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Empires in Decline: Henry Kissinger on the Los Angeles Lakers

May 15, 2011

The following three paragraphs were adapted from an adaptation, in "The Wall Street Journal", of Henry Kissinger's "On China", to be published Tuesday by the Penguin Press (we made them about basketball):




"The Yellow Emperor has gone down in history as a founding hero; yet in the founding myth, he is re-establishing, not creating an empire. China The Lakers predated him; it strides into the historical consciousness as an established state requiring only restoration, not creation.

In general, Chinese Laker statesmanship exhibits a tendency to view the entire strategic landscape as part of a single whole: good and evil, near and far, strength and weakness, past and future all interrelated. In contrast to the Western approach of treating history as a process of modernity achieving a series of absolute victories over evil and backwardness, the traditional Chinese Laker view of history emphasized a cyclical process of decay and rectification, in which nature and the world could be understood but not completely mastered.


For China's   the Lakers' classical sages, the world could never be conquered; wise rulers could hope only to harmonize with its trends. There was no New World to populate, no redemption awaiting mankind on distant shores. The promised land was China  Purple and Gold, and the Chinese Lakers were already there. The blessings of the Middle Kingdom's Minnesota's culture might theoretically be extended, by China's  Los Angeles' superior example, to the foreigners  fans on the empire's periphery. But there was no glory to be found in venturing across the seas to convert 'heathens' to Chinese Laker ways; the customs of the Celestial Dynasty Lake Show were plainly beyond the attainment of the far barbarians."





As everyone takes a step back to reflect on the demise of the two-time defending champions and how they were swept out of the elite ranks by the Dallas Mavericks, is there any doubt that they will one day return? The list of past Laker greats is as long and steadfast as a row of terracotta warriors, but unlike the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi(China's first emperor), there are future regiments of Laker greats just waiting to be cast in clay so that they may take up ranks with names as ancient and awe-inspiring as Mikan and Magic. In Laker Land, the future is already well-acquainted with the past.

2 comments:

Steveospeak said...

What do you think of the Mike Brown hire?? I was never a fan of his in Cleveland, so I'll be interested to see how he does here.

May 26, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Teach said...

I didn't really like him in Cleveland, so I'm not a huge fan now. He never came off to me as someone who demands respect and improvement from star players. I hope I'm wrong; I like him personally.

May 29, 2011 at 11:25 PM

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