Chicago takes its act on road

Mike Bresnahan covers the Lakers for The Times and ties up loose ends on the day of his self-designated “Lakers game of the week.” The Lakers play host to Chicago tonight.

Here’s the difference between Los Angeles and Chicago.

The Lakers get kicked out of Staples Center every year in late January because of the glitz and glamour of the Grammy Awards. The Bulls get booted from the United Center every year because of the pomp and circumstance of the circus.

That’s right. The circus.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey are taking over the Bulls’ arena for 12 days, just as they always do. It hasn’t always meant good times for the Bulls.

Since their championship dynasty ended in 1998, they haven’t fared well on this trip, once losing 37 consecutive games over a span of seven years.

Maybe the circus is actually the team’s playing on the road. Gulp.


Q&A; of the day

Question: Please stop with the 72 wins in every article about the Lakers! Only important win total is one ahead of the Celtics. I enjoy reading your articles but cringe every time I see “72 wins.” It’s useless and a waste of space in your article.

--Satyen V.

Answer: For you Satyen, I will no longer mention that the Lakers are way off the pace of the Chicago Bulls’ record-setting 72-win season in 1995-96. If it bothers you to hear how far the Lakers are from 72 victories, it probably bothers other people to hear how far they are from 72.

After all, the last thing I want to do is annoy readers by writing that their team wanted to challenge the Bulls’ 72-victory mark but is currently 8-3 and that the Lakers would need to win 33 consecutive games to match the incredible 41-3 start that the Bulls had on the way to their historic 72-victory season?

Who needs such reminders that the Lakers really have no shot at winning 72 games?

I will now make today the official “Do Not Mention 72 Wins” day.

Again, just for you, Satyen.

Hey, he’s back!

Great day! I no longer have to ask about Pau Gasol’s hamstring . . . every . . . single . . . day. I’ve written about it 28 times over the last 36 days, according to a quick web search of “Gasol” and “hamstring.”

Let’s put it this way: If he tweaks it again tonight, he will have worse things to worry about than his hamstring.

Final thought

I correctly picked the Lakers to lose in Denver to the Nuggets last week (hold the applause, please) and now I’m taking them over the Bulls tonight, even though the real circus will be the one surrounding Gasol at his locker after the game.