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The 2017-18 Lakers, a Drama in Three Acts

Hell is empty and the Lakers are here! From the snowy streets of Lithuania to the hot takes of purple-and-gold Twitter, this Lakers season has given us everything—fathers and sons, young coaches and franchise legends, big ballers, small ballers, and Kuzmania.

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Dramatis Personae

Jeanie, queen of the Laker Nation, favored daughter of the late king

LaVar, an outspoken shoe merchant

Lonzo, a young soldier and LaVar’s first-born son

Luke, the new captain of the army

Pelinka, the general of the army

Magic, adviser and ambassador to the queen

Kuz, a young soldier from a humble background

Ingram, an extremely thin but vastly improved soldier

Randle, a young soldier who was once fat

Clarkson, trade bait

KCP, a mercenary, consigned to the brig

Gelo and Melo, LaVar’s younger sons, currently exiled to Lithuania

LeBron, the most powerful soldier in the land

Fizdale, a respected general-for-hire

Jordan, a legendary figure

Lakers Twitter, various Lakers fan Twitter accounts

Prologue

Herald

Royal purple and precious gold

Are the banners of Lakers Nation

Under whose battered, dented dignity hides

Defeat and scenes of mutiny

For the kingdom ruled by Queen Jeanie Buss

Lays again near the bottom of the division

To test the patience of fair Los Angeles

Where the titles once seemed god-given

Enter thus, from the hills of Chino

LaVar, a verbose shoemaker.

And from his loins, his son Lonzo,

Whose loyalty, betwixt word and blood,

And obedience to good captainhood,

Will sorely now be tested.

Act I, Scene I

Online, Lakers Twitter, Fifth of January

Logs on to Twitter

@BabyHook85

Fall and fall and again and fall! Nine straight defeats!

@ChicHurt420

Twenty-seven losses in all! Trash,

Trash, toil and trouble, cut KCP

Before his garbageness doubles.

@WeedIsLegalNow

Count all your fingers, then add one!

These are all the victories of our favorite sons!

All

A meagre tally of the fifth of Janus,

Woe, woe, woe, Los Angeles!

Woe!

Act I, Scene II

Lithuania. A snow-covered street at dawn.

Enter LAVAR, followed by GELO, MELO, who, wearing shorts and Big Baller Brand T-shirts, shiver against the winter cold. They are pursued by various members of the press.

The Press

LaVar! LaVar! The Lakers lose yet again!

What of Captain Luke?

LaVar

Vytautas Prienai v Zalgiris Kauno Photo by Alius Koroliovas/Getty Images

They shall not fight for Luke, I say and say again.

No. These Lakers are disgusted with him.

Luke is too young; indeed, freshly begat.

Afterbirth behind his ears; he is a babe.

A child born at night who knows not of yesterday.

Hear me!

Lonzo, my first big baller born, looked good!

But by his gait, his scowl, his stoop

I see reflected the feelings of the troops for Captain Luke.

They won’t follow him, I say.

Do you hear?

They will not!

The Press

We hear, we hear! How could we not? In truth

Thou doth spake so thunderously that stray dogs flee

The noise. Mark them!

LaVar

Jeanie, Rob, and Magic could learn much from dogs!

Though base and simple, they choose their leaders naturally.

Such wisdom god hath given his beasts!

Would a pack of dogs follow a pup?

Speak true, ink-stained wretches. Lonzo is a boy,

But should he take orders from a babe?

The Press

LaVar! LaVar!

LaVar

You there! Speak for your failing profession.

The Press

Good sir, I seek not to besmirch your content,

For it draws clicks as honey draws flies,

But Luke, dear sir, is one score and seventeen

While all Lonzo’s coin surely cannot yet

Purchase wine!

LaVar

Gelo, Melo, see now the ease with which

Such Small Ballers are misled.

Gelo

Derp derp derp derp derp.

Melo

[Unintelligible]

LaVar

It’s true—Lonzo is but twenty.

But would thoust compare a dog’s years to a

Tortoise? Dawn and dusk are just the same

To a man facing the wrong direction!

A captain must have experience lest no man trust

Him. Neither battle nor age has scarred his face

Which is as smooth as the words of Rob Thomas.

Show me your heart! Make it real! And just forget about Captain Luke.

Soldiers would sooner follow yon fleeing dog!

The cur at least has hair on its chin!

The Press

LaVar! LaVar! What of LeBron? Will he

Come? Will he come?

LaVar

LeBron is no fool; he’ll come. ’Tis the

Only way he can beat Jordan. He can’t

Win more battles. But if he brings victory

To the Lakers and thus to every nation that he served? Ho, ho!

But, and speak true, who amongst you thinks LeBron

Will play for the beardless boy Luke? Speak, speak.

BIG BALLER BRAND OUT!

Exit LaVar, Gelo, Melo, and the press.

Act II, Scene I

Los Angeles, Lakers practice facility

Enter Captain Luke followed by members of The Press.

Reporter 1

Luke! Luke! What say you to LaVar? He says

You’re too young!

Reporter 2

Luke! Luke! He compared you to a frightened dog!

Reporter 1

Luke, will LeBron play for you?

Reporter 2

Luke! Luke! Are you worried about LaVar’s

Comments saying the team is disgusted by you?

Luke

Worried? Bothered? Nay and nay.

