Relive It One More Time

Kurt —  June 15, 2009

I may just watch this on a loop all day long.

I can’t thank all of you that come to this site, read and comment, and make this a real community. I am just the fortunate caretaker, it is all of you that make this site special, and made watching the Lakers reach this pinnacle an experience unlike any other title I’ve lived through. Thank you all.

For those that have found this site in the last year, know that we do not take the summer off. This will be a busy and interesting off-season in Los Angeles. There will be draft talk, free agent discussions and some trade talk as it develops, and all done with the style we have tried to generate here. I will also be at Summer Pro League in Vegas giving updates. In addition to all of that there will be more stuff like great book reviews and just us having some fun.

Enjoy this.

—Kurt

Kurt

Posts

65 responses to Relive It One More Time

  1. thanks kurt for the insights, the nice video..
    we all know kof this team..kobe deserves his 4th title..the captain..the black mamba..the best closer in basketball(aside from jordan)

    Kobe wins this one with less supporting casts compared to the previous lakers teams (with respect to Pat, MAgic, Kareem, James, Byron, Wilt, The Logo, Elgin and Shaq)n the past..(with PAu as his sidekick)

    congrats to the zen master for this 10th glaring ring….hopefully he comes back next season..

    we belive, we wait, and now we cherish this championship…

    Cheers to kobe, phil, pau, buss family and the lakers organizations…lets celebrate this championship….and this is for the laker fans worldwide..

  2. I echo that, major props to everyone here for making this a great community with a high level of basketball discussion. And kudos to Kurt, Darius, Bill, Reed, and all the regular posters for all the work they do here.

    Been celebrating all night long!!

  3. Hey, Kurt, I say this not just as a Laker fan, but this blog is pretty damn good. The drop off in quality between blogs is huge and this one is head and shoulders above the rest.

    Really enjoyed the season, enjoyed checking for updates here first, and am DEFINITELY ENJOYING NO. 15!

    GO LAKERS!

  4. I’ve paid my dues
    Time after time
    I’ve done my sentence
    But committed no crime
    And bad mistakes
    I’ve made a few
    I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
    But I’ve come through

    I’ve taken my bows
    And my curtain calls
    You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
    and I thank you all

    But it’s been no bed of roses
    No pleasure cruise,
    I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
    I’ll never lose

    We are the champions, my friends

  5. Coffee is For Closers June 15, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Thanks Kurt for having great site for intelligent Laker discussion, and therapy after some of those tough losses.

    I’m actually a little melancholy after last night, a bit sad that the ride is over. Just goes to show you it sort of is about the journey, than the destination. It was a great ride, so much joy from watching this team overcome their competition and perserving through their own personal battles.

    I’m happy for all the guys, but just so pleased for Kobe. We’ve been blessed to witness one of the all time greats, but for a myriad of reasons, so many have refused to acknowledge it. This is a huge “BUT” that they can no longer throw into their arguments. People will still hate, but no longer will they be able to deny the greatness he’s acheived.

    So congrats Kobe.

  6. REDEMPTION!

  7. 15 moves to championship number 15:

    1. bringing back phil
    2. lamar for shaq
    3. signing of dfish
    5. pau for KWAME BROWN ;-)
    6. trevor for cook and evans
    7. shannon for radmonovic
    8. mihm to grizzlies
    9. waiving of SMUSH
    10. signing of JOSH POWELL
    11. signing of DJ MBENGA
    12. jerry buss for not trading Andrew
    13.phil’s zen philosophy
    14. kobe’s willingness, eagerness, drive, leadership, and determination to win
    15. fans all over the world for BELIEVING…

  8. sorry for the double post

  9. Please celebrate this season. Like many have said, it was such a journey. The countless hours watching the game, discussing at wonderful places like this site, and at the water cooler with all your friends, and even strangers. Isn’t it wonderful that sports can bring people together? Very proud of this team, they executed and they played defense, which is what we’ve been clamoring for all season! Too many good things to say, this is just a story book ending to a roller coaster season…or in other words Laker basketball.

    So much thanks to Kurt for maintaining this site and creating an environment for an open and intelligent discussion. Thanks for all the hard work Kurt.

  10. Wow, just got up and am nursing a terrible hangover…but still sitting in front of the computer with a huge grin on my face.

