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NBA Playoffs 2011: End of a Lakers Era

Well, that sucked.

The Lakers were unceremoniously swept by the team they owned for years, the Dallas Mavericks.  I guess Bill Simmons’ jinx ritual worked after all.  (Although, his beloved Boston Celtics were still booted out by the evil Miami Heat.)

On a side note, This Bill Simmons guy is an idiot for his subtle dig at Phil Jackson.  If you read that article, in general, it will look like he praises Phil Jackson.  But then, he makes a silent stab:

He did it by keeping his cool, always, which is what made it so jarring when Jackson unraveled in Game 3 of this month’s Dallas series. Kobe couldn’t save them this time; his prime was suddenly slipping away like Jackson had feared. Pau Gasol had fallen into a spiritual funk and couldn’t be shaken from it. The last four players in Jackson’s nine-man rotation were effectively useless; Dallas’ bench was destroying them. Almost as a last resort, the Zen Master morphed into Norman Dale on the sidelines for Game 3, yelling and screaming more than ever before. There was one moment in the first half — endlessly replayed all weekend, simply because it was so foreign to watch — when Jackson laid into Gasol and pounded him in the chest for effect, the urgency practically spilling out of him. None of it worked. The Lakers lost.

Then…

As a Celtics fan, I couldn’t have been more delighted to watch the Lakers disintegrate like that. It was like basketball porn. As a basketball fan? I hated it. That’s not how Phil Jackson should have gone out: with him losing his cool, then his players doing the same. Those last two games had nothing in common with his career.

Bill Simmons is insinuating that Phil Jackson lost his coolness for a bit, as a sign of desperation perhaps.  Well I got news for you, Bill.  We have seen Phil shout at players countless of times.  He shouted at Lamar, at Big Shot Rob, even at Kobe.  Granted, he never pounded them in the chest.  But Gasol was like an old transistor radio that had loose components.  You need to bang it a little bit to make it work.  Unfortunately, it just didn’t work on Gasol.

But that’s not losing his cool.

Moving on….

I like what Flea wrote.  It really is an end of a Lakers era.  Phil Jackson is gone.  Kobe is older.  Fish finally proved he’s old.  We need a guard that can shoot threes, not necessarily a point guard.  Ron Artest looks old too.  I still like the core of Bynum, Gasol, Odom and Bryant.  It’s the pieces around them that should be upgraded.

From year 2000 to year 2010, Phil Jackson has produced 5 titles for the Lakers.  That’s not so bad.  It’s sad, though, that he’s gone and for that fact alone, the Lakers are in rebuilding mode.  Who’s our next coach?

I’d say the front runners are Brian Shaw and Rick Adelman.  Shaw for the continuity of the triangle, and Adelman for his being a veteran coach and transforming teams (Sacramento, Houston and Portland) into contenders.  To tell you the truth, I don’t know which one is a good fit.

Oh well, for now I don’t care.  I’m still bleeding.  It won’t stop till November, I guess.

But like Flea, I bleed purple and gold…



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