Bad year to be an L.A. fan


The Lakers won their opener tonight, but are in organizational disarray because of the Kobe and Shaq troubles. The Kings may be worse off. Eight games into the hockey season, not even three weeks, and here's the toll:

- Top star Ziggy Palffy was arrested this weekend after a complaint of domestic violence, and on Monday another player pleaded guilty to felony assault and got two years suspended.
- Two other key stars (Allison & Deadmarsh) can't skate because of head injuries from last year. Their prognosis: not good.
- A half dozen players, including the captain, are out with contusions, concussions and fractures.
- A Russian teammate can't get in the country because of an old drunk driving charge.

The Kings look much worse on the ice than their 4-4 record suggests. At, hardcore fans are already suggesting the team give up on the season, trade what they can and start over. Makes those $60 tickets hard to accept.

Susan Estrich, meanwhile says in her syndicated column that the rape charge against Bryant should never have been brought.

The prosecution blew this one -- by not exercising its discretion, by not treating rape like they do every other crime.

Hard cases make bad law. From the perspective of the laws that protect victims' rights, this is a train wreck waiting to happen.

You have the worst possible facts; the worst possible victim; the worst possible case for maintaining privacy. The "nuts and sluts" defense has found its cover girl.

Estrich, of course, is USC's nationally recognized pundit on the law of sexual assault.

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