Plenty of blamers to go around
It makes me sick that Jerry Buss has not surrounded Kobe Bryant with better talent. They’re burning him out -- they’re shortening his career. Fans are getting wise to the source of the problem -- it’s not Phil Jackson -- it’s the whole Lakers front office, starting at the top with Buss. He’s operating on the cheap. When Buss bought the team in ‘79, he bought the magic of Jerry West, and losing West was the biggest mistake of his life.
Is there a worse team at finishing games than the Lakers? In Minnesota, leading by a point, with 27 seconds to go and 24 on the shot clock, everyone in the arena knew they need only dribble for 23 seconds and hoist up a high-arching shot that even missing, would run out the clock for the win. Everyone knew but the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant just received his second suspension by the NBA for doing what he has naturally been doing for years in the course of performing his job duties with the Lakers.
What Kobe’s doing is what other Lakers such as Magic and Shaq had done over the course of several years. Shaq continues doing so these days as he plays in Miami. Yet, Kobe is the only player I know of penalized with game suspensions for happening to make contact.
Now, with the NBA showing opponent coaches how they are willing to penalize only Kobe, fans can expect to see guys flopping while holding their face much the same way so many did when attempting to draw fouls against Shaq.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not typically a Phil Jackson hater. But seriously, how many times can he bench Kobe Bryant to begin the fourth quarter and calmly watch their lead shrink or their deficit increase?
Every game Phil does this, and more often than not the Lakers get themselves in trouble during this time of the game. C’mon Phil, you’re a better coach than this.
GREGG DE BIE
All things Lakers, all the time.
Get all the Lakers news you need in Dan Woike's weekly newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.