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Vail Daily column: Sorry, had to get this off my chest

  

Don Rogers
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

It’s my column, I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I … Well, whine, anyway. My two favorite teams got bounced in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Yep, it’s the end of the world.

The blood team, the Lakers, I can’t drop however much I wish I could. I’ve tried to quit them, but they are too ingrained. I grew up with them. Jerry West, Gail Goodrich. Happy Hairston. Wilt Chamberlain. Then some down times, followed by hoops nirvana: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Rambis. Green. Wilkes. Cooper. Showtime!

Then kid Kobe and Shaq. And finally Gasol, Odom, Bynum, and still Kobe. Kobe for 17 long years. Respect the player, not so much the person who dodged a rape rap here when his victim went for the money. Lucky Kobe. He could afford it. He might have deserved the prison cell. We’ll never know.



And the Nuggets. Ah, basketball the way it is supposed to be. No names. No superstars. Up and down the court, and “teamness,” in coach George Karl’s lexicon. Pure joy in mine.

Championships
‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’
Michael Jordan

Well, until the Golden State Warriors got that big moke Bogut healthy and took the Nugs down. And Stephen Curry, wow. Unbelievable shooter whose game goes a lot further. It’s clear that Bogut is the difference, though. He snags all those rebounds Golden State missed while the big guy was injured during the regular season.



The Nuggets were so exciting while their run lasted. More wins than ever in history. Karl finally won Coach of the Year. But watch out, the award can be a curse. And Karl is looking a little vulnerable after yet another one-and-done playoff. Coach of the Year also got trumped by the Warriors’ coach, Mark Jackson. Coach of the Year was most definitely not Coach of the Playoffs. Will he be the first award winner to be gone before next season starts? (Nah.)

I love the Nuggets, but the Lakers somehow run deeper in my soul. Sure, soul’s no exaggeration. I don’t even like them and they have to win. I should say I really don’t like Dwight Howard, supposed top big man in the game.

I’m with Shaquille O’Neal, who before the season started set off a stir by declaring that the Brooklyn Nets center, Brooke Lopez, is the better player. I agree.



So, here’s how I wave my GM wand for the Lakers. Forget bringing that doof Howard back at all, never mind paying him the max. Sign and trade him to the Nets for Lopez and, say, Joe Johnson. Howard is happy. The Lakers improve. Nets get suckered. Win-win-win.

Similarly, the rumor is running that the Nuggets might have a chance to get all-star power forward Kevin Love from Minnesota. If the Lakers can’t land that guy, I sure would love the Nuggets to do it. You bet it’s worth athletic marvels Kenneth Faried and JaVale MaGee, most talented and also just the dumbest player in the league. Well, next to J.R. Smith, who is the Knicks’ problem now.

OK, wait ’till next year.

Meantime, go Warriors. My new favorites.


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