Monday, June 15, 2009

Lakers are the NBA Champs

Hey there. The Lakers are the NBA champs! Hell yeah, baby!!! What a great way to end the season! After an extremely entertaining playoff run (playoffs in general were great this year), it all culminated with a Lakers' victory over the Orlando Magic. Kobe finally got that 4th ring and his 1st ever finals MVP and can finally put to rest the "Kobe without Shaq" talk.

While watching the game, you had the sense that the Magic were planning on making this a fight, but after the first half, their faces were dejected and you just knew that they were just playing the game to get it over with. It's a shame too. The Magic are an up and coming team and despite what Magic coach Van Gundy says, their lack of experience did them in. An experienced team would have the sense that the game is only half over and they have another 24 minutes to chip away at the Lakers' deficit during the 3rd qtr to give themselves a chance in the 4th. That never happened. They came out flat and without the flare that made the Magic formidable. Could it be because their leader, Dwight Howard, was plagued by foul trouble? Who knows, but that fire was not there. This series had the potential to go to 7 games. Games 2, 3, and 4 were extremely entertaining going down to the wire in each and 2 of them went into overtime. Though the world wanted to see a "Kobe Vs LeBron" match up, the Magic earned the right to represent the East in the finals and gave the Lakers a good fight. Congrats to them and their accomplishments this season. I'm sure that the Magic will take this experience and fuel that fire for next season.

As for the Lakers, this is the team's 15th championship. The team knows nothing but success. The fans of Los Angeles expect nothing less of them. During our rebuilding years, the fans tore into the Lakers for being mediocre. A 40+ win season is not good enough and the Laker fans were letting them know that. This championship makes it all that more sweeter. For a team that rides the wave of success, a wipeout completely threw this team off track. In the '02-'03 season, I believe that the team panicked went with all star players instead of team chemistry. Kobe, Shaq, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton could bring home the gold. As great individual players that they are, they did not have the team chemistry that today's team has. This proves to me that talent is not everything in the world of basketball, but managing that talent to play collectively for a common goal. For all the grief that Kobe has gotten over the years, I think he finally understood what a team is.

This is a great championship for the Lakers and the fans. One that I will surely remember for the rest of my life. I was drawn to the TV more so than before. I, too, was nibbling at my nails in the 4th qtr waiting for it end. I didn't jump as high as Kobe did, but I was up, raising my hands in victory, as if I was part of the team. I listened in on the press conferences, watching my team speak of their journey, with a smile on my face.

Los Angeles is not Green Bay, where a team means everything to the city. But this is a city where sports pride and loyalty is abundant. If you travel to Los Angeles, you are sure to find Clippers, Dodgers, Kings, Angels, Ducks, Raiders, and Laker jerseys abound. And each respective fan will loyally defend that club for life. A city divided amongst many teams, but never divided by their love of the sports. The people of Los Angeles are rejoicing. Now... I need to come up with an excuse to miss work and attend the Laker parade on Wednesday! Later!


  1. I think you'll have trouble defending the Championship next year. You won it in 5 games, but against a more experienced team I think that it could have been a completely different story. There's no denying that you have some quality players, and will do well again next year, I think it could be a struggle to win it again though.

    Orlando could (and perhaps should) have won games 2 and 4, a lack of experience and terrible percentage from the free throw line cost them though, and that's basically what it all came down to. Fisher shouldn't have been handed the 3 pointer that tied Game 4, and if Howard hadn't shot such terrible free throws before that then it would have been game over, pushing it to at least 6 games.

    I think that if Orlando had won Game 4, then there's a chance that they'd have won Game 5 as well, especially as it was on their court; as you say though, they just looked so dejected in the second half, and it was obvious that they were going to just gift the Lakers the Championship.

    Fair play to you for winning the Championship, I wasn't over impressed with the performances though, and although it had the potential to be a brilliant finals, the inexperience of Orlando Magic ruined it a bit really.

    Well done Kobe for winning it without Shaq anyway, and well done Gasol as well for putting in some absolutely brilliant performances!

  2. Hey there Rich,

    Repeating is always tough, especially when you key cogs are up for free agency. I also want to say that the team relied on their experience to pull them through the series. There is no doubt that game 5 could very easily have had the Magic up 3-1, or the series tied at 2 each. The reason the Lakers were up is primarily because of the experience that the team has, or better yet, the lack of experience from the Magic. Had Courtney Lee been there before, I think he'd make that alley oop at the end of game 2. Had Van Gundy face the same predicament he did in Game 4, I'm sure he'll foul right away with a 3 point lead instead of leaving the slightest chance of a 3 point play happening.

    But it didn't happen the Magic's way and all there's left is "coulda, woulda, shoulda". It's valuable experience that the Lakers have that the Magic could not match.

  3. Hey V, what's your opinion on the debate whether to hold a parade or not. Some say the state is so cash strapped that it should not be paying over a million dollars to throw a parade right now. What do you think?

  4. Hey there J,

    That's a touchy subject right now. I understand where the city is coming from, and I like the fact that the Lakers stepped in and said, "Hey, we'll pay half." But I see it like this, the Lakers generate a lot of money for the city. Merchandise sales, ticket sales, local business make extra cash before/during/after the games, sports bars are making tons of money during games, and since local taxes have gone up in Los Angeles, the city is getting their share of all that cash. I don't want to say that the city is obligated to throw a parade, especially when CA doesn't know how to manage their money (that's not the people's fault. But I guess, to an extent, it is since we voted them dumbasses to office), but I think it's a well deserved (and to some, traditional) gesture to the people of the city to be able to congratulate their local team.


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