The Los Angeles Lakers are quickly establishing themselves as the best team in the NBA.

NBA power rankings: Week 3

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As the NBA enters Week 3 of the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers are quickly establishing themselves as the best team in the NBA, while the Philadelphia 76ers remain the top of the East.

1. Los Angeles Lakers Record 5-1

Last week, LeBron James recorded two impressive triple-doubles while helping the Los Angeles Lakers ride a five-game winning streak into Week 3. In a win over the Dallas Maverick on Friday, James recorded 39 points, 16 assists, and 12 rebounds. Two nights later, he recorded 21 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.

2. Philadelphia 76ers Record 5-1

The 76ers were the last undefeated team to start the season after receiving their first loss of the year in a 114-109 defeat to the Phoenix Suns Monday night. Philadelphia is proven to be the team to beat in the East, finishing the week on a 3-1 record on the West coast. Their most impressing win came in a 129-128 comeback victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night.

3. Miami Heat Record 5-1

The Miami Heat are quickly establishing themselves as one of the top teams in the league. They have won five of their first six games, which includes a 129-100 victory over the Houston Rockets. More importantly, every player has chipped in their early-season success, with Kendrick Nunn leading the Heat in scoring, averaging 19.2 points per game.

4. LA Clippers Record 5-2

Last week, the Clippers went 2-1, but their lone loss came in a game where MVP candidate, Kawhi Leonard, did not play due to rest. Leonard helped the Clippers bounced back in a 103-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, where he scored 30 points in the win.

5. Boston Celtics Record 4-1

The Boston Celtics are starting to surprise everyone behind their All-Star point guard, Kemba Walker. He led the Celtics to a perfect 3-0 week, averaging 32.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. It also helps that Jason Tatum is coming into his own following a game-winner over the New York Knicks.

6. Milwaukee Bucks Record 5-2

The Milwaukee Bucks entered the season with high championship aspirations, but they cannot afford to lose games against the Boston Celtics. However, they did finish Week 2 with wins over the Raptors, Timberwolves and Magic.

7. San Antonio Spurs Record 4-2

If it was not for the play of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs would still be undefeated heading into Week 3 of the regular season. Rising star Dejounte Murry has looked great as he works his way back from an ACL injury, as he recorded 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block Sunday, in a loss to the Lakers.

8. Toronto Raptors Record 4-2

After starting the season with four straight wins, the defending NBA champions dropped their first game of the season in a hard-fought loss to the Bucks. Standing at 4-2 on the season, the Toronto Raptors have started the season better than many have expected following the departure of Kawhi Leonard.

9. Dallas Mavericks Record 4-2 

Luke Doncic has proved that the Dallas Mavericks are a focus to be reckoned with in the West. The Mavericks picked up a huge victory over the Denver Nuggets and put on a show in a loss to the Lakers on Friday. Sunday, Doncic recorded his second straight double-double with 29 points, 15 assists, and 14 rebounds in a win over the Cavaliers.

10. Minnesota Timberwolves Record 4-2

The Minnesota Timberwolves has had a fairly easy schedule to start the season but dropped two statement games against the 76ers and Bucks. They get a pass due to the fact that both games were played with their All-Star center, Karl Anthony-Towns, who was suspended following his fight with Joel Embiid.

11. Phoenix Suns Record 5-2

The Phoenix Suns closed out the week with a huge victory over the 76ers, and are currently riding a three-game win streak entering Week 3 of the regular season. One of the NBA's biggest surprises.

12. Denver Nuggets Record 4-2 

The Nuggets have not lived up to their preseason expectations following a loss to the Mavericks and the Pelicans last week. Standing 4-2, it's been a slow start for the Nuggets.

13. Utah Jazz Record 4-3

The Utah Jazz had a sub-par week splitting two games with the Clippers, losing the one game Kawhi Leonard played and handing the Sacramento Kings their first win of the season. Utah will look to recover following a 1-2 week.

14. Houston Rockets Record 4-3 

The Houston Rockets picked up a much-needed victory to close out the week with a 107-100 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Sadly, it's not enough to make up for losing by 29 points to the Heat on Sunday and blowing a 15-point lead to the Nets.

