It happens only once in a while in the world of the NBA or MLB. All the other teams are at home, the schedule has been all played out and there are only 2 teams left standing. The series stands at 3 games each and it's win or go home for everybody. There truly is no tomorrow. Thursday night at Staples Center in the City Of Angels the defending World Champion Los Angeles Lakers will defend their home court and title against the champions of the season before Boston Celtics. Two storied franchises set for a blood bath battle for the ages. I will be in my usual spot in section 106 wearing my purple Robert Horry 5 and reveling in the atmosphere and the experience.
Thursday night should be great TV and even better in person. A usually tame Staples Center will be electric and filled with TNT energy. With Perkins hurt and Bynum hobbled the teams are finally at equal strength in the front court. Garnett, Allen and Pierce may be playing their last games together and will surely be ready to step up together with a closing kick. On the other side the Black Mamba KB24 smells a 5th Championship. The ultimate closer in sports will be just that. This could be Phil Jackson's last game so look for the Lakers to come out strong to protect his legacy. With Perkins in doubt I look for Gasol to be world class. Fisher will make several HUGE plays. This should be epic.
I have been lucky enough to be present at The Fabulous Forum in 1987 the last time a Lakers team closed out Boston in a Finals but that was Game 6. Watching Kareem Abdul Jabaar sink 2 FTs with seconds left in a Game 6 114-113 win against Detroit in 1988 was an awesome moment. Even more so, I saw Big Game James Worthy pour in 38 points against the Bad Boys as the Lakers closed out Detroit in Game 7 for a second straight title two nights later. Again in 2000 in our new home at the corner of Figueroa and Chick Hearn Court I reveled in a Game 6 thrashing of Indiana. With those great experiences in my belt and offers in the thousands for my ducats I know it is not enough. These are the memories and experiences a true sports nut cherishes forever. Thursday night at Staples I will be savoring whatever is in store for my Los Angeles Lakers. We love it!!