Watching an piece on Jeanie Buss last night on ESPN, I was shocked how similar she looked to Jan from The Office. Which of course makes Phil Jackson Michael Scott. Down the roster and into the front office, there are numerous parallels between the Lakers and the workers at Dunder Mifflin. As great as The Office is, how entertaining would a Lakers sitcom be?
Jeanie Buss = Jan Levinson-Gould. The resemblance is uncanny. Jeanie is a woman in the male dominated world of sports management, Jan was a woman in the male dominated world of corporate management.
Jan: Michael, come over after work tonight. I miss your…body.
Michael: I dunno. I feel…I drive a lot. I’m spending a fortune on gas…
Jan: I’ll give you $200. If I get up before you I’ll leave it on the dresser.
Michael: I dunno…that makes me kind of uncomfortable…
Phil Jackson = Michael Scott. They're both the boss of their team and were/are dating their boss. Phil has written multiple bestsellers, Michael wrote Threat Level: Midnight. Phil's unusual motivational techniques have included comparing Rick Adelman to Hitler; Michael's unusual motivational techniques have included comparing slavery to the Holocaust.
Michael: Olympics of suffering right here! Slavery versus the Holocaust, come on!
Michael: Why don’t we just go as teams to demonstrate our teamsmanship.
Kobe Bryant = Jim Halpert. They're both Philadelphia natives. Kobe used to live in Italy, Jim used to date an Italian girl. Kobe helped orchestrate Shaq's trade to Miami, Jim's relationship with Pam led to Roy's firing. This of course makes Vanessa Pam and the girl from Colorado Karen.
Jim: I miss Dwight. Congratulations Universe, you win.
Shaquille O'Neal = Roy Anderson. Neither are part of the team anymore. Shaq drives a Superman Ford Expedition, Roy drove a Ford pickup in season one. Shaq hates training camp, Roy hates Dunder-Mifflin get-togethers.
Roy: I am going to kill Jim Halpert.
Kwame Brown = Meredith Palmer. Kwame is coming back from offseason shoulder and ankle surgery, Meredith is coming off of rabies and a cracked pelvis. Kwame was charged in connection with a DUI in the offseason and was investigated for sexual assault, Meredith is an alcoholic and sex addict.
Meredith: You know what? Don’t even worry about it. Everyone was so drunk I bet no one even remembers a word you said.
Meredith: The uterus is different from a vagina. I still have a vagina.
Lamar Odom = Kevin Malone. Both are bald and seem to have facial expressions limited to a smile and scowl. Odom has averaged 64 games played a season due to a series of injuries, Kevin suffers from anal fissures. Odom loves to sing, Kevin is in a band.
Kevin: I just want to lie on the beach and eat hot dogs. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Kurt Rambis = Dwight Schrute. Rambis preceded Jackson as coach of the Lakers, and Jackson kept him on as an assistant. Just like Dwight has the bogus title "Assistant to the Regional Manager," Rambis was recently named "Vice President of Business and Basketball Integration." Rambis's nickname is Rambo, Dwight has his own crossbow range.
Dwight: I have been Michael’s number two guy for about 5 years. And we make a great team. We’re like one of those classic famous teams. He’s like Mozart and I’m like…Mozart’s friend. No. I’m like Butch Cassidy and Michael is like…Mozart. You try and hurt Mozart? You’re gonna get a bullet in your head courtesy of Butch Cassidy.
Andrew Bynum = Ryan Howard. Bynum was the youngest player in the league the last two seasons, Ryan is the youngest guy in corporate. Bynum has seen a meteoric rise from high schooler to a valued Lakers asset they wouldn't trade for Jason Kidd, Ryan has seen a meteoric rise from intern to corporate.
Ryan: If I had to I could clean out my desk in 5 seconds and nobody would know I had ever been here. And I’d forget too…
Vladimir Radmanovic = Kelly Kapoor. Radmanovic is Serbian, Kelly is Indian. Radmanovic lied about a shoulder injury so the Lakers wouldn't void his contract, Kelly lied about being pregnant so Ryan would talk to her. Radmanovic averaged career lows across the board last season, Ryan dumped Kelly last season.
Kelly: If Ryan is laid off I will kill myself. Like Romeo and Juliet (the Claire Danes one).
Mitch Kupchak = Toby Flenderson. Just as Toby often stands in the way of Michael's schemes, Kupchak's horrible trades have stood in the way of Phil Jackson coaching a productive team. Of course, it made more sense for Toby to frown upon the Boy Scouts coming to Casino Night than for Kupchak to trade Caron Butler for Kwame Brown.
Toby: Actually, I didn't think it was appropriate to invite children since it's, uh, you know...there's gambling and alcohol...and it's in our dangerous warehouse...it's a school night, and you know, uh... Hooters is catering. You know, is that not—is that enough? Should I keep going?
Derek Fisher = Stanley Hudson. Fisher asked to be released from the Jazz and signed with the Lakers so he could be at a city with facilities to care for his daughter, and Stanley has a game "called work hard so your children can go to college.”
Stanley: This here is a “run-out-the-clock” situation. Just like upstairs.
Luke Walton = Creed Bratton. The combination of Walton's dad being a hippie and the rumor of Luke dating Britney Spears make him the only Laker potentially dirty enough to compare to Creed.
Creed: I’m not offended by homosexuality. In the 60s I made love to many, many women – often outdoors in the mud and the rain – and it’s possible that a man slipped in. There’d be no way of knowing...
Brian Grant = Oscar Martinez. Brian Grant was paid an ungodly sum by the Heat, much of which he earned from the bench, Oscar got a three month vacation so he wouldn't sue.
Kevin: Hello Oscar, how was your gay-cation?
Oscar: That’s very funny.
Kevin: Yeah? I thought of that, like, two seconds after you left.