I’ve been a Lakers fan my entire life and today, for the first time ever, I’m ashamed to say that.
My head is not low because the Lake Show was a no show in Game 4 as the Mavs swept the three-peat out the door. Losing is a part of the game. That I can deal with.
What I can’t accept is a team that quits.
What I’ll never accept is a team that disrespects the game.
What I saw today was an insult to all of the former greats that have worn purple and gold.
What Phil Jackson got from his players was the worst retirement gift ever.
What Andrew Bynum continues to do is act like a child. Today’s cheap shot on J.J. Barea was not the first time we’ve seen Baby Bynum come out and play. Just ask Michael Beasley or Gerald Wallace about that.
If Mitch Kupchak is looking to shake things up then moving Bynum is a good place to start. His game is legit but you’re crazy if you think he’ll ever be a franchise big man. Franchise players have to take their lumps the same way they take their massages.
Bynum’s act was classless and gutless. And this team’s effort all year long has been worthless.
These guys never played as a team. This was a group of men showing up to work everyday. Punching in and punching out. Collecting checks with an occasional game of hoops sprinkled in.
The best symbol of this season was Ron Artest blowing a dunk in the third quarter. It was as if Ron Ron forgot he had to actually try to put the ball in the hole. Somewhere in his mind he just assumed things would work themselves out without actually having to try. Pretty much sums up how this team has gone about its business all year. They just expected to win without having to try.
Artest got hung like a smoked sausage and from there out Dallas crushed the Larry O’Brien hopes of Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant is the only true champion on this team.
Having rings doesn’t make you a champ. It just says you made a commitment and honored it for one year. Kobe approaches every game the same way whether he’s playing for a title or pride.
No other Laker played like a champion today.
The Dallas Mavericks honored their coach by giving a champions effort.
The Los Angeles disrespected their coach by failing to even try.
Make no mistake, Dallas played a great game and was clearly the better team in the series. The sweep speaks for itself and there’s no reason they can’t win it all.
What makes the NBA playoffs great is that they reveal the true nature of a team. Truly the Lakers were not champions and if all you knew was today you’d assume they never were. Who knows if this version of the team ever will be again?
There are many questions going forward.
Right now they only question I need an answer to is why this team even bothered taking the court. They would have been better off forfeiting. At least Phil could have gone out with dignity that way instead of watching his team go through the motions.
The Lakers had all the urgency of a group of 6th graders staring nervously at the clock on the last day of school.
What I saw today I hope to never see again.
Losing I can accept. Spitting on the jersey is something I won’t stand for.
This was no way for the season to end and it was the worst possible way to close Phil’s coaching career. He deserved better. We deserved better. The game deserves better.
I’m actually thankful that the Mavs put the Lakers out of their misery as fast as possible. At least we don’t have to deal with more disappointment.
Today, I’m ashamed to be a Lakers fan. Not because they lost but because they lost without class. True champions handle defeat and victory the same way. Only losers meltdown, quit and complain. The Lakers might have rings but jewelry doesn’t buy class.