Lakers/Celtics Rivalry: A Win For Us Youngsters

Phillip Barnett —  June 18, 2010

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208507 Los Angeles Lakers celebrate after they defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 to win their 16th NBA Championship at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010.

With my 48th birthday rapidly approaching (June 29th for those of you who want to send presents), I wonder if I’m finally mellowing out with my advancing age. If I had to witness the way the Boston Celtics hammered the Los Angeles Lakers back when I actually had excess physical and mental energy to burn, they would have named one of those killer hurricanes after me. I would have tore up the same volume of s–t I ripped up back in ‘84.

That was the beginning of an e-mail my father sent me the morning after Game 6 of the 2008 Finals or the morning after the worst sports moment of my lifetime. Growing up, I did as my father did, and one of the main things that define him and have defined me is a hatred for various sports teams. The Dodgers. The Broncos. The Celtics. Sports hate is one of those things that becomes a part of your life and helps you understand simple differences – like the difference between good and evil. As my father would tell it, the Celtics were the evil of all evils.

My father is a history buff, U.S. history, world history, presidential history and of course, sports history. I grew up being taught about the nuances of the Lakers/Celtics rivalry, which I guess, was his own special way of raising me right. I grew up loathing the Celtics to the point that I refuse to wear green. I wasn’t even born yet and I’m still mad that the Lakers couldn’t get things done in 1984. I was six months old and still thing that the Lakers taking home the title was one of the greatest moments of my lifetime – but in my basketball watching lifetime the Lakers had only played the Celtics in the Finals once prior to this series, and that was in 2008. You see, some of the Lakers fans who are of older generations didn’t dislike this Celtic’s team as much as they hated those teams in the ‘80s. They wanted the Lakers to win, but it wasn’t as crushing as that loss in ’84 which generated this kind of anger (from the same e-mail as above):

When I saw Cedric Maxwell flashing the choke sign at the Lakers’ bench, I wanted to jump through my 21-inch TV screen and plunge his Cornbread ass to blood-stained crumbs. There were also visions of ML Carr talking smack and prancing along the sideline, even though the contributions of locker-room attendants and ball boys exceeded whatever that towel-waving punks limited talent could muster.

Then there was Danny Ainge, whose face would wince at the sound of every single whistle, and who made you want to deliver a set of rapid-fire b—h slaps across his rosy checks each time you saw his beady eyes squint. Let’s not also forget the times Kevin McHale flung his boney and pasty elbows at everyone dressed in forum blue and gold and got away with it. The only Celtics I truly respected were Larry Bird and Dennis Johnson, and both of them continued to make plays that broke the Lakers’ back as well as my heart.

For those of my generation and younger, the ’08 loss was devastating. I HATE these Celtics. From Paul Pierce all the way down to Sheldon Williams. They’re uppity, bullies, condescending and obnoxious. I mean, Kendrick Perkins doesn’t even smile and has never heard a whistle he doesn’t agree with. Paul Pierce rattles off blasphemous statement after blasphemous statement. Ray Allen’s grin when he has things going makes me want to punch through walls. I really don’t understand how anyone outside of Boston can love that team. I respect everything that they’ve done, they’re a fantastic basketball team and have had an amazing three-year run, but I can’t stand them. That loss in 2008 burned me for two whole years. After that win over Orlando, I was mildly satisfied, but it just wasn’t the Celtics. I wanted what my father had – an amazing basketball team with a world championship taken out of the hands of the Celtics. In Game 7, the Lakers gave me just that.

I just wanted to say that I couldn’t be happier about this Lakers team writing another positive chapter in this Lakers/Celtics rivalry for my generation. We don’t know when these two teams are going to square off in the Finals again, and another loss to the Celtics would have been a crushing blow to my summer. No basketball is already hard enough – no basketball with a Celtics championship looming over my head would have ruined me. It’s been a fantastic season with Kobe doing historic things early, Pau Gasol continuing to build his Lakers résumé, Derek Fisher hitting more huge shots and Andrew Bynum continuing his growth as a basketball player. I really can’t wait for next season. I’m hoping for more hilarious Ron Artest interviews, more big games, another long playoff run – and hopefully – another Lakers title.

Phillip Barnett


to Lakers/Celtics Rivalry: A Win For Us Youngsters

  1. I am re-watching the 4th quarter and can tell you it is a delight. I love how Bynum is involved even though he does not play. Drew was standing and jumping most of the time he was on the bench and genuinely enjoying his mates doing well on the floor. Notice his reaction after Kobe scores his first tough bucket at around 5 minute mark.

    It was a well-deserved win and a proud team effort!


  2. Repost of a post of mine at Land O’Lakers in response to an excellent column on Kobe showing a vulnerable side after the game.
    Kobe really showed his vulnerability last night. In the past he has almost always been so (obviously) guarded. (As opposed to Jordan, who was also guarded, but with that disarming smile and wink that made people think he wasn’t.)

    As far as last night’s game, at the end he did what it took to win (get the free throws, get the rebounds, play the defense.)

    His “legacy” has actually been hurt by his incredible ability to play at a very high level while injured – something I don’t think Jordan had to do nearly as much – but because Kobe is able to do so so well, most people (including most of the media) aren’t really aware of it. So he doesn’t get enough credit for that.

    I think that the injuries factored into last night’s difficulties, because compensating for the injuries has demanded a certain amount of his focus. Combine that with the extra focus that the intensity of last night required (focus required to not let the intensity make you lose your focus), and he ran out of focal capacity. (Be careful how you pronounce that!) But he regained it towards the end.


  3. Great article. By contrast, my late father was a Celtic fan who come to America by way of Boston during the 1960’s and unfortunately fell in with the evil ones. Fortunately, he loved me enough to raise me in L.A. and not Boston, where I became a Laker fan.

    Looking back, I think it was the uniforms. Blue used to be my favorite color as a child because as the other older fans will remember in the 1980’s the Laker road uniforms infamously looked blue on TV, and two different shades of blue at that. I switched my favorite color to purple (forum blue?) after I realized my mistake.

