That one guy who's not known for anything at all, but has a lot of money and hangs out with attractive women and is known by basketball fans in LA? HE WAS THERE!!!!!
Looking back, one weekend story line stood out over the others, but that shouldn't stop us from ripping through all of them for posterity's sake.
Who are so pathetic, they outwardly hope their team wins the division.
were standing, hollering, waving white towels and practically shattering the glass with their approval. It was all kinds of awesome.
Totes? Totes! "All kinds of awesome." Glad Grantland is written for people who think the writing at SI for Kids is a little too high fallutin'.
Every time I get worried about burning out on sports after four solid decades of giving a crap about total strangers,
One of my teams which hasn't been deep into the playoffs for a few years makes a run, and I get to rediscover them and learn about the new players they've added since the last time they were good enough to make me pay attention.
I find myself caught up in a moment like the last two minutes of that Kings game — when you're embedded in the heart of 20,000 people basically losing their shit — and you think to yourself, Oh, yeah, that's why I do this for a living.
So I can show off my knowledge of reality TV.
What a game.
It was like Shawshank mixed with The Client List!
The drama kept coming on Friday night, when the Lakers rallied in a must-win Game 3 to squeeze past a clearly superior Oklahoma City team.
Consider your team ZINGED, Lakers fans.
Any conspiracy theorist could have predicted the chain of events down the stretch: Kobe did a few Kobe things;
the officials shifted into "we need this series to last longer than four games" mode;
I'm way way way way late on this article, but have you been watching Simmons melt down on Twitter re: the refs in the Miami/Boston series? It's great stuff. Warms my icy heart.
the Lakers sank an incredible number of free throws (41 of 42 in all, although it felt like 141 of 142 as it was happening); and the young Zombie Sonics
That bit was tired and inane three years ago. Easterbrook would be proud.
squandered the pivotal possession of the game (and learned a valuable lesson for the next night). Actually, this deserves its own paragraph.
Mmmm. Sip it, readers. Let Bill tell you exactly how Bill is going to tell you how sports work. After this, he'll begin on a new topic. Where does this paragraph rank on the list of paragraphs that needed to be written? Level 7.
Trailing by one with under 20 seconds left, Durant drew a double on his drive and dished to a wide-open Serge Ibaka (bad move), realized his mistake and crashed the boards as Ibaka was mid-brick, retrieved the rebound, went right back up with a second shot and got belted to the ground. No call, game (effectively) over. Durant spent the next few seconds crumpled on the ground in disbelief, his freakishly long arms wrapped around his freakishly long legs, as Kendrick Perkins berated the offending official with one of those "How could you not call that? I know you saw it! You were right there!" sneers on his face. That's my enduring memory of that game. Sometimes in the NBA, it's just not gonna be your night. Let's leave it at that.
Like I was saying, great stuff in light of recent events.
I had brought my buddy Geoff (visiting from Sonoma)
Tell us more about Geoff! Sonoma? Sounds fancy! Does he wear strange clothing and hang out with HOT BLONDES?
to this game, which doubled as his first Lakers game ever. Other than being totally fascinated by Ron Artest — not just his ongoing insanity from play to play, but the fact that Laker fans screamed "Noooooooo!" at least three different times when it seemed like Artest might take a shot at the wrong time — Geoff was begrudgingly impressed by the passion of Lakers fans, saying simply, "I didn't think they'd be this loud" and admiring their collective confidence in Kobe.
You can assume from context that Geoff (the tastefully named Geoff!) is a Celtics fan. And that's some lofty Celtics fan analysis of Lakers fans: "Wow, I thought only WE were loud and special and gifted with magical team-to-victory-willing powers. What's this noise I hear from these other people? Are they allowed to do this? THEY LOVE CAR FLAGS, THEY CAN'T BE REAL FANS"
And that's a crucial point: Even if Kobe's overrated crunch-time efficiency can be picked apart in about three seconds,
IT DESERVES AN ASTERISK!
when you're sitting there in Staples, you always feel like he's going to come through. He carries himself like that will happen, and really, so do Laker fans.
I hate Lakers fans so much, and yet when Bill writes about them my brain turns them into protagonists. Those lovable scamps! They certainly do love that shitbag superstar of theirs, don't they?
I can't handle what happened in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals for a variety of reasons — most notably,
all the abominable jokes my readers keep emailing to me about the guy who rightfully earned series MVP.
the fact that the Celtics blew the title — but letting Kobe off the hook was my second-biggest regret.
Imagine how on the hook he would be with four rings instead of five! People would look back at that hideous game 7, in which neither team could have thrown the ball into the ocean from the beach, and say "Kobe blew it! It's all his fault! Hooray for the Celtics!"
After Kobe single-handedly shot the Lakers out of that game, the Celtics only needed to score a couple of times in the third quarter to steal a title that, again, Kobe was gift-wrapping for them.
Again, shades of Easterbrook. If the Celtics just score a couple times in the 3rd quarter, nothing in the 4th quarter changes and Boston wins! Better yet, Boston led until the six minute mark of the 4th. If they had just drained an average of an extra 10 seconds off the shot clock on each of their first 36 possessions, the clock would have run out before the Lakers took the lead!
Trust me, I was there.
Trust me folks - I'm a world-renowned source for objective analysis of Boston sports. Also, have YOU ever been to an NBA Finals game 7 between two of the league's most popular teams? No? Pity. Bill has. He's part of Hollywood, you see.
The fans were catatonic. You could practically hear them recalibrating Kobe's legacy in their own heads.
A strong contender for the most laughable thing he's written this year. If the Lakers hadn't also won the 2009 title, maybe I could kind of sort of buy this because Kobe wouldn't yet have gotten the "win without Shaq" monkey off his back. As this actually happened, that is ridiculous bullshit.
Then the Celtics started missing shots,
The refs made them do it!
the Lakers kept crashing the boards,
Important nuance (doubtlessly intentionally) omitted by Bill: Bryant was one of the Lakers' most important board crashers in that fourth quarter; he had four, all within a three minute stretch that saw the game go from tied to a six point Laker lead.
the game swung their way, and Kobe did just enough in the final eight minutes to make everyone (sort of) forget the first 40.
8 FOR 40 LOLOLOL
Their confidence in Kobe Bean Bryant never wavered again. It's just one of the many reasons why I hate going to Laker games. If you were a Boston fan, would you want to willingly enter a world in which Kobe wears a superhero's cap, everyone wears yellow and "I Love L.A." blares after every victory?
Got to give him points for acknowledging the possibility that other teams have rivalries, and thus fans of other teams could understand just what it's like to be IN THE TRENCHES for a LEGENDARY CLASH OF TITANS LIKE THIS.
I didn't think so.
Holy shit it's like we're having a conversation! This is the best sportswriter ever, I've got to tell my new bros in my intro to sociology class about him, he even writes about hot chicks and getting drunk! This guy is all kinds of awesome!
In case you were wondering, I didn't enjoy Game 3. Was it the second straight superb sporting event of the Playoff Eclipse? (Gritting my teeth.) Yes.
I SUPPOSE I enjoyed seeing an exciting NBA playoff game live from the arena in great seats. I GUESS. It's hard to appreciate any single one of them when you attend so many, though. Now where are my monocle and top hat?