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Ron Artest validates his arrival to the Lakers with an NBA championship

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In raw elation, Lakers forward Ron Artest stood in the locker room eager to share any story that popped into his head.

A random anecdote usually emerged based on whomever he saw. When Artest's wife showed up and stood by his side, he revealed how his workouts often came at the expense of family time and dinners. When Lakers special assistant Chuck Person offered congratulations, Artest fondly recalled the special shooting sessions three hours he had before games in hopes to improve his form and shot selection so that he could pull out of his funk. And when his brother, Daniel Artest, shook his hands, Ron burst out in laughter, recalling an episode that happened this postseason where Daniel argued with Houston forward Trevor Ariza via Twitter over whether the Lakers ultimately benefited from signing Artest this off-season to a five-year, $33-million deal.

"I just called it how I see it," Daniel said, laughing.

I had long resisted supporting or refuting that claim, believing the debate between Ariza vs. Artest had to be measured within the context of a whole season. Though it was inevitable that the comparisons would turn up throughout the season, much of the conversation appeared to operate on a pendulum. Artest served as a good addition when he locked down an opponent's top scorer, had a hot shooting night or showed improvement running the triangle offense. He served as a bad addition whenever he had an off defensive night or made head-scratching decisions on offense. It was frankly far too early to have a definitive conclusion because all those performances represented scattered snapshots of a conflicting picture. It revealed a well-intentioned player intermittently channeling that passion into either a bad or good performance.

But as Artest frequently clutched the championship trophy following the Lakers' 83-79 Game 7 victory over Boston on Thursday, a few things remained clear. The Lakers finished on the winning end of the essential Ariza-Artest swap. Ariza in last year's postseason averaged 11.3 points, shot 47.6% from three-point range, and had two memorable steals off inbounds passes late in Games 1 and 3 of the Western Conference finals against Denver. In this year's postseason, Artest averaged 11.2 points a game on 39.8%, but his presence went beyond the box score, providing the defensive toughness the Lakers sorely needed.

Another thing also became clear. The random anecdotes Artest shared in the locker room and in his postgame news conference occurred whenever a family member, friend or teammate appeared nearby, revealing Artest leaned on a wide supporting cast to help him bring his 11-year career full circle after his persona was mostly defined by his infamous Malice at the Palace.

"Everything I've been through?" Artest pondered for a second. "Wow."

In 2004 as an Indiana Pacer, Artest went into the Pistons crowd after beer was thrown at him and punched a fan. The incident sparked an 86-game suspension, the longest penalty for a physical altercation in NBA history, and he received a year's probation for pleading no contest to assault charges. Fast forward to 2010, and you have Lakers reserve center DJ Mbenga pouring beer in the locker room over Artest's head. But the circumstances were much different. Artest was soaked in alcohol this time because he proved largely instrumental in bringing the Lakers the 2010 title. On a night the team collectively shot 32.5% and Kobe Bryant went six of 24 from the field, Artest had 20 points on seven-of-18 shooting and held Boston forward Paul Pierce to 18 points on a five-of-15 clip.  

"For the most part, I didn't see Ron tire out there," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "I thought he played with good energy in a game in which he had to play a lot of minutes, and he's played consistent minutes throughout."

Artest provided much more than that. He hit a key three-pointer to give the Lakers a 79-73 lead with 1:01 remaining in the fourth quarter. He provided five steals, which eclipsed the two assists from Bryant, which speaks to strong and aggressive defense Artest played as well as Bryant's unhealthy tendency with trying to do too much on his own. And with a team that played way too hard and way too tight, Artest appeared the only comfortable Laker at the beginning of the game. No doubt, none of the Lakers had ever experienced a Game 7 of the NBA Finals, and Jackson predicted the team would go through unanticipated events. But no one thought Artest would become the calming presence on a team as he sought his first ring. 

"I'm just happy that he was able to win his first championship, and you could see it in his face," Lakers power forward Pau Gasol said. "He's like a little kid right now that got his dream come true, like we all did."

Artest wore a similar look on his face after Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against Phoenix when he made the game-winning shot. But his happiness after that game became as fleeting as his rise from goat to hero. He launched an ill-advised three-pointer in the final minute of that game as the Lakers nursed a three-point lead with 22 seconds on the shot clock. He then responded with a put-back off Bryant's missed three-pointer with 0.8 of a second remaining. 

Artest's happiness this time appeared permanent. He kissed the championship trophy as he sat by his locker. He brought out a bottle of champagne soon after, eager to drink from it moments before instructing one of his sons never to drink alcohol. And he arrived at his postgame news conference with his large family, showing giddiness as he stared at a Wheaties box featuring every member of the Lakers. 

But this wasn't just a moment of celebration for Artest. It was an opportunity for him to shed his past misgivings. He immediately thanked God for winning the championship. He then apologized to Indiana for "betraying them" when he requested to be traded after the 2005 season. Moments earlier in the locker room, he credited NBA Commissioner David Stern for allowing him to stay in the league. And he credited the help of a sports psychologist in helping him remain calm this season.

"Today is one of those days where I trusted in myself and I didn't settle for some shots," Artest said. "I kind of at the right time did exactly what Coach wanted me to do."

As a result, Artest earned his first NBA championship and definitively validated the Lakers' 2009 off-season decisions. But Artest won't talk about the latter part, so much as the people who helped him get to this point. But sooner or later, Artests runs out of time in telling his story. The Lakers spokesperson wants to wrap up the news conference. Artest's family wants to get something to eat. And Artest finally has nothing left to say. 

"I wish I had a more powerful voice," he said. "Then I could scream more."

But it wasn't needed. The performance he showed and the stories he shared told it all.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest goes after a loose ball along with Celtics guard Ray Allen during Game 7 on Thursday night at Staples Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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¿Extra hours MM?

Ron Ron deserved a championship and there you go!!

Great quarter last night!! And good D all seasson.

Big thumbs for all international supporters that did not sleep and have to work.

I watched almost all seasson and also need some rest (like Lakers players) or my boss will fire.

Go lakers!!

