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Yes, it's all over.

I realize that I may be a little late to the party. Simply posting game notes right now would be absurd and pointless. Surely so many other people have done a better and more thorough job than I could possibly do even on my best day.

So, right now, with reality and lucidity setting in, I feel I can write a much better piece than I could have written right after the Celtics were crowned. So far, I can feel the (undeserved, inappropriate and frankly, out of left field) Celtic hate fleeting my body. Gone, too, is that sudden and creepy impulse to cheer for the Lakers (and Kobe, no less)!

That will not be the most bizarre realization I will have, however. As soon as the Finals concluded, thoughts just poured into my mind. Not entirely about the NBA, mind you, but also about life. There's just too many great stories and characters here that simply deducing it to "winners" and "losers" just doesn't do this series justice.

We all know the story by now. After years of toiling away for the Wolves, Kevin Garnett finally manages to break on through to the other side. Watching his post-game interview, seeing just how happy and relieved he was, really gave me goosebumps. I'm not exactly his biggest fan, but it was just so sweet to see him get his ring. If not for the fact that I was at work during that moment, I bet a tear would've been shed.

It just feels so good because his victory is sort of like a validation that hard work truly pays off. I didn't always believe that, especially since I value "smart work" more than "hard work", but it works. KG just proved it.

It's inspiring because here was a guy who was mad-talented (who certainly had enough clout to influence management) but kept it classy throughout the years. He may have shown some frustration (who hasn't?) but it was always of the "get me some help" variety instead of the standard "ship my ass out". He didn't want to leave 'Sota, he always wanted to stay. Even as recently as the 2006-2007 season, he was begging for Iverson to come to his team. Only when it seemed hopeless did he finally give up on the Wolves. Yet, when he won his title, he never forgot Minnesota. Loyalty. Apparently, wolves are also familiar with the concept.

Then, here was this dude named Paul Pierce, who just wouldn't let his team lose. Here's a dude who, knowing that his window is slowly closing, just up and decided to take matters into his own hands and never let this one slip away. Remember the regret you felt when you didn't ask out that one special girl? Well, P-Double asked his out, and closed the deal to boot. The sense of urgency I saw in his every drive was phenomenal. It's called "seizing the day", and boy, did Paul ever seize.

And that's just from two players. I won't even write about Rajon Rondo playing on a broken foot, Ray Allen putting family first but still knocking down 7 treys in the series clincher, and Doc Rivers' rise to prominence after his stint in coaching hell.

But on the other end of the spectrum, we have the Los Angeles Lakers, who suffered a humiliating meltdown at the hands of the Celtics. Yes, they deserve more credit than they are getting right now. After all, they did still beat the defending champions.

Still, though, you can't help but feel a little disgusted at their performances. Once again, Lamar Odom crumbled in the Finals, but it's not like the Spurs were chopped liver. I truly believe that if we are to conclude that Odom is unable to play in big games, then he would've done it way back when they were battling the Utah Jazz. As it stands, however, LO only played consistently terrible against the Celtics. And I think it has to do more with lack of effort than anything else. Same goes for Pau Gasol, who only seemed interested in playing during portions of a game.

And I think that's the biggest reason the Los Angeles Lakers lost. They didn't want it enough. Maybe they became over-confident, or maybe they quit so early into the series. I can totally see it happening, though. They must've felt like for the next 5 years or so, they will be strong championship contenders. And that they can afford to let this one slip, because -MAYBE- they believed they will be in the Finals again next year. Which is not guaranteed, at all. I'm sure Kobe Bryant doesn't feel this way, and neither does Derek Fisher. But what about the rest of this young team?

It's like all those times we say to ourselves, "there's going to be a second chance"... But what if there isn't? What if that opportunity never presents itself again? Then what are you left with? Nothing but regrets.

Of course it's unrealistic (not to mention physically impossible) for us to grab every opportunity out there. Ultimately, we will have to let some of them go. But that's where priorities come into play. We have to understand what's important, and as far as I can tell, winning a championship is probably the greatest prize in the sport. This is the time when we lay it all out there, similar to the times we worked so damn hard to get a diploma, or conquering fear just to be able to drive. It's that desire for something so great that makes us put our body and mind through so much, and somehow, that's what I felt was missing from the Lakers this year.

Apologies if this turns out to be a tad preachy, and there's probably so many more events that better show the strength of the human body and mind, but this is the most recent reminder that, should we want it enough, we can get it.

Like Kevin Garnett shouted emphatically, "Anything is possible!"

And for the first time in my life, I find myself agreeing with KG.

Thanks for reminding me what I need to do, dog. Congratulations.

Photo credit again goes to Getty Images, from Yahoo!

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  1. -Gerard Himself-  

    Wow. Rob, you're really into it. What a great post and exactly what I meant in my blog too. About "wanting it more", for instance. Besides that, I tried to write without too much bias, and that's exacty the same with you. You might be a fan of the Lakers, but you can appreciate KG and his squad for all the hard work they put in.
    Two questions:
    Will you keep on writing about b-ball throughout the summer? I know I will!
    What do you think? Lakers-Celtics '09?

