By Jeffery Armstrong
When the San Antonio Spurs knocked off those three-time defending chumps, the Los Angeles Lakers, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
I may have a pretty decent sports summer while waiting for the NFL to begin.
I am so happy to see those jokers (the Lakers) go down this season. No more of Shaquille O'Neal nicknaming himself (the Big Aristotle, etc.) and his crappy post-championship speeches, no more of Mark Madsen and his ugly dancing and what's even better NO FOUR-PEAT!
The funniest thing about the Lakers' elimination is seeing guard Derek Fisher crying like Nancy Kerrigan during the final minutes of the game six loss to the Spurs. What I needed at that moment was Tom Hanks' character from the movie "A League of Their Own" to tell Mr. Fisher that there's no crying in basketball!
Fisher's career is complete; he has three championship rings three more than Dominique Wilkins and Charles Barkley, two more than Clyde Drexler and one more than Kenny Smith. I know it hurts to lose, but why the hell is he crying?
As you can guess, I am not a fan of these current Lakers at all. I used to like the ?80s Lakers with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Byron Scott and Michael Cooper. Those guys played with heart, determination, skill and class.
These Lakers make my stomach hurt. Shaq talks a lot of crap and Kobe Bryant wants to take every shot and whines for a foul every time he misses a shot. Okay, Magic used to whine back in the day, but he was also one of the best team players ever, much more than Kobe will ever be.
It's funny about Shaq's motor mouth. When things are going well, he's always got something smart to say. He called the Sacramento Kings "queens" and called that team's point guard a "boy scout." When the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs, the Big Aristotle had nothing to say to the media. He was nowhere around to spout more "philosophy." Funny how a man his size can disappear when times are tough.
It seems someone has made huge changes to the script NBA commissioner David Stern had for this season. Michael Jordan was supposed to lead the Washington Wizards to the playoffs and the team with the two best players in the second biggest TV market was supposed to win the championship again. Unfortunately for Mr. Stern, my former hero, his plans didn't come true.
Yes, I said script. You mean you guys didn't know? The NBA has been as scripted as the current rendition of professional wrestling. Haven't you all noticed that two NBA champions (Chicago Bulls, L.A. Lakers) have been from major cities in a huge television market? San Antonio broke the string in 1999, but that was a strike-shortened season so Stern basically put an asterisk by it. Only die-hard sports fans (and San Antonians) recognize the '99 Spurs as NBA champs.
Also since the 1990s, the NBA champs have always had the best player in the entire league, if not the best TWO players. That goes for my 1994-95 Houston Rockets, who had Hakeem Olajuwon in his prime and Michael Jordan in retirement No. 1.
It used to be that the NBA champs would have one or two great players, but not always have the overall best player(s) in the league. Yep, the NBA used to be about TEAM basketball the good TEAMS won titles. Maybe Stern will keep this season's NBA script writer on a permanent basis for the sake of team ball.
Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for The Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.