Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Laker Legacy

You can not, of course, watch the back to back defending champions get swept in the second round without wondering What It All Means, especially today, when the rumors that Kobe Bryant contributed to Pau Gasol's weak recent play by sharing indiscretions with his wife, who then told Pau's girl, effectively ending the relationship... without GAHHH KILL IT WITH FIRE THEY ARE DEAD AND GONE AND YET WE'RE STILL DOING THIS.

Because this, really, is the legacy of the Lakers: soap opera over everything. Will Kobe allow Phillip to coach him in a way that's conducive to wins? Can Lamar's ego handle coming off the bench, and will his reality show and sex-tape wife cause problems? How will Andrew handle being the new kid on the block, and coming back from injury? Can the team win with Ron potentially being, well, insane? Does everyone hate troubled child Sasha, and after him, Matt? And so on, and so on, and so on. The Lakers, with the possible exception of Derek Fisher, who every Laker Fan should cherish as the true glue guy of all glue guys, haven't been so much basketball players, or a basketball team, as they've been a soap opera.

And lo, it has rankled.

This Laker team should have been a fun era to watch. With Gasol and Odom, they had the best big-man passing game since the early 2000 Kings of Vlade Divac and Chis Webber. In Shannon Brown, they had a ridiculously athletic backup point guard who could do homeless Derrick Rose stuff. In Kobe Bryant, they had a singular talent, one of the ten best players in the history of the Association, in his evolving stage away from one of the game's great leapers into a man who mixed cagey with genius.

Instead, they were a constant team on the couch. Did they care enough to flip the switch? Were they mentally tough enough to close out clubs and make things easy on themselves, not take the back end of home-and-road games off, more interested in their historical legacy than not over-exerting themselves for things that weren't rings?

Maybe this was a fun ride for Laker Fan; flags fly forever, and the back end of the Kobe Championship Era provided two, along with the fun of raining confetti on the Celtics in a Game 7 that, while breathtakingly ugly, was still definitive. And maybe I'm being too hard on the team for simply living in the era that they live in; it's not as if you can have a pro hoop team in Los Angeles without all of the Hollywood creeping in.

But for all of those people out there who feel that the Lakers would be hasty in blowing this roster up... well, no. Because they've worn out their welcome for months now, and just aren't fun to watch or deal with.

And when you quit as badly as this team did in the Dallas series, and were such unrepentant punks about it, to the point of distracting from the best NBA playoff season in recent memory?

Yeah. Get the shovels.


snd_dsgnr said...

Lamar wishes he was married to the Kardashian that made the sex tape.

Gambling Rob said...

this is so sad, and yet so true. lakers really are the soap opra fiends of basketball. by the way snd_dsgnr: lol!

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