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: May 9, 2011
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace




Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

in reference to tim_LA



Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:37 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Good post friend.



Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:25 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

I can't believe the mavs didnt start a fight over that crap.  it reminded me of when pizza was a fairy and failed to charge clemens in the world series and the mets team didnt do shit back, not even the next year...  

if this was hockey no way he walks off the untouched.  no way!  sucks it was game 4, i hope the mavs sign the goon squad next year for the 1st game vs him on what ever team he is on and undercut him the 1st time he jumps. 

and that taking his shirt off like he's some kind of wanna be tupac getting out of court LOL this guy is a prankster prankster storybook gangsta




Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:25 pm
 

Stupid Article

The Lakers organization is much LARGER than the actions of one Andrew Bynum.  For Berger to make the assertion that Bynum can single-handedly turn the Laker into "disgraced champions" is GARBAGE.  The Lakers gave away game #1 and Dallas never let up.  Simple as that.



Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

I feel bad for the Lakers more than happy as a Mavs fan. As a player it's hare to acheive the label of champion but easy to be called a bum and what Bynum did unfortunately labeled the team. My first thought when I saw the play was it looked like a hockey game. You know the play where a guy has his back to the attacker. My main reason for not watching hockey is all the cheap shots. I liked an earlier comment about Dallas leaving their starters out in the 4th, they were less daunting than the bench players....lol.



Since: Feb 7, 2010
Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:46 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

As has been pointed out - something's up in that locker room. Whether you like them or not - all NBA fans respect what Kobe and Phil have accomplished - obviously Bynum doesn't. I wonder how much Artest has influenced some of these guys as we all know he's the prototype of a punk.



Since: May 9, 2011
Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:15 pm
 

DALLAS SERIES ENDS IN FINESSE

Why would anyone try to take away from Dallas' victory? Mavs beat Lakers, fair and square. Some - not all (though it seems that way) - Lakers fans are full of ifs, ands, and buts, trying so hard to put Dallas down, instead of ragging on the epic catastrophe that is this Laker team.
"Big deal, you beat us - but the Lakers are old and lifeless." Kidd's not young, nor is Dirk. Nor are the Spurs or Celtics for that matter. These teams need no excuses. What - the Lakers got old, overnight, immediately following the Hornets series? Age became a factor as soon as they started gettin' whooped?
Enough, already. 
They are lifeless, true. Whose fault is that? The Mavs? Please explain. In '08 vs. Celts it was "but if we had our big man..." As in Big Bully Bynum.
Stop.
Stop crying, scapegoating, stop dissin' the Mavs. Stop blaming the Mavs for the epic Laker meltdown and just give them credit for the big win.

Another typical fan Laker attitude: "Yeah, but the Mavs won't win the title." If not, WHO CARES? Not everyone believes that is ALL that matters in the game, or feels a sense of entitlement to it. It's like saying during the regular season when the Cavs and Clippers beat the Lakers - "Big deal, you won't win the title." 
SO WHAT?
WE WON. YOU LOST. IT COUNTS. WE ARE ENJOYING IT RIGHT NOW.





Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

The only question now is which young superstar will the NBA give to the Lakers to keep them relevant. The first move the NBA could  ake is to rescind the fabricated, one-sided Pau Gasol trade, giving Marc Gasol back to the Lakers. Then the Lakers could trade Luke Walton and Artest for Dwight Howard. Then trade Lamar Odom for Chris Paul and Carl Landry.




Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: May 9, 2011 1:49 pm
 

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

I've seen posts on this and other websites that question why the Mavs were playing starters and jacking threes in the 4th quarter of a blowout.  Many have already pointed out that guys that hurt the Lakers were bench players, not starters.  But what coach in his right mind would be willing to take the foot off the gas in a game that can win a playoff series until and unless the other team raises the white flag and gives up first?  If Jackson emptied his bench in Q4 then I would say that Carlisle should consider doing the same.  And it is NEVER an excuse to take cheap shots, especially when a guy is in the air and in a defenseless position.  They suspend NFL players for hits like that on on defenseless players, and they wear protective gear and play on a softer surface. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com