Am I the only one who actually wants the Celtics back in the finals sometime in the next couple of years? This victory was BY FAR the sweetest of Kobe's five rings, but I want at least one more at the expense of the Celtics. Maybe next year get the three peat on whatever team Lebron goes to (assuming he goes to a team with someone who can actually carry him to a finals appearance.) But after that I want one more on the Celtics before they go into their 20 years of mediocrity!

Oh and WOOOOOOOOOOOO
LAKERS BABY YEAH!!!!!!!

Also, Lewstrs you may not have seen it, but the other day I asked for a ride on that train, please add my name!

MM, I hope you enjoyed this Championship run like we did. Great job Sir!

Just gotta say Ron was the MVP of game 7. I'm so happy that he could fulfill his promise to Kobe made in the shower after Boston won in 2008. Awesome!

Breakfast Sausage - Hey it's the championship. you gotta do what you gotta do

MM

Many times, during the regular season, I doubted Ron Artest. I wondered what had become of the player that played for Houston last year. He sure changed my mind with his game 7 performance. Ron stepped up BIG TIME!!! TruWarrior Ron Artest!!!!

Now i hope everyone would now SU on Artest. We lost in '08 cos we could not contain Pierce. Period!!

I can't wait to see Ron Artest get his Championship Ring! He earned it!

I was certainly glad to see Dr. Buss at the trophy presentation. The man has a plan and deserves a lot of credit.

To: Red's Love Child, 131-92 aka 83-79, Peace, jimjoyce, and Todd and ALL THOSE WHO DOUBTED KOBE BRYANT, DEREK FISHER (ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO COMPARED HIM TO SMUSH AND KWAMAY BROWN DURING THE REGULAR SEASON), PAU GASOL, RON ARTEST (AND TO THAT DUDE WHO CALLED HIM A BUST ON 710 AM ESPN)AND THE REST OF THE LA LAKERS WOULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-1jgNhopNo

And to the Celtic fans (since like Edwin stated that there are "reformed" Celtic fans who are good and only against us here in the blog because they root for the Boston Celtics (and those who well are just damn trolls)) good fight you guys really gave the Lakers a grueling 7 games series and you succeeded against Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Dwight Howard. Sorry you couldn't put Kobe Bryant on that list but hey streaks has to end at some point.

That being said my most favorite moment after the Laker celebration (the ones INSIDE the Staples Center not the ones outside which looked like Raider fans):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_CNpCm-Rw4

Mike T. must be crying that his hated team the Lakers won again.

Did anyone catch Doc Rivers saying the Celtics of 2010-2011 will be vastly different from the one of 2009-2010? I reckon it will be because it will be the start of another 25 years of irrelevance.

Go Lakers!

MVP finals for THE TEAM. Bad and good individual games throughout the seven matches but at the end we win not for this bad or good individual games, no, we win for the whole working of THE TEAM.

TEAM deserves this championship.

Celtics has fighted with honor and they deserves respect. Best than to know to win is to be generous with the looser.

Who respect is respected.

Go Lakers Go, next year only the same is enough.


If you have not done it yet, please watch Ron Ron press conference. That is plain and simply Ron Ron.

Its 9 minutes but they are all worth it.

It had me LMAO all the time.

Thriller, you are definitely one of a kind and we love you!

THE SWEETEST 16 EVER!!!

GO LAKERS!!!



Here it is.

http://tiny.cc/cm3ks

I love Wheeties!!

Kobe passed me the ball!!

This was a surreal game. And Artest deserves this ring more than anyone.

All year he was criticiced but when it mattered the most he delivered.

Dark work by the most popular invisible and despised man of Lakers team was much appreciated for theirs companions than for the Lakers fans:

Luke Walton, on Pau Gasol: "Pau, he's so good you almost get tired of talking about it. He doesn't get enough respect for what he does. Tonight, he struggled early, but the plays he made down the stretch won us the ballgame. The offensive rebound, the block on Pierce. Everything he did down the stretch ultimately won us the ballgame. I don't have enough good words to say about Pau."

Kobe at the moment to receive the MVP trophy explicite gratitude to Pau Gasol work's.

Next year, 2008 laker dynasty will repeat... with the same TEAM.

MM....

I just went through Yahoo's photo gallery of game 7 & I didn't see Mitch Kupchak anywhere. Do you know if he was at the game? Is he OK?

In the end the debate between Ariza and Artest is moot. Because what we have now is Queensbridge and we're sporting a ring with him.

Ron isn't flashy, the things he does on the floor more often than not will frustrate you (whether you're the offensive player he's guarding, or the fan that's having to suffer through his shot selection) but at the end of the day what he brings is so much more than points, rebounds, stats.

Robert Horry was once such a player. The guy was anemic on his shooting percentage throughout the regular season, was more often than not frustrating on defense against TD, et al, but what he brought was the immeasurable intangibles that makes a difference in a championship. Ron Artest is no different. You won't see the deflections, the help defense, the physical play on the stat sheet, but you will see the championship in the record books he has become a part of. That's all that matters. And that is why we as Laker fans celebrate the Michael Coopers, the Robert Horry and yes Ron Artests.

They are all lakers and the intangibles they bring are huge, perhaps bigger than the championship heart they have shown us on a nightly basis. And that is why the Laker legacy is more than just the banners on the rafters, the numbers retired...it's a way of life. A winning life. Laker dy-nasty life.

Go Lakers!

Ron Artest must be the ugliest player the NBA has ever seen!!! This dude is UGLY!!! Perharps Tyrone Hill was the only other player as ugly...lol
His team got licky last night with the refs helping them and of course Kendrick Perkins being out - yep , that's the only reason why the lakers won that game.
But like i said , Ron Ron is ONE UGLY DUDE!!!!! urghhhhhhhh
Celtics for life babay!!! We will get our trophy back next season. GUARANTEED!!!

F YAH !!

I loved it when Artest asked for a break. Went out for a play and a half and came back in. That is leaving it all on the floor!!!!

Today I will parade around with a shirt that features Kobe, Pau, and Trevor. But, I am proud to mentally insert Artest!!

GOOOooooooOOOOOOO LAKERS !!!!!

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

Mission ACCOMPLISHED! The LA Lakers are the 2010 NBA Champions and have DEFENDED their title of 2009 vs the Boston Celtics...How beautiful it is....

Like I've said for the past three years, "Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY."

