Polite or not, it’s easy to laugh at Lakers | TheUnion.com

Polite or not, it’s easy to laugh at Lakers

Everyone knows its never, n-e-v-e-r, polite to take enjoyment from the misfortune of others.

But c’mon Sacramento Kings fans, just between you and me, how many times did you point to the television screen and laugh out loud at the sometimes wacky, and more often than not, thoroughly sad antics of the Los Angeles Lakers during this year’s NBA Finals?

How much sheer joy did you all derive from the formerly biggest and baddest kids on the block’s nationally televised wedgee at the hands of the superstar-less Detroit Pistons.

Sure, said finals would have been infinitely more enjoyable for Kings’ boosters if C-Webb, Peja and the boys had brought the Larry O’Brien Trophy home to Truxel Road and Arena Boulevard.

But can you honestly put a price tag on the how much milk-spurting-from-your-nose fun was it to watch the Pistons rob of The Diesel and his pals of their lunch money – and dignity – over the past two weeks?

Big Ben Wallace, undrafted and twice traded, swatted shots, dunked on anyone in Lakers’ colors and routinely hauled down double-digit rebounds – including 22 boards in Tuesday’s series clincher.

Finals MVP Chauncey Billups, who has been pink-slipped by five teams in his six years in the pros, made Gary Payton look both old and silly more times than there are fingers in a box of gloves.

A long-armed, yet emaciated Tayshaun Prince harassed Kobe Bryant to tears and the man in the glass mask, Richard Hamilton, ripped through the soft underbelly of the Lakers’ transition defense almost at will.

Then there’s Rasheed Wallace.

A confirmed whiner during his longtime tenure with the Portland Trailblazers, zipped his lip and let his play do his talking.

His game on both the low block and on the perimeter helped to spark underdog Detroit to its first NBA title since the Isiah Thomas-led Bad Boys won back-to-back league crowns in 1989-90.

The result:

The Pistons rubbed out the purple and gold dragon in five, count ’em five, games.

Take away Bryant’s miracle trey at the end of Game 2 in the friendly confines Staples Center which sent the game into overtime – a game, the only game, L.A. won – and we could have been looking at a sweep.


It was almost a foregone conclusion after L.A. spanked the defending champion Spurs in the Western Conference semis, then out-muscled the T’Wolves in the finals a week later La-La Land, that the Lakers were about to be the recipient of yet another NBA Title, this one gift wrapped by four future Hall of Famers in Shaq, Kobe, The Mailman and The Glove.

So how did it happen?


Detroit, no-names and all, outran, outhustled and outplayed a team, or in the Lakers’ case, a bunch of guys who wear the same uniform, in arguably 19 of 20 quarters played.

So rejoice Kings fans.

Your team, with its absence of a mega-superstar, no longer has any reasons why it can’t win it all.

Or excuses.


Keith Jiron is a sports writer for The Union. He can be reached at 477-4244 or by e-mail at keithj@theunion.com.

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