This year’s Finals were supposed to be one of great proportion. What happened instead was the underdog hitting the bright lights to play against the L.A. Lakers this year. Over-manned the first game and playing catch-up the rest of the series, the Magic finally met their match. Their hot shooting either came to end or was met by great defense – you take your pick. Either way, the Orlando Magic gave it their all and made it a great series, even though losing 4-1. They showed heart, character, and didn’t stop playing until the clock hit 0:00 last night. For that, I give them all the credit in the world and admire them greatly for the team they’ve grown into these playoffs. We’ll be seeing you again, Orlando.
Now, to the new champions – congrats to the Los Angeles Lakers. They played like the team we knew they were. Not the ups and downs they showed in their series with Houston and Denver, but the strength they showed from both ends of the floor against Orlando in all 5 games. The determination to understand what was ahead of them every single night. The drive that led them to realize their goal all season long, the NBA Championship.
Kobe – 4 rings | Phil – 10 rings
For those who watched the entire finals, as well as the post-series analysis, we’ve heard over and over the comparisons of Kobe & Michael and Phil & Red. Undoubtedly, they both deserve to be in both of those respective comparisons, but what I’m celebrating here is these guys’ passion and desire to succeed. As with many of us and any business setting, there are going to be ups and downs, trade rumors, unhappy teammates, a coach taking time away from the team. Whatever the downs are, it’s how you handle ‘em and where you go from there that shows your grit and focus. These 2 guys, along with the rest of the team, have shown this, seemingly every year. They come in with a focus and swagger that can’t be imitated. But above all, they’ve done it with class and true sportsmanship.
What’s even scarier? They’re young, at their peak, and they’ll be back next year. The NBA is on notice, will be finding ways to improve, and have their eyes set on the Lakers.
I don’t know about you but I can’t until next year!