Boy! Did the Lakers ever DEFEND their title in this series...LITERALLY.

Congrats to all fellow bloggers and those true fans who BELIEVED in the Lakers resolve the last three trips to the Finals, through good and bad times (especially this year). Remember, it all started with the 131-92 dismantling by Boston in 2008. Come to think about it, it made the Lakers STRONGER...

I'm happy for KB24, Fish, Gasol, Bynum (injured, shredded knee) and especially Artest (who kept his end of the bargain defensively ALL playoffs long). Also, a shout out to "11 RINGS" Phil and the rest of the team, staff, and organization.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

What a great summer it will be....AGAIN!

Lakers, let's go for THREE in 2011!

ADVERSITY builds CHAMPIONS...God bless.


I love this magnificent nut job! He made Mitch Kupchak look brilliant when most doubted if the Lakers had benefited at all from the Artest-Ariza swap. Turns out that one tweak to a defending championship team made all the difference between repeat and defeat.

How can you say Ron Ron is ugly when Celtics are the monster family?

Nate is the real leprechaun.

Rondo makes me run away with his small head and those big shoulders. ¿a Frankenstein product?

Davis... you can see, is like a big baby.

Kevin Garnot is like a big suppository.

Ray Allen is Ray Alien.

Paul Pierce looks like he has some mental disease...

Perkins is a bull clone.

Now i've to go but will continue...

Come one now Celtics for Life,

Rondo's face isn't even straight,

QUEENSBRIDGE

Good morning 2010 NBA Champion Lakers fans...


Wooooooo what a night baby, I can't stop grinning. I am so unbelievably happy for our team once again. All the hard work and dedication to this game paid off AGAIN.


Many of us have been rooting our team on this blog for years now. We've been here through the ups and downs and we deserve some credit for staying faithful to our team even when they gave us reason to have a heart attack. I can't say how proud I am of all of us for being true fans.


If I could say something to each of the players, it would be the following:


Kobe "MVP" Bryant - Thank you for growing up right before our eyes and becoming a true leader. Your drive to win is like none other and even though there are times we yell "please pass the ball Kobe"...we're so glad you've shut us up and drained that crazy looking shot no one expected to go in. You are the REAL MVP.


Pau "I love the Spaniard" Gasol - I will admit that I had my doubts about your toughness after the '08 finals but I knew we had gotten the better deal in the trade. We traded Butterhands Brown for Jello Gasol (or so I thought). Immediately you began to prove us all wrong and although I would've loved to see more of the chest-pumping Gasol, I can't express how thankful we all are for your finesse play and ability to keep fighting when things got rough. GRACIAS GASOL!!


D-Fish - You are by far the classiest NBA player out there and I am so thankful that you are a Laker. You're my little pitbull out there and know exactly when to drain that rainbow 3, take that hard foul, and motivate your team members. I am so happy your little girl is doing great. God has a way of always working things out and he is rewarding you for the sacrifices you made when putting your daughter first.


Ron Ron - Oh Ron Ron, oh Ron Ron...last year, I couldn't stand your guts. You killed us with your 3pt shooting in Houston and you frustrated our Kobe with that crazy stuff you call defense. BUT I am so glad you are no longer the enemy. Many of us had doubts after losing Ariza who was so good in our last championship run but those doubts ARE OVER. You single-hadedly saved the game last night and I love you to death for that. I love your total craziness and enjoy your realness. QUENSBRIDGE in the house!!!!


Bynum - Our big 7 footer with a baby face. Everyone doubted your heart and your abilities after dealing with constant knee troubles. This year, you proved to us that you have so much heart. You gutted out these playoffs with a bad knee injury and we can't thank you enough. We've watched you grow and we're excited to continue to see you become one of the most dominant centers in the league. You already have 2 rings baby and you're still a baby. Just think about your potential. Shaq who???


L.O. - Ohhhh LO my dear LO...how many times have I wanted to come through the TV and ring your neck? Countless times, I promise. Game in and game out, we never really knew what you would do. Would you be on such a sugar high that you'd look lost and helpless out there or would you be the real LO with unbelievable talent who couldn't be guarded by anyone in the league? To this day, we still don't know but we are glad that you showed up when it mattered most and gave us the push we needed to get over the hump. I wish you a great summer...go on your honeymoon now and get ready for next season baby. We do love you Mr. Queensbridge #2.

And not to leave anyone else out but props to every single Laker on the bench who don't get much attention but are such a big part of what this team is...Jordy, UPS, Machine, Powell, Mbenga, and even Morrison. Each one of you has contributed to the success of this team for the past few years. I hope that you take this summer to improve your game and come back as one of the best benches in the league. We believe you can do it, now you believe you can.

THANK YOU LAKERS FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL SEASON!!!

2010 NBA CHAMPIONS - 16 RINGS BABY!!!

CAN YOU SAY 3-PEAT AGAIN!!! Woooooooooooo!


I've cheered for a lot of Laker teams and for me, this championship stands up there above all the others.

There can be no more questions, there can be no more doubts, there can be no more accusations or lies. This team proved it can win any way, any shape, anywhere, any time.

No matter what the future holds, no one, NO ONE, can take this away from the Lakers and their fans. It is truly special.

Congrats Lakers, Lakers fans, and especially the great folks on this blog. It has been a hell of a great three years. Here's to three more!

Hey Family,

I must admit...I've seen the greenies pull out many of these ugly games, and hoped we could somehow, some way, get the job done. It hasn't quite sunk in yet that we won. I'll watch the dvr replay and really enjoy it without having to worry about working the next morning. But, I do know with a few tweaks to our bench, we can be right there again to challenge jordan for 6 rings (Kobe and Fish) and tie the greenies for the lead in team title rings.


We Are The Mighty Lakers!!
Who the hell are you??

Waiting for Mamba24's epic roll call...the champs are here! :-)

EastCoastJessie,

Enjoy the day in Boston -- hope you have an appropriate Laker jersey or t-shirt to wear. Although, since I know what it's like to live up there, be careful!

The Los Angeles Times should be shot that they say Artest lead all scorers at 20 points. WRONG - Kobe scored 23....PUHLEEZ! Every fan who watched the game knew it! Get it together Times! WAY TO GO LAKES!

