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Sports News and Commentary, from a Ratz-eye view. Url is uniquely qualified to observe overpaid, spoiled professional athletes, considering his own substantial experience as a disgusting, narcissistic, athletic rodent.

Are the Lakers Great?
That's the question being argued by radio talk shows since the Los Angeles Lakers almost swept through the playoffs undefeated. It's actually an easy question to answer. You can determine if a team is great by using the official Url Ratz Four Step Criteria Method for Determining Basketball Greatness:

(1) Who is saying the team is great? If everyone is admitting they're great, then they're great: no questions asked. If most people say they're great, they probably qualify. If former great players say they're great, they might be. On the other hand, if the players on the team in question are the main ones saying the team has reached greatness, forget it. I've heard that one too many times from Dallas Cowboys. If former great players and hall-of-famers say something like "I don't want to take away anthing from what they've accomplished, but...", it's a kiss of death for the greatness thing—sorry Lakerboys. And what if the fans of the team in question are the ones claiming their team is great? Hey, that's they're job and they have obligations and responsibilities like anyone else. Let 'em rant and rave so they can setup their team for big fall. According to criterior number one, the Lakers are pretty good, not great.

(2) What was the competition like?
If the competition was really tough, then maybe the champions have a chance of being considered great. If, on the other paw, the competition was weak, or even rolled over and played dead, then the champions don't get greatness consideration. It seems obvious that the latter was the case for the Lakers. Sure, the 76ers put up a one victory struggle, and Iverson tried mightily to single-handedly defeat the Lakers, but overall the competition should have meant a sweep for the Lakers and they couldn't even pull it off against the low level of competition they faced.

(3) Was the team undefeated?
No, the Lakers didn't go undefeated. Not even in the playoffs where they had every chance to. This isn't a requirement for average greatness, but I just thought I'd bring it up.

(4) Was there was a millionaire giant on the team, and did he score 100 points and pull down 50 rebounds a game like you'd expect a giant to? And did the giant ensure that every victory was by at least 50 points?
Yes, there was a giant on the Lakers team. Even so, he never came close to scoring a hundred points or getting 50 rebounds. Only once, during the playoffs against a San Antonio team that was asleep, did they come close to a fifty point victory.

I'll admit that the Lakers may be hard to beat for the immediate future, maybe until Michael Jordon's kids grow up and join an NBA team. And I'm warming up to the Lakers, even if they didn't play up to my expectations. I was rooting for the 76ers and Allen Iverson because after seeing his former coach as a network commentator for the championship series, I could relate to wanting to choke him.
But as I accepted the inevitable, I changed loyalties and became a Lakers fan before the final buzzer so I could be part of the celebration. I find that this technique works with any sport. And I was glad I did because in the last few seconds of the game the Lakers proved they deserved to have me, a rat, as a fan when they lobbed an alleyoop pass to the basket as the 76ers were watching the clock expire. Now there's a team I can support!

In the Archives
Adios, MJ.
Url's Shakespearean trash talk
Url's Super Bowl analysis
Url's NCAA Tournament comments
Url's revised NCAA comments
Duke Loses

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