Remeber that scene at the beggining of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' when Indiana Jones is escaping from that Aztec temple? And he's like halfway through his escape and he thinks he's through the worst of it? But then he looks back, sees a giant boulder rolling towards him and the camera zooms in and he just has this look on his face-"Awwww ****. ****." Well, as a Laker fan, I'm feeling like Dr. Jones right now.
I was babysitting my neighbor's kids. They had been put to bed, and all was going well. I was watching the ESPNClassic profile of Peyton Manning's life (good, not great). Well, that hit commercials, so I decided to check ESPNews to see what was going on in the Wild World of Sports. And then, lo and behold, the first thing in the Breaking News section--'Bynum injured in collision with Kobe'. And my heart...just...plummeted.
I should've seen it coming. Throughout my five years as a truly dedicated sports fanatic-things always take a turn for the worse just when it seems like everything's beggining to click. Notre Dame vs. USC in 2005. The Finals last summer. Canadiens/Flyers. Lakers/Suns in 2006. Yankees/Indians in 2007. And, the grandaddy of 'em all:2004 ALCS.
As of right now, the Lakers' Championship aspirations ride on Andrew Bynum's legs. Without Bynum, they will not win the Championship. Doesn't matter if they play the Celts or the Cavs or even the Magic. Without Bynum, each of those team's stars can go directly to the hoop. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars.
With Bynum, the Lakers have the most complete team in basketball easily. He offers a dominant inside presence on both sides of the court that Gasol just can't offer. With Bynum, Gasol, and Kobe starting and Lamar on the bench, the Lakers have 4 guys who can go for 20 any given night. Bynum is their rock. He is their facilitator when they need a facilitator and their scoring presence in the paint when they need a scoring presence in the paint.
So as of right now, early Sunday morning, I'm standing still like Indy does for just a short moment before he takes off running. Whether that boulder catches up is to be determined by that MRI.