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.