And that’s a wrap! The Los Angeles Lakers go back to the promised land and win championship number 17. Almost, the game is still going as I write this. I’ll put in the final score later. Update : 106-93. There isn’t much point crunching the numbers in this one. The Lakers were really good and the Heat were really bad. Let’s have a look at a few of the stories that got us here.
Firstly though, I want to address Danny Green. It’s no secret that I don’t like Danny Green. But that has nothing to do with him as a human being or an individual. I don’t know Danny Green. We would probably be friends if we knew each other. I criticise Danny a lot, but that is based on the GAME of basketball. I love basketball, but at the end of the day, it is just a game. It means a lot more than that to me and many others I’m sure, but ultimately, it’s just a game.
I feel it’s important to address this because of the large number of death threats that Danny Green and his fiancé received. That it ridiculous. He missed a shot in a game. Guess what? It didn’t matter because the Lakers are champions anyway. Danny Green has 3 rings now. How many rings do the cowards who sent him death threats have? It’s ridiculous and it makes me mad. I’m sure I haven’t criticised his game for the last time, but either way I don’t want any harm to befall him. I wish him nothing but the best. To wish harm or death on him is just insanity. It’s disgraceful and it makes me ashamed to be a basketball fan alongside of people like that. Basketball is about love. It always has been. It empowers us. It unites us. It makes us better. So don’t be like that. Basketball doesn’t need people like that.
There doesn’t feel like any other place to start than with Kobe. It feels like a lifetime ago we lost him. We lost Gigi. Sarah and Payton Chester. John, Alyssa and Keri Altobelli. Christina Mauser. Ara Zobayan. It was a tragic day and it’s still hard to think about. I still haven’t processed it. It’s hard to imagine I ever will. I’m sure this one feels extra special to Los Angeles. They did it without Kobe, but they did it for him. They did it for Gianna. For everyone who tragically lost their life on that horrible day in January. We also lost David Stern.
After David and Kobe, we were hit with a global pandemic. We are still struggling with it today. The NBA was stopped in March. I’ll never forget that day either. I’ve been without basketball before. I’ve seen lockout seasons. I’d never seen anything like that. It was hard to lose basketball. I was in a tough spot in life and like so many times before, basketball gave me hope. It gave me happiness. I’ve already said that basketball is just a game. And it is. But for me, it’s also my life. I grew up with it. There literally isn’t a day I don’t think about it. Or talk about it. Watch it. Play it. Listen to podcast. Watch talk shows. Read about it. That day, I lost a huge part of me.
Things went from bad to worse. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. 2 of many innocent black people to lose their lives needlessly. Police Brutality. Racism. Inequality. The social justice issues that have plagued this world continued to do so. This time though, the people had enough. People around the world united to make a stand for justice. Unfortunately, there were riots and violence. Ultimately though, the NBA helped lead a peaceful charge. The war is far from over, but we can all do our part. We can vote. We can love. We can educate. We can be better.
Somehow, with all the sadness, tragedy, chaos, danger, violence and everything else though, the NBA managed to come back. It’s safe to say that it was a huge success, perhaps surprisingly. No COVID breaches in the bubble. We had a short stoppage to refocus on the larger issues and I think it was also huge success.
Let’s talk about basketball a little bit. LeBron James wins another ring and another Finals MVP. Congratulations. He was honestly fantastic, yet again. Somehow, he always finds a way to surprise. The Chicago native, Anthony Davis gets his first ring. It’s kind of like a Chicago victory. Not really! Rondo had an awesome game. If he did that all series, he would have been MVP for sure. Ok, that’s also a “not really”. He was great though. It’s poetic that this series started and ended with the Heat getting thrashed. It looks closer than it actually was, they were down by 30 in the second quarter. I’m proud of the Lakers for getting this one for Kobe.
As for Miami and Butler, they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Nobody though they could be here. Yet, despite all odds, they made it. You should all be proud of yourselves. Especially you, JB! You all fought valiantly and put the league on notice. It’s not easy making it to the big stage. I’m sure you will get back. It was honestly inspiring watching you all band together and play the way you did.
So, here we are. At the end. I don’t know when basketball will be back. I know it will be though. I know it’s been a tragic and a challenging year for many. Myself included. We can come out of it stronger though. We have to. Please remember to vote. Stand up for those who need it. Let’s seriously try and make the world a better place.
Thanks to those of you who have followed my coverage of the bubble. I’ll still be checking in almost every day. There is a lot to talk about in this world. I’m sure I’ll find something.