I may be the biggest Laker hater on 3QC, but even a moderate fan should be scratching their head regarding the statement above. Considering I really stop going to ESPN.com once the NBA season starts to avoid the homerism that exists on that site considering all things Lakers and Kobe Bryant (and maybe a little Boston Red Sox), I chose to go to Yahoo! to see last night's boxscores. What do I come across?
"Can Lakers surpass 72"
I'm blown away, though I shouldn't be considering in this modern internet news age such hype around a major market team like the Lakers is almost unavoidable. Yet, I am offended as a basketball fan that this crap is even mentioned. Let's point out a few things:
1) The 95-96 Bulls team was something else. They were filled with seasoned veterans that clearly understood their role. Yes there was a Jack Haley and a Dickey Simpkins but the Lakers have deadweight of MBenga, Vujabitch, Morrison, Powell, and some other randoms. That Bulls team was fluid in that their execution was flawless. This Lakers team almost lost to a depleted Rockets team in 7 (ironically if Ron Artest stop shooting, the Rockets could of won) and caught some major breaks against our beloved Magic. But now that their X factor in Ariza is gone and replaced with a guy who takes double the shots, is a suspect team mate at best, and thinks he communicates to the deceased Michael Jackson (rest in peace), the Lakers are going to surpass the greatest record in NBA history? Please. You have arguably the best defensive player ever in Dennis Rodman; Artest while a good defender is not even close. I'll take Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc anyday over Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. Ron Harper, enough said. Then there's Michael Jordan. As good and talented as Kobe Bryant is, he will never be as good as MJ. He can wear one number higher than him on Team USA and the Lakers, but he is not better than Michael Jordan. Nor is he a better teammate or leader than MJ. I digress...my point is to even suggest that this Lakers team can accomplish what the 72-10 Bulls accomplished is comedy.
2) Fair enough, if the media wants to make outlandish comments like that...then they should also suggest that the Magic and Celtics (notice how I leave out the Cavs, but probably should include them) have just as much of a chance if not better to surpass 72 wins. What the geniuses at Yahoo! forget is that the Celtics and Magic play in the East and if any team will surpass 72 wins it will be an Eastern team by default just because they play worse teams more frequently. The final tally? All the aforementioned teams will get close to 70 wins but that's about it.
In the end though, it will be the Magic or Celtics that take home the golden ball. Sorry Laker fans (and every member of a national media organization), your team's luck ran out in June.