Why They Might Be Good: Attitudinal off-guard Kobe Bryant has made a promise to Lakers fans: “We’re going back to the Finals. How? By me taking zero shots a game. If I get my teammates involved—teammates like [streaky guard] Sasha Vujacic, [streaky guard] Maurice Evans, and [streaky guard] Jimmy Jackson—there’s no stopping us.”

Why They Might Suck: Disappointed with his team’s first round playoff exit, Coach Phil Jackson instituted a mandatory training camp water-only diet. “I want to [guard] Smush Parker’s playing weight to be somewhere around 145, and if [forward Luke] Walton can’t get down to 160 by Halloween, he’s not leaving the bench.”

The Dude Other Than Kobe Who I Want on My Fantasy Team: Lamar Odom. Despondent over the Lakers disappointing early playoff exit—and well aware that it’ll probably happen again this year—the semi-sure-handed point guard has established a whole new set of goals. “This year, I’m all about getting Alan Goldsher’s fantasy team over the hump. It’s an obsession.”  What a guy.

Bottom Line: Bryant and Jackson can spew out all the “get everybody involved” bull poop they want, but everybody knows that as goes Kobe, so go the Lakers. Conversely, as stops Kobe, so stop the Lakers, and there are a bunch of teams on the Left Coast that can and will stop him at least half of the time. And half the time ain’t gonna get you into the Western Conference playoffs.

heckler editorial staff