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2009 NBA Champs

Ok, now that a victory parade will indeed take place, it's time to acknowledge the Lakers having won the NBA Finals. My prediction was wrong, and as such the celebration was in Orlando, not LA, but I'm just glad a victory happened. However, having home court advantage restored right before the Finals helped. Without home court, the series would've been a nightmare, as it was the first Finals ever with two overtime games. And only two games that weren't rapidly adding to my gray hair. I hate close games, especially NBA games. However, the Lakers blowouts were split by three close games. It was worth it though to redeem the Finals debacle from last year, and give the Lakers their first title since Shaq left.

I was thrilled for Kobe to finally be able to lay claim to a title without Shaq, even though I'd have preferred it happened last year. However, it may have taken the Olympics last year to really make him a leader and not just a star player. Earning the respect of a group of All-Stars isn't easy, especially with the expectations of gold as high as they were. He did it though and then won the gold medal game after the team tried to give it away. He was as happy Sunday night after this title as he was after that game in Beijing. And after an MVP, gold medal, and a NBA title, Kobe is finally the face of the league. A day I never thought I'd see six summers ago when rape charges almost ruined his career. And as someone who defended him when the court of public opinion thought me foolish, this title means more than the first three because I wondered if it would ever happen.
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