15. Indiana Pacers Record 3-3

The Indiana Pacers are entering Week 3 of the season riding a three-game winning streak defeating the Nets, Cavs, and Bulls. Although they have yet to beat a top tear team, must respect for the Pacers standing at .500 still waiting for the return of Victor Oladipo.

16. Portland Trail Blazers Record 3-4

The week started well for the Trail Blazers with a win over the Thunder, but Portland enters Week 3 of the regular season on a two-game skid, following losses to the 76ers and depleted Warriors team.

17. Brooklyn Nets Record 3-4 

The Nets went 2-1 the previous week but picked up an impressing win against the Houston Rockets. Kyrie Irving is doing all he can to lead the Nets to wins, averaging 32.0 points on 47.2% shooting from the field.

18. Detroit Pistons Record 3-5

With losses to the Bulls, Wizards and Raptors, the Pistons had a rough week going 1-3 heading into Week 3 of the season. ESPN reported on Monday that Blake Griffin is close to making his season debut after battling knee, and hamstring injuries.

19. Atlanta Hawks Record 2-3

The Hawks drop both of their games last week in a home-and-home against the Miami heat. Much was expected for a team who is missing their best player in Trae Young, who missed all of last week with an ankle injury.

20. Charlotte Hornets Record 3-3

With a record over .500, the Charlotte Hornets have been the league's most pleasant surprises over the first two weeks of the season. Last week, the Hornets picked up an impressing victory over the Kings in a hard-fought victory.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder Record 2-4

The Thunder went 1-1 last week with their only win coming against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Thunder has been a respectable team with Danilo Gallinari and Chris Paul leading the way.

22. Cleveland Cavaliers Record 2-4 

Not much is expected from the Cavs, but they did pick up an impressing win over the Bulls last week. Despite the losing, Kevin Love is returning to his all-star form, averaging 19.2 points and 15.3 rebounds thus far this season.

23. Orlando Magic Record 2-4

The Magic has been one of the most disappointing teams to start the season, and last week was the same after 1-2 record. the only bright spot for the Magic has been the arrival of Markelle Fultz, who started his first game with Orlando in a loss to the Nuggets.

24. Chicago Bulls Record 2-5 

The Chicago Bulls said they have enough talent to make the playoff in 2020. Yet the Bulls found a way to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers and post a 1-2 record last week.

Washington Wizards Record 2-4

Despite the lack of talent, the Wizards have stayed competitive against the Rockets and Spurs. Washington ended the end on a high note with a win over the Pistons.

26. Sacramento Kings Record 2-5

After losing their first five games of the season, the Kings are riding a two-game winning streak heading into Week 3. They gained a huge victory over the Jazz and followed it up with an encore against the Knicks.

27. Golden State Warriors Record 2-5

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. For five straight seasons, the Warriors have sat atop of the NBA. Now, they are nearly the worst team in the league. Not sure how, but the Warriors picked up one win in a 127-118 victory over the Trail Blazers.

28. Memphis Grizzlies Record 1-5

Young and inexperienced, the Grizzlies put up a good fight against the Rockets and Suns despite going 0-3 (Lakers) in Week 2.

29. New Orleans Pelicans Record 1-6

In all except for one game, the Pelicans have put up a good fight. Behind rising star Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans picked up their first win of the season against the Jazz but dropped their final two games of the week against the Thunder and Nets. Unfortunately, New Orleans' record does not reflect how great this team has played so far this season.

30. New York Knicks Record 1-6

It's the Knicks, enough said.

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I met James Arthur Harris a pretty long time ago, it had to be before 2001, because I was at the gate waiting for his flight from New Orleans to land. I was supposed to pick him up, drive him to the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza on Loop 610, wait for him to change into his work clothes, and get him to the George R. Brown before 3 p.m.

I had never met him, but it would be easy to pick him out in the line of passengers filing off the plane. He'd be the big guy, 6 ft. 7 and weighing more than 400 pounds. Because our schedule was tight, I was hoping he wasn't already in his work clothes. You'll understand why.

