Troll of The Month
DISCLAIMER: No trolls were harmed in the making of this column. @JerWhitten contributed to this article in his personal capacity. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Lakerspulse.com, Head Coach Luke Walton or the Buss family.
Welcome to the Holiday edition of the Lakers Pulse Troll of The Month (TOTM) column. Each month of the season, I will find an up and coming “Internet Cowboy” on social media, and highlight his or her Lakers-related hot takes, instigating posts, or cringe-worthy criticisms. To be fair, I will also reach out to each ostentatious ogre, and give them an opportunity to have the last word. Remember kids, no troll is safe. If you find yourself hovering over the post button, think twice before you click (PS: If you missed the inaugural TOTM in November, click here)
In the words of legendary internet troll, Ken M.:
“theres actualy more cells in our brains than there are brains in our entire body.”
This month’s feature troll is Twitter’s @MikeSportsLA
Twitter Handle: @MikeSportsLA
Favorite NBA Team: Lakers
Age: approx. 27-35 years
Status: Laker Hot Taker
Hair color: unknown
Music: Drake, @IamAkademiks
Interests: DAR hating, Intelligent Design Vs. Evolution debates, Jrue Holiday stanning
While most trolls toil away on their keyboards spouting hot takes to their sub 500 follower count in relative obscurity, there are some trolls who aspire to be so much more in life. They idolize famous trolls like Stephen A. Smith, Jason Whitlock and Skip Bayliss, carefully crafting their opinions, posts, and interactions to inflict maximum outrage and brand exposure.
Enter @MikeSportsLA. While by no means a master troll, Mike is a somewhat known irritant on Lakerstwitter. His persistently negative opinions of many of the key young pieces on the Lakers roster have drawn the ire of many fans over the past couple months. Fortunately, many knowledgeable Lakers fans have taken up arms on Twitter to combat Mike’s trolling, making my job a little easier. Sit back, relax and enjoy as we take a look at some of the ridiculous trade ideas, player criticisms and nonsensical tirades from our newest troll of the month.
Now, on to the trolling!
Losing brings out the troll in folks, and the Lakers have been doing a substantial amount of it lately. Aside from a meaningless victory against the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA Development League last week, and a Christmas Day victory over the cross town rival Clippers, Luke Walton and the Lakers have hit a dry spell due to various injuries and consistently poor defensive play.
Most rational Lakers fans understand the team is young and that it takes time for a new coach and young players to establish the discipline and chemistry to win consistently, but Mike sees it a little different. Remember, the Lakers are the consensus second most talented and youngest team in the NBA:
Average age of the 2016 Western Conference Allstar starters, 29.
Obviously the 107 year old Kobe Bryant messes with the average a bit, but the bottom line is that stars need time to develop. Stupid franchises move future stars to chase after minor immediate improvements, and they never win anything. Any fan who was not prepared to lose games this season with this young Lakers squad was either delusional or doesn’t know about basketball.
Now on to the Randle Slander. When his various anti-Julius Randle comments were questioned by Laker fan @PeriesR, Mike has some less than flattering words for Randle:
Then there was this little trade proposal that made me throw up in my mouth:
Okafor has been a major disappointment in Philly, missing long stretches due to injury, playing horrific defense, and functioning as an inefficient ball stopper on offense. Randle, on the other hand, averaged a double double and has developed each year on both sides of the ball. The chart below (Randle in Blue) shows how Julius leads Jahlil in every major statistical category aside from blocks.
This particular troll trade stems from Mike’s general dislike of sophomore phenom D’angelo Russell. If I posted all of Mike’s DAR slander my article would be too big for the Lakerspulse.com servers to host, so I selected a few of the most bizarre instead.
Jamie Rico on the @Lakerspulse twitter handle jumped into the fray to highlight the false narrative that Russell is somehow “bad” for the team or should see less playing time.
In non-DAR related trolling, when Mike praised his troll idol Stephen A Smith, @mastaredsnappa (who designed the wickedly awesome feature image for this column) had a troll of his own for Mike.
When Lakerspulse writer @mergechristian sent some shade at Mike, he got the following response:
Apparently 85% of what Mike says is true, and this may or may not be a Hunger Games reference:
Special thanks to @MikeSportsLA for being a good sport. Follow him on Twitter and YouTube for Lakers hot takes and videos, Randle slander and overreaction theatre at it’s finest.
You can follow me on Twitter and IG @JerWhitten
If you would like to nominate a Lakers troll (fan or hater) for a future Lakers Pulse TOTM, Tweet or DM me the handle and/or screen shots of the offending tweets.
Parting Shot from @MikeSportsLA