bunch of older gentlemen.
rarely does karma strike back as instantly as it seems to have
upon the head of king james.
watch tomorrow as good fortune lands in the lap
of LA Kings fans who have waited patiently for their cup.
good always wins out in the end.

my niece loves magic johnson so much she wears his number

magic was 32kylas all right. shes on the basketball team.

my nephew is on another team.

because they dont have blogs im forced to rely solely on information trickled out of my moms iphone.

but apparently kyla is mastering the sky hook,

a shot even the children understand is unstoppable.

when i was a lad i was pretty good at mastering the stoppable shots.

i also fiddled around with the easy-to-steal dribble.

kids today understand about percentages.

they grew up with wii.

they’ll never have carpal tunnel.

they *will* have jetpacks, robots, and virtual reality.

i bet they have those things before people put music videos back on tv.

it’ll take the future of america to put videos back on tv.

funny what your generation is needed for.

fortunately mine was created to eat McRibs.

heres what i want my neice’s generation to give the world besides a return to solid music videomaking:

1. metric clocks

2. the end of world hunger

3. the ridicule and eventual extinction of the phony baloney.

when you talk to most people, they too want to kick major booty

photo by etienne

but then when you ask some of them why they havent truly succeeded, they usually blame others.

although it’s true that the Lord was known to harden people’s hearts in the Good Book,

i think most of that was for show.

i believe in Real life, we have a tad more free will than people give ourselves credit for.

go out, kick ass, and then sing us your songs of freedom.

hang on the rim a bit

and cry to the rafters that you’re here.