    This has to be one of the best feelings in the world, especially following last year’s heartbreak.

    I don’t post often, but I felt like giving props to Kurt and the other regulars on this blog- I read most of the comments and all the blog posts and I love the insightful discussions as well as the general attitude of the posters- there is no cockiness and Kurt does a great job of keeping an even keel through our topsy-turvy ups and downs.

    Let’s savor this one and look forward to next year.

  11. I can say I watched every single game this season in it’s full entirety. It was well worth every hour spent.

    I may try to make it to the parade Wednesday, I feel like this is the first Lakers team I really had a chance to connect with (my first season w/ tickets was 2005) so I am absolutely thrilled/kind of sad that the journey is over.

    Here’s to continuing the journey with this same team and getting a couple more!

  12. I am savoring this…but…let’s go get another. This team can turn into something special and perhaps go on a 5-6 year run of contending for a title. Let’s fill up Kobe’s fingers…

  13. 4 – Mimsy – That says it all, doesn’t it?

    (Who knew Freddy was a Lakers fan?)

    BTW, agree the champion “locker room” tee shirt is quite hideous. The “parade” tee is pretty nice though, IMO. Can be found for less than Lakers.com is charging …

  14. The emotions of this title are so much more complicated than the previous 3… or at least the previous 2. We HAD to get this one. This is the title that justifies every inkling of emotion we invested from 2006-2008. It closes that era and opens the way to a new one, the features of which I can’t define, but eagerly look forward to…

    Having said that, thank God it’s over and we can finally get back to what we do best: Asinine Trade Speculation!

    I think we should trade Fisher, Farmar, Odom, Pau and Ariza for Zach Randolph, Matt Harpring, Ron Artest and Earl Watson. We’d really solidify our toughness that way and everyone would run scared!

    Anybody noticed the meme developing regarding the Magic- They lost because Rashard Lewis wasn’t tough enough. Never mind that he was credited for being THE key matchup in the 3 previous rounds. Ah the more things change…

  15. Who’s buying the championship season video? Worth it?

  16. Snoopy – I’m definitely getting the blu-ray version

  17. For all of you living in LA, you might want to get your newspaper soon, I had a hard time finding a place that was not sold out of them. I found the paper that I had kept from the 3 peat year next day last summer and they are keepers for sure.

  18. Somewhere in China, Smush Parker is appearing on a cable access television show and is calling winning an NBA championship ‘overrated’…

  19. And, additionally, somewhere in Puppetland, that little kid is waiting for Kobe to finally get home so he can check out his hero’s brand-new ring and also to complain about his other roommate who, after losing to the kid in ping-pong, stormed out (to go lift weights) without even so much as a handshake.

  20. First, Kurt thanks for your work on this website. It has been a great place. Know that your work is appreciated even when I am awaiting moderation :-)

    Thanks also to the regular bloggers and contributors. This place is so different than others.

    I am so happy for the team – they earned this.

    Now (borrowing form Mimsy) my wish list for the coming months/year.

    1. Deep rest for Kobe and Pau (key cogs from last year – olympic finals and this year).

    2. Resign LO and TA – (It’s a wish list, right?)

    3. A full and healthy season for AB (and the rest of the squad).

    4. Kobe just as focused as ever, but free of the 320 lbs gorilla on his back. Kobe with nothing left to prove – just playing for his love of the game.

  21. As talented as our team is, this team is not a dominant force as some of the past champions, such as the Magic led teams of 80s and Shaq-Kobe led team of the early 2000s. It is due to the luxury tax/salary cap since no team can really afford two superstars on its roster anymore. Yes, the Celtics have KG, Pierce, and Ray Allen, but Ray is not even an all-star, and the Celtics are a rare exception. The closest to two superstar system was the Wade-Shaq led Miami team that won just one title with Shaq not being the dominant force he used to be.

    That said, our team has a chance to grow into becoming one of the greatest teams of the league history. The keyword for out team is skill and versatility. Kobe, Lamar, and Pau are three of the most skilled players at their respective positions ever. They may not do one thing extremely well, but they do a lot of things fairly well, with Kobe doing most of things extremely well. We also have young, talented players who have particular skill sets that make our bench very versatile. I think our team can play almost any style imaginable on basketball court. Although it was madening at times to see our team struggle, it was a work of art when the team was clicking at both ends of the floor. We saw the glimpse of their future as they were clinching the NBA championship against various opponents. Our team truly grew up right before our eyes. Before the season started, they questioned their intensity, toughness, and defensive fortitude. They addressed all those isssues and even previewed how much better they could be in coming seasons, if they all return.

