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May 06, 2006

A Game for the Ages

I could not sleep last night. I played high school football and wrestled in three state tournaments and remember preparing for a big game or to face a difficult opponent. And for the last two days, I was just jacked about Game 7. Butterflies, knowing how loud US Airways was going to be. Preparing. Favorite Jersey--check. Suns hat--check. Tickets--check.

We went down almost three hours early to soak in the experience. This was not a game to show up at tip time, but rather a Game 7 against one of the three teams that I despise with every fiber of my being: the Lakers, the Yankees, and the Dallas Cowboys. This was Kobe having a chance to rip my heart out and leave the other 12 games of playoff tickets unused in a drawer somewhere. Ironically, I ran into my high school quarterback at the game while we were wandering around an hour before tip time. Caught up, exchanged business cards.

And then it was here. Wil from 120 Days can tell you what it feels like to hear the National Anthem played on the trumpet. There is only one guy that does it at big games. I closed my eyes and could hear the crowd from those two games in 2001 against the St. Louis Cardinals that Schilling brought the illest stuff not involving a bloody sock. I remember the trumpet from Game 7 against the Yankees when JC said, "Forget some National Star, we have our own guy." Images of Tony Womack came rushing back.

Then to the game. And it was over before it even started. 16-6, Timeout Lakers. "What are we doing? What just happened?" Down by 17. Another timeout. 15 at halftime. And then Kobe was the Kobe of old. Shot after shot. Kobe and four guys to rebound. That was their offense. Kobe had ONE POINT in the Second Half.

I kept hoping the game would be like Game 7 of the World Series with the ball in Mariano Rivera's hands and we could beat the best player in the NBA (and Kobe is unbelievably good) like we beat the most dominant closer in post-season history. But the Lakers didn't even put up a fight. This was Game 6. This was Randy Johnson versus Pettitte. This was a blowout. And they didn't have a "next game" to shoot for.

But the moment of the game was one most people not there might have missed. The game was over and we had in the guys at the end of the Bench. The Lakers were done, but they wanted to show some fight. Maybe close the gap to a respectable margin. And Pat Burke hit a 30 foot 3 point shot followed by Eddie House hitting back to back shots to push the lead to 31.

It was humiliating. It was demoralizing. I can imagine Jack and all the stars in Hollywood shutting off their TV's in disgust, just like we did in Game 4. I had a migraine (and still do) from yelling at the top of my lungs. From the noise level in US Airways. From standing and flailing and screaming. My hands still sting from high-fives.

Posted by Justin at May 6, 2006 11:16 PM

Comments

Yeah, I love Jesse too… Did you see my Mark Grace post from the second?

I wish I was there so I could berate him with his own statement, "I can get any shot I want against this team," Bryant said about the Suns after Game 1. "Any time. Any place. I can raise up and shoot whenever. I can get to the basket whenever."

All night long. It would have been fun to yell at him after every failed attempt as they were trailing by 30 with his own words.

I think it turned around when Bell pummeled him and the Suns showed that they weren’t going to be bullied anymore. Suddenly the Lakers had no game plan because the Lakers were just "acting" tough. The Beverly Hills Bitches aren't any tougher than I am and I'm a puss. It seemed like all the games Phoenix lost the Lakers just beat on them and the refs added onto it by playing favorites, but when Bell and the Suns said, “Keep it up and I’ll plant you on your spoiled ass again.” it all swung the other way.

Sock a bully in the nose and they’ll run away. Especially a little bitch like Kobe who hides behind his stardom and the refs all night.

Posted by: Wil at May 7, 2006 11:36 AM

It absolutely ended right there with the clothesline. All of the sudden, Kobe's manhood was challenged. Just like it was challenged by Shaq being there. Just like it was challenged over a chair in a hotel room in Eagle.

The first four games, I kept wondering who this guy was. The Kobe of the first four games is the league MVP. He is the best player in the league. He would keep winning titles every year. He is the next Michael Jordan.

Happily, that Kobe does not exist in reality. He is a fake. He is a temporary diversion from the selfish, Rapist, prick that we are used to. He is the 81 Kobe. He is the 60 Kobe. He is the ME Kobe. And the ME Kobe ran Shaq outta town faster than our offense ran Kobe into the offseason.

I just loved what Raja had to say about him. Raja may be my favorite player now. That is my kind of player. Class. Intelligent. Tough. Hard working. That is a role model. Kobe is just a spoiled punk kid.

Posted by: Justin B at May 8, 2006 03:02 PM