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VIEWPOINT / LETTERS

When Will the Lakers Get It All Together?

March 20, 2004

Great article by J.A. Adande [March 16]. The Orlando Magic players ran ecstatic toward Tracy McGrady when they thought he had won the game and they're not even in the playoff run. Phil Jackson hugged Michael Jordan after his last shot as a Bull, exclaiming, "That was awesome."

But not the Lakers, not Monday night. Some of those players and coaching staff sat and stood around that bench emotionless, some not even close to Kobe during his fourth-quarter run.

For all you Kobe haters, I think I speak for the majority of this town when I say: We the fans (and even the owner Jerry Buss) stand by Kobe. So you better wake up and smell the coffee or we might turn on you if he leaves because of your continuing childlike jealousy of him.

We don't want to do it, but we will trade our Laker No. 8 jersey for a Clipper No. 8 if that's what this team forces us to do.

Edward Castillo

La Habra

*

Kudos to J.A. for speaking the truth. This team is Kobe's team and will be for the next 10 years if he manages to stay out of prison and signs a lifetime Laker contract.

Whoever thinks that this is Shaq's team is a fool. When was the last time O'Neal took a game-winning shot? When was the last time he scored at will in the fourth quarter? When was the last time he controlled a game? Shaq needs to finally take a backseat and remember what Wilt did to win a championship: rebound, pass and shut up.

Geno Apicella

Burbank

*

After attending the game Monday against Tracy McGrady, I can honestly say I've never seen a more amazing effort on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter. It was a PlayStation performance that can only be described as "Kobe-esque," which can be found in the dictionary next to "Jordan-like" ... beyond comparison.

Chris Gagliano

Redondo Beach

*

Will Phil Jackson ever realize that the Fab Four cannot learn to play together if he does not leave them on the floor? Having four superstars each playing only 30 minutes a game makes no sense.

Please stop wasting valuable minutes on the reserves and let your superstars find a rhythm before the playoffs. Rest time is over.

Vince Roldan

Lakewood

*

Did anybody else like Stu Lantz as the Laker color commentator a whole lot more when Chickie Baby was around to control him?

I used to feel sorry for Stu because he couldn't get a word in edgewise. Boy, does he make up for it now with his constant carping about calls that go against the Lakers and shameless cheerleading for "the Big Fella" and crew.

Stu, the Big Fella was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an athlete with consummate style and grace who could even make free throws.

Shaq is the Big Bulldozer. And Stu, until you stop trying to dissect every call you disagree with, you'll be known as the Big Rationalizer.

John Wilson

Ventura

*

A player or coach says it's Shaq's team. A Times writer says it's Kobe's team. Enough already. We're talking about the Lakers, an organization that has been successful since before any of its present players were born. Put it together -- Chick, Elgin, Jerry, Rudy, Wilt, Happy, Gail, Kareem, Magic, James, Michael, Byron, Kurt, Norm, A.C., Horace, Glen, Ron, Shaq, Kobe, Rick, Karl, Gary and a host of others -- what you have is L.A.'s team.

Jim Bendat

Los Angeles

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