After watching some replays from yesterday’s Lakers/Mavs game I am shocked by the classless ending by a couple of the Lakers’ players – Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. The Lakers were trailing big in the 4th quarter of an elimination game where the Mavericks were polishing off their 4-game sweep of the 2-time defending NBA champs. In their frustration Odom and Bynum resorted to dirty, cheap shots that simply made them look pathetic. And unfortunately it looks bad on the whole organization.
I am sure we will soon hear of the fines/suspensions that will be levied against these 2 players. Their coach has stated that he “wasn’t happy” with how these guys got ejected from the game; yet went on to almost excuse them by stating, “It was unnecessary, but I know they were frustrated.” Are you kidding me? The word “but” has no place in the conversation! It was unnecessary.
Others have called these players and the overall lack of effort from the team as a whole an “embarrassment.” I have already been seeing remarks like “I ain’t going out like the Lakers!” Jan Hubbard of CBS Sports likened the Lakers unto an “aging boxer – confused, flailing, and beaten.”
We often hear about the importance of a first impression; yet the last impression speaks volumes as well. John Wooden talked often about winning and losing with class.
In 2 Timothy 4 the Apostle Paul is warning Timothy that he needs to “endure afflictions.” (vs. 5) He goes on to then give his personal testimony/valedictory – his “swan song.” He explains that his life has not been easy – he calls it a “fight”; he then likens it unto a “race”; then he says it: “I have kept the faith!” Paul is going to walk out of life’s arena with his head held high!
And then he realizes what awaits is not fines/suspensions but instead reward – the “crown of righteousness.”
In hoops I call this “playing to the :00’s” and “busting it to the buzzer.” We need to realize that our actions affect the team. People are watching (the stands are full.) Let’s focus on the “necessary” and avoid the “unnecessary”!!!!!!