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Die! Lakers Die!

GRANT'S TOMB:

June 08, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

I've never liked dynasties.

I'm not sure why. Perhaps it has something to do with the New York Yankees, but for some reason I have never had any love for any dynasty. Whether it be the Ming, the Chicago Bulls or that TV show with John Forsythe, I almost always find myself rooting for the dynasty's downfall.

For that reason I must go on record now as saying that the Lakers must be stopped. Yes, before they go off and win two or three NBA titles in a row, that team from Los Angeles who isn't the Clippers needs to get a healthy dose of reality laid at their doorstep. And after Wednesday night's showing it looks like Allen Iverson is not only "The Answer," but the Lakers' reality.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons to like the Lakers. Phil Jackson is a great coach and deserves the respect of any basketball fan. Any man who can get those two mindless prima donnas Kobe Bryant and the big (fill-in your own nickname) Shaquille O'Neal to coexist deserves more respect than most normal men.

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Hell, if it wasn't for the fact the NBA isn't really a world stage, I would say we should give old Phil the Nobel Peace Prize. Then there is the fact that … well, I guess Phil Jackson is the only real reason I can see to like the Lakers so I'm gonna have to cut my list short.

Of course, while there are plenty (well, I guess only one) reasons to like the Lakers, I can think of many more reasons not to. And while I'm sure my animosity toward our only "local" NBA franchise is probably not going to be well received, I'm going to throw a few of those reasons out there anyway.

First there are Shaq and Kobe. The first is a man who is just too big for anyone to ever defend, making all those who play against him hopelessly overmatched. The second is an impostor, a boy who would wish us all to believe he is the successor to Michael Jordan's throne. I say you have to respect his abilities, but little else. I think if he'd just change his name to Kobé, he'd be a lot more interesting. I'm not sure why that would make him more interesting, but at this point I find him about as interesting as a hangover.

My next reason for disliking the Lakers is the rest of their team. You take your pick, it could be Rick Fox's hair, Derek Fisher's headband, Horace Grant's goggles or the way Mark Madsen sits on the bench. It doesn't really matter all that much to me because I loathe them all … well, all of them except Ron Harper. He seems to be the only person with any sort of class who wears the purple and yellow.

My final reason for scorning the world champs is their damnable history. I couldn't stand them back in the '80s. No, Kareem, Magic, James Worthy and company were as close to being my favorites as the New York Yankees are. Yes, I was glad back in the day when the Pistons put "Showtime" in its place. This stress has been made even greater by the fact that now every time I watch a game I have to see Magic Johnson shilling Coors. I swear, watching him hawk brews is enough to make me want to stop drinking.

But enough about the bad guys. After bashing Allen Iverson in this column time and again, I feel it is finally time for me to give "The Answer" his due. He has finally turned into the team player he needs to be to make his club successful and I think that is showing in the way the Sixers are playing. Despite the fact that Iverson scored over half the team's points in Game 1 it was truly a team effort by the Sixers that beat the Lakers, who were relying solely on Shaq to carry them. I'm not sure if Philadelphia can do it three more times, but I think the 76ers are going to give the Lakers all they can handle, and, I hope, stop another dynasty in the making.

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