New PodKast: Midterm grades, home court advantage, "Karma-Gate"

Nothing completes a weekend better than a batch of ear candy. Trust me. I'm a ear candy-ologist. Among the talking points:

- With the halfway point in the books, it's time to give out report cards. Phil Jackson gave the team a B. Shannon Brown was less charitable, offering a C or C+. Brian took things a step further and put everyone under the microscope, so he talked about everyone's marks.

For now, we'd both name Lamar Odom valedictorian in light of his elevated play and consistency whether starting or off the bench. It's becoming increasingly difficult to picture LO not making his first All-Star team. Similar to Martin Scorsese's Academy Award for The Departed, this just feels like the year Odom finally breaks through by virtue of current and past achievement. As for the Laker dragging down the class average most, it would be a toss up between Ron Artest (although he's been very good of late) and Steve Blake (still struggling to make shots).

- We regale listeners (and by "listeners," I mean, "ourselves") with tales of high school rock band past. Not that such an illustrious, high-profile backstory really needs spelling out, but I was the drummer for The Forks. Brian was the keyboardist for Flying Monkey. But again, you knew all that.

- Brian and I engage in our never-ending debate: How big a deal is it for the Lakers to potentially start a series, maybe even a pair, as the road team?

- After his latest episode of brash-then-backpedaled words and/or Tweets, it has become evident LeBron James is completely uncomfortable with the "villain" role he claims to relish. As I think he's coming to realize, being seen as a real life heel is much different than being a WWE heel. Instead of being the charismatic figure you love to hate, he's simply coming off like an insincere jerk, and subsequent attempts to justify himself only dig a deeper hole.