By Flea, for NBA.com
Posted May 13 2011 10:04PM
Since I moved to Los Angeles in 1972 and became a Laker fan here are the top three saddest moments in Laker history that i have witnessed:
3. Ralph Sampson's absurd turn around Hail Mary from the free-throw line with micro seconds left on the clock to help the Rockets beat the Lakers in the second round in the mid 80s.
2. The Celtics coming back from like 30 or something down three years ago in Game 4 to beat the Lakers at Staples. It was so painful to witness, I couldnt talk for three days afterwards, and it was much worse than the blowout the Lakers suffered in Game 6 when the Celtics won the trophy. It was the game that broke the purple and gold spirit in that series
And the No. 1 saddest thing i have ever seen in Laker history?.......Of course, being swept by the Mavericks this past week...and it being the end of an era for Los Angeles.
Of course, I kind of suspected that things were going awry when the Lakes had so much trouble with the David West-less Hornets, when Aaron Gray and Carl Landry were dominating the paint in several games.....................but how could anyone predict a meltdown of this magnitude?
The Lakers were unable to muster up any kind of winning consciousness at all, they gave up leads in the 4th quarter, they could not defend the perimeter, they were outclassed at both ends of the court the entire series.
The Lakers lost their winning attitude completely. The Mavericks played with more soul, more passion, more hunger, and at a drastically higher level of energy, executed their game plan in a way that the Lakers could not come close to matching
The Lakers were unable to join forces and play in a unified way and that is why they lost.
That last line is very hard for me to write.....
To see Phil Jackson end his career with Lakers going out with a pathetic whimper was painful for all of us in Los Angeles who truly love them.
Jackson is the greatest coach in NBA history (fact) and it was just sad to watch him unable to coax anything profound out of his team.
The Lakers had not a profound moment in the entire playoffs......they were walked over by the Dallas Mavericks.....the Lakers have owned the Mavericks for years........bizarre..........
After all the magical moments they have given us in recent years, it was crazy to see them not come up with even one.....and even worse to see them fumble the ball out of bounds in crunch time time and time again..........shocking.
I do not really know what the malaise was that the Lakers were stricken with (i put no creedence in the gossip bandied about in the press) but I can only imagine that maintaining the energy of having the whole league gunning for you, for all the Phil Jackson/Kobe years, was just too much to pull off and they finally crumbled from the pressure.
All of that said, I am so grateful for the greatness that this Laker team gave to the city of L.A........I was able to witness truly transcendent play on the hardwood from those guys, and I will never forget it......It's like having seen Glenn Gould play Bach, or Jonathan Livingston Seagull disappear into thin air, or have had Charlie Parker come back from the dead and blow you a saxaphone solo while you have your morning tea....it was unbelievable, amazing, and they were a great team.
It is possible that they can be a great team again next year, but whether they are or not (please divine powers that be let them be amazing!), that team, that era, that energy is finished. done, kaput. Never to be seen again.
That energy that was spearhead by Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson will never be seen again, and though i am excited about the possibilities of the future, it is with melancholy that I say goodbye to that inspiring, beautiful thing, that brought our city together.
It was such a fun era.
But make no mistake it is completely over.
Thanks Phil! You will always be beloved in Los Angeles! if you go coach the Knicks that would be totally weird, but we will still always love you here.......we'd rather you become a bodhisattva in Montana and beam in like Obi Wan Kenobi once in a while to dispense with some sage advice , but we love you no matter what.
As for the Lakers, I trust that the best thing will happen, as long as we have the great Kobe Bryant to build around the potential is sky high..........nothing against D. Fish, he is one of my favorite all-time Lakers, but we need a young amazing point guard and I hope somehow it is Chris Paul.......
And I don't mean to leave out or be ungrateful for Lamar, Ron, Pau, Andrew, or D. Fish....They are the crucial elements that made this team go, but Kobe is something else, he is on another level.
Lamar had a great season.
I say D. Fish player/coach!!!! Come on now!
I trust the Buss family completely to handle this team as if they are handling the heart of Los Angeles......
And I, of course, will alway bleed purple and gold.....go Lakers!
As for the rest of the NBA, the Bulls are the funnest team. I hope they win it all. Derrick Rose is one of the best I have ever seen. The kid is beautiful to watch.
I despise the Heat. If they win, it would be like Lord Voldemort beating Harry Potter.
All my best,
|Augustin's Deep Buzzer-Beater|
D.J. Augustin hits a long three as the first half expires.
Jeremy Lin dishes to Ed Davis for the dunk.
|Defense to Offense|
Al Jefferson's block leads to a Cody Zeller dunk on the other end.
|Cavaliers vs. Rockets|
James Harden scores 33 points and grabs eight rebounds as the Rockets defeat the Cavaliers in overtime.
|Noel Goes Up Top|
Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant hook up for the alley-oop score.