In LA, of course, it will forever be known as The Great Collapse. My friend Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times, who's been around here long enough to remember when there were no Laker Girls, says Game 4 represents the second-worst catastrophe in (Los Angeles) Laker history. The untoppable numero uno was the Balloon Game, the infamous Game 7 loss to the aged Celtics in 1969.
I was hopeful the Cs would win this series, but it never occurred to me that the green would inflict this type of permanent damage to the Laker psyche. Jerry West, who one day will be revealed to have played a role in getting Gasol from Memphis to LA, must be crushed. As I have noted over the past month, West has talked publicly about never having gotten over losing to the Celtics again...and again...and again. And as Bill Simmons noted, Jerry West was sobbing tears of joy when he presented the Western Conference championship trophy to Mitch and the boys in May.
For some reason, I don't hate the L's as much as I used to. But the evil part of me still takes satisfaction from soaking this all in.