Thank you Kobe Bryant for being the MVP of the league, the leader of the best team in the Western Conference, for ripping through that same Western Conference on the way to the Finals, and for ultimately showing the world that the "best player in the game" is still no match for the best team in the game.
Obviously this is a cheeky dig at Kobe, but its the weekend and I'm in a good mood, so why not have a little fun?
I know the first instinct most of us have is to point at the Lakers and say "ha ha, you have no heart and you were overrated." To me, that's not entirely true. To say that the Lakers were not a very, very good team would be to devalue the accomplishment of soundly defeating them. They had enough talent and drive to post the best regular season record in the West (only the Pistons and Celtics were better in the East). They had enough heart to come from behind and defeat the San Antonio Spurs. Kobe really was the MVP. Bottom line is that the Lakers were a very good team. If they had played another opponent from the East, they might have won the whole thing.
But they didn't. The Celtics grabbed them by the throat, slapped them around a bit, took a couple of shots in return, and finished them with an emphatic body slam. Now they are licking thier wounds. As Steve pointed out, they went into the Finals talking about a dynasty and left it talking about a major trade and lots of questions marks.
The Lakers really were an excellent team headed into the Finals. They just ran up against the best team in the league.
So thank you Kobe and the Lakers. Thanks for giving us another chance to relive good old memories. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to end the Lakers 2 series winning streak against the Celtics. Thanks for allowing us to deny Phil Jackson the opportunity to pass Red. Thanks for being the best you could be, which wasn't nearly good enough. Thanks for letting us Beat LA!