LOS ANGELES, Calif, June 18...
The fault is not in ourselves, but in our stars, says Efraim Durg.
Reeling from a huge loss, Durg, the founder of Durgometrics, a hedge fund that specializes in sports betting, blamed "bad celebrity vibes" for the L.A. Lakers humiliating loss in the NBA finals, Tuesday night.
"They diverted the energy flow, " Durg said. "A crowd is supposed to beam power onto the floor to enhance the players, but they sucked it away from the players and onto themselves."
In an email to his investors Durg blamed himself for not anticipating the sudden reversal in the Laker's fortunes. "After the third game in LA I should have made a hedge bet on the Celtics," he said. "I could sense disaster, but I was like a deer in the headlights ...Just like the Lakers. "
Durg said he walked into the Staples Center for the third game and was struck by the lack of urgency in the atmosphere.
"Here we were in a must-win situation and people were more interested in celebrity-watching than the game," he said.
"The arena had a pre-season feel. People on their iPhones, waving to each other, chatting and smiling when they should have been screaming for Celtic blood."
Durg said that the sideline camera people spent as much time on the celebs as they did on the players. And the celebs spent more time watching themselves than the players.
"You could see them looking out of the corners of their eyes at the camera. Some of them tried to act like they were involved in the game, but you could tell they were there to be seen, not see."
He said what he called "Hollywood narcissists" were responsible for Laker's inexplicable Game 3 meltdown. "Did they get up and urge the Laker's on? No...They waited for the cameraman to work his way around to them."
Durg sputtered with indignation as he recounted Will Smith's interview with Michele Tafoya. "She asked him if he had any personal friendships with Lakers and he said he had been so absorbed in his character for the last six months that he hadn't had time for anything else. Then..." Durg struggled to control himself..."Then, he said he wanted the Celtics to lose to get even for all the times they beat his hometown team, the 76'ers..." Durg threw up his hands. "That's not rooting. That's not lifting players to a higher level..."
Durg said he had written to Laker's owner Dr. Jerry Buss to urge him to revoke the season's tickets for all "Hollywood players."
"I would let Jack, Dyan and Denzell stay, but if the rest of them want to see the game let them sit in the cheap seats (if there are any) with the real fans."
He said he had "jumped" on the Lakers in December '07 when the Las Vegas oddsmakers listed them as 6 to 1 to win it all. "When they got Gasol the odds went down to 5 to 2," he said. "I was offered a hundred thousand for my bet," he said ruefully,"and turned it down."
When asked how much he had bet Durg shook his head.
"When you win, you didn't bet enough," he said. "When you lose, you bet too much."
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