The “Lakeshow” knows no boundaries

It turns out the the “Lakeshow” doesn’t actually require an NBA season.  During this prolonged off-season, no NBA team has gotten more attention than the Los Angeles Lakers.  The biggest story has been the smack-down David Stern gave via veto to the Lakers-Rockets-Hornets deal.  But there are other changes for Lakers fans to consider:

Ron Artest = Metta World Peace

Seriously.  Peace (or World Peace?) has 186,975 followers on Twitter.  On Nov. 24, Peace tweeted, “I’m a republocrat demupilcan .this will be the next party created for presidency!!”  The name has changed, but the man remains the same.

Mike Brown ≠ Phil Jackson

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost the leadership of a coach with eleven NBA championships.  Mike Brown got a strong defensive effort out of his Cleveland Cavaliers teams, but he’s no Phil Jackson.

But David Stern’s veto involved a lot of players, fostering more drama as the Lakers’ season unfolds.  I foresee two growing rivalries in 2012:

Lakers vs. Mavericks 

Ron Artest/Metta World Peace hasn't always been so peaceful.

The Mavericks dominated the Lakers in last year’s western conference finals.  Things got so frustrating that Artest got ejected for a blatant punch at the end of a game.  Now Odom is a Maverick and will look to prove his worth against a Lakers franchise that ditched him like a date at a middle school dance.

Lakers vs. Clippers

Stern eventually let Chris Paul go to L.A., but not to the team we all had in mind.  With Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers now have the league’s second-best point guard to complement Blake Griffin – let the alley-oops begin.  Could the “Clipshow” replace the “Lakeshow” as the premier event in town?  With the Lakers failing to upstage the Clippers in a recent preseason game, this question will persist no matter how much Lakers fans shout it down.

A new coach, a @MettaWorldPeace Twitter account, an unwanted Pau Gasol and an older Kobe Bryant who has more control of the franchise than he ever has.  The short season doesn’t mean a thing.  The “Lakeshow” is on all year long.