    I think both Phil, Kobe, and Fisher enjoyed the journey as they watched our wide-eyed young ‘uns grow and become men of character and conviction. This team is convinced that they can win now and in the future. I’m thankful that we were part of it as witnesses and supporters. I know that nothing in life is guranteed. But if this team comes back, meaning both PJ, LO, and Ariza returning, it can show how beautifully basketball can be played.

    But whether that happens or not, I’m just glad that we the fans stuck it out and believed in our team. When they suffered the agonies of defeat, we ached with them. When they tasted the glories of victory, we celebrated with them. Being a fan is not about blindly going along for the ride and complaining all the way through. It’s about finding out more about our team, hoping that they will solve the problems along the way, and applauding when they give their best. I feel like the true Laker fans at FB&G have done that and been rewarded with one of the best rides in the last two decades.

    Thank you for the ups and downs of the ride, Lakers. But thank you for screaming and clapping together before, during, and after the ride, Laker fans. We really deserve this Championship as a team and as fans.

  22. Lonely Laker fan out here in the Philly area, who only discovered this blog toward the end of this splendid season. Thanks for the great coverage and analysis. Very nice, and a fitting venue to discuss this great team.

    This one is sweet.

  23. the other Stephen June 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    thank you to kurt and all the other awesome contributors who’ve consistently gathered here and made this site so enjoyable and informative to read for the past four years or so. you guys are purple and gold all the way through, and are the best of fans!

  24. No, thank you Kurt and all the great regulars. This is the only blog I’ve seen that allows for this level of conversation. And it’s conversation that can encompass not only the Lakers, but the whole NBA. This was my first season and I will be back for the trade & FA talk, but that’s later. I’ll be soaking this up for a few weeks.

    All you fans living in LA are extremely lucky. My time at game 4 was incredible with the mini Laker nation we had going, but you guys have the real deal all the time. Enjoy the parade and do it big for all us Laker fans around the nation & world that can’t be there!

  25. Thank You Kurt and all of the regulars here. Reading this site, learning from the contributors and sharing in the joy of watching the Lakers this past season has been incredible.

    See Y’all at the parade. I’ll be rocking my FB&G shirt!!!

  26. One more reason to love Odom; this quote I lifted from ESPN.com made me laugh aloud.

    “First of all, I got traded for Shaq. He got traded for Kwame Brown to the Lakers.”

    — Lamar Odom, sitting at the podium next to Pau Gasol one year removed from the pounding he and Pau absorbed from the Boston Celtics’ front line, when asked how it felt to be a champion now after both had been discarded by Miami and Memphis, respectively

  27. #19. By far would be the funniest puppet commercial of them all.

  28. Thank you Kurt! No more words are necessary…

  29. I don’t live in LA anymore, so I hope one or more people from FBG will be at the Parade and post/link to some pix if possible.

  30. About this team not being so dominant…

    The coaches, the team, and even the commentators talk about this team having something click on the defensive end in the 5th Denver game.

    People, this is where dominance comes from. Saying we don’t have dominance because we didn’t have it in November is nonsensical – teams learn this, they aren’t born with it.

    You measure a team by how they finish, not how they start.

    We shouldn’t start to talk about how this team compares until several years down the road. Sorry if you don’t have the patience, but that is when you measure a team historically.

  31. Back to the well:

    http://antwonomous.blogspot.com/2009/06/kobe-wins-fourth-title-and-now-we-sleep.html

    This is gonna be like a week long celebration. And just think, we get to be defending champs for the rest of the summer and an entire season at least. Does life get any better than this? I think not.

  32. When one thinks of all the great ballers who never made the League, let alone all the great players who never made it to the final rounds of the the playoffs and finally, all the greats who never won a ring, it’s a sticky, slick butcher’s block of the defeated whose memory is kept alive by something that transcends this and every championship. It is love for the game.

