Everyone who knows me knows that I am an avid Los Angeles Lakers fan. Since 1980 I have referred to the team in WE terms not they. If the Lakers won then “we” won… and if the Lakers lost “we” lost. Many die hard fans have blind spots and are not able to critically assess their favorite team and its performance. Yea guys call radio shows and second guess this or that – but I am talking about straight out rebuke when necessary. I have never been that guy. Win or lose I tell it like it is. If the ref’s had a bad night I’ll be the first to say that. If “we” play a team that’s just better than us then I cop to that too. And in this case, if “we” all out sucked I’ll say that too. This was definitely the case as I watched that debacle of a basketball game in Boston Tuesday night. My Lakers started the game – well Kobe started the game being aggressive and it looked as if it may be a nice 6 which the Celtics were favored to win. But once the second quarter started – all Celtic-Hell broke loose and soon my beloved purple and gold team were rolling over like Rover and played dead. I shook my head in disgust as the Celtics “toyed” with the Western Conference Champions and ran a clinic on our asses.
Thus the Balls Up Punks Down Testicular Fortitude awards. I mean listen, sometimes its not about Xs and Os. By game 6 of the Finals, both teams know each others players and plays. It becomes an issue of executing the game plan – which often comes down to forcing your will over the opponents. Simply put it’s about NUTS, Balls, who has them and who doesn’t. Its not about getting your butt kicked in a game cause that happens. Previously in another blog I talked about the Memorial Day Massacre in 1985. It was an issue of the Celtics being a hot team where everything they did turned to gold. But it was not as if the Lakers lacked balls or will. They fought and came up short – but came back to win the series. This was not the case on Tuesday night.
Let me be clear – the Celtics deserved to win. Overall they proved to be the better team. But what pissed me off more than anything was the fact that our players were so freaggin SOFT. It started with Pau GaSOFT, who made Kendric Perkins look like Bill Russell defending him in the post. GaSOFT was so timid he looked as if he panicked every time he touched the ball in the post. Then there was Vladimir RadmoNOSHOT – who looked more like he was trying to crack the Boston Bricklayers Union for a job this summer. Sasha VuiSHIT was awful too. Though he helped LA to a victory in game 3 by, it all feel to the ground in game 4 when Ray Allen waltz past his ass for an easy bucket down the stretch when it counted the most. That was vintage stereotypical European defense at its worst.
Back to game 6… It was sad to see coach Phil Jackson beg his team not to “give it away” at halftime. But boy did they ever! The second half was more of the same – and it ended with a 131-92 ghetto project beat down. Tuesday night the Lakers simply “gave up the booty” – and Boston took it with no vaseline! They wanted it more – and they earned it. They went after the Lakers like the Leonidis went after the Persians in “300!” I think I saw Kevin Garnett scream out SPARTAN!!!!!!!!!
Don’t get me wrong. I am not throwing my cats under the bus totally. They deserve credit for winning the toughest division in basketball. When nobody thought they would make it this far they swept the Denver Nuggets, Beat Utah in 6 games including closing them out in Salt Lake City – one of the toughest places to win at any time. Then they beat the World Champion Spurs in 5 games. These were impressive feats and they deserve props for sure. They had Gasol but no Andrew Bynum who was having a great year in the middle. The Lakers should and will make some changes to get a bit tougher. Game 6 does not take away from the great year they had. But still it was a disgraceful effort.
So congratulations to Paul, Kevin and coach Doc Rivers. Balls Up for the Celtics – Punks down for the Lakers.
Our second Balls Up award goes to Eldrick Tiger Woods. This cat comes has knee surgery on tax day in April to remove cartilage from his knee, suffered a double stress fracture of his left tibia while trying to return in reading to the PGA tournament last month, missed The Memorial and shows up at the US Open in Torrey Pines -forces a playoff against Rocco Mediate – Then wins on Monday for his 14th career major after 91 holes on the largest course in US Open history. “What the…??” In severe pain this dude does the last 18 holes and out-shoots his opponent – only to have to have ACL surgery a couple days later which will cause him to miss the rest of the year. I say again… “What the…?” Talk about a champion! This was like Jordan when he had the flu in Utah and scored 38 against the Jazz in the Finals while having an IV hooked up to him during half the game. I hope Tiger waits and rehabs his injuries properly. Cause when he comes back, he will have such a psychological advantage over the rest of the field – that he will break every record left in the sport of golf and amaze anyone who had any doubts to the contrary. Balls UP Tiger. Yourrrrrrrr GREAT!
Our last Punks Down award goes to New York Mets GM Omar Minaya who fired Willie Randolph in Anaheim earlier this week. Much speculation has surrounded Willie’s job as manager both this and last season. After Sunday’s home game the Randolph had a meeting with Minaya that if he were going to fire him, please do it now and not humiliate him by sending he and his crew to the West Coast. Minaya gave Willie the impression his job was safe. Then Minaya flew to Anaheim himself under the radar, called Randolph to his hotel suite and pink slipped the dude just before 3:15 am. This after a victory over the Angels and after the Mets had won 3 of 4. Every organization has a right to hire and fire as they see fit for the betterment of the organization… still the way business is handled is just as important and reflects the class or lack thereof of an organization. Clearly Minaya lacked class in the way he handled his first managerial hire. Word now is that interim manager Jerry Manual is a front office pawn, the team is a mess and Minaya may very well be the next one to get pushed on a sword before Spring Training of next year. Regardless – Omar Minaya – Punks Down!
300 Pictures Courtesy of Warner Bros. / Celtics Team Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images / Woods Photo courtesy of the NY Post / Omar Minaya Photo by Francis Speckler/