    I also remember asking my dad how Magic got his nickname, and he said it was because he used magic to take the ball away from opponents. (Magic led the NBA in steals in 1982)

    What I also remember was the invincible ugly white guy for the Celtics who always beat us. I never thought I could hate someone as much as I hated Bird. Until I watched 2009 Kevin Garnett. Twenty years later, I now rightly remember Bird as a true legend of the game. Twenty years from now, I will remember Garnett for barking like a dog against smaller Euro players. Stay classy, KG.

    I’d cry whenever I saw Boston beat L.A. on TV, which was only EVERY SINGLE GAME I WATCHED, until my dad told me to suck it up and take the loss like a man. Wasn’t the exact words he used, but the point is, he was 100% right.

    Fortunately, what I remember most was the glorious 1987 season, the first championship season in which I was finally old enough to watch a substantial amount of hoops and really follow the Lakers, and we all know how that season ended – a Finals win against the best possible opponent. My only wish is that I was 2 years older so I could’ve done the same in 1985. So, from an older Laker to the slightly younger generation of fans, I’m just so happy not only for the team but for what you guys got to experience: 2010 is the new 1987. Go Lakers.


  4. Not only did I live through that ’84 game, but I lived through the ’69 game. Both were heart breakers, but the ’69 game more so. However, I did get the revenge of being the first, and only, team ever to win a championship on Boston’s parkay floor in ’85.

    Now it is only fitting that we be the first team ever to defeat the Celtics in a 7 game series — and what a game it was.

    We beat the Cs at their own game – defense. They just couldn’t get far enough ahead of us to carry them through that scoring drought that seems to come to this team in most games – and our defense just got tougher and the vise squeezed tighter. Ahhh! sweet revenge.


  5. Nice writeup Phillip. I’m not old enough to understand the rich history of this rivalry. But I feel the same way as you about the 08 Celtics down to every bone in my body, and that’s what makes it so so sweet. My only hope is that they have a couple more years of playoff runs left in them, pending Lebron’s decision.


  6. Funky Chicken June 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Philip, your writeup perfectly describles my feelings, as does Kehn’s post. No team in any sport has ever conjured up feelings of hatred from deep within me more than the Boston Celtics. I can’t stand any of their players (current or past) or their management or their fans. It says a lot about the man, but Doc Rivers is probably the only exception, as I truly respect him, but even there I felt a wave of disgust as I watched him say in his postgame comments how his “starters” still haven’t lost a defense of their title with Perkins being out.

    This series in general, and last night’s game in particular, was incredibly difficult to watch, and I think that, like a fine wine, it will become more satisfying with age. In the end, beating the dreaded C’s at their own game (an ugly, defensive effort) in a game 7 (after they led 3-2) might actually have made this the most satisfying outcome.

    Oh how bad this could have been if we’d lost last night, and for that I want to give a huge THANK YOU to the one player who showed the most heart and actually came out ready to play. That would be the newest Laker, Mr. Ron Artest.


  7. There is not one player that I respect on that Celtics team. KG barks at people and acts like a bully – until of course he is knocked down then cries afoul. Paula Pierce flops like Vlade Divac. Ray Allen has never gotten an open shot where he didn’t illegally push off a screen – and aside from game 2, was a true NO SHOW this NBA FINALS. Rondo is just a punk, who had been given too much respect by Cleveland and Orlando. They never knocked him down, never got in his head, and allowed him to rebound. Kobe took him out of his element. I believe he is truly the only player that can do that to Rondo – by really not guarding him and Rondo failing to finish at the rim with any consistency, he took Rondo mentally out of the game. And limited almost every transition opportunity he had. Rondo was their best player throughout the playoffs, and the Lakers forced the Celtics to forget that 4 times in this series.
    I am not sure Perkins wouldn’t foul out of every single game if they called all the fouls on him that he commits – but when you commit so many you also get away with a ton. And his scowl is just ridiculous.
    Big Baby is just a trash talker – a mini KG – who most definitely does not show up on the road and was nowhere to be seen last night as well.
    And Doc Rivers is classless. He showed us no respect after the win, and blamed the loss on the lack of Perkins. I am not sure they win a game if Bynum could play effectively… we dominated this series before he retweeked that knee, and it was a game 2 mental fart that allowed them to win that game here.

    And yes Paula, you had to come back to LA, and on your trip back your team forgot how to play offense, and you lost the championship. Kobe is getting drilled today for shooting terribly, but Paula Princess Pierce and Ray Whiner Allen were no shows tonight as well – and they should be tortured in the papers for it. Especially Ray Allen, who was supposed to be the difference maker and big matchup advantage for the Celtics.

    I have no idea if that core will ever be back – although I would be surprised if it is 100% intact – so this was brutal justice. Lets the Celtics flounder at the bottom of the league for the next decade or so, trying to rebuild.


  8. i would really like an explanation as to why he used Cornbread ass to describe cedric maxwell?


  9. OK… so we won. That was so yesterday. Now its time to win another one. Last off season the Lakers decided to get better by bringing in Ron Artest. That move was the difference as this Lakers team likely loses to OKC and the Celtics if not for RonRon. So now the front office has to figure out how to get better. Here is what is on ESPN today….

    Why Farmar may be done in L.A.
    PM ET

    With the Lakers now back-to-back champs and going after a third in a row next season, just what sort of roster moves will we see from the team this summer?

    Well the point-guard position has been identified as one weakness on the team — despite some big shots from Derek Fisher in these playoffs.

    Backup point guard Jordan Farmar will be a restricted free agent this summer, and signs are pointing to the fact that the Lakers could let him walk.

    It’s known he wants to start, and it’s unlikely he’ll get such an opportunity if Fisher is re-signed this summer.

    As such, it’s possible the Lakers could target Steve Blake, who will be a free agent this summer, to backup Fisher.

    Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles and ESPN’s John Hollinger have more on this Friday:

    Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles
    Farmar looking for more than Lakers willing to give
    “Let Farmar walk. He wants to be a starter. It’s not happening in L.A. And he has had run-ins with the coaching staff and the role they want him to assume all four years of this career in L.A. Plus, the Lakers won’t want to pay him what he’s looking for. Re-sign Fisher, go after a free agent vet (along the lines of Raymond Felton, Steve Blake), draft one with the No. 43 pick.”

    ESPN’s John Hollinger
    Fisher should move to the bench
    “I don’t think they need a creator at PG as much as a shooter and defender, because Kobe/Pau/Lamar will do much of the creating. I think they let Farmar go, sign a new starter as a free agent and move Fish to the bench.”