How ironic that the one off season move we did, signing Artest, would pay off and win us game 7. Artest was huge, keeping us in the game, while Kobe struggled with his shot. His defense was incredible on Paula Pierce, and what can you say about his timely treys.

Mitch gets another gold star, and now he has the task of resigning PJ and Fish, address the PG position, hopefully Farmar is in the mix...

Then it's off to number #17 and another 3peat for PJ, Kobe and Fish...

Great season Lakers...I look forward to us defending the title and sharing it with you all here in this great forum...

Congratulations to the 2010 Champions, LA Lakers, and the Laker Nation...

LEWSTRS,

Great posts -- your bullet train is fantastic!

Yes Faith, can't wait for Mamba's roll call today. This is why we are faithful to this blog. Thank you for everything you do throughout the season Faith. No one calls a game like you.

@teamn...you have no idea how eerily quiet it is here today. Not one mention of the Celtics...their fans jumped off the bandwagon last night and they've moved on to the Red Sox now. Everyone is saying Boston is cursed again after the Bruins choked and now the Celtics. You have no idea how great it feels to be talking trash this morning. Unfortunately, I can't wear a jersey to work but my screen saver and my huge smile says it all.

Hey Mark M...

Great story, good overtime effort!

Ron really deserves it. He's paid his dues, felt alot of folk's wrath, taken alot of &#*@ from us fans. He kept his head, worked with a gang of advisors and professionals and mentors and -- it all has paid off!

Really a validating, feel good, story.

I'm so happy for him (and of course, for the Lakers since they owe much to his development).

Did anyone see the Celtics shaking our players hands after the game. If it happened, I must of missed it...

For all the smack the pukes talked, it figures they would pull a "LeBron" and sulk off into the locker room...

I see Rivers was already using the Perkins excuse, keeping on with, "This starting 5 is still undefeated" nonsense...

Well I see the Boston franchise going back into their cave for the next 20 years...

Meanwhile Kobe and the Lakers keep on keeping on, rewriting history...

I am so PROUD of this team...

Listen Ron Ron and alcohol shouldn't mix. LOL. But he was hillarious. I agree I never liked Ron before but now he is one of my favorite lakers and now is a part of this team. LA future looks bright for the next couple years thanks to Kobe, Fisher, Gastrong, Ron Ron, Bynum and Odom. What a core. I mean who can stop us? LA we did it baby top of the world once again.

LEWSTRS

Yeah I didn't see the Celts shaking hands on the court either, but on that I'd cut them some slack. You had the Lakers jumping around and celebrating and you had the crowd rushing the Court. In situations like that opposing teams usually just try to get into the locker room to safety as soon as possible. Notice how fast Joey Crawford was running to get out of there.

I've always said that it's all about championships. How our lakers perform in the Championship Series defines who they are as professionals.

That said, I'm now declaring that Derek Fisher must return as a Laker. He did virtually nothing all season, but as long as he continues to perform in the Series, he needs to have a spot on this roster.

Pau Gasol use to be mentally soft. No more. Yes, there will be times when he gets pushed out of his comfort zone and appears flimsy, but I will not forget his performance in the Series, when he dominated the arrogant thug Kevin Garnett. Pau, you have earned your respect.

Ron, came through when it mattered. I've always liked this guy. I've always said we needed a thug on our team. We don't have have a street thug, but a psycho thug, which is better. Please, Ron, keep it under control this summer. Winning doesn't give you a license to do stupid things. No problems from you this summer, please.

Sasha, I've always believed in you. How difficult it is to perform when you've been on the bench all night. But you hit key 3 pointers all Series, and you hit those 2 fts when it mattered. Coach Jackson believed in you, and so do we.

Lamar...nice game. Please come back more consistent.

Bynum...jury is still out on you.

Congratulations to all of you. Thank you for providing so many of your fans with true happiness.

ECJ, aww thanks for the kind words but it's all about the love!

I love all my blog peeps...this championship and my (and our) continued faith is for all of us lol. And today here we stand as champions, as faithful believers that the dream isn't dead, that the dy-NASTY will continue to commence, that this laker legacy will measure up to all that is so long and varied in our history. And it's certainly shaping up to accomplish ALL OF THAT. And that is why we it's all about the love.

GO Lakers! 16 championship Los Angeles Lakers to be exact!

I know it's premature, but I can't wait to think about the shaping of next year's team. Obviously the Lakers are the favorites to win it all -- Cleveland is a mess. Even if Bron returns, Shaq and Z are another year older. Boston is obviously done -- even if they can change some parts, KG can't get through another grueling season to the finals and Ray is really inconsistent at this point of his career. It is Rondo and parts. Forget Orlando -- they have no unity and no team with VC can ever win (IMO).

In the West, there are formidible challengers, yes. Worries in the Northwest and OKC, but with Kobe, Pau, Andrew, LO, and Ron as the base -- can you believe how great that team is. DFish will probably resign and lend leadership from the bench (at the very least). Lakers needs: (a) a bit more athleticism (hopefully Shannon will be resigned plus one more lanky, quick athlete; (b) more aggressive banger (even an elder vet like Sheed -- did I say that? -- okay, not Sheed, but a big body with a deft touch) ; and 1 to 2 shooters (I still like Sasha, plus one).

Not too many changes, though, as that will prove too unsettling for the team's rhythm and the triangle is tough to master.

Anyway, can't wait to see what Mitch comes up with -- he has pushed so many successful buttons in the last few years. Total confidence in his ability to smooth the way for the threepeat.

ANALYSIS FOR NEXT YEAR...

The East is done.

Atlanta is too inexperienced. The Celtics are too old and will be rebuilding. Cleveland has been torn apart and will never again be a threat. Miami isn't potent enough. Any team that Lebron goes to will be all about Lebron, and not about the Series. Orlando will always be the bridesmate, never the bride. There are no viable threats in the East anymore.

That leaves us with the West.

San Antonia is done; too old, they've had their time. Houston won't be back, yet. Utah will never be good enough to get over the hump. Oklahoma has potential, but they are still missing certain pieces. Phoenix's old players are now older, and their style won't allow them to get passed the Lakers. Portland still has to mature. Denver will always self destruct. There are no other teams in the West ready to be a threat.

