Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register wrote:
Fifteen years in, Antawn Jamison thought he had a high threshold of surprise.
That threshold might be the only thing the 2012-13 Lakers have overcome.
Jamison had slogged through Golden State, Dallas, Washington and Cleveland in search of a championship, years that had given him only 42 postseason games. He is No. 9 among active NBA scorers.
He knew change was afoot. But he assumed hope would follow.
"I came here to win and do whatever it took," Jamison said. "All around it's a different scenario. We got the mindset that we'd eventually win 8-9 games in a row. It never got to that point."
It still hasn't. Maybe it won't have to.
As Lakers fans, in sackcloth and ashes, wail into the night, and as every day either brings a State Of Dwight Howard address or a clarification/apology from the Lakers' attention-seeking center, the team itself is actually entering playoff mode.
In any other market the fans would be applauding a 14-6 record since Jan. 23, which gives the Lakers the third-best record in the West during that time.
In any other market, Kobe Bryant's remarkable 17th season would be appreciated for what it is – his finest hour as a professional.
Those who have placed bags on their heads have also missed the fact that the Lakers are even sprouting a bench.
Jodie Meeks repeatedly strafed New Orleans from the 3-point line on Wednesday in that comeback victory, and Jamison had an eight-game streak of double-figure games that was interrupted Sunday.
Meanwhile, the injured Jazz and the defensively disinterested Rockets are developing a cough.
Six of Utah's next nine games are on the road. The next three roadies are at Chicago, the Knicks and Oklahoma City.
The Rockets have nine of their next 12 at home, but end the season at the Lakers and, remember, the Lakers only have to beat out one team to get into the playoffs.
Eight of the Lakers' next 12 games are against teams on the lottery train.
And, sure, the Lakers would be major underdogs as a first or second seed. But if you see Gregg Popovich and Scott Brooks, ask them how much antitoxin they'll need for Bryant in the first playoff round.
All of that is premature speculation, as the whole Laker season has been.
"It's been our chemistry, and we'll still trying to get it," Jamison said. "Steve (Nash) is playing off the ball sometimes, Kobe is dealing with Steve, Dwight is dealing with another scorer (Pau Gasol), it's time to get Pau involved, Pau gets hurt, Jordan (Hill) gets hurt ... It's definitely been a whirlwind.
"We knew it was going to take time, but in this day we don't practice patience. We don't have time for it. That was the case here. In all honesty, we wanted things to click right away and it didn't. So we had to practice what we preached. That was the most important thing, being patient. Playing for the Lakers, that's unheard of."
So was the idea of Jamison sitting every minute of six consecutive games, in December, as Mike D'Antoni, hired on Nov. 12, held auditions in real time.
"People kept asking what was going on and I had no idea," he said. "Mike and I talked. He liked the way Metta (World Peace) was playing at the 4 spot.
"It was difficult but since then, we've had a revolving door, Mike and I always talking with each other. It broke the ice. It's been different, dealing with three different coaches. Mike Brown had a way he wanted us to play, Bernie Bickerstaff said, hey, ya'll just play. And now D'Antoni has his sytem. But he's not running it anymore. He definitely had to adjust to us.
Along the way the Lakers, accompanied by the rest of us, forgot the jigsaw nature of basketball.
Miami wins with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but that required adjustment, too, even though all three players were versatile and in prime-time.
It is abundantly clear that Howard and Gasol are incompatible, that the Lakers function better with Jamison and Earl Clark at the 4. With Gasol injured, D'Antoni has pared his bench so that Jamison, Meeks and Steve Blake know when, and for how long, they will play.
"Instead of being worried that you're going to play only 10 minutes and you have to force things, you can let it happen," Jamison said.
He shrugged, with the bemused look of a guy forced to sit through a movie that keeps veering from pie fights to train wrecks to Batman giving up his cape.
The playbook is gone, but maybe not the silver linings.