Armstrong enters the next phase

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Armstrong enters the next phase

Lance Armstrong enters the next phase of his non-person stage today, now that Nike has given him the traditional Viking funeral setting him adrift and letting the tide do its work.But the news Wednesday is no more dispositive of Armstrongs long-term public prognosis than it was before the systematic nature of his lies and bullying overwhelmed even the people he made money for all these years. Put another way, there will be some other LiveStrong product in his future, and the only question now is how late at night the ads for whatever his next product will run.RELATED: Nike severs ties, Armstrong steps down as LiveStrong chairman
If that passes as disgrace in this culture, then it passes as disgrace. It says volumes about how we determine a persons worth, of course, since the history which has so offended people lately has been readily available for anyone who wanted to know.The point is, the Nike announcement, and Armstrongs resignation from the LiveStrong Foundation should have been regarded as no news at all. Armstrongs deeds were already glowing a radioactive green before this, yet somehow Nikes imprimatur was required to make it official.Theres a lesson in that, of course. It is proof that we have become so tolerant of misbehavior by the brazen and arrogance by the powerful that their disgrace can only be defined by the even more powerful.And intriguingly, Nikes deicison wasnt based on whether Armstrong was a maniacal juicer, or the hall monitor from hell, or a rampant liar. Nike fired Armstrong because he wouldnt be moving any more of their product, at least not in a rate that made him worth the bother any longer.In short, what Nike was doing was much different than what people want to think Nike was doing. The only thing everyone can agree on is that Armstrong is he and his army of defenders will have to find news ways for him to make money.And he will find them. He will not become invisible, not for long. Disgrace in America is as negotiable as it is flexible, and Armstrongs biggest crime making America believe he wasnt what he clearly and always was is one America usually gets over.It may take a series of contrived and insincere apologies on the daytime talk show circuit. It may take one long tearful interview from by some allegedly concerned celebrity interviewer. It might even take, in a worst-case scenario, throwing himself on the mercy of the French.But Armstrong didnt stop fighting USADA and its Pyrenees of evidence without mentally beginning his campaign back from Elba. He knew all these other shoes would drop, because he knows how the P.R. game is played at the highest corporate levels. Love to hate in 5.8 seconds, hate to love in a year or so.He is playing his bad hand in the time-honored poker way as long as he has a chip and chair, hes still live. And he knows he will not be abandoned to those who bought hardest into his mythology.And no, Nike never bought into his mythology. Nike helped refine his mythology, and cashed in on it with both hands and feet, but Nike didnt get to be Nike by biting the hook it baits.In sum, Armstrongs fall Wednesday may impress some people as final, but nothing is truly final except death and the Kansas City Royals. The things he did that should have earned him his shame were ignored by too many, and Wednesday s news was just a corporate decision rather than a moral statement.Whats wrong with too many of us, in the final analysis, is that we are so comfortable conflating the two. But we'll find out some late night when we can't sleep and misplace the remote when his ad comes on.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

On anniversary of Kobe's 81, Lakers score 73 in franchise's worst loss

On anniversary of Kobe's 81, Lakers score 73 in franchise's worst loss

BOX SCORE

DALLAS -- Justin Anderson scored 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 13 to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the Los Angeles Lakers 122-73 on Sunday.

It was the Mavericks' 13th straight win over the Lakers, who have lost six of their last seven games this season.

The game was close for 10 minutes, with Dallas leading 23-22 before the Mavericks scored the next 15 straight to blow the game open. Nowitzki had seven during the run.

The Mavericks led 67-33 at the half and never looked back.

Lou Williams led the Lakers with 15.

The Mavericks both scored the most points and allowed the fewest in a half and a game this season. The 34-point halftime lead was the third-largest in franchise history.

The Lakers scored their fewest points in a quarter, a first half and a game.

All 11 Mavericks who played in the first half scored and had at least one rebound.

Dallas' Seth Curry scored 14 points, including seven straight in the first quarter for a 13-6 lead.

The Lakers showed signs of life on a 10-5 run for a 16-15 lead with 5:50 left in the quarter. Julius Randle scored four of the points, and Luol Deng and Nick Young each hit a 3-point shot.

The game was tied 20-20 before Devin Harris made a 3-point shot with 2:46 remaining for a lead that Dallas never lost.

Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams also had 13 points. Harris and Pierre Jackson scored 10 each. Rookies Jackson and Nicolas Brussino (eight points) each reached career highs.

TIP-INS:
Lakers: They played without D'Angelo Russell, second on the team at 14.3 points per game. An MRI taken Saturday showed a mildly sprained right MCL and strained right calf.

Mavericks: J.J. Barea missed his 26th game this season because of a strained left calf. Coach Rick Carlisle said he didn't expect Barea back until after the All-Star break (Feb. 24 at the earliest). Andrew Bogut (strained right hamstring) could return this week, but would need a day of practice, according to Carlisle.

UP NEXT:
Lakers: Travel to Portland for the second game of a three-game trip on Wednesday.

Mavericks: Complete a three-game homestand on Wednesday against New York.

Report: Tomsula becomes Washington's D-line coach

Report: Tomsula becomes Washington's D-line coach

Former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula is reportedly back in the NFL after a one-year hiatus.

Tomsula, who spent his first eight NFL seasons as a defensive line coach, will return to that job with Washington, Carol Maloney of NBC4 reported on Sunday. Tomsula rejoins Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and general manager Scot McCloughan, both of whom he worked with while members of the 49ers organization.

Tomsula was promoted to the head-coaching job over finalist Adam Gase two years ago after the 49ers' “mututal parting” with coach Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula was fired after the 49ers went 5-11 in 2015. Chip Kelly was hired to replace Tomsula. Kelly was fired after the 49ers went 2-14, including a franchise-worst 13-game losing streak.