Based on my analysis, I see no reason for why the Lakers can't 3--peat. Think about it. Who can seriously threaten them? If the Lakers stay intact and healthy, we will surely win this thing again next year.

p.s. Also all about the D. That D last night was the best I have ever seen...and I'm kinda like Kobe in that I watch classic tapes, etc. Fitting that on a night of stellar defense, our "will" to defend exceeded more than just x-o defense.

troy,

During Kobe's interview with Hannah Storm she asked him what he thought about the possibility of losing Fisher and he said "he's not going anywhere...I'll be damned if he's gonna go anywhere" not verbatim but something to that effect so I think Fish will be right back with us next year. You know he's licking his chops right now thinking about #6.

Lakers won the Championship?

Over the Celtics? And now they're only one behind the Celtics in total Championships?

Kobe wins 2nd straight MVP? And now people are not only talking about him being GLOAT, but possibly over MJ as GOAT?

That can mean only one thing:

BILL SIMMONS SUICIDE WATCH

...because every human life is precious, even Bill Simmons--and we want him to make it through this difficult time in his life.

Mamba24, if there's a bandwagon for this, please put me on it!

(Don't worry, TJ Simers, we're looking out for you too!)

@ EastCoastJessie | June 18, 2010 at 06:32 AM

Great post...I second the motion...

RON ARTEST WAS THE GAME MVP NO DOUBTS..when the pressure wilted Kobe into a mere mortal.

Kobe almost LOSt the Championship.

EXCERPT FROM AK (ESPN) ON RON:

"Ron Artest will never win series MVP, but without question he was the best Laker on the floor tonight. Artest was the guy questioned all season as a fit for the team he so desperately wanted to please. During a first half where his entire team was tighter than Mickey Rourke's face, Artest was the coolest cucumber out there. He kept the team alive during a chaotic first half with a dozen points, then finished the night with 20 points to go with five steals and five boards. His defense on Pierce was spectacular. Beyond the previously mentioned and-one, he also drained a 3-pointer to put the Lakers up by six with a minute to go."

Thanks MM and Lakers blog family. It's been a wonderful ride this year. Its even funner sharing it together with you all.

Agreed Faith...our D in the last 5 minutes of the game was very impressive. Complete shut down D. I'd take Rondo shooting a 3 anyday and Allen was just Allen for that one play, other than that, awesome D.

I'm not sure want to ever experience a game like last night's again in my lfe. If it leads to a ring, maybe, but that was too much. And what sucks is that the thrill of winning will never equate to or ever come close to filling the wide cavern that losing a game like this inevitably carves out of your soul.


My God.


Wes

Ron should have been named MVP because of his defense on Paul Pierce who really only had one good game out of seven.

Great game last night by Artest and what a great story; you can see deep down that Ron has a good heart, very happy for him.

"Bryant's unhealthy tendency with trying to do too much on his own. "

I agree and I have always questioned Kobe's grasp of leadership which he proved that he still does not quiet have it, his Achilles heel.

troy:

Why don't you enjoy this year and forget about next year!

I agree 100% wes...I really thought I was going to have heart failure last night. I seriously felt myself shaking at times but I forgot all about it when that 5 minute mark in the 4th came along. I stood up and screamed the rest of the way and oh how sweet it was :-)

Lookey here, lookey here...top story on Boston's Blog is Ron Artest..who woulda thunk it. He was absolutely hilarious.

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/extras/celtics_blog/

My favorite comment from him: "[Bryant] never passes me the ball and he passed me the ball. Phil didn't want me to shoot the three. He's the Zen Master, so he can speak to you and he doesn't need a microphone. You can hear him in your head, 'Ron, don't shoot.' Whatever. Pow, three. I love the Zen though."

He was so happy he didn't even know what to say. LMAO

The Morning After pill

That NBA championship was a 20 round heavyweight fight and the refs never did get control of it. Players had no idea what would be called. Ron got calls inhibiting Pierce, Ray grabbed, bumped and knocked Kobe for 7 games. Nothing that happened in the paint was in the rule book.

Lookin' down the road, Doc may not like movin' forward with his defensive guru. That said, I'm sure he won't want to go out a loser either.

Personally, I'd like them all to stay together and try it again with everyone healthy. I'll take a healthy Andrew on Perk. We can live with that matchup.

I could see Kobe deferring to teammates even more next year. Who knows what Ron will become with the confidence only a ring brings. Sasha made the 2 most clutch free throws in the new Laker era, that will pay dividends. Shannon might start to understand what the triangle is shaped like in his 3rd year. Gonna be a great summer considering the options.

One option is more of a certainty: 3 peat, baby

Wes, you're definitely not alone. Ron had the exact same sentiment last night lol. But for myself, I believe in adversity. And how adversity builds character.

That was brilliantly illustrated last night. We could have folded, we could have given up. Down 13, with 12 minutes to go...on a night where we couldn't have played or shot any worse but we didn't. We just kept on plugging it in, we just kept on battling. I like to see that, and I like to see my team show the poise and character that has brought them here today, and why it is that I have faith in them. Sure it would have been sweeter to have won by 20+, but I while I will enjoy that victory, I will never forget this one. Because against all odds, adversity up the wall, we prevailed. And we are now the 16 championship Los Angeles Lakers. It's all the sweeter because of it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wow.


That Artest video is crazy wild. I haven't even seen a highlight of the game yet because there's so many articles to read around the web.


Ron Artest is a fan who happens to be in the NBA. He really is one of us.


Wes

Second video has no audio, MM.


Wes

Troy B...

Not me. I kind of feel like Apollo Creed at the end of Rocky: "There ain't gonna be no remtch"


Rocky: "Don't want one."


Wes

troy,

I'm not sure how the Jury is still out on Drew. To be honest, I don't think the Lakers win this series without him, even given how limited his minutes were. They needed every single starter in this series, it was that close.

One thing. These championship moments will be gone before the dew dries up, so we need to really savor every second of this victory. In the blink of an eye the parade will have come and gone. Then the ring ceremnoy, then next year will suddenly be this year. So, lets all take a day and do nothing but surf the web, drink a few beers with friends and co-workers, and enjoy this transitory moment while it's still here.


Lots of love, sweat and beers.


Wes

*============*
THE LAKER NATION WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE 16 TIME WORLD CHAMPION LOS ANGELES LAKERS, PLAYERS, STAFF AND MANAGEMENT FOR DOING AN OUTSTANDING JOB AND GIVING FANS ALL OVER THE WORLD ENJOYMENT AND IMMENSE PRIDE. THANK YOU FOR A SEASON FOR THE AGES! A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MVP KOBE, BRYANT AND 11 TIME TITLE WINNER COACH PHIL JACKSON FOR OUTSTANDING SEASON LONG PERFORMANCES. – KUDOS TO ALL!!
*===========*
http://www.uzood.com/video/82561/Los-Angeles-Lakers-Win-2010-NBA-Championship
*===========*

Dr. Jerry Buss – Owner/President, Magic Johnson – Owner/Vice President
Jeannie Buss – Executive Vice Pres/Business Ops
Jim Buss – Executive Vice Pres/Player Personnel
Mitch Kupchak – General Manager, Ronnie Lester – Asst. General Manager
Bill Sharman – Special Consultant, Walt Hazzard – Special Consultant
Bill Bertka – Director of Scouting
*
Phil(11Rings) Jackson – Head Coach
*
Assistant Coaches – Karrem Abdul Jabbar Frank Hamblen, Brian Shaw, Jim Cleamons
Trainer Garry Vitti
*
PLAYERS
(Starters) : Kobe Bryant, Derrick Fisher, Paul Gasol, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum
(Bench Mob) : Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga, Adam Morrison, Josh Powell, Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic

LAKER BLOG:
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LoneStar-LakerFan, (You-Ever-NOTICE…> Holding The Line Against CHAOS)

*===========*

Thinking back to 2008 when Ron Ron said to Kobe in the shower (I know that sounds very weird)..."I'm coming to L.A. and I'm gonna help you win a title".

Well, Ron Ron kept his promise people. He showed up last night and helped Kobe win anothe title. After all he's been through, I think I'm happiest for him this time around.

...thank you god...

Thank you Lakers.

And thanks you guys, here on the blog, for the community, the fellowship, the music and the laughs....

Sweet. My morning is now complete. Thanks mamba24! The champs have arrived and with fan fare only Mamba24 can bring!

Sweet. My morning is now complete. Thanks mamba24! The champs have arrived and with fan fare only Mamba24 can bring! Posted by: Faith | June 18, 2010 at 07:47 AM
*
My pleasure Faith! And thank you for being part of an enjoyable season
Mamba24(larrY)

Kobe just did what no other Laker has ever done--not Magic, not West, not Kareem, Wilt, Baylor--and that's beating the Cektics in a game 7 for a ring.


Stick with Disneyland, BTW. I like the original over the one in Florida.


Wes

THANK YOU Mamba(Larry)!!! You are absolutely the best. Year after year you cheer us up when we're venting and you keep us all going with the roll calls and bandwagons. It's been a great season and I'm ready to do it all over again.

With love from the east coast my friend!!!

Don't get me wrong. Last night's win was historic. Momentous. In so many different ways. LA repeated as champs for the 4th time in a generation (88, 01, 02, 10). Phil wins 5 titles as Lakers' coach. Kobe wins 5. And LA draws within 1 of the Celtics in the title count. Without that win, it may have taken LA years to overcome a 15-18 deficit.
BUT, as great as it was, it will never be the greatest.
Posted by: Peace 83-79 = 3 of 5 |June 18, 2010 at 06:51 AM

I was there for both. I'm not sure I can compare the two really. While I will agree that 1985 was the first time beating the Celtics ever happened for us, 1985 was before the internet. In 1985 I didn't have to live with the taunting of Celts fans at home (our blog). I spend alot of time on this blog and last night had the exact same feeling as 1985.

I remember how large that 1984 loss was. It was huge! It was long and it was deep. But again, I didn't have to live with the taunting like 2008.

Last night was something special. I don't know if it was as big as 1985. Do I need to know? Nope. I will love them both, like treasured children. They both belong to me (us) and I (we) can love them equally.

Good Morning Laker fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please God don't have me wake up and find out this was just a dream. Lakers-Celtics, game seven, down to the wire, at home, several legacies at stake. It absolutely does not get bigger than that.

We won!!!! We won!!!!

I was sick all day yesterday, feeling anxious and worried. Everytime I thought about the game and what "should" happen I kept envisioning a laker win...which kept terrifying me because when I'm confident, they usually lose.

It was all going acording to plan. I was preparing myself for this epic loss that I know would take a looooooooooong time to recover from.

Bam!! Fish for three!!!

That's when I knew.

Kobe grinding it out, Pau making all the right plays, Lamar playing calm and running the show, Fish doing it again, Sasha hitting those two dagger freethrows, Bynum's heart, and of course the MVP of the game Ron Ron!!

I'm so happy right now. I predict I will have this stupid smile on my face for at least a week. It absolutely does not get better than this. This was theeeeeee sweetest championship I've ever been a part of as a fan.

I love this team. I love this city. I love all my fellow lakerholics. Our boys earned this one. Let us all bask in this championship glow for the rest of the summer.

We did it!!!

Go lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't find it now, but if anyone can, check out the Bill Simmons live chat from last night's game. Sooooooo funny to see him suffer like that. I'm reminded of that experiment where the people keep shocking eachother and laughing about it. I love seeing his agony...


Wes

THANK YOU Mamba(Larry)!!! You are absolutely the best. Year after year you cheer us up when we're venting and you keep us all going with the roll calls and bandwagons. It's been a great season and I'm ready to do it all over again. With love from the east coast my friend!!! Posted by: EastCoastJessie | June 18, 2010 at 07:56 AM
*
And thank you EastCoastJessie(Super lawyer Supreme) for always being a positive contributor to the blog. You and several others, made this probably the best Laker season of my life. Just be careful celebrating around the Boston Fools. Love ya Princess, take care
p.s. YEAHHHHHHHH!!! WE ARE 16 TIME WORLD CHAMPIONS!! THANK YOU LORD!!!!
Mamba24(larrY)

Larry Mamba 24,

MVB. You are the soul of this forum, the spirit that keeps it balanced to the positive side, the side that never quits.

