They’re trying to take over the world.

The Lakers are trying to, that is.

NBC execs, in what they probably considered a savvy marketing move, have signed a deal that slates a one-hour special about the Los Angeles Lakers for 2004.

Yes, you heard me right.

NBC is going to create its own made-for-TV, brown-nosing special for the L.A. Lakers.

Sigh. As if the playoff pre-game shows we’ve been watching for the last five years weren’t nauseating enough.

That said, the special obviously won’t be about the Jerry West/James Worthy/Kareem Abdul-Jabar or even Magic Johnson Lakers. Starting with the addition of Coach Phil Jackson in ’99, NBC will focus on the new generation of Lakers. The same generation that, in just a few seasons, has turned a legendary NBA team into one of the most despised teams in sports. Well, after the Yankees (or so I’ve heard).

It really seems as if NBC is out to punish the Eastern Conference and its fans. They’re going to take all of the things that we hate about the Lakers and put them on primetime TV.

For starters, we hate that they win all of the time. We hate that they could top 70 wins this season.

Now we’re supposed to swallow a show that glorifies this even more. Call me a sore loser, but this is going to sting for all of us. Any show that recounts the history of the Lakers since 1999 is intended to be uplifting, but it’s a tired storyline. Three years tired, if you ask some people. I can hear Queen in the background already. We already know they were the champions, my friends. We’ve seen the ads for the collector’s editions of Sports Illustrated already. This is just redundant – and downright mean.

Plus, I can’t help but assume that the storyline will stop early in July of this year, before the whole Kobe “distraction” unfolded.

Hey, maybe the network can still spice the movie up a little. I mean, it seems as if the Lakers can already get anybody they want on their team.

But you should feel bad for these superstars, say the Californians. They’re taking pay-cuts to play for the Lakers.

I don’t care. Are we supposed to ignore the fact that, even with the cuts, their salaries rival the GDP of a small country?

They’ve served their respective teams well for the last decade and deserve a ring.

As I said, I don’t care.

Gary Payton, Karl Malone, who’s next?

Throw in some Hollywood magic, and the TV-special Lakers are going to be starting Allen Iverson at the point, Kevin Garnett inside and Jesus Christ as their center. Come on, everybody wants a championship ring, right? LeBron? LeBron? Glad we finally got a hold of you …

Oh, and we must mention, then, how flagrantly Hollywood the Lakers are.

Rick Fox may be the worst of them all, toting his actress-wife Vanessa Williams on his arm. Your real name is Ulrich. Seriously. And Shaq may claim a music career, but in truth he just has four flopped albums and a “best of” CD. Do we even need to mention Kazaam? And now, NBC is giving them a real reason to attend a release party. I can just imagine the entire Lakers’ team moving from the press conference to the red carpet with an almost graceful, but at the same time creepy, ease.

And I won’t even touch the Kobe thing. God knows NBC won’t.

Finally, despite the fact that it will likely be an integral part of the show, no one will be entertained by the ‘controversy’ of the head coach dating the owner’s daughter and Laker’s executive vice president, Jeanie Buss. It can’t help but bother me that, in addition to the suffocating publicity and excessive, well, winning, we’ll be forced to watch a thick bureaucracy and conflict of interests that should really only be happening in Hollywood – not reality.

So, months before this TV special airs, I’m already mad at it. I already know I won’t like it. In all honesty, I’m probably not going to watch it. It’ll probably come out in January, by the time the team has already – gulp – clinched a playoff berth.

So, stop telling me the idea was conceived by respected producers and plans include a script written by a veteran screenwriter.

Personally, I’m convinced Bill Walton had something to do with it.

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