An 'Unbreakable' Love for the NBA

BY foxsports • February 14, 2011

By MATT "MONEY" SMITH
FOXSportsWest.com | PRIME TICKET

Feb. 14, 2011 - Valentine's Day

With it being Valentine's Day and all, I've decided to shed the testosterone fueled, hardcore sports conversation typically reserved when it comes to the two-time defending champion Lakers.

Instead of tearing our guys apart, instead of spraying a power washer of hate, why not show a little love to the dudes who suit up, work their butts off and entertain us while making salaries that put them in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent of earners in this country.

Let's start with this youtube clip. I can say with great certainty, never in all my years covering sports have I been so entertained by an athlete's off-the-court money making venture as I am with "Unbreakable." I'm not sure which half of Khloe and Lamar Odom came up with the idea for a unisex fragrance, but I really don't care. I just want to shake the hand of the man or woman who drew up the concept for the commercial that will always be there for me when I'm feeling a little bit down and need a pick-me-up. I know neither of them are actors, but you wouldn't know it by the performance they pack into a 30-second spot. Their unmitigated devotion to one another comes screaming off the screen, especially when they try to time their saying "unbreakable" to hammer home the name of the product you need to drop $42.99 on at perfumania.com.


If Odom weren't so likeable, I have a feeling this particular off-the-court venture would be met with a great deal of vitriol instead of the harmless mocking. If LO thinks he's got a shot to make a mess of money in the fragrance game, good for him. At least while he's attempting to become the next Davidoff stumbling across this year's "Cool Water," he's entertaining the hell out of us.

When it comes to the "I heart" conversation after Lamar, how do you not bring up Derek Fisher? A lot of the guys in the NBA made it because they were blessed with a great body, great athleticism and the innate ability to do things the rest of us can't. That's not D-Fish. If you have any question about what you can achieve with a good personality, hard work, a solid education and the ability to simply come up big when all eyes are on you, just look at the career of the 34-year-old Fisher. He's the typical Jerry West draft pick. Had Mr. Clutch not taken him 24th overall in the 1996 draft, I'm not sure he'd have been selected. Fish is short, Fish is slow and Fish isn't a great shooter by any stretch of the imagination. But he's a fighter, he's a great teammate and he's without question the most thoughtful interview you'll ever hear with a current basketball player anywhere in the media.

How a career 40 percent shooter at the point guard position has managed to amass $60 million in salary over his career is about as baffling as any NBA question you could pose about any player. Fisher never tricked someone into giving him a contract based on a one-year aberration, but instead by being good for a team's profile. You would never hear fans complain when finding out their team acquired Fisher. Whatever his shortcomings are in the regular season - and there are plenty of them - he certainly makes up for it with a couple shots every postseason. Funny thing is, those carry him through an entire 82-game schedule, round after round of the playoffs, and just when people are questioning his basketball ability, BAM, he hits another one.

Finally "I heart" former Laker and Celtic legends that worked in the front office of two teams that coincidentally were responsible for restoring the glory to the NBA's two most celebrated franchises. Had Jerry West not been part of the Memphis Grizzlies, I'm not sure a Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and Marc Gasol swap would have happened. And I am certain a Kevin Garnett does not end up in Boston in exchange for the pile of five players that are no longer around to show for the former NBA MVP. For all the calls of shady deal surrounding the Gasol to the Lakers heist, there is little acknowledgement of Kevin freaking McHale sending one of the five best players in the league to Boston for a pretty average undersized center and some salary filler.

There are plenty of things people get upset over when it comes to sports teams. They're supposed to be our escape from the daily drudgery that overwhelms us, yet only one out of 30 or so can ultimately satisfy its fan base every season.

So today, when the idea of spreading the love is rampant, why not show a little bit to the guys who manage to entertain us nearly year round.


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