What is it about losing that brings out the worst in people?
During the Lakers-Mavericks western conference semi-finals series, in which LA was swept 4-0, 3 different Lakers players were ejected due to flagrant fouls. Yesterday in Game 4 Lamar Odom got tossed and then one minute later Andrew Bynum put one of the biggest cheap shots ever on Jose Juan Barea, sending the point guard to the ground. Luckily JJ got up and was fine.
All I have heard since the loss is that the Lakers were frustrated. Frustration leads to anger, anger to violence. Don’t get frustrated!
I asked a friend last night about athletes who get frustrated when things go wrong; “We instill that insanity with incessant pressure to win. Some guys can handle it, some can’t.”
A while back, 1991 to be exact, wow that was 20 years ago; the Detroit Pistons lost to the Chicago Bulls in the eastern conference finals and before the game was over, (7 seconds left) Pistons players walked off the court, right past the Chicago bench refusing to shake hands with the winning team. In that series, Chicago swept Detroit 4-0.
I encountered something similar this past season during my first season; a coach from the losing side walked right past me during the handshake line at the conclusion of the game and refused to shake my hand (I ran the video back several times). Unreal!
Why do people change when they are on the losing end? Is there anything as a graceful loser?
Kobe Bryant was terrible in the elimination game. Bryant scored 13 points in the first quarter on 6-for-8 shooting. In the other three periods combined, however, he only had four points and shot 1-for-10. Bryant also had a game-high five turnovers. Bryant finished with 17 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Including 0-5 from three-point range.
Jason Terry made an amazing 9 of 10 three-point shots on the night for the Mavericks. His teammate, Peja Stojakovic was 6-for-6 from 3-point range.
After the game Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said, ”It’s been a wonderful run. … As Richard Nixon said, you won’t be able to kick this guy around anymore.”
Not sure if he gets enough credit but I’m going to give it to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. ‘Flipper’ has done a great job with this team.
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore