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Lakers’ thuggish play ends Phil Jackson’s career on humiliating note

Updated: August 13, 2011 2:15AM

In what was apparently the last game of Phil Jackson’s phenomenally successful coaching career, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers disgraced Jackson with their ugly antics in the fourth quarter at Dallas.

With the Lakers down by 30 points, Bynum didn’t even pretend to be interested in blocking a shot as he clocked Dallas guard Jose Barea with an elbow. It was an ugly, thuggish cheap shot, and Bynum further embarrassed himself by taking off his shirt as he walked off the court after being ejected. Odom threw a shoulder into Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki and also was ejected.

At least when the Detroit Pistons walked off the court like spoiled children in the last seconds of their 1991 Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Bulls, they didn’t try to injure anybody on their way out.

It’ll be interesting to see how the NBA handles the disciplinary measures. The Lakers are out of the playoffs, and both Bynum and Odom already have been mentioned in possible off-season trades. But no matter who these guys are playing for, they should spend at least the first five games of next season on the sidelines.

It’s easy to act like a champion when you’re winning. The real test is to do so when you’re getting your tail kicked up and down the court.

GOP: Grand, Old, Predictable?

From a commentary by one Doug Patton on the GOPUSA website:

“The world’s foremost terrorist is dead, and it seems that thanks are in order. When a leader is deserving of praise, it is only right that those of us who opine on the nature of such things should give credit where credit is due. So I would like to say thank you, Mr. President. Yes, that’s right. I would like to say thank you to the man responsible for getting Osama bin Laden.

“That man is George W. Bush.”

Sigh. Stop reading. Click away.

Everyone understands that no presidency is an isolated four- or eight-year box — that each administration will get the blame and sometimes will reap the benefits of the previous president’s policies and actions.

Most of us also understand there’s a certain percentage of partisans on the right as well as on the left who will never, ever, EVER acknowledge the other side deserves credit or has done something right.

I suppose there’s a certain comfort in being one of those people. No matter what the news of the day, you can pick and choose stories and say, “It’s all Barack Hussein Obama’s fault!” or you proclaim, “See what happens when the Republicans have their way? Disaster for real Americans.”

As I’ve been reminded a few kabillion times since I started writing this column, my views tend to skew moderate-liberal. I haven’t voted for a Republican for any major office in . . . well, as I said, my views tend to skew moderate-liberal.

But even if you think Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist, how can you not express admiration for the way he handled things in regards to the takedown of the world’s most wanted terrorist? Whether you’re a powerful, syndicated talk show host, a superstar anchor on Fox or a columnist for a right-wing website, do you really think it tarnishes your credibility with your fans if you occasionally give the Democratic president a little credit — or do you really, truly believe the man hasn’t had a single good day since taking office?

“The [Obama] administration clearly deserves credit for the success of the operation,” former Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News, and guess what, Cheney hardly lost his Republican credentials.

This is not to say the White House was above criticism last week. As I noted, the details of the raid changed so much that by the end of the week, I half-expected Jay Carney to tell us bin Laden had perished “in a freak gardening accident in his backyard.” And after telling us the president doesn’t spike the football, the president pretty went out and spiked the football.

But still and on balance, it was a great week for America, a great week for freedom, a great week for the Navy SEALs and other fighting forces that took down bin Laden — and a great week for the president of the United States.

If you’ve spent more time focusing on criticizing Obama than in remembering the victims of 9/11 and saluting America’s victory, it just might be time for a little self-reflection.

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