If you feel like laughing at some NBA dysfunction today, perhaps you’d enjoy this column on the Lakers by CBS Sports’ Ken Berger. It’s a fantastic breakdown of everything that’s wrong in Los Angeles and it will help you understand why Phil Jackson left, why the team is struggling and why a Pau Gasol trade keeps almost happening with nothing ever comes to fruition. It’s a good read if you like marveling at silliness.

But the part that’s getting the most internet acclaim is this passage about the Lakers’ scouting department. I think you’ll understand why.

The advance pro scout, Clay Moser, was brought on board by coach Mike Brown. Of the three college scouts listed in the Lakers’ media guide, Ryan West — Jerry’s son — is the only one with a résumé and a workload. The others are Jesse Buss, who’s currently unable to travel due to an injured leg, and a guy known throughout the organization simply as “Chaz.” His name in the media guide is Charles Osborne, and supposedly he’s a nice guy.

“A good guy,” said a person who has dealt with the Lakers’ front-office dysfunction in various management roles with other teams. “Great bartender.”

That’s right, the book on Chaz is that he’s a former bartender who also happens to be longtime friends with Jim Buss from their days in the horseracing business. But if you’re looking in bars and racetracks, you’re much more likely to find a sports writer to chronicle this circus than a viable trade option for Gasol.

Chaz, you guys. He’s the NBA’s new mystery man, a real Sidd Finch of the basketball world. He’s also maybe the guy who made you a scotch and soda the last time you were in Los Angeles, and almost definitely the guy who sells your mom car insurance. He is also probably the guy who can get you some action on the ponies the next time you’re in Hollywood, if you’re looking to throw down some cash. Just let Chaz know and he’s got your back. Only cash though.

That’s pretty much about all anyone knows about Chaz — though he’s already been a Twitter hashtag and “written” game previews for Hardwood Paroxysm — and I hope that’s the way it stays. I really like the idea of a character from a pulp noir story giving advice to the Lakers on any and all personnel deals.

Personally, I like to imagine that he insists that Laker executives meet him down at the bar and he gives his opinions while slowly rubbing the same spot with a dirty rag, but that’s just me. The great thing about Chaz is that everyone can make up their own stories about him. In fact, I wouldn’t mind it if you gave that a shot down in the comments.

Comments (9)

  1. What a joke. The proper abbreviation for Charles is “Chas”. Every sane person knows this.

  2. “Yo, here’s a list of things that are tight: Taking steroids, V-Neck shirts, The Black Eyed Peas, Tokyo drifting, white role players, old point guards, Derrick Caracter…TYPICAL CHAZZ!”

    *Kupchak jots furiously in notebook*

  3. Lakers brass was worried about a potential locker room clash should they bring in troubled free agent Gilbert Arenas, until Chaz reassured them that he and Arenas had “thrown back some brew-dogs” several times in the past and that the point guard was, in fact, “a really chill dude”.

  4. Charles “Chaz” Osbourne was born May 16th, 1962 to Patricia, a modest home maker, and Teddy (Ol’ Iron Sides) Osbourne, a New York-famous retired old timey boxer and barkeep. Teddy never made much in old timey boxing, but he enjoyed the sport for a long time.

    When Chaz was about 7 or 8 years old, Teddy got an idea for an old timey boxing-themed restaurant and bar, using some of his old memorabilia and collector’s items he had accrued. He even called it ‘Ol’ Iron Sides Bar & Grill’ to make it a hot spot for old timey boxing fans. Chaz never knew where his father got the money from, but didn’t think of it too much, what with all the free chili dogs and onion rings he could eat.

    A few years passed, and the bar never really took off. One day, sitting at his normal stool and helping himself to a chili dog and root beer, Chaz was startled by a loud crash at the front door. His glass fell from the counter (in slow-motion) and shattered on the floor.

    Three large shadowy figures stood in the doorway in front of the blinding sun. Teddy stepped out from the back room, cleaning a large mug with a rag, “Can I help you gentlemen?”

    “Sure you can, see” the one in the middle snickered, stepping closer. A scar on his face snaked down from his forehead over his left eye. “We hear you owe Jimmy the Fish a little bit of dough, see. And today’s collection day, see. So make with the cash or lose your a**, see.”

    “He said I had until next week!” Ol’ Iron Sides exclaimed. “I don’t have all of it yet.”

    “Then we’ll take what ya got, see.” The scarred face man pointed towards the cash register. “Ricky, grab the register, see.”

    “Yea boss, yea” a smaller one squeaked, heading towards the cash machine.

    “You can’t!” Teddy threw himself between the small man and the cash register.


    Teddy dropped to the floor. The puny man holstered his gun, grabbed the cash register, and vanished with the other two, never to be seen again. Chaz raced to his father’s side.

    “It’s gonna be alright, papa” Chaz choked back tears.

    “Chaz, you have to listen to me…. there’s not… much time… closer…….”

    Chaz leaned in, tears streaming down his face. “Yes, papa..”

    “Take…. your mother… Go to… Cali… fornia…. and find….. a man….. named Buss…. he… will take care… of everything… *gasp, long fading sigh…….*”

    “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” Chaz cried to the heavens.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

  5. “But if you’re looking in bars and racetracks, you’re much more likely to find a sports writer to chronicle this circus than a viable trade option for Gasol.”

    False; where do you think Chaz found Vlade Divac? CLASSIC CHAZ!!!! I hear he’s been getting the low down from Ben Wallace and Jason Richardson…

  6. My mom dated him.

  7. Well the first couple sentences of the crazy story are right….Chaz knows basketball…believe that and Chaz is a really great guy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *