On paper the Lakers arguable had the best starting lineup in the league; best bench; best player; best closer; most versatile player and the list goes on. Yet when it really mattered most, mental toughness and playing with heart prevailed. They always say with basketball there is no simple answer but frankly the Celtics just played with a bigger heart…And to be honest that’s a damn shame. A shame when the average age of the Lakers team is below thirty and a shame when you think the Celtics had to go through three grueling rounds of basketball while the Lakers pretty much breezed through. However at the end of the day the Celtics just outplayed the Lakers which raises many questions regarding the future which shall instead by answered at a later date.
This was probably the last time Kobe got to be Kobe in the NBA Finals, sure this guy has not even turned thirty but all things considered it’s hard to see Kobe dominating like he has the previous seasons especially considering how many options he will have in the coming years. This year the will of a single team outmatched the will of an incredible individual, and it’s unfortunate that it had to be that way and even more unfortunate that it had to be against our arch rival: The Celtics. I’m not saying that Kobe will never average over 25 points nor am I saying he won’t win a championship but we’ve seen Kobe mature this year and it’s hard to see him revert back to being Mamba consistently. Finally regarding Kobe I will leave you with this quote, “Never underestimate the heart of a champion”.
Now, as we all struggle to watch the Celtics celebrate I realize that as fans we were fortunate to see another Celtics – Lakers series. Fortunate to see yet another amazing season by Kobe, especially after his off-season trade demands, fortunate to see the emergence of our next franchise player. If there was one word to describe this Lakers season I would describe it as: Inspiring. Inspiring because despite all the drama surrounding the season, despite all the injuries we were able to come together as a team and reach the NBA finals. The only thing the Lakers can do now is accept defeat and accept that they were outplayed and look to the future. Hopefully learning from their experiences and using the loss as motivation to improve and get better. Nothing is certain in the NBA but I am confident that as a franchise we will see many more deep postseason runs, and maybe…just maybe get another banner to add to the rafters.
So that’s that, another season has finally ended. Ultimately we were beaten by the better team and frankly I’m glad that’s the way it ended. All credit to the Celtics. I wish I had a EPIC ending to this story but I don’t and right now I honestly am neither in the mental frame of mind nor the mood to present you guys with one. I’m an optimist and believe this loss will be for the better, it’s good for a young team to understand what it’s like to almost get there and fail…just because it makes you appreciate how hard it is to get to the top. Fortunately the franchise is in good hands, and I can confidently say we will be back as a single unit and we will seize the day.
I just want end this post with the poem Phil Jackson recited in one of those ABC segments to his team. I think this is something that our franchise will ultimately represent in the coming years:
Now this is the law of the jungle,
as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper,
but the wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk,
the law runneth forward and back,
For the strength of the pack is the wolf,
and the strength of the wolf is the pack.
The Law of the Jungle - Rudyard Kipling
Have a Great Summer CL!
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