  10. Funky you are so right. This one was most definitely goes out to Ron Ron!


  11. Phillip, this post perfectly captured everything I feel about this Celtics team, and my experience of the rivalry. It’s hard for this generation to hate Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge even though we know we’re supposed to; it’s impossible for us to hate them the way we hate these Celtics constant preening, screaming antics.

    My thoughts from last night:

    -David Stern is a former lawyer and one of the most powerful men in the country. Can he hire a speaking coach? No matter how much you’re celebrating, his awkward stumbling and bumbling over words ruins the high of any trophy presentation.

    -Kobe absolutely stunk offensively. Stunk. Horrible decisions, impatience, turnovers, missed shots/FTs. Awful. He can no longer claim his teammates don’t pick him up in big moments. He picked the biggest game of his life to have one of his worst, and if we had lost, we’d be talking about a choke job, harsh as that sounds. And yet, it was his leadership on defense and on the boards that encapsulated what this season was all about – how this championship team differed from our previous champions. Kobe’s had a philosophy on how to win since 2008, and despite his offensive woes, I salute him taking up the charge on the boards and defensively.

    -Artest’s season was one of highs and lows. He picked the right time to get high.

    -I love Pau Gasol.


  12. Never been prouder to be a member of LakerNation.

    Proud of the team, the heart and hustle they displayed to overcome the adversity of the season, the series, and Game 7–true champions.

    Proud of Bynum. Proud of Fisher. Proud of Artest. Redemption!

    Proud of the class and grace this team displayed, both in defeat and VICTORY.

    Proud of the fans there at Staples last night–they never gave up on our boys (did they ever sit in their seats?!?).

    Proud that we could send a plane full of heartbroken, unlikable Celtics players back to Boston to consider their closing window of relevance.

    Proud of the FB&G family. Great season everyone. Can’t weight to jump back in the saddle again next fall!!



  13. this win should be for all the old school laker players and fans that have endured the agony of celtic defeats.

    my first memory of the lakers winning was when magic was a rookie, so it didn’t take long to hate the celtics. i got 3 good memories of the 80’s:

    1) during a regular season lakers celtics game (i think 84, I was 13, my brother 11) my brother and i got to the floor and started screaming at danny ainge like deranged lunatics as he practiced free throws during halftime. it got so bad some of the celtic players were looking at us. danny ainge stopped shooting and started walking in our direction. that’s when we took off.

    2) at the forum you could watch the players walk from the locker room to the floor. there were alwyas 40-50 people cheering the guys as they went by. that’s also where the cbs guys did their half time spots. During a regular season celtic game (can’t remember when in the 80s) One time, pat o brien was going to tape a half time report in front of the fans. As soon as the camera light went on, I yelled “Stick to golf Pat!” Everyone started laughing, Pat glared in my direction and walked away.

    3) After one celtics laker game, my brother and i found some programs with larry bird on the cover. We stood on a corner near the forum and look for cars full of celtics fans. We would hold up the photo of larry bird and act like celtic fans. When we got their attention, we’d rip the cover of larry bird and scream “celtics suck!”
    the look on their faces was priceless.

    i hope jerry west is smiling today.


  14. a good reason to feel blessed to be a lakers fan during the ’84-’87 LA / boston rivalry and the ’08-’10 rivalry is that we always got the last laugh.

    back then, celts faded into obscurity in ’87 after we crushed them on our way to back to back titles. and now, this celts team will very likely dissolve next season (doc out, rayray free agency, sheed should just retire) after we took their hearts in game 7 on our way to a potential 3-or-more-peat.

    I don’t really care about the now slimmer-than-ever overall title count lead that they still have over us, since most of that happened before I was born, back when the league had like only 8 teams and the game was very, very different. in my lifetime, we’re up, 10 rings to their 6 (and to the bulls 6 and the spurs 4, for that matter).

    finding pieces to continue the lakers-dominance of today is a lot easier than the youth overhaul the celts will need just to get back to the level of the team we just shot down. this is really a huge turning point of this rivalry, and ours is the generation to witness this redemption.

    it’s gotta make jerry west smile. 🙂


  15. @ Kevin H – Because “Cornbread” is Cedric Maxwell’s nickname.

    Jeez, I’m older than Phillip’s dad.


  16. Yay troll kill. Please feel free to remove my previous post. (#11).

    Augh, I thought my productivity would return once the Lakers won, but it looks like I’m going to ride out this week with nothing but basketball daydreams.


  17. BrianQ – I know how you feel. This past 2 weeks has been such a roller coaster of emotion. A lot of heart-racing time with games ebbing and flowing (except for that game 6 masterpiece!). And now I finally feel back to normal. But the afterglow of this win is just kicking in more & more. So much to read, so much to talk about, so much to watch (and re-watch).

    I love LA.


  18. The 1968-69 Lakers were the very first pro sports team I ever followed. The “Don Nelson bounce” still haunts me to this very day. In addition to that shot, his FT shooting form qualifies him as a weenie. Because of that series and the horrible 1984 Finals, I’ve never hated any team as much as the Boston Celtic franchise. Therefore, the 1985 Lakers and the 2010 Lakers are my two favorite champions, while 1987 (junior junior skyhook) and 1972 (first LA Laker championship, revenge on the Knicks) are close behind.

    Also, in response to a frequent topic on the FB&G live chat this morning:

    Dorell Wright. Dorell Wright. Dorell Wright. Dorell Wright. Dorell Wright. Two years at the MLE, plus bring Fish back on a year to year basis at something in the $2.5m to $3.0m range. Steve Blake? Do not want. He’s a duplication of Sasha. We can handle the PG position with Wright, Fish, and Sasha. And if Jordy and/or Shannon stay, we’re even more fine. But in Wright you have an athletic, 6-9 leaper who can shoot the three, play D, and perhaps handle the ball well enough to play PG in the triangle.


  19. J.D. Hastings June 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I can’t find any unedited versions of the postgame interviews but did any Celtic give credit to the lakers for winning the game/series? In 2008 Kobe said they were the better team and deserved it. Doc basically said his starting 5 has still never been beaten.

    I give credit to the Celtics for what they accomplished this year and how tough they are, but I still can’t stand them as a group.


