The well-chronicled failures of the
He came out in a
It was historic, it was lauded by seemingly all involved, and it kept a lot of people unexpectedly busy. The Lakers fielded 40 media credential requests shortly after Collins officially signed.
He hadn't played a game in more than 10 months, but he received warm applause from Lakers fans when he checked in with 10 minutes 28 seconds left in the second quarter.
Of course, neither entity could be blamed for lack of foresight. Nobody knew when, or if, Collins would return for a 13th NBA season.
"Being an L.A. kid, I can't think of a better situation than playing for the Nets and playing here and getting the win," said Collins, who was scoreless with two rebounds in almost 11 minutes. "I'm just glad
Nobody on the Lakers (19-37) was close to being Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday.
The Nets led by 19 in the first quarter and the Lakers never led, falling to 1-9 in their last 10 home games.
If nothing else, Lakers fans proved to have long memories, haranguing
The former Boston forward had 25 points for the Nets (26-28), who remained in the mix for an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite season-ending foot surgery for center
At least no sodas were spilled on the court, an "accident" that cost Nets Coach
There was one minor glitch for the Nets — Collins' pregame physical started slightly later than planned, pushing back his news conference with reporters by about 15 minutes. It maybe mattered to the people sitting in the crowded, surprisingly hot room underneath Staples Center.
In other words, it didn't really matter at all.
For the Lakers, another queasy trend unveiled itself — an inability to start well.
"The first quarter's just been a sieve out there," Coach
Kent Bazemore had 17 points in 29 minutes of his first career start in only his second game since being acquired from
He was quick to take the ball to the basket and unafraid to shoot, though he had trouble defending Pierce and committed a team-high four turnovers, part of the learning curve for a player unaccustomed to more than a handful of minutes a night.
"It's definitely a surprise," Bazemore said of his large role so far. "I knew I was going to have an opportunity to play, but to be able to get out there for a boatload of minutes, it's fun."
MarShon Brooks, the other player acquired in the Blake trade, had a quieter night, scoring seven points on three-for-seven shooting.
Nick Young had 10 points after missing six games because of a non-displaced fracture in his left knee.
Thankfully for the Lakers, they're hitting the road this week, possibly leaving behind their Staples Center futility.
Unfortunately for them, they play at Indiana on Tuesday. The
Then the Lakers play at Memphis, where they won a game back in December but lost Bryant to a fractured knee the same night. He still hasn't returned to action.
Neither have the Lakers, some would argue.