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ALL QUIET ON THE LAKERS FRONT


PhilBoxing.com


LOS ANGELES. The only major thing to report about the Lakers is that there is nothing to report.

Coach Phil Jackson is off to retirement, counting both his blessings and his money. The Zen Master plans to split his time between fishing in Montana and visiting LA, where four of his five children live.


After having "wasted" a year of his life, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers suddenly have nothing but more free time in their hands. Though the Lakers normally don't take vacations this early, their families, especially the kids, probabaly don't mind it.

Andrew Bynum is inarguably the saddest Laker of them all. Not only is the 7-foot-1 center no longer a part of this year's playoffs, he will also miss the first five games of the 2011-12 season.

As a consequence of his assault on Dallas guard JJ Barea, Bynum was suspended by the NBA without pay, which means he will lose nearly $700,000 in salaries. He was also fined $25,000 for removing his shirt while exiting toward the locker rooms at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

I know designer shirts can be really quite expensive. But I didn't know having no shirt at all can be so expensive as well.

This time of year, this City of Angels is normally high on Lakers fever. Instead, rabid sports fans are stuck with watching the not-so-awesome LA Dodgers, who are plodding along the baseball season with a 19-23 won-lost slate.

There is still basketball at Staples Center on June 1. It is, however, the WNBA variety as the LA Sparks host the Lynx from Minnesota. It will be one heck of a game, no doubt, but it's not the Lakers.

The search for a new coach has yielded nothing important to report, either. All four candidates -- Brian Shaw, Chuck Person, Jeff Van Gundy and Rick Adelman -- have yet to speak with Lakers management.

The quest for a 3-peat is done. Dead on arrival in Round 2 of these 2011 playoffs. And for avid Laker fans, the emptiness follows the sadness, because what promised to be weeks of heart-stopping, awe-inspiring basketball has simply turned into a long summer of discontent. (NRR)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Nicholai R. Roska.


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