Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Somewhere Shaq Is Very Happy Today

Why was it that in a series that featured so many amazing comebacks, there was no doubt that Game 6 of the NBA Finals was over by the time the first quarter was over. During Game 2, I was even so leery of Kobe Bryant's ability to make amazing things happen that I said it wasn't over when the lead was 20 with something like 8 minutes left. But with a lead smaller than that and with 36 minutes left, it was over in Game 6.

My favorite moment was with about 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Celtics were up by 28 and Kobe was sitting to start the quarter when the crowd started chanting "Where is Kobe?" The Celtics crowd sounded like a single voice. I don't ever remember hearing a crowd so clearly enunciate it's cheers and taunts. And not only that, but they were so confident that it was over and that Kobe had been shut down, that they were not afraid to actually call him out - to dare him to do something about it.

This chant was broken up by three consecutive three-pointers from Ray Allen that must have left Sasha Vujacic questioning his value as a human being. I think Vujacic is a fantastic athlete; he must be to have gotten to where he is. But I think he chose the wrong sport. I have never seen someone kick the basketball to the officials or the inbounds guy more, and the way he goes down and throws his hands to his face like someone has just thrown acid at him all the time makes me think he is looking for a red card. Man, I hate soccer.

Yesterday was a huge day in sports around the world actually, with France and Italy playing soccer for the first time since the famed World Cup final game in which some guy headbutted some guy for a sister-joke, not even a mom-joke...and it wasn't even a headbutt to the head. If you saw the highlights from yesterday, the team known as The Azzurri (named for the azure blue jerseys all Italian national teams traditionally wear) wore white jerseys, while the nation known best for white fabric ("we surrender") wore blue jerseys. It was a wonderful game between two of the world's blah blah blah... One of them won. Or maybe they tied. Seriously, soccer is so lame.

I know that the game was out of hand by the start of the fourth quarter, but Phil Jackson should be fined by the Lakers, with the money being distributed among their fans, for forcing the Lakers' fans' hopes to rest on the shoulders of Ariza, Farmar, Turiaf, Vujacic and Odom. What was he saving Kobe, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher for? Why bother with Odom, why not slap a jersey on MBenga and stick him in there to round out the five. I saw Kobe Carl back there in the third row, he's on the roster, right? The Clippers would have loaned Smush Parker back to the Lakers for the night. This guy is the "best coach of all time"?

I cannot believe that the Clippers finished the season with Smush Parker and Dan Dickau running the point.

It is hard to tell if Kobe was more upset about losing the Championship, not being named MVP, or the fact that the game was played late on the East Coast so his daughters couldn't be propped up next to him on camera afterwards. Regardless, the guy looked truly upset in the post-game interview and you could barely tell that he is already scripting his offseason trade demands.

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