    It can be Melo’s strength and touch. It can be LeBron’s perfect design. It is Howard’s raw motor. It’s in Yao’s size and skill. It’s in Rondo’s length and vision, in D-Will’s burly vision, in Rose’s explosion, In Thad Young’s next step, Granger, Durant and the Kids, Duncan’s method, Artest’s madness, Roy’s balance- this list is only beginning. This game is the greatest game on the planet and even as the joy of OUR TEAM celebrating, anticipating the late October ring ceremony in their honor (please let the core all be there in purple and gold warm-ups), I think this forum does a tremendous job of attracting Lakers fans who anticipate and love the other narratives, the other players, the other games, and the other fates that our team managed to avoid this season.

    To the fallen heroes who’ll rise again in the Fall.

    It was late and I was well into the celebratory brew when I got to watch the footage of post-game celebrations and interviews. Some observations.

    Kobe is transformed. He is at the tail end of his athletic prime. I think he is just beginning his basketball prime. When it is all said and done, in 6 years from now, commentators will be making much sounder, more realistic comparisons between him and Jordan.

    “LO is what LO is” will not change. This is the quote attached to him forever. What has changed is that LO is a champion. If soul and spirit are two different things then Phil is the spirit and LO is the soul (racial overtones, I’ll admit, but said with love).

    Pau is now the Eurolajuwon. Imagine The Dream inspired by Gaudi and whiskers. Seriously, Pau is only man alive whose whiskers grow on his whole head.

    The franchise catches and passes the C’s if Bynum stays healthy. I am genuinely looking forward to seeing this team come back together after a summer free of national team obligations. I’m looking forward to seeing if this run has done for this team what last year did for Rondo, Big Baby, Perkins and some of the other young players on last year’s great championship team. The run this year was every bit as impressive as their winning run last year. I’m looking forward to seeing if the Jordan treatment we saw heaped on Kobe last night, stands the test of time. I knew it would happen. I have seen all the other narratives switch at the moment that the media has decided it is safe to call the championship (with this run it began after game 4). I have seen it time and again, be it how Magic was perceived until ’85, how Jordan was perceived until ’91, to a lesser degree Olajawon until ’94, certainly Shaq until ’00 or maybe ’01. We see it in how players like Malone and Barkley are perceived today.

    I think we see in microcosm what it is that gives power to some of our social divide. ESPN had an article on some basketball camp in Switzerland. the details escape me but the feelings they express about American basketball are based on a “right-way” egalitarian approach to basketball which, those involved with the camp, contrast with the American mentality of individual glory and shame visited upon the loser. I’ve been looking for the article for going on a half an hour, hoping to link to it, but I just want to get this off my chest.

    Excellent teams like the Lakers, the C’s, the Spurs, Detroit for that short while, Utah back in the day, the Bulls of course- they had strong team concepts that fedback on execution and watching those teams execute in the face of adversity is what makes for great basketball. The teams that eventually win it all are imbued with a glorious aura which the media becomes mesmerized by, fans become inculcated with, which casual observers accept as truth and which the winning team becomes confident in. There is injustice in this fact. There are many players who might have come to the Lakers in the Ariza trade and they would have accomplished something just as spectacular. The Kobes and Paus are more rare and probably separate the Lakers from the rest. Beyond that, there are plenty of players in the NBA who but for a few bounces, a retracted trade, an injured ankle, a bad coaching decision, would now have their narrative changed by becoming champions. The Lakers now get the benefits of having won the championship but there are dozens, if not hundreds of players, whose narrative
    is stuck in a place that only circumstances, not talent, have written for them. Hell, even talent, will, commitment and all that are circumstances.

    What I am trying to say is, as unfair as it was that the Lakers were viewed as they were after getting beat by the C’s, there are plenty of teams and ballers who are not being accurately discussed today. Did Melo grow up some? Sure, but you could see he had it in him when he won in Syracuse and his past tantrums were just the other side of a good coin. Has Billups lost his big shot making ability, or was he just unlucky in the way that Fish became lucky with 4.6 left? What happens if AK47 changes places with LO? What does Bosh contribute in the place of Pau? I think this is a good time to admit that we generally love a winner and misunderstand losers. I’m waiting to see what half baked narrative the media comes up with to sell to the unimaginative public. And yes, I am in the moment too.

  33. The day after and I still have a giddy grind on my face feeling like Kobe when he says, it’s like being a kid in a candy store. What a wondering feeling.

