Mayor Bass deletes tweet after Lakers' season ends: 'At least we won the in season tournament!'


Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, or whoever runs her X account, surely was looking to put a positive spin on things following the Lakers’ season-ending loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

Instead, the mayor may have accidentally rubbed salt in the wounds of the team and its fans.

A season that began with high hopes for the Lakers ended in frustrating fashion, with Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray hitting a game-winning 14-foot jump shot with 3.6 seconds remaining in Game 5 of the teams’ first-round Western Conference playoff game.

In the aftermath of the 108-106 loss that sent the Lakers into the offseason, this message appeared on the mayor’s verified X account:

“Tough season, but at least we won the in season tournament! Proud of our team, @Lakers.”

While the tweet was certainly well-meaning, Lakers fans likely weren’t in the mood to hear about any kind of consolation prize at that moment. Meanwhile, fans of other NBA teams certainly were happy for more fodder to ridicule L.A. for coming up short in the tournament that actually matters.

The post was soon deleted and replaced by one that applauded the Lakers for their effort.

The mayor’s office did not respond to messages from The Times.

The NBA launched its in-season tournament in November and December with plenty of hype. The tournament games were played on special, colorful courts and were interspersed within the schedule, with only the championship game not counting as part of the team’s regular-season record.

The concept was different from anything the NBA had tried before, but it seemed to catch on. The intensity of the semifinals and finals at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas rivaled that of the actual NBA playoffs, with players going hard for the $500,000 prize they’d each win if their team won the in-season tournament championship.

Following the Lakers’ 123-109 win over the Indiana Pacers in the championship game, the sounds of Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” blasted throughout the arena. Anthony Davis, who had dominated that game with 41 points and 20 rebounds, was seen demonstrating his excitement by screaming, flexing and stomping while celebrating with his teammates on the court.

Days later, in a move mocked by many NBA fans, the Lakers raised a banner acknowledging the in-season tournament win into the Crypto.com Arena rafters, next to larger banners that commemorate the team’s 17 actual NBA titles. As Times columnist Helene Elliott wrote at the time: “That feels beneath them. Trivial.”

Nonetheless, a big deal was made of the in-season tournament and the Lakers treated it as such. And that seems to have been the point of the initial tweet from the mayor’s account Monday. Maybe things didn’t end how Lakers fans had hoped, but there were smaller accomplishments along the way that should be appreciated as well.





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