Laker Fans Already Have a Critical List
Judging by the way the Lakers played in Games 1 and 2 against San Antonio, Rick Fox and Devean George should have received major consideration for league MVP honors.
By the time this letter is published, the Lakers will either be down 3-0 or 2-1. Whichever it is, they need to feel ashamed for the horrible games played and coached in San Antonio. Yeah, yeah, yeah
Phil Jackson has an opportunity to start everyone up and quite frankly, he’s laying an egg.
In the account of the Game 2 Laker loss in San Antonio, Phil Jackson’s quote about what Shaquille O’Neal has to do to be a factor or stay in games sort of makes me wince. According to Phil, Shaq has to govern his style of play to fit what the officiating will allow in the playoffs.
Duh! This is a three-time champion, one of the true greats in NBA history and Mr. Jackson has the lack of perspective to treat him like Troy Hudson. Well, maybe if Phil would put his Zen aside for a while and come to Shaq’s defense in the press and during game time, the Lakers as a whole might play with some fire. Right now, the eggs are cooling for the Spurs. Sorry, Chick.
Rancho Palos Verdes
No time like the present to say what needs to be said. Whatever happens for the rest of the playoffs, it is more than evident that the Lakers simply don’t have enough bullets in their gun to go all the way. Their thin and inexpensive bench cannot sustain the loss of either Rick Fox or Devean George, let alone both.
If Dr. Buss remains adamant about keeping payroll below the luxury tax, there is only one other solution: Shaq and Kobe have to reconsider their demands to receive the maximum salary allowed. This will enable Mitch Kupchak to assemble enough capable and skilled role players to continue their collective championship ambitions. It’s money and ego versus a chance to sustain a potential dynasty. I wonder what the principals in this situation will decide.
The success of any business is always reflective of the person in charge.
The Lakers won their three championships because Jerry Buss broke the bank for Shaquille O’Neal, allowed Jerry West to work his personnel magic, and hired the right coach in Phil Jackson. Unfortunately, Dr. Buss has not handled success well. He mismanaged Mr. West and drove him away, hired the wrong replacement in Mitch Kupchak, and has hamstrung his team with a shortsighted financial view that has precluded the addition of available impact players.
The final result is preordained and not even the combined talents of Mr. Jackson, Mr. O’Neal and Kobe Bryant can change the inevitable.
A lot has been written about why the Lakers aren’t the team that we’ve all been spoiled by, yet I don’t see a name that I feel may be the source of all of the Lakers’ problems. People point the finger at Shaq, Kobe, the role players, Phil and just about anybody you can think of. One name I don’t see pop up very often, though, is Mitch.
Now, everyone knew it was a sad day when a guy who symbolizes the NBA (literally) retired as Laker GM. We had hoped that while Kupchak was Jerry West’s assistant for so many years, he was watching closely. Unfortunately, if this season proves anything, it’s that he wasn’t.
When it comes to Kupchak’s tenure as GM, it isn’t what have you done for me lately, but what have you done for me ever?
What a delight it was to hear Phil Jackson whine about the free throws in Monday’s loss to the Spurs. He said the calls were “ridiculous.” Isn’t that a bit hypocritical, Phil? Weren’t you and your team the ones who chastised the Kings last year for complaining about the same thing? I guess the perspective is different when you are on the losing end.
Grass Valley, Calif.
Shaq’s continuing verbal harassment of David Robinson is getting very old.
Robinson is a class act in a league dominated by such trash-talking thugs as Iverson, Artest, Walker, etc.
Shaq, shut up, play your game, and if you need to harp on someone, look to Philadelphia.
They’re called fouls, Shaq. A concept you may not understand, yes, but one most other teams deal with each game. Perhaps we can send a rookie your way to explain it to you. I’m glad the NBA is finally calling some of your offensive fouls.