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Can We Talk About T.J.?

Apropos of...well, nothing really, I just need to share my joy at the one consistent, and I must say, unexpected gift of this horrendous Lakers season (thus far, that is - ever hopeful!). It is the positively apoplectic state of misery that columnist TJ Simers of the Los Angeles Times appears to be mired in, over not yet being able to convince the Lakers - and by Lakers, I mean the team, coaches, front office, and fans, to admit that they are losers. My first stop for Lakers coverage has become SSR, but I really do love me some Simers. Can't help it. Take last night, for instance...

One of the greatest things about TWC Sportsnet's post-game coverage is that you get to see pretty much complete interviews with players and coaches, which means that often you also get to see which writer is asking, and as a result you get to see firsthand the quotes that they will use in their next day's reporting. Last night's win (a win!) over the hapless Timberwolves, sans Kevin Love but playing as hard as J.J. Barea could single-handedly will them to, brought about a browbeating of Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni by the aforementioned Mr. Simers that was yet another in a series of classic tone-deaf debacles by a writer desperately seeking to make someone else's life as miserable as his own. No mean feat, if you regularly read TJ, and I do, it's fun - like watching a years-long, soul-sucking page 2 trainwreck unfolding in slow motion. In this last episode, Simers tries to show that it's the Lakers coach who is out of touch with acceptable behavior in the face of a win, but a "not-good-enough win," by claiming that Coach D agreed with him that it was embarrassing, after disagreeing with him, so he's a waffler to boot! But judging from the reaction in the room at the time, though, TJ was apparently the only one unaware that D'Antoni was laughing at him and his question, much in the way that Pau Gasol stoically underwent Simers' bitterness clinic last night as well, answering patiently while rolling his eyes. Ah, sometimes life is so good.

Simers is like the dark shade, or Smeagol version of legendary Times columnist Jim Murray, but with a tenth of the talent, and nothing remotely approximating a soul. The weird thing is, though, I can't get enough of reading his vitriolic dispatches as he roams the earth, seeking the pathetic instead of the exalting. I can't wait for the next episode. Maybe he'll finally get the Precious: Lakers Coach Finally Agrees I'm Right, Quits!

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