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The better team won

June 19, 2008

Re "MVP? More like MIA," June 18

Kobe Bryant played his heart out. His teammates played their hearts out. They made it to the playoffs against the best teams in the league. They were simply outplayed by a better team.

Your headline was a gross mischaracterization. In fact, it was a cheap shot.

Brian Bard

Glendale

Someone has to say it: Phil Jackson is the most overrated coach in the NBA. It's axiomatic: If you have two superstars, you win championships. Jackson had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, then Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

While Jackson was busy grooming his beard and polishing his guru image, Doc Rivers was drilling his troops on fundamentals, particularly defense. The result was predictable. The Celtics got the loose balls; the Lakers stood around, turned the ball over, clanked free throws and watched Bryant do his one-on-one.

Unfortunately, the Celtics double- and triple-teamed Kobe, and Jackson had no idea what to do.

Wait till next year? Don't hold your breath.

Bill Bradshaw

San Diego

I knew it. As Kevin Garnett cried and hugged the NBA championship trophy last night, I wondered to myself, is The Times going to focus on the athletic achievement of the champions or sulk with the Lakers?

Bryant got his final glossy. And then, in the Sports section, there he was again, head bowed, sulking off the floor.

One reason the Lakers are so despised is that they are a one-man show. Bryant's ego is fed daily by the vain Times, which just can't put enough photos of the guy on its pages. Thank God that's over.

Russ Wilson

San Diego

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