The Los Angeles Lakers, champions of the NBA and probably still the best team in the world, lost to F.C. Barcelona? Really?
I guess it did happen, if this is to be believed:
Now this game doesn’t exactly mean anything because it’s the preseason (cue the 49ers’ undefeated preseason parade down Market Street) but it can’t be a good thing. Some will point out that Kobe only played 25 minutes, but that just means that the Lakers lost to what is in essence a minor league team (albeit a very good one) with their best player out there for 25 minutes. Pau played 36 minutes, Odom played over 40. It wasn’t even like they emptied the bench. The minute distribution looked much closer to a regular game than a preseason one.
Had Barcelona unleashed a great shooting game, this might not stand out as much. But the visitors shot under 40 percent with top scorer Juan Carlos Navarro going 7-for-21 (Ricky Rubio was terrible by the way). The Lakers responded with a dreadful shooting night from the bench or Kobe going a tidy 2-for-15 in those 25 minutes. Even with that LA lead by 11 at one point in the third and even then they somehow lost.
I admittedly turned the game off because, really, what Euroleague team of mounting a comeback against the best non-national basketball team on the planet? It might be an understatement to say that the Lakers only had the four best players in the game.
Credit goes to Barcelona for an absurd level of quality depth. Their bench is full of players that would be on the fringes of NBA rosters and rotations. That shouldn’t mean beating the NBA champs, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
Good day for Laker haters all around.