Just when we were thinking the Hawks were the strangest team in the world, along come the Lakers to remind us that there’s no weirdness like Hollywood weirdness.
The Lakers got swept by Dallas, which was odd enough, and now Pau Gasol, L.A.’s second-best player, is responding to rumors that he stunk in the series because he broke up with his girlfriend. And that the wife of Kobe Bryant, L.A.’s best player, somehow precipitated the breakup. And that Gasol and Bryant had stopped speaking to one another.
Gasol has denied the reports, calling them “absolutely false.” But when a team as good as this — the Lakers had won the past NBA championships — collapses so utterly, it’s human nature to suspect there might be something amiss beyond missed jump shots.
Gasol wasn’t the only Laker who lacked luster. Ron Artest was suspended for Game 3 for a hit on J.J. Barea. Andruw Bynum has been suspended for the first five games of next season for a hit on the same Barea. (Who must really have irked the Lakers, huh?) And Phil Jackson, who has won 11 NBA championships, is almost certainly done as the Lakers’ coach.
Oh, but there’s good news. Lamar Odom, who’s married to a Kardashian, still has his reality TV show. In the last episode, Mr. and Mrs. Odom tested fragrances for their new endeavor – a unisex scent. If that makes sense.
By Mark Bradley