La La Land

Kobe takes it to the hole.

TUE 2/10

It's been a rough season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Sure, you've heard about Kobe Bryant's ongoing Colorado courtroom appearances for allegedly raping a young hotel worker, putting him on myriad tabloid covers. But that's not the half of it. This regular season was supposed to be a walk through dress rehearsal for the Dream Team from La La Land. After off-season acquisitions including Hall of Famers-to-be Karl Malone, the second leading scorer in NBA history, and Gary Payton, a nine-time NBA all-defense honoree, the Lakers were made the odds-on favorite to win the Larry O'Brien trophy in June. But multiple injuries, along with the aforementioned legal problems, have thrown a wet blanket over the parade. Malone has been hampered with a sprained knee since December, missing the first considerable chunk of games in his 18-year career. Shaq has had lingering problems with a bad calf muscle, keeping him out of the lineup for 14 games. And bad boy Kobe suffered a separated shoulder in January, putting him on the sidelines as well. The good news for Phil Jackson is that Shaq and Kobe are starting to return to form, and the Mailman is expected back shortly after the All-Star break. In fact, the only consistent cog for the Lake Show so far this year has been Payton, a player known for most of his career as being loud and difficult. Sounds like old age has brought a hint of wisdom to the Glove. But the Lakers are still the Lakers, they still have the largest force in basketball history, they still have the NBA's most talented player, and they still have a coach who boasts the league's best winning percentage of all time. Problems or no problems, they're still the favorites. You can check out the squad from Tinseltown when it comes to American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) to take on the Miami Heat at 7:30 p.m. Call 305-358-5885 for tickets. -- Russ Evans

Boot Camp Bingo

The Beach = Your Gym

Upcoming Events

SAT 2/7

Bob Weinstein, a.k.a. "The Health Colonel," jokingly imitates a drill sergeant shouting at recruits who are attempting pushups: "Hey, Quiver Butt! Is that the 'Dying Cockroach' you're doing?" The Colonel, however, takes a kinder, gentler approach with his Beach Boot Camp workouts, which he leads while decked out in camouflage pants and combat boots. "I'm the motivational guy," he says. "I do not humiliate. I keep it positive and upbeat." Weinstein invites people of "all sizes, all shapes, all fitness levels" to battle enemies like cancer, heart disease, and negative attitudes and "whip their rearward anatomy into shape." Retired from the Army Reserves after 30 years, Weinstein mixes jogging, pushups, and jumping jacks with a campy military style during his workouts. "If I ask how you are doing," he says, "the only correct response is, 'Feeling good, sir!'" Enlist in a class now for $15, before the Colonel's stock value rises. In the coming months, he plans to publish a book, drive around Broward County in a Hummer promoting his programs, and appear in a feature film -- as himself. Classes meet on Fort Lauderdale Beach at the corner of Las Olas Boulevard and A1A at 8:40 a.m. Visit, or call 305-491-3573. -- Deirdra Funcheon

Give a Hoot

Feathers fly at FAU's season opener

FRI 2/6

Play ball! The Florida Atlantic University Owls baseball team opens its 2004 season at home when it takes the field against the Florida A&M Rattlers. The Owls are coming off an impressive 47-16 season in 2003 in which they won the Atlantic Sun Conference title. The prospects for this year are even better, with the team favored to defend its title with three players on the preseason All-Conference Team. Joining pitcher Randy Beam and second baseman Derek Hutton on the list is junior outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, who has been selected as the preseason MVP. Baseball America has the Owls ranked 23rd nationally. Yeah, and you thought the Marlins had talent. First pitch for Friday night's season opener is 7 p.m. at the Owls stadium on FAU's Boca campus (777 Glades Rd.). The Rattlers are also in town for games on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and children. Call 866-328-6957. -- Russ Evans

Horsin' Off

SAT 2/7

Last year, Funny Cide nearly became horse racing's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Obviously that's no small feat. Only 11 horses have accomplished the distinction in racing history. After taking the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, the New York gelding ran third in the crown's final leg, the Belmont Stakes. But he still had an impressive 2003. So much so that he just took home the Eclipse award for 3-year-old of the year, beating out Empire Maker, who beat him out in the Belmont. And now you can see this star in person when Funny Cide runs for the second time this season at Gulfstream Park (901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach) during Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap. The Donn is the first Grade One Handicap race of the year nationally, so every race in the field will be full of equine talent. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., and post time for the first race is 1 p.m. Call 954-454-7000. -- Russ Evans

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