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Bill Simmons is a genius.

The NBA regular season is here, which means I have a reason to visit the Sports guys World again, and delight in articles like this. Excerpt below.

"3b. Khloe Kardashian

Raise your hand if you're excited about Khlomar! (Happily raising hand.) Look, I don't have much ammo for the teams I hate right now. The Colts have been ruined for me; Peyton Manning has become such a monolith of clutchness that I can't even toss grenades at him; if anything, I respect the hell out of him. The Yankees are pulling for each other, slamming shaving pies into faces and looking unbeatable; even worse, it's the kind of likable, quirky (albeit, expensive) team that the Red Sox once had before they dumped their front office, ignored human intuition, decided that "business-like" was better than "personable," and used complicated statistical engines to assemble their 2009 roster. (Wait, we didn't do that? It just seemed like it. Sorry.) So really, hating the hateable Lakers is all I have left.

And you know what else? It's fun to have teams that you hate. I hate Sasha Vujacic's hair. I hate the fact women like Luke Walton. I hate their uniforms. I hate when Pau Gasol gets excited and does that thing where he barks with his hands at his sides as his ugly beard drips sweat over everyone. I hate not being able to hate Derek Fisher. I love being able to hate Kobe, who has brought me more hateable joy than anyone else this decade. (But damn, is that guy good. I do respect him.) I hate Laker fans who show up for Clipper games and only start making noise when the Lakers go up double-digits. I hate the fact D.J. Mbenga has a publicist. I could go on and on.

I would hope that Lakers fans are OK with this. I would hope they hate the Celtics just as much, for reasons that are just as personal to them. That's what makes the rivalry great -- we hate them, they hate us, and somehow, the hatred is deepening, in a good way. After all, it's just sports. I don't REALLY hate anyone. (Well, except for Vujacic. If he was crossing the street on a crosswalk, I'd like to think that I wouldn't run him over, but I would definitely glance around to see how many people were looking before I made a final decision.) So that's what makes me so happy that the Lakers added not just the black sheep Kardashian sister, but …

3a. Ron Artest
… the looniest player in the history of the league! As they're defending a title! And even better, every Laker fan thinks he's an upgrade over Trevor Ariza! Really? That's what you think? You really think that?

True story: I had some friends in town for my birthday weekend last month. We were flipping channels during halftime of a college football game looking for something to watch, eventually stumbling across TMZ, which had just come back from commercial and had Ron Artest in their office. Why? We had no idea. We watched for five mesmerizing minutes as Ron chimed in with thoughts during the staff meeting and answered questions about Lamar Odom's engagement. He had one of those "This is cool, I always wanted to be on this show!" glows. Nobody in the room made a peep. We were riveted. It was the single weirdest cameo I have ever seen on a TV show -- even weirder than Brian Grazer's cameo on "Entourage." There was just no explanation for it.

When it was over, my friend Jacoby said, "This is just gonna get better and better and better every week, isn't it?"

Yes. Yes, it is."




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