Goodbye Lakers dynasty.
Goodbye Laker dreams.
Goodbye fake, front-running bandwagon Lakers fans.
Thanks for the memories. As a true purple-and-gold Lakers fan, I know the storybook fairy tale has come to an end. Not a storybook ending that we hoped for, but an ending for sure.
The Lakers might not be back in the playoffs for a couple of years.
Not when Jerry Buss will blow this team up.
Not when Phil Jackson has coached his last NBA game (that is, unless he pulls another Phil-move and comes back in a couple of years to coach the Miami Heat and another "best player in the league" superstar in LeBron James).
Not when Kobe no longer has the heart, the courage or the influence to lift his team up from the unthinkable.
This is no longer Kobe's team.
This is no longer Phil's team.
This is a team that lost all its mojo in the pre-season, bloated with false praise by the "Faker" fans that killed the team's competitiveness and desire.
What happened in Game 4?
No, Kobe does not equal Michael Jordan and never will.
Kobe doesn't even equal Magic Johnson, a phenom true Lakers fans will never forget and who's career was cut short by HIV and never got to play to his full NBA potential.
A player that, if not for an early retirement, might have ended his career with seven or eight NBA Championships, a career that would have prevented all the "Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all-time" talk from ever birthing.
But while Magic's career was blind-sided by the then-new threat of HIV, Kobe and Lakers failings come from their own selfish lack of courage, lack of the desire for greatness, and lack of gratitude for the game, for the league, and for the fans that made their multi-millionaire lifestyles possible.
When Ron Artest gave away his championship ring in a publicity stunt masked as some sort of charitable gesture for the mentally insane saying he'll get another one this year, it smacked all of the arrogance that became the Lakers' undoing.
They actually believed all the B.S. that these bandwagon front-running bloodsucking "Fakers" fans fed them.
That they were the best NBA team of all-time.
That Kobe was better than Jordan.
When did the Lakers quit?
That getting blown-out in the regular season by sub .500 teams didn't matter.
That getting embarrassed at home in front of tens of thousands of fans giving up their hard-earned dollars by the hated Miami Heat on Christmas Day was okay because, "it's not the playoffs."
That the true fans that open their wallets for the increasing outrageous and daylight robbery prices of tickets didn't matter, that only the opinions of Internet "Fakers" fans with their excuses and their limited basketball knowledge counted because they were "real" fans.
Well now the story is over and it's far from a fairy-tale.
This Lakers team will go down in infamy as a wasted collection of talent that could have made history but got fat and drunk on their own putrid waste.
A team that could have won their 17th NBA Championship, finally tying them with the despised Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history.
A team that could have won its leader his sixth ring, the same number won by Kobe's idol and basis-for-imitation, Michael Jordan.
A team that could have completed the fourth three-peat for their legendary coach, Phil Jackson, who will now be remembered for hugely failing in his last season of coaching, leading a two-time championship team into getting embarrassingly and shockingly swept in the second round by a team that won't end up winning the title.
Did you believe Kobe when he said the Lakers would win the series despite being down 0-3?
A team that will forever be disparagingly compared to the great Chicago Bulls teams lead by Michael Jordan.
A team that will never touch the true greatness of the Los Angeles Lakers teams lead by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.
A team that will forever be questioned whether they deserved either of their championships, given that the Celtics lost Kevin Garnett in the 2009 season and could not defend their title, and lost Kendrick Perkins in Game 6 of the Finals last year, a series that they were dominating and were the better team.
A team that proved all their critics right, that they were not a championship-caliber team ever, that both their titles were illegitimate, and that they were always pretenders to the crown, never true champions.
A team that showed their true colors with Lamar Odom's cowardly flagrant foul on Dirk Nowitzski AND Andrew Bynum's even more disgusting cheap shot elbow to J.J. Barea, a tiny 5'2" guard (as claimed by Ron Artest) who legitimately beat him on a drive to the basket, resulting in them being tossed, exactly what they wanted given that they both had already quit.
As a Lakers fan, which team is ultimately better?
A team that broke the hearts of all true Lakers fans that wanted the team to prove its greatness by failing to even show up.
A team that will never understand how pathetic they have become because of the continued excuses of these front-running, bloodsucking bandwagon "Fakers" fans.
A team that will continue to claim they are "better" than their opponent despite being swept in a series where they had home court advantage.
Like I had predicted, the Lakers were blown out by the Dallas Mavericks despite making outrageous and plain B.S. claims that they would be the first team to ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win an NBA Playoffs series.
The worst thing about this blow-out is that the Lakers quit, and they quit in the first quarter.
Nevermind that the Lakers non-chalantly emptied out their bench with more than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter like it was a "meaningless" regular season game, not a close-out game in the NBA Playoffs.
It's said that LeBron James "quit" in last year's Cleveland Cavaliers series against the Boston Celtics, though he "quit" with a triple-double in the series' close-out game.
For all the criticism that James received for that series, he looked like he played with the heart of SEAL Team Six compared to this Lakers effort.
Will the Lakers make a Finals run next season?
What a slap to the face of the ever-loyal true Lakers fans that still held out hope that they could win at least one game.
And what a confirmation that this Lakers team, including its leader Kobe Bryant, are a team full of liars that simply don't care about winning anymore.
If Kobe was serious about believing that the Lakers could come back to win this series, he would have never stated it in the media where it would provide bulletin board material for the Mavs.
Like Steve Blake's empty guarantee of a win in Game 3 after being embarrassed at home in Game 2, Kobe's statement was nothing but a shady, slimy and dishonest attempt to deflect criticism of their awful play.
Don't believe for a second that the Lakers tried their best to win any of the games of this series.
If the NBA had instated a rule that any players on a team that lost their playoff series would need to return their salaries for the year, you better believe that it would have been the Lakers that would sweep the Mavs.
This is the tragedy of this season's Lakers. They played far under their potential.
While ultimately they would have lost the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat, simply not having the talent, athleticism, heart and courage of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James' team, they had enough of everything to at least win the Western Conference Championship.
How many more NBA Championships will Kobe win?
Instead, they were content to being humiliated by that Mavs, letting the opposition set the NBA Playoff record for most individual three-pointers in history and flirting for the most team three-pointers in playoffs history.
And perhaps that is a fitting way for this Lakers team to leave their mark in history, as a team that ultimately were pretenders to the pantheon of all-time great squads, a team that will forever have question marks and asterisks attached to their titles, a team that went out as chumps instead of champs, and a team that will forever be recalled by true Lakers fans with shame, embarrassment, horror and humiliation.