  2. robbz18  

    Haha. It feels so weird being called a Laker fan. More like a "sympathizer", perhaps. I actually HATED the Lakers before, but it's not like I love them now. I'm Cleveland all the way. baby!

    But man, seeing that interview, I meant it when I said I almost shed a tear, man. Yes, teh Celtics just really wanted it more. That phrase will be so over-used, but it's exactly that, man.

    Hhhmm... I dont think they'll meet again next year, though. I think it's gonna be Cleveland-New Orleans next year! Haha.

    Yeah, man. I'ma write all summer long. No doubt about that! Really wanna do a blow-out piece, though!

  3. -Gerard Himself-  

    Cleveland-New Orleans? Now that's a bold statement! I can see the Hornets getting there, bu Cleveland? With this team? I don't know man.

    By the way, did you see any Finals games? Did you use those links I sent you via e-mail, or was it possible to catch some of it on TV?

  4. robbz18  

    Yeah, man. I really believe that the Cavs are much closer than most people think. After all, they lost in 7 games to the eventual champs. That's a pretty good way to bow out.

    I'm sure they'll make more moves, and like I wrote in an older post, LeBron is the Great Equalizer. I just cant count out the Cavs as long as he's healthy.

    I was able to see some games, specifically Games 2, 4 & 5. I kept trying to install it here but it just wouldn't work. And in my office laptop, you cant really install any progs so I was pretty much screwed. Lol.

  5. K.R.I.C.K.E.T.  

    that was an awesome post, but i'm still bitter so i'll end here before i go on ranting my biased ways.

    PS: had the lakers won, would you still be just a sympathizer, or in that case a "partaker" of their would-be victory? it's either you're a fan or not, boo.

  6. robbz18  

    @ Kricket: The "no gray area" rule was only applied during the Shaq-Kobe era. Right now, it is possible to feel neutral for them (and maybe even Kobe).

    Still, I'm not a big fan of big market teams, but LA gets my respect. The same cannot be said for the Knicks.

  7. robbz18  

    @ myself: Is it possible to feel "neutral" for them? Is "neutral" a feeling?


  8. Jason  

    sweet post. it's weird how much you and i have the same opinions on the Lakers. both Laker-haters turned sympathizers.

    And I think this loss for the Lakers was the role player's faults. nobody stepped up. they just watched Kobe dribble.

    The Cavs have that same problem, imo, too. Lebron is doing it all pretty much. But they're definitely a force to be reckoned with. The Clippers, on the other hand, suck balls, and they're my favorite team.

    And next year, I really don't think the Lakers can pull this off. Everything just clicked up until the finals. next year : Spurs-Celtics.

  9. robbz18  

    Thanks, man. Glad you were able to find my site.

    Nice, and I'll guess it was all because of Kobe? He just seemed much more likable this season than most times.

    Yeah, man. But the diff is that only the Celtics stand in the way of the Cavs, which makes it not that hard to see them in the Finals.

    Dude, I'm sorry about your Clips. I really thought they'd get better when they got to the playoffs in '06, but it's crazy. You really have to feel for EB, though. I don't wanna watch him waste his career missing the post-season.

    I also think the Spurs are gonna be strong next year, but I'm hoping my negativity towards them will cause them to lose. Therefore, Cavs-Hornets 2009!

  10. -Gerard Himself-  

    there is a rumor going on that J.R. Smith might go to the Spurs, I'm not sure how I feel about that.

  11. robbz18  

    Gerard: Yeah, I've heard of that, too. If ever they do get JR, it would be genius. PURE GENIUS. I think around Timmy D and Pops, he'll be good.

    Always thought JR was a good talent, but somehow his career over the past 2 years has resembled Q-Rich's career arc: tons of athleticism and explosiveness but somehow has been relegated to chucker of 3's.

  12. robbz18  

    Gerard: Yeah, I've heard of that, too. If ever they do get JR, it would be genius. PURE GENIUS. I think around Timmy D and Pops, he'll be good.

    Always thought JR was a good talent, but somehow his career over the past 2 years has resembled Q-Rich's career arc: tons of athleticism and explosiveness but somehow has been relegated to chucker of 3's.

  13. Jason  

    "I also think the Spurs are gonna be strong next year, but I'm hoping my negativity towards them will cause them to lose."


    I just kinda made that pick out of nothing really. Well i thought that the Lakers wouldn't be able to pull this off again, and that the East is so weak that the Celtics will just fall into the finals. But now you've inspired me to root for the Cavs next year.

  14. robbz18  

    Power of the mind, baby! I'm going to will them to defeat, one way or another.

    Yeah, I also considered that the Celtics will have a much easier road next year, but I'm taking into account the large possibility that the Cavs will do a trade or something. Sure as hell, when the 2009 playoffs roll around, it will be a different roster.

    Nice, man. The Cavs will need all the support they can get! LeBron will pwn the Celtics.

  15. Jason  

    who doesn't Lebron pwn?

  16. robbz18  

    @ Jason: Ohh, it's on! Love that your a Cavs fan now!

    But you have a point, man. LeBron does destroy everybody else.

    Have you read my latest yet?

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