I too am a long time Laker fan, and I was very disappointed at the actions of a few players on the team at the end of the season. I was a season seat holder through the 80's and early 90's until a couple years after the team moved to Staples, and the one thing that always stood out was that the whole Lakers organization was about class and internal respect and motivation. The players self-governed themselves and along with the team management and coaches always pushed themselves to rise above their opponents, not just winning games but in being ambassadors for the sport. They also dealt with their issues internally - the players were really a tight knit group and when there was strife it wasn't played out in the press.
Perhaps it started with the failed Dennis Rodman experiment, but it seems that the team just doesn't reflect that attitude anymore. Artest is a very good player, but the Lakers of old would never have brought in someone like that - I don't think Magic and Kareem would have stood for it.
The recent actions by Artest and Bynum were simply classless, and I hope that the league takes it seriously and the Lakers' management also doesn't sit on their hands. Losing is never fun, but at least stand there and take it like a man.