I could not have possibly said it any better than Basketbawful reader Joe did in yesterday's WotN comments: "If anyone needs me I'll be at home lying face down on the floor with only the occasional wracking sob to indicate that I'm still alive."
Day ruined. Week ruined. Month and year ruined. Life ruined. By bad knees.
Said past, present, and future Basketbawful mascot Greg Ostertag: "They've been bugging me since I came back (in late December), but I could barely move (after Reno). I felt good there and I played good. I get out there and sometimes I do get loose, but usually the 'don'ts' are longer than the 'dos.' It sucks, but I knew going into this what could happen.
"I regret quitting when I did. At that time, it wasn't so much playing. I was tired of everything that goes along with it, like the travel, not being able to fall asleep before 4 or 5 in the morning. I was tired of all that, but I should have kept going for a couple more years.
"I hope people understand that this was not a publicity stunt. I genuinely wanted to play basketball. The first couple weeks, I thought I was playing decent, but I just wasn't in shape. I was starting to get in shape -- as far as conditioning I felt as good as I've felt (Wednesday night against Tulsa) -- but I just can't move the way I need to. These guys are young and fast. Some of them were just getting out of diapers when I came into the league.
"My mind was going a million miles an hour. I just realized it was time to hang 'em up for good."
Saddest day ever.
The Los Angeles Lakers: This may have been the signature play of the game:
Or maybe it was this one:
Or this one:
Or...well...you get the idea:
The stat of the game? I suppose it could have been Kobe's 8-for-21 shooting performance or L.A. going 6-for-20 from downtown. But to me, it was the fact that Darius Morris logged 18 minutes for the Lakers. And that's after the near whitewash they have coming off the bench (Jason Kapono, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy).
Another fun stat from the AP recap: "Bryant had as many field goals in the opening 24 minutes (one, on eight shots) as Heat forward Eddy Curry (1 for 1), who got his first NBA action since December 2009 when he checked in late in the first quarter for a 2½-minute stint in which he made a basket, grabbed a rebound, was charged with a turnover and got a pair of loud ovations from a sellout crowd."
Andew Bynum (15 points, 6-for-13, 12 boards, -4) is supposed to be the first or second-best center in the league, depending on who you ask, but he wasn't more effective than Miami's Joel "Punchline" Anthony (7 points, 3-for-5, 7 rebounds, +14).
Despite Kobe's recent throwback string of 40-point games, are the Lakers a championship team? It sure didn't look like it last night.
But maybe they just weren't aggressive enough.
Said L.A. coach Mike Brown: "They were the aggressors on both ends of the floor until the last few minutes of the game. We were aggressive the last six, seven minutes. You can't go over a 48-minute game against a team like this and allow them to be the aggressor for most of the night."
Of course, Kobe has other ideas...
Kobe Bryant, quote machine: "We might want to go back to some of the things that we were doing a few weeks ago in terms of me being on some spots on the floor and things where I'm most comfortable."
Translation: We're better when I'm scoring 40 points. GIVE ME THE BAAAAALLLLLLL.
Mike Brown, quote machine: "I had a great time coaching LeBron. I wouldn't be in this suit if it wasn't for him."
And he might still be in a Cleveland uniform if not for you, Mike.
Eddy Curry, quote machine: "Felt great. I didn't know what to expect. I've been working hard for this moment. This is only the beginning."
Josh McRoberts: He's like a zero calorie version of Bill Laimbeer.
The Houston Rockets: No. No, I do not care if they won. The Rockets were guilty of some of the bawfulest ball the modern world will ever know.
As Basketbawful reader Silvio put it: "Rockets scored 8 pts in 15 minutes, Q4 + first 3 minutes of OT. After Houston scored 58 in 1st half, they simply stopped playing, in those 15 min they went from +12 to -5. They played like they're actually payed to lose ... more precise, they looked like this seasons' Washington Generals."
The New Orleans Hornets: Silvio continues: "Still Rockets won in the end (7-0 in last 2 minutes of OT) . Sorry, Hornets lost again - there was no winner today, it just happened that one of teams was more determined to lose. Hornets. Again. Last 5 possessions: Jason Smith turnover, Jarett Jack missed three, Jarett Jack shot blocked, Jarett Jack turnover, Belinelli missed shot. Guess Hornets are still in quest for 'better basketball plays.' Good luck with that."
Monty Williams, quote machine: "I always tell them, 'Give the fight and do your best. We did everything we could to win the game."
Dude. Your team shot 39 percent from the field. Everything?
Luis Scola, truth machine: "We weren't executing the right way. They came back, and that's what happens when you don't play good."
Jason Smith, hope machine: "I'm only taking positives from this game. We played hard and that's what we have to do every game to give ourselves a chance to win."
All Jefferson, quote machine: "It's for sure we got fight. We got to get that reputation around the league that we're not going to be pushed around. We're going to fight to the end. Dallas may have won the game, but they know they were in a fight."
Chippiness: Settle down, ladies.
Shaq, clownin' machine: To the video:
Chris' Lacktion Report:
Lakers-Heat: Josh McRoberts muddied two boards and assists in 12:49 with a brick, two turnovers, and two fouls for a 4:2 Voskuhl, while Andrew Goudelock spent 52 seconds at GameStop for a Mario.
Hornets-Rockets: Gustavo Ayon stung his way to the ledger by a foul in 2:24 for a +1 and 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Houston's Jeff Adrien can now afford a lavish, expensive party for Clutch the Bear after gathering up a 3.75 trillion (3:46)!
Mavs-Jazz: Brian Cardinal wiped the floor with one foul in 146 seconds for a +1.