  20. I am in early 40s, so I remember 1984 and 1985 as well. I said prior to the series that this would be, “1985 for the Kobe generation.”

    And, like I said yesterday, I think the advent of digital media and 24/7 news cycles has made it more intense.

    I am sure this has been said, but the guy I feel good for is Sasha Vujacic. He was actually booed at last year’s Coliseum ceremony, which I thought was wrong. The two FTs make him part of the title in a way he would otherwise not have been.


  21. I want a poster of Rondo doing his Gollum-skulk on the bench with that giant Band-Aid on his chin. Baleful bug eyes darting around, leaning in to whisper to Garnett’s hollow skull. Garnett looks and acts like Rasputin in the months after he got stabbed. Pierce has armpit hair growing from his cheeks. I hope Ray Allen got a long, comforting hug from his mother. I hope Doc Rivers is banging cymbals together in a padded room somewhere. Perkins, stay classy. Big Baby, roll yourself into a ball and bounce off a cliff with a chubby howl. I love all of you guys more than I can say. Especially you, Rondo. Eat a fish raw for me.


  22. 2010 NBA Championship is for Chick Hearn! Also known as Chickie! I will always and forever miss Chick Hearn calling the Lakers games. He was fair to the opponent and told the truth about the Lakers! No other announcer can replicate what the great Chick Hearn brought to the Lakers and announcing!

    I hated the Celtics and Larry Bird so intensely that I begrudged Larry Bird winning ‘Rookie of the Year.’ It took me years to recognize how great a player this guy was in the 80’s.

    I love Magic Johnson and in my mind there is no greater Laker than he! Had his infection not derailed his career, I do believe that there would be no discussion as to who the greatest player in the NBA would be! Magic was in his ‘prime’ when he retired, and had not developed a jumper! He came back every year a better player than he left the year before.

    I am a ‘die hard’ Laker fan always have been and always will be! Unless, somehow my riches take a MAJOR reversal and I’m able to by ownership of another NBA franchise, then I reserve the right to switch! LOL!

    Can’t wait till the discussions begin on how to 3-peat, 4-peat, 5-peat! Why not at this point no other team can enter into the discussions of a 3-peat, none other than our Los Angeles Lakers!!!!


  23. Renato Afonso June 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    You know what I really liked to see? Bynum, LO, Pau and Mbenga hugging and really happy with each other. They all compete for playing time and yet they really like each other. This means a lot and I hope that our core remains intact and go for the three-peat…

    About beating the Celtics, I remember the 80’s and this title feels a lot like ’85. It really does… And KG and PP are now on the same level as McHale and Ainge on most detestable people to ever wear green. Really, I would pay to be allowed to deck those two. Anyway, party on!!!


  24. I kinda wanted to see Kobe calling out Bynum after receiving his MVP and sharing it with him explicitly, making amends for the video thing.

    Oh well, thanking him during the interview is good enough i guess.


  25. 19) The Dude Abides
    I think the biggest need is depth at the PF/C position. Bynum just isn’t reliable from a health standpoint, and Powell and Mbenga are not much more than practice players.


  26. We’ve been the back-to-back champions for all of 18-20 hours, and we are already talking about who we need to trade away?

    Can we please just enjoy and bask in this for at least one full day before you start talking about breaking up the team? Please?

    We’re FB&G. Aren’t we above this kind of thing?


  27. Mimsy, I don’t think we’re talking about who we need to trade away. We’re talking about who we can add, especially if a couple of our guys leave. I don’t want any of our top 12 to leave.


  28. @ 25,

    Kobe mentions Bynum in the Hannah Storm interview–scroll down. Also has a funny/unfunny line about leading Shaq 5-4.


  29. I remember ’87, but 84 and 85 were just a bit before I started really watching hoops and following our Lakers. 2008 was sad, but I think it lit a fire under us that may not have been lit in any other way. To be able to beat them and do it in a game 7 and back up our title was just so special. But what was even more special was having my eight year old son truly watching and feeling what the Lakers/Celtics rivalry is all about. I have no doubt that should we play them again in the not too distant future, we’ll have another generation ready to cheer us on to victory.

    What a great season! Many thanks to Darius, Zephid, Philip and all who do such a fantastic job on this site. Here’s to a threepeat in ’11!


  30. @The Dude
    I think I’m probably over-reacting just because I don’t want anything to ruin the first day as 2010 Champions. Sorry about that everyone.

    It’s just that I want to stay on this high as long as possible…! Somebody bring me wheaties!

    They’ll go really well with my celebratory Glenlivet. 🙂


  31. Good story phillip. Thanks god you are not me. My dad was a season ticket holder when the names were Jim Krebs, Walk Hazzard, Leron Ellis, Rudy LaRusso(a relative) Gail Goodrich, Elgin and Jerry.

    I can’t tell you how many nights a cried myself a sleep as a little boy after a Boston win. My main purpose in high school and college was to be Jerry West and grow up to beat the hated Celts.

    To me this was the redemption of a long life of misery created by the ugly green bullies.

    Thank you lakers and a special thanks to Pau and the oddly amazing game from Ron Artest.



  32. Mimsy,
    We don’t wanna trade away anyone. We have the full MLE to offer a player… that same contract got us Ron Artest last summer. I know we are spoiled as Laker fans… but I think the MLE can again get us another star player this summer.


  33. 32, I don’t think there’s another NBA player that’s as crazy as Ron Artest, so I don’t think there’s any way we get a legitimate star from just the MLE. We may get a Rasheed Wallace type of “star,” way past his prime and can only show up for short minutes, but that’s about it.

    I think probably the best thing would be to split the MLE right down the middle and bring in both Steve Blake and Dorell Wright as some have clamored for, a little over 3 mil for Blake and a little over 2 mil for Wright. Who knows if they’re willing to take that kind of money (and for Blake it’s a pretty sizeable pay cut), but if we give each of them 5 years, we may be able to bring in two rotation guys using just the MLE. But I wouldn’t get our hopes up about that; that’s probably the absolute best we can do and thus the most unlikely.


