Kobe Crowned King

This comes as no surprise. The Lakers have done it again. The team won its 15th NBA Championship Sunday, its first in seven seasons. Kobe Bryant is officially being sized for his fourth Championship ring. Head Coach Phil Jackson is being sized for his tenth.

With the win, Jackson officially owns every postseason coaching record including wins, winning percentage, finals appearances and championships. Similarly, Kobe further solidified himself as the game’s best. The two affirmed their strong kinship by sharing a long embrace at games end. This was something questioned frequently over the last few seasons.  

In fact, it was a different scene overall as the final seconds ticked off the clock. In last year’s NBA Finals, Kobe was left to watch as green confetti poured down from the Garden rafters in Boston. This year, Kobe took redemptive flight in Amway Arena, pumping his fist not once, but twice. The 2009 Finals MVP had something to prove. In training camp, Kobe and the Lakers set out to make this their season. Mission accomplished.

Kobe averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds in the Finals. He also led his team with cold glares and frowns.

“I was grumpy for a while and now I’m just ecstatic, like a kid in a candy store,” Bryant said after being asked about his dark demeanor throughout.

Magic center Dwight Howard and point guard Jameer Nelson adopted Kobe’s abandoned melancholic demeanor as they watched the Lakers clad themselves in Championship attire.

“What I just told Jameer is look at it, just see how they’re celebrating,” Howard said. “It should motivate us to want to get in the gym, want to get better.”

These are words of wisdom from a seasoned 23-year old. Howard and his youthful company will get better and could prove a wrecking force in years to come.

The future of the Lakers remains another question. It has been rumored that Phil Jackson may retire for good. The team has a few key free agents (including Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza) to deal with this offseason. But it appears that Kobe has emerged a leader, and more than that, a leader that can take his team to the top of their game.

“He’s learned how to become a leader in a way in which people want to follow him,” Jackson said. “That’s really important for him to have learned that because he knew that he had to give to get back in return, and so he’s become a giver rather than just a guy that’s a demanding leader. That’s been great for him and great to watch.”

Bryant led the way Sunday with 30 points. But he gave his team the opportunity to contribute and they definitely helped carry the load. Lamar Odom scored 17 points. Trevor Ariza had 15. Pau Gasol had 14 points and 15 rebounds. Derek Fisher, whose two big 3s in Game 4 saved L.A. (taking the game into overtime), finished with 13 points. Each player savored the victory, a true team victory.

 

Savoring Victory Leads to Distasteful Action

Unfortunately, something stole some thunder from the Laker victory Sunday. No, it wasn’t the news of former Laker Shaquille O’Neal possibly being traded to the Cavaliers this offseason. It was actually the celebration after the game. I’m using the word celebration, lightly. 

What better way to thank the organization that just brought back the Larry O’Brien trophy to Los Angeles than vandalize their property? How else do you thank your indebted city (which nevertheless agreed to help host a celebration parade) than add to the great deficit?

Initially, I was not going to mention this situation. I figured it was another scene manipulated by the media. Big deal, several hundred people got a little rowdy in downtown. This wasn’t a big surprise and I bet it didn’t come close to what we saw in Colorado a few years ago.

However, as I saw more coverage, especially the still photographs, I grew disgusted. This is supposed to be a time of jubilation, adulation and pride. Los Angeles had the opportunity to pat itself on the back. Instead, it kicked itself in the ass.

The car that was swarmed and rocked by fans? It didn’t look so bad from aerial live feed, did it? Though in the photos one could see the disappointed female driver and passenger in the front and the frightened children in the back.

I’m not sure about you, but I always thought victory was supposed to be a positive thing: hi-fives, toasts and a sense of communal fanship. I didn’t know it merited embarrassment: cars vandalized and destroyed, police harassed, stores looted, LA Live property set ablaze. That’s what last night was, an embarrassment. And the not-so-funny thing is most of the people partaking in last night’s display were likely not even Lakers fans. And those that were, do you honestly believe your team is going to be grateful for this display?

It may seem funny or entertaining to some players in the league. But I bet the majority of the 2009 NBA Championship Team would frown upon these actions. Moreover, I bet you wouldn’t mention it to them if you bumped into them in the streets.

“Hey Kobe, remember me? Yeah, I’m that guy that rammed the barricade into the signage over by your homecourt? You don’t? Come on, man. Don’t I get some kind of respect for that?”

But I guess one good thing came from last night’s incident. It showed Dodger fans what not to do when the Boys in Blue win the World Series. 

