Blog Entry

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:38 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2011 6:54 pm
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What a disgrace. 

The career of the most decorated, accomplished coach in NBA history … the relentless pursuit of a sixth title by Kobe Bryant, the greatest champion in the sport since Michael Jordan … any shred of dignity the Lakers might’ve left Dallas with Sunday after an embarrassing sweep … all of it crumbled under the weight of a colossal humiliation and dishonor put forth by the two-time defending champions. 

Losing is one thing. Getting swept is another. Getting sent home in an utterly uncompetitive blowout is even worse. But nothing is more disgusting than champions acting like punks. Nothing is more embarrassing than a team that cannot lose with dignity. 

The revolting episode that was most likely Phil Jackson’s final game as a coach will have far-reaching implications. This 122-86 debacle, and the deplorable behavior that went along with it, is the kind of loss whose aftershocks last for months, if not years. 

We already knew this would be a very different Lakers team next season, even if they’d won a third straight title. We already knew there would be a new coach. And this is the NBA; there are usually some new players. 

But this sudden, thorough, and inexplicable descent into dysfunction and depravity will not go unpunished. 

Lamar Odom, and particularly Andrew Bynum, will never be able to repay Jackson for shaming him this way. Bynum, a positive force during much of the series, doesn’t deserve to wear a Lakers uniform again after his unconscionable cheap shot to a defenseless, airborne J.J. Barea in the fourth quarter of a 30-point humiliation. There’s no place for that regardless of the victim, but Bynum violated the No. 1 rule of the schoolyard (where he belongs) and the NBA: Pick on someone your own size. Only punks and losers take aim at those half their size. 

The fact that Bynum needed Ron Artest – involved in one of the most notorious behavioral incidents in NBA history – to escort him past the Mavericks’ bench and toward the locker room told you everything you needed to know. At least Artest’s gesture proved that that Lakers’ team bond hadn’t completely eroded. In a sick way, Artest sticking up for a teammate who’d done something so cowardly was the only evidence that there was anything at all left of these Lakers as currently constructed. 

Championship caliber teams sometimes win in the playoffs, and sometimes they lose. Sometimes they lose like the ’91 Pistons, who walked out before time expired in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Bulls. Sometimes, they lose like the Spurs, who have never sacrificed an ounce of their professionalism for some twisted, macho moment that lasts but a second but stains your reputation forever. 

The Lakers, at the end for Jackson and near the end for Bryant, have managed to put themselves in the company of disgraced champions – those who don’t engender or deserve the respect of the generations. Big changes for the Lakers are now not only likely and expected, but also necessary, even mandatory. Say good-bye to Hollywood, say good-bye to the babies who couldn’t lose like champions. Shame on them, and good luck to the professionals they will leave behind to try to resurrect the Lakers’ proud history. 

Whatever uniform he is wearing in October, or whenever the NBA resumes, Bynum will be watching from his hotel room at a Four Seasons somewhere because he’ll most certainly be suspended. His actions will be suspended in time, serving as a lesson for every one of his contemporaries who play this game. 

We can only hope the Celtics and Heat were watching this. One of them will lose that series, and whoever it is will have an obligation to lift basketball out of the gutter the Lakers abandoned it in on Sunday.
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Comments

Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:39 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

 Discipline isn't neccessary?? What Bynum did would be a felony out of the boundaries of that basketball court. It is absurd to think that just a loss is enough of a punishment to a punk who can't handle losing.

 He needs to be fined. He needs to be suspended. A message needs to be sent to the rest of the NBA about behavior like this. Someone could have gotten seriously injured.



Since: May 8, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:39 pm
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Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:35 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

In the heat of competition this stuff happens.  I am sure neither Dirk or JJ are hurt so much they are not celebrating.  Players are human and get frustrated.  Just losing the game is enough and to discipline the players any more isn't necessary. 



Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:35 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

 It was Bynum and Odom acting alone. Phil Jackson would never call a shot like that. It was out of great disrespect to him that these 2 clowns decided to take the streets to the professional court.

 The Lakers will not have any of this. They can live with the Odom bump, but they're not about to tolerate the elbow/forearm to a defenseless man in the air (that's half his size).. I would have loved to have seen him try that on Chandler. Tyson would have busted Andrew's lip. You could even see Cardinal restraining Chandler as Bynum was walking past the bench.

 Here's what I am wondering. Why did Bynum cross the Mavs' bench?? Why did he not take the same route off the court that Odom did? That could have been disasterous if both sides were not level-headed.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:34 pm
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Since: Jan 31, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Nice BUSH LEAGUE hit Bynum, or should I say Mr. Always hurt!!  What a crime for you to put a hit on a guy like that.  Deal with it, you and your team got worked, no need to take your frustration out on someone else.  Sorry, someone who schooled you!! You and your team are low down dirty scum bags!!  Enjoy your time off and hopefully the NBA suspends you for an entire season!!



Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

There's one thing I'm curious about.  Did Odom and Bynum act of their own volition?

If they didn't, who's pulling the strings here?



Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:30 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

I don't get Lamar's hit. It was totally bush league

Dirk was talking some ish to Lamar on the previous play.  It was a weak play but I do get it.  When you are getting a beat down you have to take some of the talk along with it.



Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Hey Fat Head, get a clue.  Your team showed they lack of lack all the way up to your sorry head coach.  Go for a long walk on a short pier you idot.



Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

I don't get Lamar's hit. It was totally bush league -- elevated above Bynum's only by the fact Dirk wasn't airborne. Show some fight when the outcome of the game is in question! To deliver cheap shots at unsuspecting players during a blowout is not the move of a champion. And yes, I blame it on the Lakers because I never got the sense that their HOF coach or HOF player exercised the slightest bit of leadership after the initial cheap shot.


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