T.J. SIMERS

Fun and games isn't much fun on this day

Tragedy in Connecticut overshadows a Lakers victory. For some, sports will never be put in proper perspective.

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WASHINGTON — It just feels odd, maybe everyone is just a bit off.

All day long the TV is on and there's the Connecticut horror; the night is dedicated to watching/caring about a meaningless basketball game.

Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni appears to be unusually down, or tired, Friday night before the Lakers play the woeful Wizards.

"You seem to have lost your good humor," I suggest.

"I don't think it's a very good day to have humor, to be honest with you," he says.

It is not a very good day.

But how are folks supposed to react when devastating reality collides with fun and games?

Are the Lakers and Wizards supposed to play like most of us feel? When will be it OK again to show a little humor?

Is it wrong to escape from the feeling of just overwhelming sadness? Billed as fun, isn't it still?

One of the media members tells us that ESPN sent out an email earlier in the day to everyone in the company advising them not to tweet the rest of the day about sports.

Did they cancel "Around the Horn" as well?

I'm told ESPN radio back in Los Angeles dropped its sports talk so that Max Kellerman and Steve Mason could focus on Connecticut. I can't imagine anyone complained about less sports talk.

Kellerman and Mason reached out to their ESPN contacts in Bristol because Bristol is only 20 miles away from Newtown, so Bristol would know. Twenty miles or two thousand, isn't it all the same, Newtown hitting everyone close to home?

I only have to pull out my Blackberry and look at the wallpaper, the three cutest grandkids in the world, and feel for those parents who said goodbye to their children as they went to school.

I can't imagine, do not want to imagine.

But how does anyone hold it together after seeing a picture of a young girl's mouth wide open in terror as she's led from Sandy Hook Elementary with her classmates.

And she's one of the lucky ones.

Here they are throwing T-shirts to the crowd, the look on these kids' faces what every parent would hope for from their children. Is it out of place to be so happy?

I hear people all day talking on TV about wanting to go home and hug their kids. Who needs to be prodded so?

I'm with the Lakers this week and so is my daughter. She's like 85 now, but still my kid, and I'm lucky to have a kid who doesn't mind spending time with Dad. Or doesn't mind letting him pay for everything.

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