Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now THAT was an a** whoopin'...

Even though I've been living in the L.A. area for the past 14 years, that doesn't necessarily mean that I've automatically become an L.A. sports team fan. I may be able to root for certain L.A. teams. But, to root for Lakers (or the Raiders - L.A. or Oakland versions) has always gone against my grain. It's like rooting for the Cowboys or Georgetown. I - just - can't - do - it.

So, it brought me a certain amount of glee to watch last night as the Lakers got SPANKED by the Celtics. I'm not a Celtics fan, either (in general)... but when you have to choose between the two... it's an obvious decision for me. I'm not a Red Sox fan, either. But I've cheered for them ever since Schilling and Francona (two former Phillies - pitcher and manager) joined Boston.

What I enjoyed most about the Celtics win is the way the players (and coaches) approached the game all season long. Old school. Defense. Fundamentals. Team play. It's why I'm a fan of coach Larry Brown. And all season long, all the way through to the post-championship interviews last night, all the "star" players talked about was their sacrificing their own talents and egos to work as a team to accomplish their goals.

Now, I don't know much about Kevin Garnett - as a player, nor as a person. I just don't follow pro hoops that much to really notice. At the post-game conference table last night, he was asked by a reporter what it felt like to finally be able to win it all after so many years of struggle and criticism. I loved how he responded, completely from the heart:

"You ever go to school and you have that bully mess with you every day? You know when you get out of your mom or dad's car that you're going to have to see him as soon as you walk through the door and he's going to be sitting there with his feet up waiting to pat your pockets.

"Then one day you say to yourself, 'It's going to stop tonight.' You walk through there and as soon as he pats your pocket you lay his ass out. You see the expression on his face and you're sort of kind of shook because you know what, you just knocked the bully out and you don't know how he's going to come back.

"So the next morning you come in and he's not there, and it's like a sigh of relief... [and if you've never been bullied before in your life, you won't understand what I'm talking about.]"

Don't misunderstand him. He's not talking about the Lakers.

Congratulations, K.G.!!!

I understand.

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