By Craig Kwasniewski
The Lakers are playoff bound!!! Champagne, cigars and Britney Spears all around! The parade starts on Monday ending with a banner dropping ceremony inside Staples Center. Stand proud Laker Nation! I can see it now, at the ceremony in front of thousands of Angelenos, Smush Parker grabs the mic and proudly utters, "IIIIII STILLLLLLL SUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!" followed by cheers not heard since the days of Mark Madsen.
Thank you Sacramento: Thanks for beating the Clippers earlier today 105-100. Though I was this close to driving to Staples Center and punching out Coach Musselman for not playing Mike Bibby as the Clippers were feverishly rallying from a huge deficit in the fourth. Then I realized... he must be drunk.
Thank you Clipper Groupies: The Clippers picked the worst night of the season to "enjoy the fruits of their labor." How else can you explain that debacle? All "Clipper Nation" had to do was win three games against teams playing out the season (SAC, PHX and NOOCH) and they're in the playoffs. This loss spared the Lakers of having to win a BRUTAL road game against SAC to make the playoffs.
Thank you Smush Parker: For being so fucking bad that Phil Jackson was relegated to start a rookie in your place. Phil Jackson NEVER starts rookies and you made him change his ways... in his 17th year as a NBA head coach.
Thank you Phil Jackson: For finally making the key adjustment by starting Jordan Farmar. The Lakers opened with their best defensive quarter of the season, leading 20-6 eight minutes into the game. The Lakers are a better defensive team, they're more fluid on offense and the fans really respond when Farmar's on the floor. This game had blowout written all over it... until Smush came in in the second quarter. Seattle gained some momentum and point guard Mike Wilks gained confidence against Smush. Suddenly the Lakers had themselves a dogfight for the rest of the night. I'm telling ya, this is a blowout if Smush gets a DNP-CD... he's THAT bad. Mike Wilks of all people was absolutely killing Smush with the cross-over... Mike Wilks!!!
Thank you Kwame Brown: For fighting through the pain of an inflamed vagina and suiting up tonight. Sorry for the cheap shot, but if Phil Jackson's making cat noises when you walk by and holding a white handkerchief for your tears in a press conference... well something tells me you're not familiar with the concept of playing through pain. Look, you're the Lakers best defensive big with your defensive end-like quickness and strength. Nine days ago, Chris Wilcox dropped 32 points and 18 rebounds against Bynum and Turiaf. Tonight, with Kwame Brown on the floor, Wilcox was a more manageable 20 points and 10 rebounds. Not great, but good enough to win.
Thank you Kobe Bryant: For putting up with this shit and calmly dropping a 50-spot. The Lakers aren't making the playoffs without his incredible scoring explosion in the past 30 days. Does it make him the MVP? Hell no! The Lakers have to be better than 42-40 for Kobe to even sniff an MVP award (and the media would still ingore him). Though it's a crime to see one of the greatest players in NBA history waste his prime years playing with such crap. Yet as long as the Lakers are being run
into the ground by Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss and Ronnie Lester, expect more of the same for the next 3 years. Basically Kobe dropping 50-plus during the regular season with the Lakers being a second round elimination at best. Good times.
Thank you Laker Fans: For continuing to be the most complacent, unintelligent and gullible fanbase in the NBA. You're paying 40% more than Clipper fans and all that matters is watching Kobe drop 50-plus a game. You have the best coach in NBA history, the modern-day Michael Jordan and you get a rebuilding project for the third season in a row. Yet there's no anger, no animosity... nothing! Instead I'm surrounded by "come on Kobe!" as the Lakers lose to the lower tier teams. The Lakers are one of the marquee franchises in all of professional sports, yet the fans continue to buy into the excuses crapped out of the front office mouths. Injuries, youth, promise... bullshit! I'm looking at a supporting cast of injury prone players with very average talent. Ending the season in the first round of the playoffs is NOT a good finish.