Lakers vs Mavericks. Talent vs Character.


I’m not a Mavericks or a Lakers’ fan. This post is not about basketball, but about character. Yesterday, Lakers center Andrew Bynum was ejected in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals sweep by Dallas after a dirty foul on Dallas Mavericks reserve guard J.J. Barea. With the Mavericks winning 98-68, Barea drove to the basket and put up a floater. Bynum entered the lane and delivered a hard elbow to Barea’s ribs.  Barea landed hard on the ground as the referee immediately called a flagrant foul and threw Bynum out of the game. You can watch it in the video below. It was so bad that ESPN announcer, Mike Tirico said “And that is one of the biggest bush league things I’ve ever seen! That is terrible!“. Interestingly, Bynum had just come off a two-game suspension for another flagrant foul.

Here what Mr. Bynum’s behavior tells me:

1. Our talents can only take us as far as our character is able to hold us.

2. Talent alone does not make a man.

3. Last year’s trophy means nothing.

4. Our true self will come out when we are under the most stress.

5. Our actions, not our intentions define us.

What else would you add? Am I being too harsh?

  • DeansDesk

    Great observation. Love #4 and #5. Talking off his shirt in some kind of defianceof rules and accountability says a lot too.nnn

    • As long as the coach puts up with this kind of behavior, it will continue to happen. n

  • #6. It’s time for some big changes in the Lakers camp.nnThanks for writing this today Maurilio

  • Roni

    I totally agree! Athletes are catered to in every way starting in high school. So many contribute to their character along the way it’s frustrating to say the least. They are so used to getting their way whether it’s grades they don’t deserve, cars, money and countless perk that they don’t know how to handle defeat.nnMeanwhile, you have to rare athlete like Rashard Mendenhall who actually believes in something bigger than himself, and has the conviction to share his Christian belief with others and then Champion drops him as their spokesperson. Had he been arrested for DUI, domestic abuse or had an altercation at a strip bar, they most likely would not have batted an eye!nnOur society continues to lift these athletes up regardless of their character. The crazier, flashier, wilder the better! Those are the teams and players that get all the endorsements, but the classy guys (ahem, like my Spurs), get labeled boring and get overlooked. THESE are the guys that should be lifted, not the obscene, flagrant guys.nnAs you can tell, this is something I’m very passionate about. I am a HUGE sports fan and a mother and I get so frustrated whenthings like this happen! Thanks for writing about this, I’ll get off my soapbox now! 🙂

    • @21a52dbecf2a7d38b11f3036afc0dcb2:disqus I’m tired of both NBA and NFL players getting by with, literally murder. As a father of two boys, I want my children to see that character, sportsmanship, honor and hard work looks like. n

      • Roni

        Couldn’t agree more Maurilio. My son is 10 and he is at the age where his friends and classmates are beginning to idolize these athletes. We try to focus on the good guys and those who have over come hardship to get to where they are. Drew Brees, Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford & Colt McCoy are a few of our favorite NFL guys. Having lived in Austin for 8 years that connection to Drew and Colt makes it a little more special for him.nnYou’re right when you say that even if a team were to fire a player, there’s always another team waiting in the wings. They NEVER learn a lesson. So darn frustrating!!n

  • Right on target. When he pulled off his shirt while leaving the court I thought that said “I am acting on my own and not as a part of this team.” He went way off the reservation, beyond just committing the flagrant foul. It spoke volumes about teamsmanship, gamesmanship and sportsmanship.

    • The big question still remains: will he continue to do that because he can? If the Lakers fire him, who’s waiting in the wings to take him in? n

  • I agree with much of what has been said here. Professional athletes are spoiled, are often times poor sports, and think they can get away with anything. But I’m not sure they’re much different than the rest of the secular world. They cheat and cut corners. So does the secular business world. They are arrogant. So is the secular business world. We see it more visibly with professional athletes, but we’re all subject to most of the same temptations they are (except maybe how many cars and mansions to buy).

    • Roni

      Good point Mike, however as far as athletes go, we support them by buying tickets, memorabilia and products that they endorse. They also get paid RIDICULOUS amounts of money to play a kid’s game, they do have some responsibility to account for. Like I tell my kids, “just because someone else does it, doesn’t make it right”.n

  • snook

    the league should step in and suspend him for at least a season with no pay. if it were me i would ban him for life. this is not the first time he has pulled this exact same move. he is gonig to really hurt someone at his current pace. also let the lakers void his contract recoup any money they would owe him and not count it toward their cap. and i am not even a lakers fan.

    • I wonder what they’re going to do. But everyone is watching this onen

  • Nevinone

    Hey Roni, nMendenhall a Christian?! Are you kidding. I think you completly missed the story on this one, becuause Mendenhall was dropped due to his remarks about 9/11. Never heard he was a Christian, but sounds like he is a Michael Moore clone.

    • Roni's a link to what I’m referring to. The next day Champion dropped him. No, he didn’t use the words that I would have used, but the message behind his tweet was “What kind of a person celebrates death”. Believe me, I struggled with that same thought the entire week. My gut reaction was to be happy, proud and relieved, but as the day went on and the days to follow I struggled with my emotions. As a Christian I don’t celebrate the death of someone no matter how horrible or evil they were, but was I wrong for feeling that? I posted several comments and questions throughout the week, but since I’m not a celebrity or professional athlete, it doesn’t get broadcast across the world and critiqued and twisted by so many. He may not have chosen the correct words, but he is a Christian and he definitely is not a MM clone.n

  • Two words: Tim Tebow. nnAs a Lakers fan, I was really disappointed by Mr. Bynum’s actions. I don’t think it’s ever acceptable to act like he did, whether it’s in public or private. It’s sad to see a professional athlete display himself in such a way. I’d like to dismiss his action as a spontaneous mistake, but that would be incorrect. In the end, it was a bad decision that unfortunately reflects poorly on himself, his team and his sport.

    • I’m with you on Tim. He’s my boy. But sadly, Tim is the exception here, the very narrow exception. n

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