Friday, December 16, 2005

King Kong Agrees To Terms With Lakers

Australia’s Andrew Bogut was the first overall selection in last June’s NBA draft.  However, another foreign-born rookie center is sure to have a much larger impact in the league.  King Kong, a free agent hailing from Skull Island, has signed a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.


The announcement surprised many basketball insiders, who expected the Phoenix Suns to have the inside track.  Kong has a well-chronicled friendship with longtime Suns mascot The Gorilla.  Also, Kong and reigning league MVP Steve Nash could have formed an enviable inside-outside combination.  However, team officials feared that Kong could become jealous when the Suns’ current star big man, Amare Stoudemire, returns from a knee injury.  In such a scenario, Kong could refuse to pass the ball to Stoudemire, or even worse, eat him.


On the other hand, the signing is a huge coup for the Lakers.  Since trading Shaquille O’Neal to Miami in 2004, the team has been looking for another beast in the middle.  Listed at 25 feet tall, Kong makes even Shaq look tiny.  Plus, free throws should not be a problem, as Kong can stand behind the free throw line and simply dunk the ball from a standing position.  Savings to the Lakers will also be significant.  While O’Neal commands the NBA’s highest salary, Kong will be paid in truckloads of bananas.


Numerous factors made the Lakers particularly appealing to Kong.  No one in the world has more star power at the moment, so moving to Los Angeles and hanging out with Jack Nicholson is a natural fit.  Also, after working extensively with Peter Jackson, playing for Phil Jackson should be a smooth transition.  Most importantly, considering Kong’s long-time affinity for beautiful blondes, the presence of Jeannie Buss in the front office sealed the deal.


Sources close to Kong noted that he has been eager to display his skills on the largest stage.  Skull Island does not have any organized basketball leagues, due in part to its large population of dinosaurs.  Raptors, it has been proven, lack the ability to play basketball.  Kong has also been upset by criticism in his homeland, most notably in a scathing column published in the Skull Island Sun by the president of the local NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored Primates).  Noting Kong’s relationships with Caucasian actresses Fay Wray, Jessica Lange, and Naomi Watts, the article accuses him of selling out in order to avoid being stereotyped as a black gorilla.  Yearning to be free of such attacks, Kong decided to leave for the United States, where athletes are never criticized in the media.


Kong is expected to dominate due to his sheer size, but some questions do remain.  Friction could ensue if Kobe Bryant does not pass the ball enough.  However, the ape is Kobe’s first teammate who can legitimately threaten to step on him after an ill-advised three-point attempt, so look for Kong to get plenty of touches.  Also, the January 31 road game versus the Knicks could be problematic, as Kong expects 1930s airplanes to shoot at him during his trip to New York.  Furthermore, the ape’s habit of being unclothed in public (the first NBAer since Dennis Rodman in that category) violates the league’s new dress code.  Facing heavy fines, Kong will find out that commissioner David Stern is the true King of the NBA.


However, the upside of this signing far outweighs any negatives.  The Lakers were in the unusual position of being overshadowed in their own city by the first-place Clippers.  Elton Brand and his crew continue to impress, but the Lakers have re-established their identity on the Los Angeles sports landscape: the 800–pound (or more) gorilla.