One question

Kurt —  April 30, 2006

Laker fans, when was the last time you were this excited about the team?

For me, 2001, the second title. While they made it to the finals in 2004, in the later years of the Shaq/Kobe era, I started to fear opening the paper to read about the soap opera, I grew weary of the “flip the switch” effort.

This team is an underdog, winning on smart hoops, guile and one great player. They play with passion. The games are thrilling, And hope for the future is back.

Update: Relive the glory right here (God bless You Tube).

to One question

  1. I’ve never been this excited about the Lakers. Like Kobe said in his press conference, the Lakers were always expected to win during the Shaq era. When they did win, even in 2000 and 2001, there was more a sense of relief than excitement.

    This Lakers team is exciting because we really don’t know how good this team can become. The things that this team is accomplishing are exciting because they are unexpected.

    Even right now, after all we’ve seen, I still expect the Suns to win Game 5. I will be really excited if the Lakers can somehow go into Phoenix and close this thing out.


  2. i was excited in 2004. i didn’t really like having the superhero team, but i love karl malone, and when he played it was sweet, sweet music.

    and of course there was 0.4.

    yeah, this is different. not being expected to win and then doing it is a much more intense experience.

    great times.


  3. chris henderson April 30, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    is your question more about the “last time” we were as excited, meaning most recent chronologigally, in which case I say it’s that Robert Horry buzzer beater team that beat Sacto, that team was exciting, wasn’t that also the same year we came back from like 27 points down to Portland in a game 7, in the same playoffs?
    but if you mean when was I most excited about any Laker team, I think I have to go all the way back to the first “Back to Back” in the Magic Johnson era, pretty sure that was against the Bad Boys of Detroit, and the Celts, amazing team for multi-years.
    In my opinion, the most dominate team was the Magic led team that swept the western playoffs, (12 and 0..unbeaten baby!), only to get swept by Detroit after Byron pulled his hammy in Hawaii under Rileys boot camp training to keep focused waiting for an eastern champ, then only to have Magic pull up lame in game 1. that team was like watching “resevoir dogs” that slo-mo scene, when our team walked onto the court, they had an unbelievable swagger, and they could back it up.
    But, I think this current team has the most heart and tenacity that I’ve seen from a Laker squad in a long long time, call it a combo of heart and good leadership, and peaking at the right time, belief in themselves, all of this comes together like “the perfect storm” and…bling! truely amazing games to watch and behold.


  4. .4 was amazing. I still remember, to this day, where I was, everything about like 5 minutes before and after the shot.

    That being said, the fact that these Lakers are the underdogs no matter who they play makes them so much more entertaining. It’s a testament to how poorly the rest of the team is thought of when by and large the best player in the NBA is on your team.

    This season went on a long rollercoaster of a ride, from the first two games where Smush showed so much promise, to the Dallas game, to Shaq and Kobe, to 81, and up to the present when you see Odom, Luke, and Kwame emerging.

    It’s so refreshing to see this kind of basketball. I feel just like Kobe might have during the season – distrustful of my teammates, knowing there was only one way to win, then slowly having that trust built up fromt he very foundations into what we are seeing now.


  5. I am just a very happy little monkey right now.


  6. notreallyimportant May 1, 2006 at 12:34 am

    I dunno, this has been incredible. I have been on an adrenaline rush since Smush hit that three with a hand in his face, he didn’t even fadeaway.

    The last time I was screaming and yelling like this was 0.4 or maybe game 2 of the 2004 finals, when Kobe hit the three to tie it at the buzzer, and then dominated the fabled Pistons starters in OT.

    There is something about guards making huge plays that is just so much more inspiring than when a big guy slams it home.

    I feel that if these Lakers make it to the conference finals it will be the best performance I have witnessed, as well as going a long way towards vindicating Buss’ decision of Kobe over Shaq.

    Fingers crossed, when we manage to pull this win out with Smush’s dismal game (c’mon, other than the last minute of the 4th quarter he was a liability on the offense) as well as a reckless game from Kwame and 7 turnovers from Kobe, I know we (the lakers that is) can do a whole lot more damage down the road.


