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.

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: May 9, 2011 11:49 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Easy there Berger. Me thinks you over-react. Yes, the Lakers lost a series in a sweep. Yes, some players took it upon themselves to over-react to the last loss. However, using words like disgrace, dysfunction, and depravity is overboard. Even for a hack writer like you (not to mention to many "D" words). So get a hold of yourself and your bud, Hubbard, as well. The sky is not falling and I think the sun will rise tommorow....

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2011 11:34 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

If the Lakers were the only team that had a chance to win it for the west, than there was no chance to begin with, for the Lakers were weak all yr long and there lack of depth and unatheltic players did not give them a chance to win it all this yr.  What a team of thugs there are as well.  Im so mad I just hit a kid thats a quarter of my size, removed my shirt and got in his face.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 11:30 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

montsho11, I agree with all 3 of your reasons but I don't think Bynum should be ban for a year. We've seen some harder and stupid fouls much much worst than the one Bynum did to Barea. I would say a 10 - 15 games suspention maybe?

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2011 11:05 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Bynums foul was dirty for these 3 reasons.  
1. It was done against a player less than half his size.  Lets be real.  If the same play was done to someone close to Bynums size most would say it was a hard "playoff" foul. He still should have gotten ejected no doubt.  By the way check out some of the fouls from the 80's like Kevin Mchale clotheslining Kurt Rambis.
2. It was blantantly done with the intent of harming JJ.  There is no way Bynum did not know that hitting someone in the air that high up would result in a serious and possibly career ending fall.  All ball players know how to foul hard without hurting someone.
3.  It was really unecessary.  The Lakers were getting smoked and on the verge of elimination.  If you want to send a message game 1 or game 2 would have been the place to do it.  To do it at that point in the game really defied logic.  
These are the reasons I think he should get banned for a year.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 10:26 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Dallas out played and out scored a old & lifeless Lakers team, really doesn't prove much.
Ok, sweetheart. It doesn't prove anything.  It just means that all of these morons screaming how soft Dallas is, and how that gave them now shot to beat the Mighty Lakers grossly overestimated the Lakers.  It means that all of the fans in denial who saw them struggle at the end of the year who pointed to a similar stretch last year and claimed "The Lakers can turn it on and beat anybody when they want" didn't have a clue what they were talking about.  It proves that fans are idiots to claim a team "soft" based on previous seasons where few of the players or staff even remain.  It's just dumb.  It proves what you said it does - the Lakers are somewhat above average, and that's it. They proved through the series that Derek Fisher should not be getting more than 8 minutes a game because he's a complete liability out there - but Lakers fans all season have pointed to an occasional big shot to justify his 30 minutes of ineptitude.  The Mavericks proved that you can overcome the odds and beat a team few outside of Dallas gave you a chance to beat by outplaying, outhustling, and outcoaching them.  They proved that Phil Jackson was incapable of making adjustments in a series without the stellar assistant coaches who aren't there any more.

Its fun to meet the only person who really cares which conference wins the championship though.  Yeah, that's genuine.  Undecided (fun with emoticons!)

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2011 10:04 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Starblazer,REALLY???.You have no idea,but don't worry,their are countless more totally uninformed so called basketball (fans?)Dirk is one of the greatest players of all time.Name me one 7 footer who has had the range or touch of Dirk,ever? I'm still waiting.Take your time,while your at it,maybe you'll have an intelligent thought.Ok,sorry,that was unintelligent on my part.Dirk is a 1st ballot HOF,and one classy dude.I really hope the Mavs win the title,just to quiet the totally idiotic and uninformed,so called basketball fans.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2011 7:16 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

And the Mavs made a much bigger point than what you'd like to believe


Lakers were showing problems heading into the playoffs and was having issues against New Orleans but was able to pull it off

Dallas out played and out scored a old & lifeless Lakers team, really doesn't prove much.

In the Conf. Finals I can see Dallas lose and Heaven forbid it's a Dallas/Miami Finals, they'll get smacked by the same Broom.

So, for now Props to Dallas, but in the long run won't really mean much except for taking out the only team that could bring it for the West.

Lakers have proven it 16 times and how many does Dallas have...

Yeah, Exactly......Undecided

Since: May 9, 2011
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:08 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

To call the Lakers organization the most classless team in history is proposperus,


Since: May 9, 2011
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:02 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

The little sht uses his forearm to push off on every single play.

So does Kobe.

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:00 am

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Apparently Bynum's single foul and ejection speaks for an entire organization, made up of a dozen players and half a dozen coaches, many of whom are generally considered to be HOFers, while Bynum is not. Talk about overreaching and overreacting. Place blame on Bynum, it was he who chose to foul Barea, he who made that decision and carried it out. Not the Lakers as a team. It isn't like the Lakers ran across the court and started a brawl, it isn't like Phil told Bynum to drop the hammer on Barea.

The only disgrace here is you, Berger, for this whiny crybaby article trying to paint one of the flagship franchises of the NBA based on a solitary act by a young frustrated player. Maybe next time try to keep your emotions in check prior to writing, and therefore have an ounce of objective thought come through. What a load of garbage.

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