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Bamboozled? That's a Safe Bet


It's pretty much "Piano Man" by now.

It's the same thing every time, it's absolutely wretched, but they keep playing it over and over.

Please. Make them stop.

The Trail Blazers and the Lakers persist in playing the same oozy playoff game, such that you have to ask somebody what year this is.

You want to change the station inside the arena but can't. It's an NBA infomercial. It plays again and again.

If this matchup included a parade, all the floats would be jackhammers.

Get to the Staples Center somehow. Pay $20 parking fee. Cross 11th Street.

Enter building.

Hear national anthem. Watch the Trail Blazers get contentious in the first half.

See the Lakers assume it's time to do business and respond. View the Trail Blazers making serious runs in the second half. Notice the Lakers assuming it's time to do business again and responding.

Never even for one sumptuous moment believe the Lakers will do anything but cement the victory.

Never feel the pulse rate quicken with any suspicion the Lakers might not cement the victory.

Ignore the scoreboard even when the teams' scores appear close, realizing the irrelevance to the Lakers cementing the victory.

Witness the Lakers cement the victory.

Feel the arid deja vu.

Hear Portland's good coach and nice man--even when it changes good coaches and nice men--say something along the lines of, "I'm pretty satisfied with the way we played, but a little bit dissatisfied."

Watch Laker Coach Phil Jackson enter and take a seat. Draw nearer as if Donald Rumsfeld fixes to speak.

Hear him say something along the lines of, "A fine game to open the series with."

Mill around. Hear the same questions. Hear roughly the same answers.

Exit. Try to find the car. Depart.



Which year is this? Really? Thanks.

Any chance of coming here Thursday and playing, say, the Clippers? No?

Here's the thing about Trail Blazers-Lakers circa 2002.

We know the Lakers are 100% certain the Lakers will cement the victory, and the Blazers are about 10% certain the Lakers will cement the victory.

We've seen the game so much by now, it can't pull anything over on us.

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