I say truly as the skin between my brows,

Truly like a sunbeam, pure and gold,

Impossible to soil at any outward touch,

I say truly as to my closest friends, that you art,

I’m fine with it. I’m fine with it. Totally fine.

It bothers me not save for my concern

For Lonzo, who as the man’s eldest son may feel

Naturally divided between blood and oath.

But, no, it doesn’t bother me, in truth.

Reporter 1

Luke! Luke! You sat Lonzo early in the battle.

Why?

Luke

LaVar was talking shit so I took his

Son out.

A joke, a joke, dear friends. Can we not jest

Together of trivial things? A joke. If LaVar

Lights a candle in Birstonas why should

It matter in Los Angeles? A joke, my friends.

Enough. Away! Matters of importance

Must I turn my hand to at this hour.

We march soon against the Kings of Sacramento.

Away! Away! Away!

Exit The Press.

Luke

Fuck LaVar. From this moment to

The last syllable of recorded time—Fuck him.

Too young, he says. It’s been two years since I

Led the Warriors to thirty-nine victories with defeats

Numbering a petty four. Like a

Comet’s fiery tail etched across the sky,

’Twas the longest winning streak to start

A campaign in the history of histories.

But I am now too young though two years older.

Draymond took his lead from me, as did Curry

And Iggy and Klay. LaVar’s words are as

Cheap as the leather from which he makes his vile shoes.

Exit Luke.

Act II, Scene II

Los Angeles, Lakers locker room, Thirteenth of January

Enter Kuz, Ingram, Randle, and Clarkson.

Kuz

Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

A win! Four in a row since the cobbler

Broke wind in Lithuania! A win!

What say you, Ingram?

Ingram

Twenty-two and fourteen, the tally

Of my points and caroms which speaks

Loud enough for me that I need not say a word.

Four points for you, dear Kuz?

Kuz

You wound me. Is not a win a win,

No matter what the numbers say?

Randle

Indeed. Clarkson, we’ve won. Why the

Cloudy mood?

Clarkson

I will be traded soon.

Kuz

Part now clouds. Look—here comes the favored son.

Enter Lonzo followed by The Press.

Lonzo

I didn’t hear my sire’s words, I say truly.

Say he something of our fine captain, our trusted

Captain Luke? Tell me, for I have not heard, my

Heart and head and ears are here, friends, in Laker Land

And my father is far, far away with

My brothers, what’s-his-name and the other-one.

What did he say?

Reporter 1

That Luke has lost the army!

Reporter 2

For he, though captain, in title and name

Is too young to command the men!

Lonzo

Lost? The army? Are the Lakers a set

Of keys so easily mislaid? Come now

We’re here! How lost? And who should I

Think young when I am but twenty?

Reporter 1

Will the army march to follow him? Will you?

Lonzo

I will march for any captain be he Luke

Or otherwise or even you.

Now I must be off.

Exit Lonzo. Exit The Press.

Kuz

This is fucking insane.

Clarkson

I agree. How could they trade me?

Do I not score?

Randle

And what else?

Clarkson

I don’t understand.

Ingram

Enough. Let’s be off before we’re asked

About the cobbler and his son.

Exit Kuz, Clarkson, Randle, and Ingram.

Act III, Scene I

Online, Lakers Twitter

Logs on to Twitter

@KobeRingz69

An NBA exec heard players say they

had no interest in playing for the L.A.

And “having some old shoemaker criticize” the way they play

And the things they say.

@AChad92

Players get criticized every single day.

That shit’s weak. We don’t want those players, then.

They can go away.

@SlaVaFatha

LaVar needs to shut up and step back.

Let Jean, Rob, and Magic, run this team.

He’s being disrespectful and embarrassing his son!

@JimBussOfficial

And where is the queen and Bible Rob?

Magic has never once held his tongue but

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow comes

And only silence from above. Luke, dear friends, is done.

Logs off Twitter.

Act III, Scene II

Los Angeles, an office

Enter Jeanie, Pelinka, and Magic.

Jeanie

Have we not tarried long enough? Silence

Is a lack of wind and we a boat adrift

Carried by the waves of narrative which we

Are powerless to resist. Man the

Rudder, fair generals, and raise the sail anew.

Now comes word we seek Fizdale’s sword,

Should we not offer Luke our full support?

Pelinka

Deuteronomy 15:12 says that …

Jeanie

Oh, shut up, Rob. Magic?

Magic

A candle, once lit, does not burn forever.

Jeanie

Speak plain, good sir.

Magic

Wise queen, we did not hire Captain Luke.

Pelinka

Indeed. ’Twas Kupchak who did the deed.

Jeanie

Say what you mean, both of you.

Lest confusion drive our listless ship

Into the rocky shore.

Magic

Fizdale …

Pelinka

Doth have experience.

Jeanie

Enough! Since donning this fair crown,

Which my father unfairly passed down to his

Eldest son (which is neither here nor there),

I have maintained a distance from the territory

Where my sage generals doth rule. But enough.

We must support Luke. To Twitter, Magic, anon!

General Pelinka, summon Captain Luke, who

Has been victimized by whispers of questionable repute,

And we will dine together for a unifying photo opp.

Let Ramona Shelburne know.

Pelinka

Yes, my queen.

Magic

Fair queen.

Exit Jeanie, Pelinka, and Magic.