Friday, June 18, 2010

purple and gold for the party!

The Lakers will hold a parade Monday, with the team riding floats from Staples Center down Figueroa Street to the USC campus in downtown Los Angeles. A rally at the Coliseum last year attracted 95,000 fans, but the Lakers are skipping the arena in favor of a more interactive celebration.

Exactly two years to the day after Boston beat the Lakers by 39 points to clinch the 2008 title, Los Angeles got revenge for perhaps the most embarrassing loss of Bryant’s career — even if he did little more than grab 15 rebounds for most of the night.

The Celtics had much more poise from the opening tip in Game 7, playing vicious defense that forced Los Angeles to miss 21 of its first 27 shots. Bryant and Gasol were a combined 6 for 26 in the first half.

But forget how it looked early on, because history will. Bryant even did something Jerry West and Magic Johnson never could: He beat the hated Celtics in Game 7 of the finals.

The team is still the spectacular finishers: They’ve closed out their playoff opponents on the first try 10 times while winning three straight Western Conference titles over the last three years.

Home teams improved to 14-3 in Game 7 in the finals. No road team has won a title in Game 7 since 1978. The Lakers are 14-1 in a seventh game at home, losing only the 1969 finale to Boston. 

Quick fact: 
the Lakers have gone to the Finals in each of three seasons since acquiring Pau Gasol.

Kobe Bryant: NBA FINALS MVP (2009,2010), NBA Most Valuable Player MVP (2008), N 3 NBA all-star game MVP (2000,2007,2009)

Multiple Finals MVP Award Winners: MJ-6; Magic-3; Shaq-3; Duncan-3; Willis Reed-2; Kareem- 2; Bird-2; Hakeem-2; and Kobe-2.

-Garnett nearly flattened Jack Nicholson when he chased a loose ball into the front row in the second quarter, but the Lakers’ most famous fan got back up smiling.

-Other fans near courtside included Jake Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst, Ryan Seacrest, Timbaland, director Todd Phillips and George Lopez in purple-and-yellow plaid pants.


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