This may seem a bit off-topic, but it’s not really.
Karen, Tory and I went to the Mavericks-Lakers game on Mother’s Day, and a great time was had by all. It was historic on many levels, and I especially enjoyed watching the Mavericks systematically dismantle the former champs. We’re not big Kobe fans in my house, so the victory was doubly enjoyable.
But at least Kobe gave credit where credit was due. The same cannot be said for the national sports press. Take a look at the bottom of the picture below. This is ESPN’s analysis Monday morning. Read the story headlines; they’re ALL about the Lakers.
- Transition can be tough
- Phil deserved better
- Loss begs questions
- Classless acts
It has been this way since the series began. Nearly every story from a national sportswriter came from a Lakers’ perspective. Only viewers knew that Dallas won the series, in a sweep no less. To the sports writers, Los Angeles lost it. There’s a huge difference.
I even listened to ESPN “NBA analyst” Ric Bucher on Mike & Mike this morning dismiss the Mavericks as a favorite to win now, saying that their victory was all about beating the Lakers and not a reflection of how good they really are.
Folks, whether you’re a basketball fan or not, this is simply unacceptable poppycock from people who obviously don’t even know the sport. The national basketball press has been mesmerized by the Los Angeles Lakers. According to the narrative, they’re the best that ever was and the expectation is that the only team on the planet that can legitimately beat the Lakers is — wait for it — the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hearing the babbling from all of these folks and reading it online, I know one thing for certain: not one of these people has ever taken the time to get to know the Dallas Mavericks. None of us fans were in the least bit surprised that the Mavs beat the Lakers, although the sweep wasn’t “expected.” After they stole the first game in L. A., we started thinking about it, though, and when we took the second game, we actually started talking about it.
Our team is a VERY gifted and deep team with a toughness not really known by these guys (and gals). And the most impressive thing — which got very little, if any, discussion — is that two of our stars didn’t even play. Caron Butler is our number two guy, and he’s been injured since January. Rodrigue Beaubois has been out with an injured foot. At full strength, we are a juggernaut, and that FACT was set aside by how the Lakers beat themselves.
Sports journalism is just like any other form of pack journalism. Everybody agrees on the narrative and presses on from there. There are no doubt some interesting stories out of the Lakers from this series, but they are not the only ones. It’s not so much anger-inducing as it is pathetic, and it’s THE essential problem with all of the contemporary press.