Los Angeles, California---Los Angeles Lakers’ fans cannot be found these days. Many are being sought out for their comments on how well their ‘champs’ are doing but no one is stepping up to the plate. Los Angeles, California---Los Angeles Lakers’ fans cannot be found these days. Many are being sought out for their comments on how well their ‘champs’ are doing but no one is stepping up to the plate. Not surprisingly, neither is the team they are rooting for when they are on top of the world but hide from when the same team becomes mortal.
The Lakers may have taken out the Toronto Raptors last weekend in a 104-88 routing but the Christmas Day Massacre against the Sacramento Kings is very resonant in the minds of many basketball fans; especially the Lakers’ faithful. More poignant than fans of this team looking in disbelief and horror at the chance of not defending a title is the fact that now a reality that has been shrouded in the world of cloak and daggers, of mystique with the Eastern philosophy of Buddhism and Zen, is being disrobed faster than a tasteless photo shoot at the famed Playboy mansion in northern Beverly Hills. Truth be told, the mystique known, as the current Lakers’ montage is all but history. The only thing left is a ceremonial farewell given by some former players.
“I think it’s kind of a seismograph energy coming from the Earth, that’s what I attribute it to. Astrologically, we don’t fit together as a team quite like that group did. And the conjunctions of certain planets have kept us apart.”
This is the quote from Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson and it is this type of diatribe that has many NBA experts wondering whether Jackson has the coaching skills to halt this skid. According to many columnists/writers who cover this team, the Lakers are very vulnerable and the fault lies at the feat of Shaquile O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Jackson.
“The Lakers have been consistent in one thing — besides losing — this year, and that is their insistence that it’s too early to panic,” wrote MSNBC’s Mike Celizic. “But they’re wrong. Panicking is not only a viable option as this stage in their season from hell, it’s all but mandatory.”
Another MSNBC contributor, Michael Ventre, put the blame squarely on Shaq’s shoulders. Ventre recently wrote: “For all his power, he is powerless. For all his experience, he is trod ding on new ground. The player who grouses with disgust when others are mentioned in the same breath with the term “MVP” might as well take a few “DNPs” for all the good he’s doing the Lakers thus far. Oh, I forgot. He already did that at the start of this season.”
Probably the best-written piece of commentary written so far has come from Lakers’ forward Robert Horry himself. In a piece written by ESPN’s Ric Bucher, Horry is quoted as saying “One thing I guarantee. Before the end of January, we’ll be back above .500. With the New Year, we’re going to shake off everything and start like it’s a brand-new season.”
There’s only one problem with this statement and it has nothing to do with whether Horry has partaken in an adult beverage or two before, during and after the Christmas Day game; it’s called good ole’ father time and according to the Lakers schedule, January might be too late for that miracle on Wilshire Boulevard.
There is roughly about 55 - 60% of the season left and in about eight weeks or so, the mid season will be upon the team with some very tough games before the All Star break. Horry says they will be above .500 by the end of January 2003? If that is to be believed then the team to dispel everything that Jackson has told them to believe in as far as Buddhism and Zen philosophies and realize that the only force that can help them win are the enigmas that where the #8 jersey and the #34 jersey. The other cast members need to hit their marks on cue. But as it stands it looks like this latest version of the Lake show is about to be pulled by the network and not even Buda himself can halt what is truly inevitable this year; the defeat and total demise of a team that falls short of the elusive four-peat champion