Blog Entry

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:38 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2011 6:54 pm
 
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.
Comments

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Whoa I really didn't see this coming. My team really let me down. Its gonna take all off season to get over this.  I am glad Kobe never took part in any dirty play. Kobe will go on. Dallas I tip my hat to you for not retaliating except for wiping the court with laker jerseys and putting it on the scoreboard. Kupcheck better get ur pokerface on. Trade em all Bynum, Blake, Barnes,Walton,Caracter. You'll be lucky to get a grill cheese in exchange. Sayonara Pjackson time to set up that big chair on your porch in Montana. I'll help u pack.




Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2011 5:39 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

I hope that everyone remembers that this is the second time this season that Bynum has pulled a cheap shot like this.  It is a very similar play to when he was suspended 2 games for leveling Michael Beasley.  And Phil whined that Bynum shouldn't be suspended because B-Easy was able to play the next game even though he was ineffective.



Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: May 9, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

While I agree that Bynum acted like a punk and will be forever stained by his actions, i do understand.  You get mad on the basketball court, and it is a physical game.  And as I watched the Mavs drive the hoop and rain three's down from all over the court with 5 minutes to go and a 30 point lead, I said to my friend that I wish somebody would put a forearm in to there chest.  So, i do understand Bynum's anger and frustration.  It's natural.  But you can never act on it.  Bynum is obviously a very immature person, but I am not about to let Dallas off the hook completely here.  There were up by 30, and trying to make it 40.  If you have everplayed a tough game on the playground, you would know that it is pretty stupid to kick the big kid while he is down.  Bynum is a moron for that gutless, cheap shot, but the Mavs are brought it on themselves.



Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

The Lakers don't trust each other.  They looked totally dysfunctional.  Bryant, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Artest...right down the line.  Each one of them was in some odd state of mind.
Something happened which was a serious violation of trust.  Don't be surprised that one player in particular violated that trust.  And, I think you know who that player might be. 



Since: Oct 3, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:43 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Lakers got CRUSHED. simple as that !!!!!!!!!



Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Good-bye Phil.  Your last game proved that even a great pro coach can't coach class and sportsmanship.  Bynum will be forgiven, but it will never be forgotten that he cheap-shotted little Barea.  And for all the anger directed at him, can you imagine the public outcry if the little spark plug was lost for the rest of the play-offs?  Or if he'd sustained a career ending injury?  It was a rare mid-air hit with no effort to get the ball or break the fall.  Talk about being vulnerable...I can't wait to see what Bynum's family, agent, counselor, have Bynum saying today or tomorrow.  One thing is for sure, a Neandrathal like that ought to be taught a lesson the way he likes it, down and dirty and not with conversation.



Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Why would anyone try to take away from Dallas' victory? Mavs beat Lakers, fair and square.
The Mavs played great.  They found a way to win the necessary battles every night.  Obviously they were physical enough to overcome the Lakers size.  All that being said, I would like to see Dirk be even tougher.  Lamar Odom sought him out to put an elbow in his chest and Dirk should have gotten back in his face.  Dirk doesn't need to lay hands on him.  Dirk didn't need to risk suspension.  But Dirk does need to be vocal and let people know that they can't just punk him.  When the Mavs lost to the Nuggets in the 2008 playoffs Kenyon Martin punked Dirk with physical play and Dirk never came to his own defense.  Instead Dirk flopped away from the Odom elbow and shot his free throws.  It worked this time as they already had game 4 of their sweep in the bag, but if Kendrick Perkins or Mark Gasol has something for him or if Dirk has the Celtics in the Finals he needs to step up for himself.  It's worth risking a technical to jaw back and tell the thug that you aren't playing.


It's kind of funny to see how shocked everyone is over the Odom and Bynum ejections.  It's playoff basketball people.  You may be used to seeing D Wade and Kevin Durant parading to the free throw lines off of soft touch fouls, but historically you don't just get easy takes to the rack against battle tested playoffs teams.  I don't mind the ejections, but it was good hard nosed basketball.  The Mavs put them out by continuing to shoot threes and pile up the score, because that's what they had to do to make sure to choke them out.  In the process they embarrassed their opponent and you can expect guys to fight back when that happens.  Ever seen when Robert Horry hip checked Steve Nash into the boards?  Ever seen Knicks v Bulls highlights from the 90's when you tried to go down low on Oak or Charles Smith or Anthony Mason?  It was the same thing with the Bad Boys for the Pistons and Parish, McHale and co for the Celtics.  I'm not saying that guys need to get concussed every time they take it to the rack, but the modern game with ticky tack whistles and circles that won't even let you take a charge is for pansy little girls.  Toughen up the league again.  I'm happy to see the Mavs do well in this years playoffs but they need to defend themselves and make sure not to just let Dirk get slapped around.



Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:03 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

also ended, any talk about Kobe being anywhere near MJ.  Can you imagine a Jordan team going out llike that?  No.  No you can't.




Since: May 9, 2011
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace




Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:43 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Although the Mavs showed class by not retaliating towards the Lakers after the Bynum incident, I still wish that they would have come to JJ aid when he was hit in mid air like that and landed damn near on his head. I would have thought one of the Mavs big guys would have come in ready to throw. Again, just my opinion......Anyways, Congrats to the MAvs, I HATE THE LAKERS!!!


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