    The smile reminds me of the giddiness and jubilation I felt when I found out that we were gifted Pau Gasol while ridding ourselves of no-hands Kwame Brown. IMO, the beginning of this journey. It’s the same smile I had when I saw Fish knock down those 2 3’s. That 2nd shot and the smile that broke across Fisher’s face will always be with me. It encapsulated this whole playoffs experience for me as I (guiltily am admitting) rocked Journey’s “Don’t stop believing” for the last few weeks and that smile says it all and fits so perfectly the moment and message of the song.

    Today there are 2 songs that keeps running through my head, “I love LA” and of course “We are the champions..”.

    Thank you Phil
    Thank you Pau
    Thank you Kobe
    Thank you Ariza
    Thank you Odom
    Thank you Fish
    Thank you all the great role players
    Thank you Mitch
    Thank you coaching staff

    Thank you everyone on this wonderful site for this amazing ride. I am so happy to have shared the last four years with everyone on this site through this crazy roller coaster ride that is our WORLD CHAMPION LAKERS!

  34. @R,
    Freddie was too awesome to be anything but a Laker fan! Suggested theme song for next season: Another One Bites The Dust :)

    @VoR,
    That’s pretty much the exact wish list I was going to post, with one important difference: Somewhere on there, very high on the wish list is “Keep Phil Jackson for at least one more season.” Just like we could never have ended this season the great way we did without Pau, Lamar or Trevor Ariza, we would never have made it here without Phil. He’s a vital part of this championship team, maybe the most vital, and I hope they make keeping him a priority.

  35. i have been an avid reader of this forum(though first time poster) and i have to say that has been a great space for all laker fans. thanks kurt and everyone.

    now i have been following kobe’s career ever since that all star game debut of his in msg, and it has been incredibly rewarding to see the amazingly fast start to his career early on then that bottom periods which followed and now he has climbed back to the top with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the difficulty of winning and his own abilities and flaws. this is an exciting time for basketball

  36. Feeling a little at a loss today.

    I had hoped to feel more joy, but I fear like I’m getting too much like Jerry West in that the emotion I feel most is relief. Relief that this team – who I had so much time and emotion invested in – was able to finish the season off the way I hoped they would. Relief that Phil could finally make Red roll all the way over in his grave. Relief that Kobe could finally get that stupid “Never won without Shaq” monkey off his back. Relief that this season didn’t end as badly as last season.

    And also a little sadness – because like with any achievement that is hard-fought and hard-won, once you it’
    s over you realize that all of the fun was in getting there.

  37. Also, it occurred to me last night that who would have thought when the playoffs started that the Denver Nuggets might just be the 2nd best team in all of basketball?

  38. Robinred-I will be at the parade and will get some good, somewhat drunk photos for the out-of-towners to see.

  39. Coffee is For Closers June 15, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    In case everyone wanted to see one last “gone fishing” episode:

    http://www.nba.com/video/channels/playoffs/2009/06/15/nba_20090614_postgameshow_topmoments_4.nba/

  40. Hey all at FB&G, long-time reader, first-time poster. All these games, all these ups and downs – I’ve been there for them but always felt like you guys had already said it better, faster, smarter, funnier, sadder, the whole gamut.

    Anyway just wanted to share something that I was really reminded of yesterday by DFish’s postgame comments. He talked of hitting rock bottom and coming all the way back, and of course we all know how difficult things have been for his daughter, but at least basketball-wise, I thought, the Warriors and Jazz weren’t that bad when you were there!

    Then I remembered a game between the Lakers and Warriors I attended in April 2005. One of the last games of our season, the Warriors were on their way up, and we were on our way down. At least we could end the season on a positive note? Not even close. We lost by almost 30, and at one point we were down by 41. It literally hadn’t gotten any worse the whole season. At the end of the game, Derek and Kobe shared a hug that almost reminded me of their hug last night. This was just as long and just as emotional, except this time, both of them were opponents, and you could tell they were sad because they had lost everything in a basketball sense. Both on lottery teams, both separated from old teammates, both hitting the low point of their careers.

    To make it back to the top with the utmost class and tenacity and even with that great smile, thank you Derek.

    Thank you Kobe, Phil, Mitch, the Buss family, the assistant coaches (all of whom I hope stay!), the players, and the CIUDAD!