Highest of 5s my man. V

That Ron interview is just too funny, what an odd duck he is, but in a good way!
I had my doubts about him this year but he sure came through in the clutch.

Ron, Fish, Pau and of all people Sasha came through big time at the end.
And all 4 of them needed some redemption, they all took so much heat this year for different reasons, but when it was for all the marbles in a pressure packed situation each of them delivered in their own way.
A great team effort!

Who would have ever been able to script this.

What an end to a great year.

MAMBA24:

don't let the door hit you in your behind hahahahah!!

Did you see it?

When Sasha was shooting his first game clinching free throw. The entire Celtics bench was standing and shouting at Sasha to miss. Standing quietly to the right and back, behind Scalabrine, a Celtics coach threw, get this, a towel at Sasha! Then acted like he never did it.

Scalabrine turned to him after the free throw was made as if to say, "it didn't work."

The Celtics planned it. This was not a rogue coach acting on his own. Is this a classless team or what?

The last Celtics man to do this was Danny Ainge against the Cavs. He was severely fined and then forced to apologize.

Will the NBA have the guts to fine them again and this time make it an incredible amount to subdue these pathological cheaters?

Fatty wants to know....

morning all. Happy Lakers Day!!!!!!!!!

yesterday Doc had the audacity to make the excuse that HIS starting line-up (the one with Perk, and last year with KG) never lost a series. Good way to look at it.

The Lakers LINE_UP with Bynum, also NEVER LOST A SERIES.

pretty amazing. and happens

Larry Mamba 24, MVB. You are the soul of this forum, the spirit that keeps it balanced to the positive side, the side that never quits. Highest of 5s my man. V Posted by: VMan | June 18, 2010 at 08:05 AM
*
Thank you Vman but the entire Blog is the Soul of the Forum. Like a symphony each contributes their own special sounds which results in a beautiful Melody. I can say this with certainty sir, You & fatty are the Wit of this Blog. Infusing humour in times of Sadness and tension restoring the Blog to a harmonius state. Thank you my brother for all you do!
Mamba24(larrY)

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

Im so happy to go to work today..

Upon reflecting on the entire series in a now-calmed state, I can say this:

-- The Celtics perhaps played beyond their talent level, and got as far as they did with great teamwork on both the defensive and (surprisingly) offensive sides of the ball. They exhibited great passing to try to get by the Laker bigs in the paint.

-- The Lakers were just too talented, especially (surprisingly) defensively. They had more breakdowns defensively than the Cs, but when they were set, the Cs simply could not score against them due to their length and athleticism. That and the rebounding edge won the series for the Lakers.

I wouldn't rule these two teams meeting up next year, with the Lakers still in their prime (and hopefully healthier) and the realignment in the East among the superstars. Lakers vs Celtics, now that's what the NBA is all about!

CONGRATULATIONS LAKERS, 2010 CHAMPIONS!!! WOOHOO!!!

Upon reflecting on the entire series in a now-calmed state, I can say this:

-- The Celtics perhaps played beyond their talent level, and got as far as they did with great teamwork on both the defensive and (surprisingly) offensive sides of the ball. They exhibited great passing to try to get by the Laker bigs in the paint.

-- The Lakers were just too talented, especially (surprisingly) defensively. They had more breakdowns defensively than the Cs, but when they were set, the Cs simply could not score against them due to their length and athleticism. That and the rebounding edge won the series for the Lakers.

I wouldn't rule these two teams meeting up next year, with the Lakers still in their prime (and hopefully healthier) and the realignment in the East among the superstars. Lakers vs Celtics, now that's what the NBA is all about!

CONGRATULATIONS LAKERS, 2010 CHAMPIONS!!! WOOHOO!!!

Yeah Fatty


I must say, the Celtics were not the best example of sportsmanship in this series or this year for that matter. They did a lot of punk things that Kobe would have been crucified for. But, we were the ones standing in the end.


Wes

Mamba24, I wished for a 5opt win but 4pt will do! lol

48-0 Baby!

Sweet Sixteen, people!!!

Loved Phil recognizing the crowd at Staples!

WHO ARE WE??? WORLD CHAMPIONS, BABY!!!!!!!!!

And where's Boston? Not here baby. No ring, no champagne, no Championship hats. They're irrelevant. Don't feel sorry for them, and am abundantly glad I don't have to avoid green anymore.

Loved, loved, LOVED Pau's effort on rebounding. He kept us in this game, him and Ron. Plus Fish's big thee pt? OH BABY!! LO stepped up with rebounds and put backs. Ron with his steals - beautiful. It was a thing of glory, this game. And my favorite part is, in the third quarter I was still texting my friends and saying "We got this - we'll do it!!" Never lost faith in my team. Not from the beginning.

Thank you Lakers for this wonderful season!! Ups, downs, major victories, last minute wins by the Mamba - this is what it's all about. I love this team win or lose. I bleed their colors. I'm SO proud to be a fan of my WORLD CHAMPION LOS ANGELES LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!

Always and forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fatty, the teams exhibited the very spirit of their leaders...

While KG pumps, and screams like a banshee while he dirtily and often viciously takes out the opponent players' legs and taunts them (don't listen to me, read all the interviews and commentaries even before the Finals), Kobe just puts his head down and works. Works for every possession, exhibiting the very killer instinct and never say die attitude that the Lakers have taken on as their persona this season.

In the end, character matters. And in our corner is one of the hardest working players, ever. While they have one of the classless tools in the shed.

THANKS SO MUCH LAKER BLOG! Mamba, ECJ, Faith, Rick F., Laker Tom and UTZ, everyone. What a great ride Banner 16 has been.

When things weren't looking so good in 4Q, my niece texted me and I told her you have to believe and to GET LOUD! She did and came back and said the Lakers are amazing. Yes, we have 5 new Laker hard core fans - my 2 nephews and 3 nieces! That is the sweetest thing that came out of this championship for me.

Last year we didn't get to celebrate because my father passed away the day after #15. But he was rooting for us tonight and celebrating with us all.

Thanks so much Laker Nation - way to go! This was awesome.

PLG

PS - That Ron-Ron presser is classic!

@PsychedLakerGirl - add 2 for my 8yro boy and 10 yro niece too.

