I’m trying to come up with inspirational quotes for my Lakers (as a fan for over 44 years I feel a certain ownership), but it’ll take a lot more than talk to save this best of seven series.
One more loss to the Mavs…and it’s time to go home. Time to ride off into the sunset with no three-peat. No storybook ending for Phil Jackson in his last year as a coach. The game was close up till the end, until the Mavs did the clutch thing. Peja producing 11 4th quarter points proved to be too much.
Dallas stands on the threshold of moving on to the Western Conference Finals. Pau Gasol just couldn’t rise for the big event. The story (according to the Orange County Register) is his girlfriend broke up with him two weeks ago and he’s been mooning ever since. To add some real drama to it, the story says Kobe’s wife instigated the breakup and Pau and Kobe had words. Since they they reportedly haven’t talked. It shows.Two strangers passing in the night instead of two basketball pros passing the ball to each other.
I can’t help bemoaning the irony of the timing of these events. Why now? It completely destroyed the chemistry of the team. It especially dismantled the successful pick-and-roll that Kobe and Pau had going prior to all of this madness. Without that chemistry, the Lakers have turned into mere mortals. A team that was on the brink of history – another three-peat – fell short for many reasons. This little squabble is certainly one of them.
Would it have helped if Ron Artest wouldn’t have been suspended for this game? I doubt it. The basketball world is shifting. New powers are rising from the West. New young guns have arrived in town and are looking for their place in history. Dallas, Oklahoma, and Memphis. All bit players for decades on now on center stage. Once only punching bags for the powerhouses like the Lakers, the Houston Rockets, and the Spurs, their time has come.
I remain a loyal Laker fan and will continue to hope they win at least one game in this series. They have one more chance. If they win then they would have two more chances to win, and could make history as the first team ever to come from behind in a 3-0 to win a series. Imagine that? I sure like to. Go Lakers!