  34. I seen Kareem as a young 8 year old and have been a fan since. I became a Laker fan the minute he was traded. But my hatred of the Celtics had already been set in stone by seeing Cowens play “physical” with Kareem in the 74 finals. Since I have been a fan the Celtics have always had their fair share of thugs. Those who remember why Maurice Lucas joined the team in the 80’s can recall the physical presence theme. I enjoyed seeing the Lakers fly up and down the floor with the Magic man and respect the Suns for keeping that style alive. The NBA needs to return the game to the skill players and put the thugs back on the bench with ML Carr.


  35. 20……Doc lamented the fact that his starting 5 still has not lost a series…..i almost upchucked hearing that………what a great win. I’ve watched the Artest interview about 20 times.


  36. We really need to stop talking about bringing in an “A” player next year. We have enough stars. What we need is a couple of role players who can shoot. Our core is intact and adding front line players would probably adversely impact chemistry.


  37. Great win for the Lakers to beat the Celtics. They owned the 60’s, but the Lakers have been better ever since.

    A few thoughts on various topics:
    * Doc Rivers was completely classless in bringing up his comments about their starting 5 not being able to defend their title. I don’t care if he wants to use that to console his players, but don’t play it out in the media. If Perkins is playing, the Celtics might not get to 70 in the game. Not to mention Bynum’s injury.

    * With all the talk of the Lakers needing time off between games, I think it hurt the Celtics more. They rested their players all year, which made them ill-equipped to play a hard 40 minutes. All of them were out of gas in the 4th quarter, which lead to them reaching, fouling, being just a step late to take the charge. However, it did prove that essentially the refs could alter the series however they wanted without being impartial at all. A tightly called game goes to the Lakers, a game where they swallow the whistle goes to the Celtics. The refs let them play in the 1st half, then tightened up in the 2nd half.

    * Kobe struggling in this game might make his next few years even better. While he has learned to trust his team to some extent, after the Kwame/Smush debacle, he still felt he needed to be the one taking all the tough shots and carrying the team. Now, his team carried him to a championship, he still got the glory. Assuming all the pieces are back (I expect Phil to sign a 1 year $9-10 million deal and Fisher to get $8 million over 3 years or so) they will have the only really complete contender coming back other than Orlando. If this finally teaches Kobe to trust his teammates, they could be dominant next year.

    * Artest proved his worth. We don’t win this series with Ariza.

    * Bynum probably bought himself another couple years here with his play. Still, he hasn’t played a major role in any of the finals the last 3 years. You have to believe Bosh would be a positive given Bynum’s disappearance, but he really showed something in Game 2 and by just showing up to play in the rest of the games. I hope he overcomes his injuries (a la Shaq, Ilgauskas) rather than succumbs to them.

    * We can’t compare Kobe to Jordan, just like we can’t compare Jordan to West, Wilt, or Russell. Different players, different rules. The talent pool is watered down, but basketball is a much bigger sport world-wide, so it’s a much bigger pool. Yes they used to beat Jordan up with physicality in the paint, but the defense the Celtics and Suns played would have been completely illegal when Jordan played. Kobe cannot even get into the paint because whenever he is isolated, a second defender is playing off his man, just behind Kobe’s defender. Plus, these are just generational. Most people in the media today grew up watching Jordan, Magic, and Bird, and will never let Kobe ahead of them in their minds. Those in the previous generation probably would never let Jordan ahead of Russell, Wilt, and West. 10-15 years from now when guys born in the 90’s are running the media, Kobe and Shaq will be legends while Jordan will be the old timer who played in a slower, less athletic era. The whole debate is pointless.


  38. DJ-F.L.A.S.H. June 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Unfortunately (fortunately?!) I wasn’t even born until after the bird/magic era, so, all I can really draw my hate on is:
    -Pierce’s crying/carried off/came back hit 2 threes/unfairly shifted momentum of the series
    -Garnett’s unsportsmenlike behavior/ posts moves with TWO PIVOTS (how can u guard that when he travels every time)
    -Perkins/House thinking that they’re much better than they are (way to go Skip, slap that cocky mf)

    btw Phil I’m born on june 29th too lol, although a dozen years after :p


  39. DJ-F.L.A.S.H. June 18, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    P.S.: Although Mike Breen’ given me plenty of Laker memories (Kobe’s game winner in ’06 against the suns, and the entire playoff run last year). I HATE hearing his excited voice after a Rondo play, everything about his voice irritated me this series


    TNT’s gotta get the Finals broadcast rights back, I want Marv (G.O.A.T. of play by play men) and Doug Collins (sounds evil, but I want the sixers to fire him because he’s the best color commentator in the game) to be back, gotta hear some:



  40. Newsflash: Twenty-four hours later and the Lakers are still the World Champions!

    This has been one of the greatest 24 hours of my life– nothing better than honking at guys in jerseys and having them give you a fist pump salute in return.


  41. robinred, i know Kobe mentioned him, i just wished it was right after the mvp trophy presentation, since bynum busted his knee to be there. but like i said, it’s good enough to mention him in the interview.

    as for trades and holes and whatnot, we know one thing now.

    we got the defense to win championships, and we have the offense to score enough points against the best defense outside ours.

    individual upgrades might look flashy but do we want our lakers to be even more ‘relaxed’ and relying on talent than now?


  42. Doc can go eat a (rhymes with Doc)…

    You know what, A-hole? Your team never beat a healthy Lakers team, either, so spare us this, “My best five has never been beaten” garbage.

    Bynum was never himself in this series, really throughout the entire playoffs. And don’t even suggest that Boston would have romped in ’08 had he and Ariza been 100 percent.

    Same goes for Simmons’ pre-series crap that if Boston won this year, everyone should just toss out last year’s playoffs and declare Boston the best team over the past three seasons because in his mind they’d have won it in ’09 had Garnett not been hurt.

    If we’re going to play that kind of revisionist history crap, then the Lakers just proved they’re the best team over the past three years since Boston couldn’t beat them with Bynum on the floor. (I don’t subscribe to that logic, but that’s tossing Simmons’ douchery back in his face.)


  43. @lil’ pau
    I am madly jealous.

    Thank you, and the other 15 guys in your section, for really bringing the noise and proving everyone wrong about their ridiculous and insulting “all Lakers fans are uncaring posers” assumptions. You get partial credit for making the win happen; the crowd was outstanding.