  7. yep, 2001 playoffs, when they were plowing through everyone on the way to 15-1. that was incredible.

    right now, though, i keep flashing back to ’93, when the lakers took the 2-0 lead on the suns. I keep waiting for D’Antoni to say “we’re going to win in phoenix on Tuesday, and then we’re going to win in LA on Thursday, and then we’re going to win again in Phoenix on Saturday, and everyone’s gonna say it was an incredible series, and they’ll be right.”

    i’ll believe it’s over when it’s finally over. until then, i’m nervous.


  8. notreallyimportant May 1, 2006 at 1:05 am

    I just realized that I don’t know a phrase to yell when Kobe pulls crazy stunts. What is his equivalent to “Miller Time”?


  9. Nash didn’t call a timeout there? Smush didn’t commit a foul at the end of regulation? Tim Thomas wasn’t hit on that 3-ball?

    …FIX IS IN BOYS. FLASHES OF 2000 WCF GAME 7 AND 2002 WCF GAME 7. You win. I hope its sweet. Lets see if the NBA can ref the Lakers all the way to the finals. I actually put a bet down today that they will.


  10. 1. No, Nash didn’t call a timeout. Diaw tried to call a timeout, but Diaw was late.
    2. No, Smush did not commit a foul.

    And even if the refs had missed a call, the same could be said of Game 1 when Kobe got knocked on the nogin. Refs let players play in the final minute of the game. That’s just how NBA games are officiated.

    I’ve gained a lot of respect for Nash and Marion in this series. Neither of them have complained about the officiating even if some of their fans [and Lakers haterz] have wanted to shift the blame.

    That’s why I fear Phoenix in Game 5. Phoenix has character and teams with character bounce back from tough losses.


  11. I was wondering when ‘the fix is in’ card was going to be played.
    You knwo why the Lakers got those calls, and the other marginal calls of playoffs past?

    Because they were the AGGRESSORS. The refs always favor the more aggressive team when there’s a marginal situation. And that’s how it should be.

    The Lakers went out and executed. They didn’t spend there time flailing their limbs or flopping on their asses (except maybe Sasha). They certainly didn’t dribble down the sideline into a double team at the end of OT. That was idiotic. From the ref’s perspective, if Nash is surrounded by Odom and Walton, with arms and legs flying everywhere, why would you reward the Suns a timeout when you can’t even tell who has possesion of the ball?

    As for the no calls at the end of regulation or the Tim Thomas 3pt shot….COME ON. Kobe was smacked at the end of game 1. He was even fouled at the end of regulation on the teardrop. No calls either time. We could go back and find more than 20 such no calls in the game. Marginal fouls don’t get called.

    It’s the playoffs man. AGGRESSIVE PLAY PAYS OFF!


  12. Leave it to John R to continue to see light in his own shadow. If only you were a good “devil’s advocate” and not just building paper houses all the time.

    “I just realized that I don’t know a phrase to yell when Kobe pulls crazy stunts. What is his equivalent to “Miller Time”? ”

    Mamba Time? 😀


  13. notreallyimportant May 1, 2006 at 2:44 am

    Seriously remeber when the refs called that foul so that Anthony Johnson could hit the game winning freethrows in Pacers-Nets game 1? There was a huge outcry of “let the players decide the game” this is the playoffs it gets physical, live with it.

    And I say this realizing that I whine just as much as the next fan when my team is on the receiving end (circa game 1 with the blatant foul on Kobe).

    A 7 game series is long enough that the better team will always win (barring injuries). If there is a conspiracy among refs to get the superstars to advance, explain Shaqs foul trouble the last two games against the Bulls?


  14. notreallyimportant May 1, 2006 at 2:47 am

    If the phrase doesn’t exist we need to come up with it. Yelling incoherently will only get you so far in life.

    Listening to other people watching the game with me “That didn’t just happen!” seems to be the leading candidate.


