Friday, June 04, 2004


I have an embarrassing admission to make - I'm a LA Lakers fan. There, I've said it. Have been since I was 11 years old and Chamberlain, West, Goodrich and co. won 33 straight during the season and won it all (the Western Conference finals battle between Chamberlain and Jabbar was awesome!). The 80's teams with Worthy and Magic and all kept it going (even better that their main rivals were the hated Celtics) and the Jackson-led team of today has been absolutely entertaining - sometimes for the wrong reasons, but still entertaining.

But I hope they lose to the Pistons.

It has nothing to do with Kobe Bryant - I frankly have no real opinion on what happened in Colorado (just a desire to see justice done whatever happened) and he is the most fun player to watch since Jordan. It is actually in spite of Shaq, who I've come to actually have a lot of appreciation for, although as a force of nature, he's probably a little above my likes or dislikes [dammit, stop paraphrasing Tolkien! - TP]. I've got a lot of respect for Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak and the brass. It has everything to do with Gary Peyton and Karl Malone. I appreciate the game they've both brought to the league in their long careers. They're probably nice enough guys and it would probably be a shame if they ended their careers (LIKE SO MANY ALL-STARS BEFORE THEM) having never won a championship. But frankly, lobbying to get your ass on the team that won three out of the last four championships is bush. They couldn't get THEIR teams the ring, so they're riding Shaq's umpty-leven-sized shoes to HIS next championship. Pah!

I hated the Lambeer-era Pistons. Couldn't stand 'em. But that was then. I know it's a slim hope, but I'd love it if the Wallace brothers and Rip Hamilton and the rest of 'em manage to pull off the improbable and win this thing. Certainly wouldn't hurt the NBA overall for a non-Chicago team from the East to win for the first time since, uh, Detroit. I know this is probably the Lakers' last hurrah with Jackson (and maybe with Bryant), but I'm okay with that.

PC wrote an excellent essay at the beginning of the playoffs (which I think has now archived off his journal unfortunately) about the necessity for a Carolina (or was it ACC?) connection for an NBA team to win the championship. Certainly that seems to be holding true this year. I'll take a UNC coach and UNC big guy (36 mins. per game) over a UNC general manager and UNC wing player (9 mins. per game).

But I think the Lakers will take it in 6.


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