  41. Basketball inmortality…. that’s what we just achieved here.

    Kobe: 6 finals, 4 titles in 9 years.
    Celtics: 6 finals, 4 titles since 1980 (29 years)
    Lakers: 13 finals, 9 titles since 1980.

    Red has been passed. Now the task is passing the Celtics up for # of championships won. Go Lakers!

  42. I know that it might be to soon to be worried, but it seems that Pau is actually thinking about playing the Eurobasket this summer in Poland (september).

    Obviously as spaniard I’d be delighted with him playing for the national team, but as a Laker fan I don’t really like the idea.

    Maybe the Lakers should have a few words with him? Or there’s any rule out there forbidding the teams from preventing the palyers to attend their national teams?

  43. #42 (MannyP13) great way to put things in perspective of who’s the better franchise!

    That got me thinking why this particular Lakers team is such a joy to watch. 50% of the players on our roster of 14 (Kobe, Fisher, Bynum, Sasha, Luke, Farmar, and Sun) have all been home-grown and drafted by the Lakers (technically Kobe wasn’t drafted, but we’ll conveniently ignore that).

    That is impressive!!

  44. After the Olympics, sandwiched between two trips to the NBA Finals, I think Pau really has a feel for his own mortality.

    I say, let him decide. It’s not our choice.

  45. one of the biggest reasons fb&g is the best laker site out there – there’s laker talk ALL YEAR LONG. thank you, kurt, for providing a place for laker fans to go in the summertime when all the other sports media outlets in LA focus their attention elsewhere. of course i wish all local LA teams well, but the only team i ever care to talk about is the lakers. will be an interesting (and hopefully great) summer w/ the whole free agency situation, but in any case it’s a great time to be a long-standing laker fan.

    again, thanks to kurt and all the other frequent posters out there that make this site what it is.

  46. Lot of love on this blog…maybe too much.
    Great job Kurt, I am impressed but not surprised. Looking forward to next year!

  47. brian-

    good point. i was thinking the same thing on sat – no more laker games until next season!! they’ve been a fun team to root for this year. just a bunch of guys working really hard and doing their best for each other, you know? good to see them reach their goal, but there’s definitely a bit of sadness knowing that the fun ride’s finally come to an end. or maybe it’s just the beginning…

  48. I’m thrilled the Lakers won the title and actually a little surprised. Not one player with the major exception of Ariza was better then they were last year and many of them were significantly worse (looking at you Sasha). I think that suggests the team just ran into a buzzsaw in last years finals against an unbelievably hungry Boston team. I still liked last year’s team flow better, especially on offense but this year’s team was definitely hungier.

  49. Archon,
    I beg to differ. Pau, Lamar, Ariza (mentioned), and Kobe himself were all better this year. Also, they had the entire year to work together. Also, they added Shannon Brown.

  50. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2009/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=Finalists1-10

    FWIW, Hollinger rates this Lakers team as the ninth-best finals team in history.

  51. j.d. Hastings June 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    John Hollinger is crazy. The 2001 Lakers don’t even crack the top 10? Crazy.

  52. Not Charlie Rosen June 15, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    So…when’s the next game?

  53. @Mimsy – I didn’t put Phil on the wish list because I am assuming he is coming back (along with Kobe). If there is a question on either one – by golly – get them on the list quick.

    For those feeling a sense of loss – I can understand, but for me there is such a sense of this story reaching a satisfying conclusion, I am content. Last year there was unfinished business and the season couldn’t get here fast enough. This year, I am with Kobe – time for the beach. (I am looking forward to the offseason and discussions here at the forum B&G).

  54. THIS SITE HAS BEEN A GOD SEND.

    I CANT STOP SMILING!!!!!! wow what a season

  55. Archon, the Laker TEAM was better, that was the biggest difference. Their team defense was considerably better, they had a healthy Trevor Ariza and enough of an Andrew Bynum to make a big defensive difference. On offense, they were just smarter, more patient, more experienced. The drop off of guys like Sasha this year was far outweighed by the improved team play, particularly on defense.

  56. BCR,

    I like how this year’s Lakers team is one spot ahead of last year’s Celtics team. Ha, ha. Nice.