  15. I”ve thought about the fix (and heard about it throughout random boards), but wouldn’t it be in the best interest of hte NBA to have the series be 2-2 with a potential/likely game 7?


  16. And yes, this is what I thinka bout as I watch the Kobe shot(s) for the 70th time at 3:25 in the morning when I have class in 4 hours


  17. o.4 game. god, it was 5,30 am when i was watching it and i screamed soo loud my whole family woke up just to know if i was hurt or something


  18. Feeding the Troll:

    1. Even Nash admits that he slipped at the end of regulation, allowing Smush to steal the ball.

    2. The TNT guys (and Doc Rivers) watched the OT play in slow-mo and concluded there was no foul. Nash again admits he wasn’t calling a timeout but just trying to secure the ball. Diaw starts to call TO, but by that time the ref is already about to signal a jump ball.

    3. Thomas got hit on that three, but Kobe got hit on his miraculous layup, so it kind of evens out.

    I don’t think we Lakers fans have anything to worry about. Nash, Marion, and D’Antoni have been classy about the whole thing too (though Thomas has been quoted as saying that the game was stolen from them).

    Fate is just smiling on these Lakers. Enjoy the excitement while it lasts, Laker fans! (I hope it lasts another round or two!)


  19. i havent been this excited since the kobe-shaq alley-oop in 2000. This is the most remerkable and rewarding season i have ever witnessed, it is just a joy to be a fan of and seen from the beginning.


  20. You guys HAVE to be excited about the possible office supply series.

    Smush you very much!


  21. Maybe John R is just preparing himself the excuse to use in the next series if things turn bad?


  22. Excuse in the next round? I don’t get it. I’m not on a team.


  23. The last time I was yelling at the top of my lungs and throwing my hands in the air (into a ceiling fan, actually) was The Lob from Kobe to Shaq to put the Lakes up (by 6 I think) over the Blazers.

    I agree with post #1 in that this is unexpected, and that makes it just a little bit better than similar games.

    This game was so absolutely improbable that I still can’t get over it. The refs were calling every little ticky tack all game, Smuch was terrible (on O), Kwame left a few fingers from each hand in the locker room, and we saw a couple of Odom’s patented layup bricks.


  24. I have to give JohnR his props. It’s a lot of fun to celebrate, but this celebration IS a LITTLE dampened by the knowledge that the fix is in.

    That bothered me in 2000 as well — 2000-2002, as a matter of fact. For that matter, I’ve always felt that the Lakers’ big wins would be so much more satisfying if they came legitimately, like all of the Lakers’ big losses do. The fact that the wins are all scripted and the losses are all legitimate weighs on me, it does.

    Oh well. I guess we’ll have to live with it. The one consolation is that the NBA has Tivo in on the conspiracy, which is obviously why when I played back that Smush steal a dozen times, it was so obviously not a foul. Thank god for major conspiracies that help me rest easy!


  25. I would like to add Magic’s “junior” sky hook in Boston to the list of Laker moments that had me running out of the room…


  26. .4 was great, but I agree I thought of the Horry shot as the best comparison for the other day.

    Ahh, but all the wins against Boston were soooo sweet. It’s like choosing a favorite child.


  27. John R., at this point I am willing to make only one prediction about a possible Clippers/Lakers matchup — Kwame Brown will not grab Kaman’s nuts.


  28. No but he may be introduced to Kobe’s….


  29. Kaman that is……

    *freakin no proof reading*


  30. I like this theory: It wasn’t Kobe (with Parker and Walton) that won the game, it was Jack.


  31. The notion that there was a foul on Smush’s steal in regulation is laughable. That swipe was clean. Nash slipped, picked his dribble up, Smush rubbed it against Nash’s knee, Nash stumbled and tried to tip it to himself, but Smush tipped it first over to Devean. (The NBA anchor guy still says it like “Debian.”)

    There’s an honest possibility of a foul call on the OT play, but if you ask me, the most obvious non-call was the one on Jones at the end of regulation. I really sucked in a breath when they didn’t call that one.

