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Ready for the Finals

The NBA Finals start on Thursday and it's been a while since I really cared who won. However, the press worshiping at the feet of the Celtics combined with the fact that Phil and Kobe reunited in LA make me want a title for the Lakers worse than I wanted a title for anyone since Jordan left Chicago. I wanted a Lakers-Pistons Finals, as payback for 2004, but the Celtics' mission derailed that and presented television executives with the Finals that they've been salivating about all season. ESPN/ESPN Classic have been replaying Celtics-Lakers Finals all week. And I've heard more about Bird/Magic than I've heard since they were on the Olympic team together. Anyway, I'm ready for the ball to be tipped and the talking to stop. Let's see who's better, The Big Three in Boston or Kobe and The Bench Mob.

Let's just say it's been a decade since I saw a player as hard to defend as Kobe, but Jordan comparisons are annoying Kobe, so I'll just say the facts speak for themselves. He might want to avoid the comparisons, but if he completes the summer the way he wants (MVP, Championship, Finals MVP, Gold Medal) he will have joined the Rarefied Air and can just deal with it. I wondered prior to the ESPN interview this weekend what's been going on in his head since he went from demanding a trade to an MVP and a Finals appearance. He never gives interviews and I'd misconstrued some things (such as the fact that he doesn't view this title as necessary to prove that he can win without Shaq and the whole Jordan comparison thing). Unfortunately for him, I'm not the only one. However, as I don't remember Jordan's prime in detail, I do respect Kobe as an individual player rather than simply as the heir to the throne. However, he is now sitting on the throne, at least from where this subject sits. Now that he has an MVP, Kobe has secured his place as the face of the league, if not in hearts outside LA. And after a Western Conference scout stated in Sports Illustrated that comparing Kobe to LeBron James is like "the difference between a Maserati and a Volvo," *snickers* I'd say Kobe's place as best in the league is clear. And I'd love to see the Lakers win the Finals and the USA win Gold (despite the head coach) to validate it further.