When Harris worked, he wore a leopard loin cloth, bare feet, bright painted stars and moons on his huge pot belly, and white face paint under his scary witch doctor mask. He also carried a spear and shield.

James Harris, who died this week at age 70 from COVID-19 complications, performed in wrestling rings around the world as Kamala the Ugandan Giant. Or Kamala the Ugandan Head Hunter. This day, he came to Houston to sign autographs at TriStar Sports memorabilia shows.

"Kamala was a huge draw to our shows in the '90s. His character was mysterious and intriguing. Fans lined up to get his autograph and pose for photos with him. He was one of our biggest draws," said Tristar senior vice president Bobby Mintz.

I checked Harris into the Crowne Plaza and waited in the lobby while he went upstairs to take off his shoes and socks, paint stars and moons on his belly … and become Kamala the uncivilized cannibal from the jungles of deepest Africa.

You couldn't get away with this stereotyped character today. But this was then, and Kamala was one of the hottest performers in the wrestling world.

You should have seen the looks on people's faces when the elevator door opened, and out came Kamala, in full ring regalia. We got into my car and made it to the George R. Brown in time for his autograph session. The line already was 100 wrestling fans deep. I sat next to Kamala for three hours, muttering grunts and nonsense sounds because, of course, Kamala did not speak English.

James Harris was born and died in Mississippi. He broke into pro wrestling in 1978 under the name Sugar Bear Harris. He also wrestled as Ugly Bear Harris, The Mississippi Mauler and Bad News Harris.

It was Jerry Lawler, owner of Memphis independent wrestling scene in the early '80s, who gave Harris his new gimmick and name Kamala. He would be billed as Kamala the Ugandan Giant, former bodyguard to the brutal dictator Idi Amin. Lawler picked the name Kamala after the capital of Uganda. Actually, the capital of Uganda is Kampala. It doesn't matter.

Kamala was money, as they say, he put butts in seats. He used a devastating karate chop to opponents' heads and pinned them, 1-2-3. Soon he was hired by Mid-South Wrestling, where the circuit included the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston. In 1986, he became a main event wrestler for the WWE and headlined shows against Hulk Hogan coast-to-coast.

As we sat at the autograph show, one of my jobs was to assure young fans that Kamala was really a nice person, so don't be scared.

That night, I threw my one and only dinner party. I invited about 20 people to meet Kamala. I prepared a casual buffet, the main course was lasagna. I had two large trays, one with vegetable lasagna, one with sausage and ground beef.

The guests showed up, and Kamala posed for photos and signed autographs. He let my friends wear his witch doctor mask. He hoisted some of the guests and pretended he was body slamming them for their photos. He was the most gracious and gentle giant you could imagine. Until …

I was taking the lasagna trays out of the oven. I brought Kamala into the kitchen so he could eat first, and return to mingle with the guests. I asked him, which would you like, vegetable or meat lasagna? He said meat, and picked up the entire tray, sat at the kitchen table and ate the whole thing. I told the other guests, eat lots of garlic bread.

Kamala retired from wrestling full-time around 2000. He bought a truck and hauled gravel, asphalt and dirt from Mississippi across the southern U.S. If he knew a town had an independent wrestling show, he'd re-route his route so he could pick up extra money dusting off his Kamala persona for one night. That's how he made an appearance at the Texas All-Star Wrestling show in Humble in 2003.

Kamala fell into bad health with diabetes and high blood pressure. He had both legs amputated. Despite headlining wrestling shows around the world, Kamala never earned much money. In his later years, he made wood chairs near his home in Oxford, Mississippi. He also recorded an album, Kamala's Greatest Hits: Vol. 1, and wrote his autobiography, Kamala Speaks.

After the dinner party, which did not make Maxine Mesinger's society column in the Chronicle, something I'm still bitter about, I drove Kamala back to the Crowne Plaza. I told him, be in the lobby at 9 a.m., we'll get breakfast on our way to the airport. I asked him, what would you like for breakfast. Pancakes? Bacon and eggs? Fruit?

He said, and I'll never forget this, "When it comes to food, I isn't choicy."

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