  57. Great work on being hands-down the best site for serious love and analysis of our Lakers.

    The Lakers had to endure the taste of blood in their mouths at the hands of the Celts last year; they had to know what it was like to FEEL invincible, only to realize that someone wanted it more than them, was more prepared for the moment than they and respected the immutability of defense and rebounding winning championships more than the Lakers.

    Men is the proper analog, as this team grew up both in mind and in doing, facing adversity, naysayers and moments of real doubt, only to stand tall when it mattered most.

    I love the line from Derek Fisher last night talking about how he and Kobe kept talking about how unreal it was going from the top down to the bottom, and then finding their way back to the top again.

    I am probably most happy for Pau, as he was fairly maligned last year, addressed it like a man then but answered it like a man all season and playoffs long.

    So much love for this team…here’s a post that attempts to wrap it up:

    Making Plays and Dagger Blows: Lakers Win 15th NBA title (http://bit.ly/yYjqL)

    Cheers,

    Mark

  58. j.d. (3:05 p.m.): In the criteria, Hollinger lists regular-season performance. Although the Lakers only lost one playoff game in 2001 (and that one was an OT loss involving some questionable calls at the end of regulation), they did not have a dominating regular season. They went 56-26, tied for second best in the league, but obviously far short of their 67-15 record the previous year.

    One can argue Hollinger’s relative weightings (I didn’t read his article closely enough to see if he gave all his weightings), but once those are set, it’s just a matter of number-crunching. It seems a bit of a clinical approach to a bar-room argument, but it does at least have the advantage of being defensible against charges of favoritism.

  59. Having been away from LA while at college on the east coast for the entire regular season and for the first 2 rounds of the playoffs, this blog definitely helped me keep up with the team. Thanks, FB&G!

    I saved up enough to get League Pass Broadband, and I can say that I watched at least 75 games during the season and every single playoff game, often staying up past 1:30am just to watch. As a fan, this championship means so much just because I can remember the entire journey!

  60. Having been watching the Lakers since I was a little kid in the mid-70s I feel very fortunate to have witnessed so many championships (and close heart-breaking Finals losses). Not many fans are so lucky (and I’m talking ‘true’ fans, not the front-running type who’s always routing for the top team at the moment).

    Thinking all day about how different my reaction has been to each of the ‘first’ championships (’80, ’00, ’09). Back in 1980 (when I was only 13) I just felt the pure unadulterated joy that only a young person can achieve (as a young person just starting to get involved in things and interests that were ‘adult’ and would last a lifetime). I couldn’t believe that *my* team was actually a champion!

    In 2000 I was ecstatic and a bit shocked, because it had been so long since the Lakers had last won, it was almost impossible to believe that the Lakers were back on top.

    And then there is this title. I’m joyous, but like Brian above (1:32pm) I’m also just relieved. Much like the year (’84?) after the Lakers had given the title away to Boston (thanks Worthy for that cross-court pass :) ) this year was so much about redemption. After starting last year under the dark cloud of Bryant’s trade demands to an unexpected reprieve (Gasol trade) to the devastating loss (game 4) and embarassment (game 6) against the Celts last year, this season was always about June and the Finals. And the Lakers accomplished that redemption (Joy!), and I can only image what not winning the title this year would have been like (Relief!).

    As for Hollinger’s ratings: Remember, he’s not really trying to figure out who would beat whom and how each team would matchup against the others if they actually could play each other. What his rankings really are, is a determination of how much each team dominated their competition during one specific year.

    Finally, THANKS Kurt, and everyone else, from the regular daily posters to those who only post once in awhile. It’s been great!

  61. Having grown up watching the Lakers as a kid,
    being put to bed with the radio sound of chick hearn in my ears,
    remembering Rudy LaRusso, the lakers power forward in the early sixties at a LA sports arena game,
    guarding Bob Petit, the great St. Louis Hawks forward,
    going up for a rebound
    coming down with Bob Petit
    Bob’s arm locked behind his back
    the two of them thrown out

    mostly remembering how close elgin, jerry, gail, keith etal. got….

    this is really sweet.

    Thanks Kurt for nurturing this wonderful site and thanks to this community for heightening the fun and helping me appreciate the game, that’s lasted a lifetime, all the more.

  62. One word: Joy!

    See ya all Wednesday!

  63. cheers to the champs!