  44. Funky Chicken June 18, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    While any team, even a championship team, should seek to improve itself in any way that it can in the offseason, as a fan I go into this offseason with a similar sense of excitement about next year and the built-in improvement that we might be able to look forward to. Namely:

    1. Andrew was hurt during our playoff run. We cannot count on that happening again, even if it has been a bit of an annual thing. If healthy for next year’s playoffs, next year’s team is radically better than this year’s.

    2. Ron Artest had, by all accounts, a very subpar season by his standards. He stepped up in two of the biggest games of the year (closeouts in the conference finals and game 7 of the Finals), and his defense was solid all year. However, I think that much of Ron’s offensive struggles were the result of pressure that he put on himself.

    From the moment he was signed (in his first press conference as a Laker), Ron went on record as saying that because he was the only difference from last year’s team, if this year’s group didn’t win the title it would be HIS fault. I loved that kind of accountability from day 1, but I think it really began to weigh on him. Ron’s offensive performance in most of these playoffs was disastrous. This guy is a legitimate offensive player. Not everyone can go out and average 20 a game, even on a bad team (just ask Lamar…), and Ron has done that.

    So, I think that one of the biggest consequences of winning this title will be a truly relaxed, and therefore MUCH more effective, Ron Artest in 2011.

    Signing some help at the PG or PF position would be nice, and I hope we address those areas, but coming in to next season I think we can legitimately think that next year’s team is going to be a lot better than this year’s team. We might be looking at radical upgrades at the center and small forward position, not through personnel changes but through health and confidence that did not exist this year. Not sure what other good (much less great) team I can say that about….


  45. Truthfully Detroit shouldn’t be the Champions in 1989 because both Scott and Magic weren’t available to compete.

    This sort of logic is for losers and I submit that Simmons is just a poor loser. Regardless how good a writer he is I question why people from this blog read him and then comment on his sayings on this blog.


  46. I know what you mean lil’ pau. I’m in the bay area (yeah I know I know =(…) I saw a guy wearing a Lakers shirt. He was on the phone but I figured I’d bug him anyway. I said “hey dude, nice shirt.” He looked at me at first and just did a little head nod, but then he realized what shirt he was wearing. Then he was all smiles and said “thanks man.”

    Winning is so awesome!


  47. I agree with all of your comments and since I am 46, I am old enough to have witnessed the 84 series, the memorial day massacre the next year and the long-awaited victory. I went to the parade downtown that ended at city hall. I would suggest though, as you go on with your totally great Celtic hate, that you try and back away from using the word “uppity” when describing mostly african-american players. You probably know, so i won’t go all Black History Month on you, but that is one of theeee oldest racism-tinged adjectives that old white racists used against African-Americans. No disrespect intended by me and I’m sure you didn’t mean it in the racist context….I absolutely love this blog and the heady, smart chalk-talk style of it. Just wanted to share that with you. Go Lakers. Chick’s smiling somewhere tonight.


  48. I may have been a little bitter this afternoon as a result of a hangover and very little sleep. Tonight I took a nap, woke up and the last 30 seconds of a replay were on. When Odom threw the cross court pass for kobe to track down I got full body chills.

    Anybody questioning how they got to that moment doesn’t get it.

    That game was a more epic battle than any plain basketball game, like fighting a fish on the open ocean. The victory fought the team for days, taking its toll and weathering them, but they finally found a way to pull it to the surface with bloody hands.

    Those trying to strip the meat from its bones are nothing but sharks now. I say ignore them and let them return to the depths.

    The Lakers earned this victory. They earned every point in the absolutely hardest way possible. Every member of the team contributed. There is nothing but validation in that game.

    Great season everyone, great site. I’m glad we could share this together


  49. 1. Watching from afar as the LeBron hype machine fluttered away meekly (with Shaq along for the Cavs’ flameout as a bonus), eliminating the Suns on their floor and reducing Steve Nash to tears, and beating the Celtics at their own game in a bruising game 7…really, these Laker playoffs were almost too good to be believed.

    2. Home court meant everything in the end, and that’s where Kobe’s 6 game-winners during the regular season are really more than a fun footnote. Without those 6 last-second shots (one of which beat the Celtics), the Lakers & Celtics each win 51, with the tiebreaker going to Boston.

    3. Just once, I’d like to hear someone say that Kobe’s 5 rings get him to within one of Kareem. Still can’t believe how people sleep on Kareem’s career.

    4. Hope the Celtics enjoyed their flight home.


  50. j.d. hastings June 19, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Best part of last night game nobody’s talking about: Shasha’s attempt at a jersey pop after his FTs


  51. I’m sure there’s been a team with a less-likeable on-court demeanor than this Celtics bunch. Can’t think who that would be though.


  52. everyone is talking about Kobe’s legacy, I want to talk about Pau.

    I say that with Pau’s virtual-MVP performance if these finals, Pau is now in the conversation with being the equal of James Worthy. I would still give Worthy the small edge but Pau is now on the Worthy level, not bad for a guy I blew off when he played for Memphis.


  53. 91601guy,
    Good point about Worthy. If he continues for a couple of more years he will pass him without much trouble.


  54. Still basking in the joy of this victory, but I’m already excited for next season!

    What else can I do when there are no more games to be played?

    Even though we’ve just gone to the Finals 3 years in a row and won back to back titles, I still don’t think we’ve seen the best from this group.

    Which reminds me, is Kobe finally going to have surgery on his fingers this off-season?


  55. Jordial’s post reminded me of something that I had forgotten – the Phoenix series.

    Could the Lakers have won two more different series back to back? Pretty amazing. It sure does say a lot about the talent on this team.


  56. I think Pau still has a ways to go before he passes Worthy, but that is no slight on Pau at all; it’s just that Worthy was just that good. It may sound like hyperbole, but Worthy in his prime was unguardable. (Dennis Rodman freely admits this) We’ve all seen Kobe make incredible contested shots. I hardly remember any incredible contested shots from Worthy. Why? Because his first step was so quick that defenders were too busy searching for their jockstraps to contest his shot.

