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: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:38 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

do they have bars on windows in newport beach or inglewood?

Since: May 8, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:28 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

I'm a huge Mav's fan, and Terry was great tonight.  But if you remember a couple years ago he cheap shotted Finley in the playoffs by literally punching him in the groin when things weren't going well for us.  Bad enough it made the Mav's look like thugs; but add to the fact he hit Finley, one of the classiest players ever, who spent almost his whole career here . . . . it was very unfortunate.  For that moment Terrry's behavior was that of a thug and a punk just like Bynum and Odom exhibited tonight.

What Bynum and Odom did was "punkish" and dumb.  Bynum for sure will be suspended; just like Terry was and Terry's punishment came in the playoffs versus Bynum who will get suspended for a regular season game (or games). 

Either way, it was unfortunate they detracted from Phil Jackson's final game the way they did, even though in this series Rick Carlisle outcoached him.  Both Bynum and Odom, in the post game comments, intimated they weren't prepared for the Mav's and that the Mav's had obviously "studied our defense".  They both said almost the same thing; obviously they were talking in the locker room after their ejections.  Even after their childish behavior during the game they couldn't resist a back handed blaming of Jackson for the losses.

At least Odom was contrite in his postgame comments saying it was a humbling experience and he was embarrassed and frustrated.  He gave the Mav's their due for playing so well.  Bynum on the other hand acted sullen and childish; he still has a lot of growing up to do (emotionally).  But hey . . . like he cares what any of us fans think, he's got his bank and a nice summer vacation ahead of him.

Since: Mar 17, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:23 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

You guys who are saying Bynum needs to be banned from the league are idiots, plain and simple. Yes, it was a bush league foul, and yes Bynum should face a serious suspension for it. But banning? Are you seriously saying that what Bynum did was worse than what Artest did when he went into the stands? And he didn't even get a year for that. You'll see if you look on my profile that I'm a Mavs fan, and I have been for a long time, but I also know when to put my fandom in my back pocket and talk sense, and this is sense--Bynum won't get anything near a year, or even 50 games as a suspension. But whatever he gets, I can guarantee you this--there will be morons on this site and on all sports sites claiming he didn't get enough.

Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:17 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

well first off, to expect this bunch to go to four straight finals *was* a bit of a longshot.  That;s a tall order.  But what was really sad was people saying that the could just 'flick a switch' and then start winning a bunch of playoff games.  Good Job Mavs -- Lakers were due to fall HARD and in blowout fashion.  
Thankfully Phil will be gone now and we don't have to hear about how many rings he has.  Look at the teams he's had!!  Let's not mistake activity for achievement.  He's as much of a coaching legend as Pat Riley, who coached far less superior Knicks and Heat teams.  How would Jackson have done in those situations??  Buh bye!!

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:59 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Sometimes, they lose like the , who have never sacrificed an ounce of their professionalism for some twisted, macho moment that lasts but a second but stains your reputation forever.
As much as every player in the league should strive to emulate Tim Duncan and The Admiral, the Spurs aren't without fault.

I dont want to distract from the fact that the Lakers went down today in epic fashion, but look back to 2007.  Somehow, Robert Horry wrangled his way onto the Spurs on their way to another championship.  Horry hard-fouled Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire stepped on the court to check on Nash and was suspended two games.  The Spurs coasted to another title.

"It is well that there is no one without a fault; for he would not have a friend in the world." -Hazlitt, William

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:53 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

It is players do not care.  Sadly it shows up in black society as well.   That is why they have never been able to thrive like the Irish, Italians, Asians and Hispanics have in America.  That is why all races look down on them.  It is a very sad situation.

I'm Black I I thrive very well.  I know it tears you up inside every time you see an affluent Black man while you work your minimum wage janitorial job but such is life.  Racists like you are the reason this country is going down the tubes without a life jacket.  Sadly you type shows up in white society as well.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:48 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

The saying 'adversity builds character' is true...but even more true is that adversity reveals character.  The best thing about Bynum's shot is this was a national telecast, and everyone watching can see Bynum for the immature, coddled thug he's always been.

Since: May 8, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:46 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

Being a punk has nothing to do with race.  But Bynum and Odom are cowards and punks; can't win so they cheap shot.  If they want to fight they should square off man to man versus hitting someone when they aren't looking.  Barnes is the biggest punk . . . . oh wait . . . . he said at the beginning of the series the way to beat the Mav's was to simply "punk them".  Guess his advice didn't work very well, did it.  Enjoy your vacation Barnes, you're also a punk and a loser.

Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:45 pm

Lakers' run ends in disgrace

You wrote the same article after they were killed by Boston 3 years ago in the finals and they responded with back to back titles.  They've gotten old espacially at Point guard and need more outside shooting.  They'll be back and maybe with Dwight Howard so quit being a drama queen Berger!!!!!!!

The Bater
Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:45 pm
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