Responding To The Pressure

In response to:
http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-plaschke-20100502,0,3168820.column?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+latimes/sports/basketball/nba/lakers+(Lakers+Blog)

BILL PLASCHKE

Lakers’ second-round series could provide a pause that refreshes them

After getting all they could handle from Oklahoma City in first round, and with greater challenges probably awaiting down the playoff road, Lakers face (yawn) Utah for third straight year. It shouldn’t be that difficult for them, just as long as they act like the Lakers.

***

Way to go, Bill! Your Sunday column is a textbook example of a rival team’s overconfident put-down that the Jazz can post in their locker room and study, right alongside the usual game films and scouting reports, to multiply their intensity and pump up their desire to win this series.

Have you ever heard of professional pride? Professional courtesy? They’re two excellent and time-honored reasons you don’t trash your opponent. You may have your foot on his neck. You may have him in a “come along” grip that renders him powerless to resist. You may have hurt him in the clinches and peppered his face with jabs and combinations that leave him bloody and half-blinded. But you never say so. You never taunt his incapacity or lack of talent in front of his mother, his girlfriend, his wife and children, his buddies, or his boss.

You never underestimate the heart of a Champion, and you never overestimate the distance in talent, or ability, or desire to win between you and your opponent.

Haven’t you ever seen the climactic fight scene in “Back to the Future”?, “The Magnificent Seven”? It’s just when the bully has the other guy right where he wants him, and takes a moment to taunt him for a loser, than things turn around and suddenly it’s the bully on his back with a boot on his throat.

It’s probably too late for you to delete your column from the online Times and go around to all the printed copies of the paper with scissors to cut your column out before anyone can read it. But be smart. Don’t do it again.

Maybe you can be really smart and write a follow-up column  that takes the sting out of your Sunday column, makes it appear a bad joke, or twists the meaning so the people in the Jazz organization don’t take it the wrong way, like they probably will.

Are you smart enough to do that? If not, are you smart enough not to put your home town teams in extra jeopardy in the future by taunting their opponents into playing out of their minds and over their heads?

The ball is in your court, big fella. Let’s see how you respond to the pressure.
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