I cannot put into words how much I wanted the Lakers to three-peat this year. How much I wanted my favorite player Kobe Bryant to equal Michael Jordan for the number of championship rings and silence his critics once and for all. How much I wanted Phil Jackson—the greatest basketball coach ever—to go out on top. How much I desired to brag in front of others that my team is the only NBA team to win three straight titles twice this century. In essence, I still have not gotten over the purple-and-gold’s humiliating 86-122 defeat. Watching other teams play this time of year reminds of two things—the Lakers’ embarrassing loss on May 8th and how in the past it was always L.A. playing at this time.
What I cannot believe the most is the amount of points that Los Angeles lost by. 36! Damn! That was only three points shy of the despicable loss in the 2008 NBA Finals against the Celtics. What happened? Perhaps Magic Johnson’s remarks were correct about L.A. already being on vacation during Game 4. Or maybe all of the antics from over the course of the season are to blame? Remember Lamar Odom and his wife Khloe Kardashian’s reality show on E!? What about Ron Artest’s frequent appearances on George Lopez’s comedy show, and recording his own rap song. And oh yeah, auctioning off his 2010 NBA championship ring. How about Gasol accusing Bryant’s wife of breaking up his longtime relationship? All these off-court behaviors may be contributors to the Lake Show not fully concentrating on the NBA playoffs. This is not mentioning the supposed locker room crisis, where no one trusts anyone. How can a team which does not trust each other win it all? It cannot. Unfortunately, the Lakers were a perfect example of this during the past season. I hate to admit it, as a Loyal Lakers Fan, but these are all what I regard as reasons behind L.A. not winning this year. It really saddens me. You cannot have such nonsense, because nowadays NBA teams are too tough. They will chew you up and spit you out, just as the Dallas Mavericks did in four games.
What is next? The 2011-2012 NBA season (pending no lockout) will be the fifteenth for both Bryant and Fisher. Odom and Artest will be beginning their 12th season. The Laker bench is not deep, but rather too expensive, as Steve Blake makes $15 million. Andrew Bynum is the most talented guy off the bench, but after the stunt he pulled with J.J. Barea, Andrew does not know how to control his emotions or temper in a big game. So we still do not have a reliable bench. That is why this upcoming off-season, Jerry Buss must consult with management and make some serious trades, because if not, L.A. will likely not even be a contender next year, even if it has its act put back together. Why? Well, other teams will have likely made the right moves in the summer, and there will be no more coaching genius in Phil Jackson to plot the clever x’s and o’s which spell victory.