    This game was like a mix between the Portland game from the 2000 WCF and the Portland game in 2004, the one that got us the second seed in the playoffs. You have the team play from the former, and the twin Kobe buzzer-beaters from the latter.

    Incidentally, I thought Kobe had a very good post-game conference this game. He came off as genuinely happy for his teammates. It was the first time I heard him get a significant laugh from the press corps during a conference, but I missed what he said to draw that–does anyone remember who was watching?


  32. Weird, that link also hints that the refs blew it. Along with Endofthebench, John Hollinger in chat today, the Laker fans who text messaged me after the game, the Laker fans who AIM’d this morning, well just about everyone but the homers here. If you can’t even admit they blew those calls…wow, I don’t know what kind of basketball fans are around in LA anymore.

    Notice I have not used Kobe’s name in any of these posts. He absolutely hit both of shots. Well done. But if the game was properly officiated he would not have had a chance. Then there was that charge he put on Nash the other night that everyone was celebrating or..I could go on, but one can’t expect to reason with the irrational.

    The Lakers squeak by a depleted Suns team with no frontcourt on their home court with generous help from the officials and you’d think Magic was back with the way people are talking. Nene Hilarious.

    …Actually, Kwame might try to grab Kaman’s balls, but with his hands I’d expect him to drop them before he got a good pull.


  33. I was in a topless bar the night of Horry’s miracle in game 4 against Sacramento (I’m not ashamed. My friend was the DJ).

    When they showed the highlights on the bar’s many TVs, every patron in the establishment ignored the naked girls on stage and cheered for the six-hours-old replay, over and over again.


  34. I knew the conspiracy guys would be out; I tend to think, though, that #10 is right: they do not call questionable fouls in the last minute in the playoffs, most of the time.

    Also, like many here, I suspect, I played a lot of ball in high school. We lost a close one once to a rival school and a bad non-call played a role, But, looking back, we also did not execute down the stretch, Neither did the Suns. Nash, a great player and seemingly a classy guy, blew it on both turnovers. He knew the trap was coming and did not play it right. On the final play, the Suns did not do a good enough job of getting the ball out of Bryant’s hands.

    This is exciting, but I think closing it out will be very difficult. The really exciting thing is that I think it lays a foundation for the team to really move up with a talent upgrade in the 3-8 spots on the roster. The team has a star and four decent starters now, it seems, instaed of just a mish-mash.



  35. John R…last time I checked the TNT apologist, nor Dan Patrick and Reggie Miller were Laker apologists and THEY all said there wasn’t enough there to warrant a guaranteed call.

    The refs suck, but they suck all around. There is no fix. If that were the case the Heat would also have an open door to the Finals.


  36. Add basketbawful to the list….

    And wait, wasn’t enough there to warrant a guaranteed call? That’s your disproof? Thats about as non-committal a statement I have ever heard. And who is talking about only 1 call? There is a sequence of events here. C’mon, just say it: The refs blew some calls that opened the door for Kobe’s shots and without those calls AND those shots the series would be locked right now.


  37. Nash committed two basketbal no-no’s when trapped. He dribbled toward the sideline, which acts as another defender, and he moved the ball away from his body.

    No pro player in his right mind expects fouls to be called at the end of playoff games. That is why even Nash and D’Antoni didn’t blame the refs for the loss.


  38. This game was a miracle over and over and over again. But like Kobe said they’ve put in their work and now its paying off. We’ll see if they sit out Raja and Nash next year when they come to town thinking they need rest for the playoffs. Bring in Amare and his broke knee and we’ll see what’s up. We are the 7th seed taking care of business. No excuses for refs or missing players. This is the playoffs. Losers talking about the fix is ridiculous. If it was a fix then Phoenix should never have been a 2 seed and Nash should not have been MVP. Just let the players do there thing and let the chips fall where they fall. Respect has been earned, nobody gave the Lakers a chance this year. They’ve earned every bit of their 7th seed and now have all the sports networks excited about hoops. and can’t wait to see the hallway match up.


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