    However – Worthy did not have the complete game that Pau did, in terms of rebounding and passing. He did however have a consistent record of upping his game in the playoffs and of course his unforgettable 1988 series vs. Detroit. Pau can and I think will eventually match or exceed that resume, but even if he doesn’t, I still think he will be the last Laker to ever wear #16


  57. Also, been watching some ESPN snippets where the talking heads are talking about Kobe’s legacy. I don’t watch TV except for livestream games, so I hadn’t really been exposed to that, but…

    Can you really blame Kobe for being pissy with reporters? If I had to listen to idiots bloviate 24/7 about my “polarizing” legacy where do I rank in history next to Jordan, I’d be pissy with them too.


  58. I’m 43 and have been fortunate enough to witness 10 Laker championships since I was old enough to appreciate the game of basketball instead of just watching it.

    I came of age in the 80’s with the Magic/Bird era and my hatred of the Celtics came to full bloom in those years.

    1985, I graduated high school and Magic had his baby sky hook moment. That was a momentous year for me.

    This championship is so beautiful. My disdain and hatred for Boston has only grown through the years. KG’s and Wheelchair’s antics only served to heighten my animosity. It is absolutely beautiful to think about this championship and the gritty manner in how it was won. Against a long time hated foe.

    This is a victory that will resonate across all generations of Laker fans because of the way it was won and who it was won against.


  59. Hi everyone,

    I hardly post here, but I come here everyday to read the intelligent and passionate postings by the regulars (fewer trolls here so it’s a seriously Laker fans blog).

    I grew up in Singapore, so basketball was not my thing (Singaporeans are generally too short to play basketball effectively *lol* so soccer is our passion). That is until I move to Los Angeles in 1999, got my first U.S. job as a NBC News Editor in Burbank (had to put together daily sports updates on the Lakers) That was the first year of the threepeat with Shaq and Kobe, and I have been an avid fan since then. Now I’m in Florida, and I’m still a huge fan of the Lakers. I was the oddball wearing the Lakers KB24 jersey in Tallahassee were most people root for the Eastern teams (like the Celtics, urrrrgh).

    So as a relatively new Laker die-hard compared to most people who went through the joys and heart breaks with Lakers-Celtics rivalry for several decades, this posting is one of my favorites. My memory of the hated Celtics goes only as far as the 2008 Pierce, Garnett, and Allen (so heartbreaking). So to read all these postings by the older generation of Celtic haters is awesome and such an eye opener. The vitriol is spectacular and the Celtics totally deserved it.

    Special shout out to #13 Flip. LMAO – you and your brother are so freakin’ hilarious. Love that stunt where you pretend to be Celtics fans then ripped Bird’s picture in front of the Celtic fans. Priceless!!! Wish I could’ve been there to see that.


  60. j.d. hastings (2:23 a.m.): I SAW THAT! Except he popped it at, like, his belly button or something.

    And hilarity ensues.


  61. 54, 55 regarding Pau vs Worthy. Let’s get this straight, I love Pau and think he’s been a godsend, but there’s no way he enters the conversation yet to be compared to Worthy.

    Worthy consistently elevated his game in the playoffs. There’s a reason he was called Big Game James. His postseason numbers are higher than his already great regular season numbers. Worthy had a triple double in a Game 7 Finals and a Finals MVP.

    Pau for all the great things he’s done has not approached that level of production. This is not to demean his contributions. But he just hasn’t come close to what Worthy gave. He still can, but he’s not there yet.

    On a similar note, if we were to make the injuries argument about affecting championships, I always thought that Worthy’s sprained ankle before the start of the 91 Finals and MJ’s first ring completely changed the complexion of that series. It allowed Pippen to be a roamer and Horace Grant to play Worthy one on one.

    Love Pau and would love to see him reach Worthy status, but he’s not there yet. I could see him doing that as he continues to grow in his career and Lakers are fortunate enough to reach more Finals appearances.


  62. It is amazing how much joy this Laker victory is giving me. I am moving my home office and this morning I brought up my 86-87 Lakers World Champions mug my wife game me. It holds all my misc utensils so that it is always on my desk. This team has given me so much pleasure for so long.

    Thank You Lakers!!!

    You have kept us spoiled for oh so long.


  63. This the tenth title of my lifetime. TEN. Unbelievable, there’s nothing like being a Lakers fan.


  64. Chownoir, how right you are. Talk of Pau surprassing Worthy is typical of today’s culture. If it happened more than 10 years ago it fades from memory.

    As 91601guy pointed out, look at how rarely Kareem enters the conversation for best Laker. The guy is the all time scoring leader, with titles on 2 different teams and a legacy at the center spot that will probably never be surpassed.

    Pau is an incredible talent, but to put him anywhere near Worthy at this stage of his career is totally unreasonable. There is a reason they call Mr. Worth “Big Game James”. It is premature to talk of anyone’s legacy until their career is over, in my mind.

    What I saw from Kobe in game 7 was a far cry from Michael Jordan, but when you consider that Kobe is just 31 and has a chance to lead his team to multiple more titles (and possibly take down Kareem’s all time scoring mark), it is conceivable that Kobe might one day be considered the best ever. But that kind of talk, like putting Pau in Worthy’s league at this point, is just way too premature.


  65. i wanted to leave my coment but first of all thanks for having such an informative and intelligent website for us Laker fans.
    This Kobe guy had an off game. one would think from the numbers. 100+ games the Lakers Played. back issues, ankle. Finger injuries. he is the definition of perseverence, as he put it throughout the game “i was drained”
    A true leader he has become. the moment a true leader needs his guys they step up and boy did they ever. Pau, Fisher, Odom, Sasha Bynum, (taking what he has learned from kobe on injuries) and Artest what a game! how Privilaged we are to go for such a great Team!
    is it to early to talk three-peat?


  66. @65, Jaybird
    Kobe was asked about that both in ABC’s post-game conversation with John Barry and the others, and in an interview the K Brothers put on their blog (can’t remember the name of the woman that did that interview).

    Both times, Kobe admitted (now that the season is over), that without the tape he can’t even grip a basketball and his hand is at the point where he won’t be able to play next season if he leaves things the way they are. He didn’t use the word “surgery”, but he said a few times that he needs to “figure something out”.


  67. I sort of regret tripping over game 2 and saying I was done with the NBA, and bitterly complaining about the refs constantly. It’s like Lebron said, I’m a winner even though I’ve never won anything, and that’s why I act like a baby when I lose.


  68. A lot of people talking about Kobe’s horrible shooting in Game 7 and saying that that alone takes him out of the Jordan conversation.

