When you see the phrase "former LA Lakers basketball star," who comes to mind? Magic Johnson? Jerry West? Kareem? We all have our favorites, but in each of our heads, those words conjure the imagine of someone who was, like, good at basketball, right?
Turns out, there's a tiny newspaper in England that, shall we say, takes a more expansive view. The website of the Streatham Guardian has just published an article with perhaps the greatest headline evar:
Former LA Lakers basketball star Steve Bucknall shoots hoops in Streathem
Er... come again? Who did the what now?
Reporter Matt Watts elaborates:
Steve Bucknall coached youngsters from across Lambeth at a basketball camp, organised as part of Lambeth Council's summer activities programme.
Lucie Howkins, extended services manager for the Streatham schools partnership, said: "The idea of the camp was to offer young people the opportunity to learn a new skill, meet new friends and have some fun during the holiday break."
Some 30 young people attended the coaching sessions held every day at Dunraven School.
This is hilarious for a few reasons. One, that's the entire article. Beginning to end, that's it. Two, this piece is the LEAD STORY on the Streathem Guardian's site. Three, who the hell is Steve Bucknall?
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I know the names of everyone who's ever played for the Lakers. But I do write about the team pretty much every day, which forces me to spend a lot of time reading and thinking about the franchise. Hell, I'm the guy who gave you 50 words about Dick Schnittker just this week. So if there's some article in an English paper about a dude I've never heard of, who supposedly once wore the purple and gold, and he's described as a "former Laker star," well... that definitely calls for some Google-fu.
Lambeth, I've learned, is an area of South London. Right-o. And yes, a guy named Steve Bucknall did indeed once play for the Lakers. Did. He. Ever.
In the 1989-90 season, Bucknall, a 6'6" guard from London, played 75 minutes spread across 18 games. In that time, he shot 9 for 33 (a cool 27% from the field) and committed 11 turnovers. He had a rebounding rate of about 5% and a PER of zero. Typically, the worst player on a team will have a PER of five or six. That's close to Adam Morrison's established level. So to imagine Steve Bucknall, take AMMO and then make him way, way worse. In 1990, the Lakers waived him midseason, after which he was never seen on our shores again.
So be of good cheer, young ballers of Lambeth. You're in good hands. Oh, and here's conclusive evidence that there's a YouTube mixtape of literally anyone who's ever set foot on an NBA court. "Lakers star" Steve Bucknall, Silver Screen and Roll salutes you.
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