|Add star-power to the Lakers|
By Brian and Andy Kamenetzky
Special to Page 2
With the announcement that Gary Payton has agreed to sign with the Lakers on July 16 -- and fellow future Hall of Famer Karl Malone expected to join him -- the makings of a new Dream Team are in place. But why stop with these two? The Lakers have other holes, and who knows who else might be lured to Los Angeles for the veteran's exception and a shot at a ring? It could take a sign-and-trade or a few choice waivings, but we think it's all feasible. According to exclusive Page 2 sources, the followng candidates are in play for a coveted roster spot:
Mike Tyson: Iron Mike is well past his boxing prime. His reactions are slower, his weight is an issue, and his technical skills have diminished beyond repair. But with four superstars on the roster, if things go poorly, the Lakers will need to take advantage of the one thing Tyson still does well -- create shocking, attention-grabbing controversies. Who will care about the Lakers scuffling towards the All Star Break after Tyson eats Jack Nicholson's face during a November time out?
Howard Stern: Even with the Glove and the Mailman, the Lakers still need an outside shooter. If anyone shoots from outside the mainstream, it's Howard. Phil likes big guards. Howard's tall. And who else could convince the Laker girls to play Lesbian Dial-A-Date?
Jimmy Carter: Sure, he'd be a defensive liability, but even ex-presidents get Secret Service escorts. You try getting in between one of those guys and the hoop when Mr. President takes it strong to the hole. And after his rocky administration, the guy needs a title to cap off his career, allowing him to be the first player ever to win a ring, a Nobel Prize ... and negotiate a major nuclear disarmament pact with the Soviet Union. Now that's a legacy.
Sharon Stone: The woman desperately needs to be part of a quality project, which Dream Team '03-'04 qualifies as. She was a finalist for "Casino," but never won a title. She, like Payton and Malone, must know the end is near. In return for the chance at the ring, the Lakers know that Stone, when seated, can provide ample distraction to opponents.
George O'Leary: He's gonna say he played for them anyway, so might as well just give him a jersey.
John Travolta: If there's anyone who can teach these guys a thing or two about making a comeback after some coasting, it's this guy. "Battlefield Earth" killed any chance for him to be taken seriously enough to take home an Oscar. So here's his shot at glory. He's got more girth than Horry. Let John back up Malone. Besides, these are big guys with long legs. An extra jet to stretch out on could really do wonders for morale.
Jeremy Giambi: For God's sake, just give this guy one shot at winning anything before Jason does!
Bea Arthur: Because Phil hates dealing with unseasoned rookies. Plus, four words: Betty White. Willing Groupie.
Emmitt Smith: Solid guy, incredible athlete, championship experience, blah, blah, blah, who cares? We just gotta get Emiitt out of an Arizona uni before the season starts and the stink can't be washed off.