Michael Chavez

This comes as no surprise. The Lakers have done it again. The team won its 15th NBA Championship Sunday, its first in seven seasons. Kobe Bryant is officially being sized for his fourth Championship ring. Head Coach Phil Jackson is being sized for his tenth.

With the win, Jackson officially owns every postseason coaching record including wins, winning percentage, finals appearances and championships. Similarly, Kobe further solidified himself as the game’s best. The two affirmed their strong kinship by sharing a long embrace at games end. This was something questioned frequently over the last few seasons.  

In fact, it was a different scene overall as the final seconds ticked off the clock. In last year’s NBA Finals, Kobe was left to watch as green confetti poured down from the Garden rafters in Boston. This year, Kobe took redemptive flight in Amway Arena, pumping his fist not once, but twice. The 2009 Finals MVP had something to prove. In training camp, Kobe and the Lakers set out to make this their season. Mission accomplished.

Kobe averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds in the Finals. He also led his team with cold glares and frowns.

“I was grumpy for a while and now I’m just ecstatic, like a kid in a candy store,” Bryant said after being asked about his dark demeanor throughout.

Magic center Dwight Howard and point guard Jameer Nelson adopted Kobe’s abandoned melancholic demeanor as they watched the Lakers clad themselves in Championship attire.

“What I just told Jameer is look at it, just see how they’re celebrating,” Howard said. “It should motivate us to want to get in the gym, want to get better.”

These are words of wisdom from a seasoned 23-year old. Howard and his youthful company will get better and could prove a wrecking force in years to come.

The future of the Lakers remains another question. It has been rumored that Phil Jackson may retire for good. The team has a few key free agents (including Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza) to deal with this offseason. But it appears that Kobe has emerged a leader, and more than that, a leader that can take his team to the top of their game.

“He’s learned how to become a leader in a way in which people want to follow him,” Jackson said. “That’s really important for him to have learned that because he knew that he had to give to get back in return, and so he’s become a giver rather than just a guy that’s a demanding leader. That’s been great for him and great to watch.”

Bryant led the way Sunday with 30 points. But he gave his team the opportunity to contribute and they definitely helped carry the load. Lamar Odom scored 17 points. Trevor Ariza had 15. Pau Gasol had 14 points and 15 rebounds. Derek Fisher, whose two big 3s in Game 4 saved L.A. (taking the game into overtime), finished with 13 points. Each player savored the victory, a true team victory.

Savoring Victory Leads to Distasteful Action

Unfortunately, something stole some thunder from the Laker victory Sunday. No, it wasn’t the news of former Laker Shaquille O’Neal possibly being traded to the Cavaliers this offseason. It was actually the celebration after the game. I’m using the word celebration, lightly. 

What better way to thank the organization that just brought back the Larry O’Brien trophy to Los Angeles than vandalize their property? How else do you thank your indebted city (which nevertheless agreed to help host a celebration parade) than add to the great deficit?

Initially, I was not going to mention this situation. I figured it was another scene manipulated by the media. Big deal, several hundred people got a little rowdy in downtown. This wasn’t a big surprise and I bet it didn’t come close to what we saw in Colorado a few years ago.

However, as I saw more coverage, especially the still photographs, I grew disgusted. This is supposed to be a time of jubilation, adulation and pride. Los Angeles had the opportunity to pat itself on the back. Instead, it kicked itself in the ass.

The car that was swarmed and rocked by fans? It didn’t look so bad from aerial live feed, did it? Though in the photos one could see the disappointed female driver and passenger in the front and the frightened children in the back.

I’m not sure about you, but I always thought victory was supposed to be a positive thing: hi-fives, toasts and a sense of communal fanship. I didn’t know it merited embarrassment: cars vandalized and destroyed, police harassed, stores looted, LA Live property set ablaze. That’s what last night was, an embarrassment. And the not-so-funny thing is most of the people partaking in last night’s display were likely not even Lakers fans. And those that were, do you honestly believe your team is going to be grateful for this display?

It may seem funny or entertaining to some players in the league. But I bet the majority of the 2009 NBA Championship Team would frown upon these actions. Moreover, I bet you wouldn’t mention it to them if you bumped into them in the streets.

“Hey Kobe, remember me? Yeah, I’m that guy that rammed the barricade into the signage over by your homecourt? You don’t? Come on, man. Don’t I get some kind of respect for that?”

But I guess one good thing came from last night’s incident. It showed Dodger fans what not to do when the Boys in Blue win the World Series.

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