    Someone at ESPN, I think it might have actually been Hollinger, mentioned that no one seems to remember that in Jordan’s last Finals game he missed TWENTY shots. Everyone only remembers him hitting the game winner.

    Wondering if 10 years from now anyone will remember Kobe’s 18 misses or if they’ll just remember his jumper to put us up 4 and his 7-8 from the free throw line.


  69. It’s not at all unreasonable to put Pau at the Worthy level. Don’t forget that Worthy was only the third option, at times almost the fourth, option on offense on his teams. Playing with the greatest PG of all time. Now certainly Pau hasn’t done it for the same length of time yet, but he’s at that level now.


  70. I think everybody here knows how awesome this championship is… of the 5 championships i have been lucky enough to watch this is far and away the most memorable.

    as far as next year goes, i think the biggest improvement for the Lakers will be…wait for it…. a healthy Kobe Bryant! lets not forget that before he broke his finger he was having a dominant season; far and away the best shooting percentage of his career. assuming he can get his hand back in decent shape, and gets some good rest this summer for his legs (especially that knee), the Lakers are looking really good for the next few years.


  71. Patrick O’Connor June 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Just heard about the passing of Manute Bol at 47. His tireless work for the dispossessed in Sudan is a monument to his greatness. Definitely left the world better than he found it.


  72. You SPEAK to me Philip! I can’t stand the odorous arrogance that the Celtics continually spilled on the court. Lakers DESERVED this win and all the pundits and blogs that say otherwise are just bitter. They worked through all the jitters and that 13 point lead to never give up or give in to the hype of the Celtics. I LOVE THIS TEAM!!


  73. I disliked this group of Celtics as much as the 80’s Celtics, but I somehow found myself suprisingly rooting for them against the Cavs in the playoffs. I really didn’t want any part of Lebron in the finals. Then every game in the finals they reminded me of how much I disliked them.

    Gm1-KG,Rondo,Doc all try to create controversy by twisting Pau’s comments about KG.
    Gm2-PP boasts they’re not coming back to Cali.
    Gm3-Rivers whining about the refs due to PP’s foul trouble yet not mentioning all the bad calls that went against LA despite the refs reviewing them in last 2 minutes.
    Gm4-Boston started acting like bullies once its clear Bynum can’t play in 2nd half. Garnett clapping in Odom face. Nate jumping in Odom’s face.
    Gm5-No complaints
    Gm6-More whining about refs
    Gm7-Doc talking bout starting 5 still haven’t lost.

    This was indeed the sweetest title since 85. I only wish Detroit was good again or the Lakers can avenge them for 1989 and 2004


  74. #35 – Those are indeed bad memories of how poorly Mo Lucas played in 86 vs. Hou.
    #50 – I agree that Kareem’s legacy is short changed. He’s the GOAT imho.
    #63 – Actually when Worthy got hurt it allowed Chi to switch Pippen to guard Magic. HoGrant guarded Sam Perkins. A healthy JW would have made that an interesting series.


  75. Funky Chicken June 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    ex, re: Worth & Pau, regular season, I agree; post season, not even close yet.


  76. RIP Manute Bol – a true humanitarian.

    I wasn’t even in this country when Worthy was playing, but from what I’ve seen (ESPN Classic, highlights, films, etc) it would be hard for me not to put Pau as an equal if not a better player. Given Pau’s skill set, his effectiveness and usefulness on both ends of the court, and him being the second banana (while James had the privilege of not having the pressure to perform as well since he was playing behind two true legends of the game) I think Pau deserves the credit. After it is all said and done, I believe Pau will be the best/most accomplished power forward in Lakers history. Yes, better than Elgin Baylor (rings > stats)


  77. Jeff has a fantastic new post up. We’re reliving game 7 through seven of its best moments. Wow. I’m still smiling…


  78. Igor Avidon,
    Be careful about minimizing Elgin Baylor. The man was much better than amazing before his knee injury. 71pts in a playoff game against the Knicks was just one highlight. The original Dr. J was another moniker we could add today. An insane rebounder is yet another accolade.

    Besides Elgin played both forward positions at 6’5″.

    Oh yes, he and Jerry West are the only two teammates to average over 30pts/game over the same season.


  79. Here’s how I rank the Lakers’ titles:

    1. 1985 – “The most odious sentence in sports history has been answered” – J Buss. Lakers defeat the Celtics in the old, non-ventilated, dead-spot-floored Boston Garden, after suffering defeat at their hands 8 times going back to Minneapolis. The emancipation proclamation of titles will never be matched in importance to this Team.
    2. 1988 – This was THE toughest title to get. Repeating was considered impossible in the 80s, and the Lakers had to play 3 game 7s to accomplish it.
    3. 2010 – The first game 7 victory against the hated Celtics caps a playoff run in which we settle scores with the Celtics & the Suns and buries the notion of Pau Gasol being “soft” forever.
    4. 1980 – This was the beginning of the Showtime era for the Lakers & the golden age of the NBA. Secured by Magic’s finest game when he was a rookie.
    5. 1987 – The Best of the Showtime teams once again dethrones Boston in a year when the pundits pronounced them finnished at the outset.
    6. 2001 – The team that threw the switch at the end of a somewhat dysfunctional regular season and may have been the most dominant playoff team ever.
    7. 2002 – Greatest Western Conference finals (against SAC) ever, and many dramatic finishes in the Western Conf. playof run . Finals sweep against NJ was a boring letdown by comparison
    8. 2000 – Second Greatest Western Conference Finals ever (against POR). Beginning of the new dynasty caps the greatest seaon of Shaquille O’Neal’s career.
    9. 2009 – The return to the top 5 years after the implosion of the team following 2004, one of the 3 most disappointing seasons in Laker history, the others being 1969 & 1984.
    10. 1982 – The beginning of the Pat Reiley era.

    1972 & Minneapolis titles not included because it was before my time. I’ll leave it to my elders to evaluate it.


  80. For those of you wishing to engage in schadenfreude, here’s your link:

    They won’t quite suffer like we did in ’84, after all we won games 1 & 3 and had leads in the last minuet of games 2 & 4… and somehow lost in 7.

    But, on the other hand, they don’t appear to be coming back stronger than ever next season.