Dearly beloved of Bleacher Report,
We are gathered here in the dank confines of Staples Center to commemorate the Phil Jackson era of basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers.
It died a horrible death at the hands of the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals.
Indeed, it has been a horrid outing for Phil Jackson's ball club, who played their worst basketball ever against a basketball franchise that takes pride in what it does.
What an inexcusable effort, Lakers. Unforgivable. Unacceptable. It's a moment to be damned in spite of it all.
Where is the intensity? The drive? The desire? The composure? Are you nimrods motivated to begin with?
I certainly thought Colonel Jackson got the appeals for the intangibles into your craniums after the halftime break, when you were down by six points.
There was none of it. I saw none of it.
But this is what I saw: terrible adjustments on the transition defensively and a offense that was nonexistent. Twenty-seven percent field goal shooting in the first half, and bad passes at critical times.
This does not equal a successful title defense. It simply will not happen.
Boston deserved to win this Game Seven. It was over before it even started.
I am going to go so far to say that it was divine right for these rapscallions from the Dirty Water capital of America to win this Game Seven based on the intangibles that were lacking from the group of gold-clad also rans, this pack of pathetic posers.
The Duke Blue Devils can beat the likes of you, Los Angeles.
Andrew Bynum...shameful, shameful, shameful. Just two points? Am I reading this stat correctly? TWO bloody points in Game Seven? Nice way to waste a golden opportunity!
Kobe Bryant...what happened to you? Did you end up taking a dose of kryptonite at the wrong time? I think you did, and you should be given a damnation memoriae for it.
You don't need to save the day every time, dearest Black Mamba. Facilitate. Get the rest of the starters involved. Drum up accountability. It's a team game. You already know this.
And how could you not be able to capitalize of Kendrick Perkins' absence, LA? That's inexcusable.
That said, I don't believe the Celtics need Perkins if they can play their best game of the season without him. Trade the big man with a knee issue, Danny Ainge; he is the weakest link.
Thursday night's Game Seven stinker comes on the heels of a similar humiliation two years ago on this same day: a 131-92 blowout in Game Six on Causeway Street.
It's déjà vu all over again; just in a different city and a different venue. In any case, the verdict: utterly futile.
When you let this garbage happen a second straight time, it just goes to show you that you haven't learned one damn thing from that loss. Even with your 2009 NBA World Championship, the memory of that defeat still leaves fresh wounds.
Those wounds failed to heal. And they will continue to stay unhealed until you face the Celtics once more in the NBA Finals...if it even happens.
I admit it's galling for me to declare the Phil Jackson era over in Los Angeles, whether or not one of the National Basketball Association's most accomplished coaches returns to the team or retires.
But trust me, everybody: on this gloomy evening on Figueroa Street, it is.
The ass-kicking is ended; commiserate in peace. Hold on...wait a minute; I am getting word that the era is not over, and the Lakers have won? Open the casket for me please...
The casket is empty!? Shine the light, faithful; it has risen, it has risen, it has risen!