We all knew it was coming. The only question was, who?
Who was going to be the Los Angeles Laker that lost his composure in the 119-90 Game 1 blowout loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in which the Purple and Gold entered the fourth quarter down by 30?
The answer ended up being Devin Ebanks.
Logging a grand total of two points, one rebound and one assist in four minutes, Ebanks still managed to get tossed after a mini-skirmish on the court. He then proceeded to make an ugly exit by angrily swiping at what the commentators thought was Mike Brown's chair and ripping his shirt off. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports found out why Ebanks got the hook:
Ref Greg Willard said Ebanks got second technical for something he said.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 15, 2012
It didn’t look like he did anything terribly wrong on the court, but who knows what exactly he said. I’m sure a parental advisory sticker would be attached.
Instantly, Lakers fans were reminded of the disgraceful exit that both Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom made last year when they were blown away in four games by the Dallas Mavericks.
But that was in Game 4 when the series was all but over. This was Game 1.
It was icing on the cake for the worst defeat of the season for the Lakers.
The Thunder raced out to a 15-point lead at the half and the beating only got worse. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook shot a blistering 10-of-15 from the field for 27 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Kevin Durant wasn’t far behind with 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists. And both did it in just 27 and 29 minutes of action, respectively.
Kobe Bryant and Bynum both had 20, but when you allow the opponent to shoot 53 percent from the field, you have virtually no chance of winning a playoff game.
It’s unlikely Ebanks gets suspended, but the Lakers have to figure out a way to keep their composure, or risk losing all dignity in looking like sore losers.
Nobody likes a sore loser.