Tuesday, May 10


Good riddance to the LA Lakers.

In the waning moments of getting absolutely clobbered in the final game of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers decided they'd like to go ahead and lose their dignity in addition to the series. (To his credit, team leader Kobe Bryant didn't take place in the shenanigans.) Lamar Odom took a totally unecessary shot at the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki and got tossed, then Andrew Bynum took maybe the cheapest shot I've ever seen someone issue on a basketball court at diminutive Dallas guard JJ Barea. Watch the espn.com video here and wait until near the end for Bynum's preposterous hit on a man who weighs 110 pounds less than him and who was already airborne and off-balance. Bynum doesn't even go for the ball, just throws the elbow and levels Barea. I found myself consciously struggling not to use football terminology to describe the hit, sort of wondering in my head how Roger Goodell would view the hit. Bynum should be suspended for the start of next year, no question, though he'll probably be hurt anyway so it won't really matter. Apparently not smart enough to realize his mistake, Bynum offered a defiant, "So I fouled the guy." What a punk.

(Digressing parenthetically on the topic of NBA punks: Dwyane Wade. This guy's entire offensive game is based on flying recklessly at the basket and whoever is in his way and hoping the refs will give him a bailout call, and then still has the nerve to glare at anyone who fouls him, no matter how legit or clean the foul. What, exactly, do you want?)

On ESPN's SportsNation this afternoon (it was on at the gym), they had a poll question on which was worse: Bynum's gutless assault, or him taking off his jersey on his way out of the arena post-ejection.

Seriously, SportsNation? We're wondering whether the dirtiest foul in recent memory, one that could easily have injured the opposing player and which served no basketball purpose whatsoever is worse than a guy taking off his shirt? It reminded me of the South Park where the boys get a ninja star stuck in Butters' eye but all anyone cares about is Cartman going on stage naked because he thought he was invisible. I'd be very curious to hear the reasoning of anyone who thought Bynum tossing his jersey was worse than his thuggery.

Now, about eliminating those pesky Miami Heats...

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