Michael Wilbon

Yesterday, a panel of ESPN.com analysts put their heads together and projected the Los Angeles Lakers to finish 12th in the Western Conference during the 2013-14 NBA season. Obviously, that didn’t sit well with Kobe Bryant, who tweeted “12th I see…” in response. Turns out Kobe isn’t the only one offended by ESPN prognosticators, as Michael Wilbon resoundingly denounced the prediction on today’s episode of Pardon The Interruption:

“Let me dissociate myself with this stupid prognostication on ESPN.com…because here’s my order of finish: Oklahoma City, Clippers, Spurs, Memphis, Golden State, in whatever order. The Lakers aren’t finishing any lower than sixth, and I think they might beat out a couple of those teams.”

For some reason, neither Wilbon, nor fill-in host Bob Ryan, even bothered mentioning the Houston Rockets, who, as you may recall, finished with the exact same record as the Lakers last year — only a tie-breaker knocked Houston to the eighth seed. Houston, if you’ll also recall, added Dwight Howard this off season. The Lakers, on the other hand, subtracted Dwight Howard. Thus, by the Transitive Property of “No Shit”, we’re predicting the Rockets will finish higher than the Lakers.

Now, we’re not saying the Lakers will finish 12th, but, barring major injuries to other teams, there’s no way the Lakers are finishing higher than seventh in the West. And, considering how hard it was to even get that high last season, it’s downright idiotic to claim the Lakers have a chance at knocking off any of the five teams mentioned. Or six, if you remember that Houston is a team that exists in the NBA, and employs people named James Harden and Dwight Howard.