Friday, June 13, 2008

From Legend To Goat, All In 24 Hours

It reaches a point where you have to wonder whether it's getting out of hand. One day, you're the greatest coach in NBA history. The next day, you're to blame for the greatest meltdown in the history of the NBA Finals.

Or so says Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times:

Intrigued by the idea, shocked at its audacity, folks around town are whispering it.

Adjusting their Tivos, rubbing their eyes, NBA fans around the country are wondering it.

So, what the Zen, we might as well say it.

Was it Phil Jackson's fault?

Well, let's see. It wasn't Jackson out there throwing up bricks, running poor plays, or playing defense as if the concept was too difficult to grasp.

But Plaschke doesn't stop there.

Since his last championship in 2002, he has been on the wrong end of playoff history three times, and always it has been about momentum.

In 2004, playing the Detroit Pistons, his Lakers were the first visitors to be swept by the home team in the middle three games of an NBA Finals.

In 2006, playing the Phoenix Suns, his Lakers were only the eighth in history to lose a three-games-to-one lead in the playoffs.

And now, playing the Celtics, his Lakers has suffered the biggest single-game Finals collapse in recorded NBA history.

And he left the court with one timeout remaining.

Yeah, one timeout. A couple of more minutes with your team. Another chance to remind everyone to pass the dang ball.

Yeah, that's right. The guy can't coach a lick. And besides, he's been giving Kings fans a hard time for close to a decade.

I find all of this highly amusing. Eventually, hubris and arrogance come back to bite you in the butt. The Lakers, and Phil Jackson, are learning about that today. And it's about damn time.

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