LOSE LIKE A CHAMPION: Part of why I recoiled from Joe Buck's "That is a disgusting act" lambasting of Randy Moss's moon shot is that such language properly should be reserved for the truly reprehensible, and not the merely cheeky. Which of course is to allow me to say that I cannot remember a more classless, unsportsmanlike, reprehensible set of actions in a sports event quite like the fourth quarters of the Mavericks-Lakers game yesterday, in which Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum committed fouls so flagrant that next year's suspensions (on whatever franchises they join next) will not likely be severe enough. Moreover, Isiah Thomas is now off the hook for most classless exit.
That's the easy part; any hack sportswriter could have told you that. The hard part is that this also ought to taint their coach's legacy as well. It's Phil Jackson's job to instruct his players to maintain their sportsmanship even in the face of another elimination road game severe ass-kicking, and to remove from the court those players who can't comply. If his orders were that Santiago not be touched, then he shouldn't have been in any danger at all; especially after the Odom ejection, it was Jackson's responsibility to figure out who could, and could not complete the game properly. His failure to do so should be remembered along with the thirteen NBA championships which he will carry with him into this retirement, and it would not be wrong for the NBA to fine him as well, and levy a suspension upon his inevitable return to the hardwood.
Just as bad, of course, we're stuck with Mark Cuban's punim for at least one more round.