Thursday, June 4, 2009
Behind The Scoreboard
NBA finals set
The Eastern Conference finals did not go as the Cleveland Cavaliers had planned. It did not go as the Denver Nuggets had planned in the Western Conference finals. It is certain both of these teams will critique and critique again, trying to precisely determine just what went wrong. Why couldn’t they force that seventh game?
For the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers, everything went exactly as they had hoped. Maybe not exactly as the earlier plans had called for, because they had some anxious moments.
The Orlando Magic, compared to the team which they will face in the finals, is really an infant. They were born in the 1989-90 year and have earned only one other conference title, that in 1995. Just when they thought they were really on the road to recognition, the Shaq pulled up stakes and bolted to the Los Angeles Lakers, Hollywood and the California shores. No reason to start counting reasons, futures are fickle in big money sports. But the Magic has shown resiliency, stick-to-itiveness and here lately a remarkable prowess.
Practically, up to the final game on Saturday, they were termed “a flake and a fluke.” Yours truly didn’t use such harsh words but must confess that I saw no snatching the crown from the King’s head. If one recalls, I had stated earlier that the world was awaiting a Kobe/ LeBron head-to-head. Wouldn’t that have been a boon for the market? Overlooked was the fact that the Magic had matched up well with teams from the Western Conference during the regular season, defeating two of its division leaders and setting an NBA record by hitting 23 three-pointers against Sacramento. And the Magic had a bushel of problems – losing their floor leader, Jameer Nelson, and a few disagreements from within. But after the final adjustments were made, not only had they avenged a seventh game conference loss to the Celtics a year before, they had made both the Cavaliers and Boston disappear from the finals.
How did the league MVP take the loss? James left the floor immediately after the game. Shook hands with no one, not even his former Olympic teammate Dwight Howard. He said later he had sent Howard an apologetic e-mail. James said it was not poor sportsmanship which drove his actions. He intimated that his particular demeanor as a “full-time serious competitor” does not entail shaking hands with someone who has bested him. It isn’t hard to conjure up empathy for the King. He is the stalwart of a team which has gone 45 years without a championship.
Rumors had already started to swirl that James was contemplating leaving the Cavaliers. He discounted that notion in his interview, saying that he was happy in Cleveland. Way out West, Kobe Bryant was holding his own press conference. He said last season the Lakers were not ready for the Celtics, but that they are ready for the Magic. It is hard to argue with such a statement about a team which has the coach, history and hardware (jewelry), and personnel.
News: (662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions, comments, corrections: email@example.com
©2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.
Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter
Back | Top of Page