Posted by: natehughart | September 27, 2009

The illusion and reality of Vlade Divac

First, before I start this monstrous crappilicious piece of shit piece I’m about to write, I’d like to say thanks to Andy Sims of StR for linking it.

I suppose you should read Marc Stein’s piece if you have not, first & foremost.

At this point I should make a few things clear. One is that I’m not a Laker hater, or someone who despises Kobe Bryant, either. A lot of Kings fans do, and I suspect that they conveniently overlook Vlade Divac’s association with the Lakers.

Yet, quite often Kings fans forget that Vlade Divac spent 8 seasons, including his first 7 seasons, and his last season in the NBA, with the Lakers. (Or they conveniently ignore it.) I don’t think any Kings fans believes it has anything to do with his time on the Kings, and it doesn’t.

If you ask me, Vlade Divac has multiple legacies, and none of them have to do with selling Fake Gucci bags.

I don’t think any Kings fan is “really” overlooking what Vlade Divac did as a Laker. I think, ironically, it’s the bandwagon bitches otherwise known as Laker Fan Mass that do because he wasn’t Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal or Wilt Chamberlain. (Oh damn. How dare Vlade?)

Look at Vlade’s career stats. They are mighty impressive in any case let alone the First European to have a sustained NBA career. (That almost didn’t happen, but I digress.) Vlade played a lot of games during his Sacramento career missing only 6 during his 6 years in his stay on the shores of the EC. None of it was due to injury. I remember a couple were due to suspensions, and there were a couple games where Vlade didn’t play at meaningless end of the season games in some of the better seasons.

With all of that in 6 years he only missed 6 games. He is, I dare say, one of the most durable big men to ever play in the NBA, and that is truly saying something.

But, Vlade Divac played 16 years, and 8 of them were in a Lakers uni (although the last year was not much to behold). The other 2 years were in Charlotte of course (For the Hornets foolio’s).

It’s funny though: In the Stein article Vlade Divac mentions Jerry West as his favorite person in the NBA. While I don’t think there is anything wrong in that, I do think it’s a bit funny that Divac didn’t really mention Geoff Petrie. The truth is, it doesn’t matter anyway. If you ask me who was much more instrumental in Divac’s career, I would answer Jerry West. (So would Geoff Petrie. But, I digress.) Look slice this any way you want, but if West doesn’t take Divac with the 26th overall pick (a risk at the time I might add) in the 1989 draft, the Kings don’t get a polished 10 year Center through Free Agency that positively altered the course of the franchise.

Define Irony: Well, you know, it’s ironic. You know? (Go look up irony in a dictionary if you want the actual meaning.)

One of the funniest things about the anti-Laker bias is that one of the reason’s that the Kings were so cocky, so arrogant, was because of an ex-Laker (or two actually) that helped create that arrogant cockiness on the Kings part. Part of the reason the Lakers have been so successful is the attitude they carry when playing in games. Fear isn’t part of the equation; I do think the Kings never did quite learn that attitude. But, it wasn’t Vlade Divac or Doug Christie’s fault. (And, even DC13 admitted he was afraid in game 7 of the 2002 WCF. I can live with that. Shit happens. I’m over 2002. I really am.)

Even though Divac is remembered by many as a King, the reality is that he was equally (especially in his mind) a Laker and a King. Whether Laker fans agree, and I don’t care if Kings fans like it or not, is something else entirely.

It seems fitting for a guy with Divac’s accomplishment’s. All this is a crappy way of saying that while the Kings opposed the Lakers for championships a few years ago, a lot of it had to do with an ex-Laker who learned the very attitude in Lakerland. If that ain’t irony, I don’t know what is.


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