Even as a Celtics fan I was shocked and disappointed with how the Lakers were swept out of the NBA playoffs yesterday in Phil Jackson’s final coaching performance (ostensibly) in the NBA. The 36-point wipeout by the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals game 4 was historic in its size. But it wasn’t simply the score. It was how the Lakers reacted.
First of all, they didn’t even show up for the game mentally. You don’t lose by 36 and say you tried. But beyond that, it was how Andrew Bynum stripped off his Lakers # 17 jersey after being thrown out of the game for his cheap-shot elbow to Dallas Mavericks guard Juan Barea. The incident was so ugly, so petulant, and stood in such stark relief to the character and tradition of the Lakers franchise that I had to remind myself this wasn’t the 1989-`90 Detroit Pistons I was watching. (more…)