Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finals, pt. Over

No one's gonna start MVP chants for me; that much is assured. Which oughta keep some of the pressure off me as I try to step up and give my team the W, unlike- say- Dwight Howard at the charity stripe in crunchtime and the brilliant citizens of Orlando.

No one's gonna call me Mr. Clutch either, though. I'm not nailing gamewinners here. I still think the Rambis parallel from the last post is probably the best, most accurate description. I'm just trying to make some hustle plays while the stars catch their breath.

Enough about me. The Finals are over. And two things are written in stone:

1. Kobe has four rings, one without Shaq.

2. Phil Jackson has more championships than the legendary Red Auerbach.

I'm not stating anything groundbreaking, that hasn't been spit out, regurgitated, analyzed, thesaurused, re-analyzed, counter-analyzed, plagiarized, cleverly reworded, and re-regurgitated a billion times by the story-starved media (the best and maybe most honest article of which- at least that I read- is here). They're just the stark, unavoidable facts.

This is the part where- to give context- I have to confess to my anti-Lakerhood. Even though, I grew up a fan (after the Jazz) of Magic, Worthy, Byron Scott, Kareem, Cooper, Rambis, Mychal Thompson, etc. But, if I could do it over again, you know who I'd like? The Celtics. They had less flash, more soul, more Bird. But how do you tell that to a 4th grader in Utah who wants to see no look passes and is too hoop-immature to grasp exactly what makes Bird ridiculously once-in-a-lifetime? Thank goodness for ESPN Classic where, even if I can't change the outcome, I can revise MY history.

Is it jealousy? Maybe. But I think it's just that the post-Magic Laker teams have not been all that likable. Kobe. Van Exel. Vlade. Vujacitch. Rick Fox. Elden Campbell. The only one close to winning Miss Congeniality in that list is Sasha. And the only thing that makes him more likely than the other guys is the fact that he's a bitch.

Still, to complicate matters, I inexplicably rooted for the Lake Show when Gary Payton and Karl Malone joined. Shaq, despite the fact that I was rooting for him, would've called me a frontrunner. But I wanted The Mailman to get the monkey (and media) off his back. And he came within a fluke knee injury (I mean. Come on. That guy was a picture of pure health for his whole career, played through injuries all the time...what are the chances?) of getting one.

Speaking of monkeys, let's get back to the present. Kobe got the Can't Win Without Shaq monkey off his back. Plain and simple. I wished he wouldn't. But he did. I rooted against him in every situation except those outlined by Charlie T. But he's officially in the One Of The Bests (note the plural, please, no singular) conversation, no matter how many times I pinch myself.

Same with The Zenmeister. Folks can point to the luck of the draw, the talent closet he was choosing from, but the guy wins. The difference here is that Phil has entered the The Best conversation. I wanted that conversation to always end up at Red, I'll admit that. But there is nothing but room for debate. And Phil isn't done. Can the Lakers do it again? Does it matter? Will Phil somehow end up coaching LeBron? I wouldn't say it's impossible.

Because if we've learned anything from the last couple years it's


No comments: