After losing Game 2 in demoralizing fashion at home on Wednesday night, making bone-headed and costly decisions, getting booed lustily by their own fans, calling each other out in the media, having nearly everyone consider their title chase now over … the Los Angeles Lakers were a jovial, cocky bunch after running through practice yesterday.
Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson more or less guaranteed that the Lakers were about to storm back in this series against the Dallas Mavericks.
From the team website and the LA Times:
“Everything will be all right,” said Lamar Odom. “It’s a game and we know it’s a game and we play it and we play it hard and we anticipate winning in Dallas,” said Phil Jackson. “It’s not that big of a deal to win two games in a row,” said Kobe Bryant. “Stop acting like you’ve never won two games in a row.”
As the interview session ended, he was asked if he had coached his last game at Staples Center. “We’ll be back Tuesday,” [Jackson] said. This time he wasn’t joking. That would be the day of Game 5.
That kind of attitude, ultimately, is the hallmark of this Laker team.
They act like a bunch of jerks regardless of the situation, and it’s that type of arrogance and blind belief in their own abilities that’s helped them win them back-to-back titles. It has also resulted in them with their backs firmly against the wall many, many times. Often, unnecessarily.
The next two games in Dallas, starting tonight, will determine whether the Lakers have any right at all to still sound so confident.