Memo to the Purple

The return of Andrew Bynum could tilt the odds in the Lakers' favor, of course, but recent history has not been kind to NBA Finals runners-up. Only one team in the last 22 years has won a championship the year after losing in the Finals-the 1988-89 Detroit Pistons of Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, Joe Dumars, et al., who swept the banged-up Lakers a year after losing to Magic Johnson & Co. in Game 7 in 1988. Coach Chuck Daly's "Bad Boys," you may recall, were a lot grittier than the Lakers team that was manhandled by the Boston Celtics. As former Lakers coach Pat Riley might have said of the Finals efforts of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, "I've seen more pushing in the men's room."

--LA Times

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