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VIEWPOINT LETTERS

Time for Lakers, NBA to Change Their Stripes

June 01, 2002

While replaying the highlights of the white-knuckle, nail-biting Game 5, a local sports anchor pointed out a sequence of possible fouls on Kobe Bryant and the (clean) pick on Derek Fisher.

I heard the same grumblings throughout the city. I seem to have missed the complaints after Game 4--the extra three points at the end of the half, after the buzzer, the points that cost the Kings the game? Right or wrong, it's all a part of the home-court advantage.

My problem is that we as Laker fans, for good reason, are being branded as whining babies, much the way players are behaving on and off the court.

Win or lose, for once this season let's do it with the same class and dignity as in the Magic era, the same class the Pistons painfully lacked in the late '80s when they stole the trophy.

Jason Honeycutt

Hollywood

*

The Lakers are a real class act. They haven't lost a game yet. The referees have lost every game so far. Kobe is Michael Jordan--even though he hasn't made over half his shots in any single game of the first 13 playoff games.

What goes clank, clank, mumble, mumble, whine, whine? The Lakers during the game, during postgame interviews and in the paper the next day.

Reggie Boyle

Thousand Oaks

*

I have been a Laker fan for more than 25 years, and I have never seen a more poorly officiated playoff game than Game 5. If the officials are going to control NBA playoff games as they did in that one, I will not watch.

Diane Odian

Palm Desert

*

So Bobby Jackson wants the world to believe that he did not foul Kobe Bryant at the end of Game 5? Too bad Jackson wasn't around in the early '70s--he would have made a great spokesman for the Nixon administration.

And one has to compliment David Stern on his new "it's no foul if you pull on a player's jersey while they're shooting" rule. It's bound to entice WWF fans into watching the NBA.

Robert Johnston

Temple City

*

Once upon a time, the Fosbury Flop was an exciting innovation. But the Vlade Vlop is pure ham.

Jim Sitton

Banning

*

I think it's great that the NBA refs may use instant replay for quarter-ending shots. What they really need to do, however, is figure out what is and what is not a foul. Make a video, pass it out. I've been watching the NBA for 35 years and have no idea.

Game to game, play-to-play, player-to-player, they call or don't call fouls as if they're tossing a coin.

Greg Steinberg

Los Angeles

*

Let me officiate the playoffs and I could make the Clippers the world champions.

Dave Koepke

West Hills

*

The fact is, win or lose, Phil Jackson has neither a history of being a great game coach nor even a great teacher of the game. Style over substance, whether it be of a Zen nature or otherwise, does not a great coach make. This is not to say that Coach Jackson is incompetent. Far from it. But chanting a mantra, whether that mantra includes the triangle offense (Tex Winter) or Buddhist terminology (karmic retribution), is simply no substitute for solid game coaching and preparation.

You're an interesting man, Phil, but personally, I'd prefer the blandness of say John R. Wooden or even Red Holzman.

Michael Lazarou

Encino

*

Your headlines regarding the Lakers have had some interesting turns in recent years, but none more interesting than this postseason.

After Game 1, you printed "Time to Start Planning the Parade." After Game 2, it was "You Mean This is Going to be a Series?" What's it going to be if the Lakers lose this series? I have a suggestion: "Maybe We Arrogant Sportswriters Shouldn't Have Jumped to Conclusions and Given the Kings Some Tasty Morsels to Pin Up on the Locker Room Bulletin Board."

Remember: The word processor is mightier than the three-pointer.

Jeff Sosner

Sherman Oaks

*

Are there any milk cartons out there with Laker photos on them? It is the epitome of arrogance to believe that NBA championships are handed out for merely showing up at game time.

Charles Jones

Calabasas

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