WE ARE THE LA LAKERS 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!

Larry (Mamba24), You are some kinda guy. I admire your ability to stand the tension and be yourself. You have said many times that you are simply the court jester but man, what you have done here is special.

Thanks for all the energy you bring, the creativity, the poetry (soul), and for your eternal belief that the Lakers would prevail.

I wish you the best of times as you take your break and I wish you a peaceful spirit. Please take my thanks and admiration with you and I look forward to seeing you check in while we await your full return.

Until then, there is a Rumi Poem that I offer as how we may feel collectively:

"Has Anyone seen the Boy who used to come here? Round-faced troublemaker, quick to find a joke, slow to be serious, red shirt, perfect coordination, sly, strong muscled, with things always in his pocket: reed flute,
worn pick, polished and ready for his Talent you know that one.
Have you heard stories about him? Pharoah and the whole Egyptian world collapsed for such a Joseph. I'd gladly spend years getting word of him, even third or fourth hand."

Mamba24, I wished for a 5opt win but 4pt will do! lol 48-0 Baby! Posted by: DaxxMD | June 18, 2010 at 08:16 AM
*
There you go Dax, maybe next year when they 3-peat for the second time.
Stand tall DaxxMD, you are a member of 16 time World Title winning Laker Nation. I don't know about you but I'm still floating, my feet haven't touched the ground yet!
*
@PychedLakerGirl, Psyched I was thinking about you & your Father throughout the entire game. This one was for you two as much as for anyone else. Thanks for making this season extra special for me and always having my back. Take care, Love ya My Sister!

Mamba24

Thanks to all of you my friends.

It was a great playoffs and I feel honored to be part of such a great group of thoughtful people.

We did it. We did it all collectively, with everyone here doing their part to keep us motivated and always looking forward.

And Mamba24, what can I say? You did more to help me than you will ever realize. You love life, you love people, and you love my favorite team. I feel privileged to know you as my friend.

Enjoy your summer of good fishing, you have deserved it. I can see Mamba24 now with his fishing poll in the water, a smile on his face, and a tune in his heart.

And doing all of this while wearing his Lakers thong.....

@Mamba24....Thanks for that world class, sweet sixteenth championship celebrating roll call!!

@EastCoastJessie...great posts today, as always!!

And to all the Lakersblog faithful....Congratulations!!

The Celtic world seems to be rallying around the "Kobe is not MJ" argument today. Bob Ryan on ESPN just spent his entire radio segment talking about how Kobe was not worthy of the MVP. Lol....um, who cares?


Now Skip Bayless is doing his segment about kobe not being the MVP. Oh and they threw out some laughs about how Los Angeles can't even afford a parade. I guess these guys are really hurt by the LAkers victory. Oh well.


Wes

Wow! what a nite. Thanks Mamba for your outstanding BANDWAGON's. They kept us believing and NEVER giving up on OUR LAKER'S, and I might add you did it with CLASS!! Next year, BACK to BACK to BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!! We Are The CHAMPION'S.

Larry (Mamba24), You are some kinda guy. I admire your ability to stand the tension and be yourself. You have said many times that you are simply the court jester but man, what you have done here is special. Thanks for all the energy you bring, the creativity, the poetry (soul), and for your eternal belief that the Lakers would prevail. I wish you the best of times as you take your break and I wish you a peaceful spirit. Please take my thanks and admiration with you and I look forward to seeing you check in while we await your full return. Until then, there is a Rumi Poem that I offer as how we may feel collectively: "Has Anyone seen the Boy who used to come here? Round-faced troublemaker, quick to find a joke, slow to be serious, red shirt, perfect coordination, sly, strong muscled, with things always in his pocket: reed flute,
worn pick, polished and ready for his Talent you know that one.
Have you heard stories about him? Pharoah and the whole Egyptian world collapsed for such a Joseph. I'd gladly spend years getting word of him, even third or fourth hand." Posted by: JohnnyV | June 18, 2010 at 08:25 AM
*
JohnnyV my brother what can I say. You always had my back. Settled me down when I went into one of my Drama_Punk snits. Thank you man it's been a joy blogging with you on LakersBlog this year. I owe you a lot and don't think i don't know it. Take care member of 16 Time NBA Title Winning Laker Nation.
Mamba24

psyched...all about the love :-)

Never have I waited for a basketball game to start than Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals between Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. It was not a beautiful or pretty game but ugly, ugly game. It's good our team won or it would have been a long summer. Hope they bring back the team together including Coach Phil Jackson. Three-peat has a nice ring to it. God bless everybody in Lakerland. See ya in the fall when we start another journey to the title.

@PsychedLakerGirl..Thank you for being one of the faithfuls. It's always good to come to the blog and see the familiar bloggers who have been here all along.

@bronxlakerfan - thank you for being a regular too. I love that the east coast fans don't have to be homers and root for their home team, when we know who the real champs are.

@wes...I've heard it all this morning..refs, free throws, our starting 5 is still undefeated...WHATEVER!!!

Truth:
Lakers starting 5 in 1989 never lost a series.
Lakers starting 5 in 2004 never lost a series.
Lakers starting 5 in 2008 never lost a series.

When did this become some sort of moral victory?

@Mamba24 - I can't explain how im feeling right now, but boy this the best Championship feeling I ever had. Had little sleep last night and still savoring the sweetness of the seeing lakers team raising the CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY.

This is very special, beating the CELTICS to the finish line. And Kobe getting his 2nd Finals MVP is so sweet.

Thanks Mamba24!

Wow! what a nite. Thanks Mamba for your outstanding BANDWAGON's. They kept us believing and NEVER giving up on OUR LAKER'S, and I might add you did it with CLASS!! Next year, BACK to BACK to BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!! We Are The CHAMPION'S. Posted by: NewMexicoLakerLifer | June 18, 2010 at 08:32 AM
*
Hey NMLakerLifer! You know you got to put that, BACK to BACK to BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!! twice!!! Dang , The Lakers going for their 2nd 3-peat and Phil(11Rings) going for his 4th 3-peat!!! never been done before in the history of the NBA and never will be done again. Thank you my brother for making this Blog a wonderful place to be. Take care
Mamba24(larrY)

 
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