The epic battle between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics has arrived. I am a Lakers fan and I felt after Game 1 that LA could have won in five. But Boston came back to build a 3-2 series lead, and when faced with elimination in Game 6, Kobe Bryant carried his team to Game 7.
Even if I wished the series would have been over in my favor, I'm just glad we have a Game 7. If you remember, the Celtics won the finals in six games against these very Lakers two years ago because apart from Kobe, they were an inexperienced team and their chemistry with newly acquired forward Pau Gasol hadn't been polished. That changed in 2009 when the Lakers won the title in six games over Orlando.
Today, the Lakers are now with Ron Artest while Celtics took on Rasheed Wallace to strengthen their lineup. The Lakers are an experienced team and their chemistry is great. Most of the Celtics are healthy (except for Kendrick Perkins) and raring to go.
Both these teams have a long history between them dating back to Jerry West and Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and now Kobe Bryant against the "Big Three" of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett.
Tonight's game is going to be an epic battle as Bryant wants to add another ring to his already immortal status, but most importantly he wants to three-peat of his own. His coach Phil Jackson has seen three under his watch — two with Michael Jordan and another one with Shaquille O'Neal as the main man and Kobe on the wings. If they win, this would be Kobe's second consecutive championship with the chance for a third.
Boston, on the other hand, doesn't immortalize their players who have only given the team one single championship. Bill Russell leads the franchise with had nine. Larry Bird was on three championship teams. Even Celtics captain Paul Pierce admits that as a Boston great, they should win more than one championship.
And the time to win again for Boston is now. Allen is most likely moving to another team as an unrestricted free agent. Garnett and Pierce have lost a step and next year they wouldn't be the same.
All eyes are on these two teams and tonight one will be celebrating the victory alongside their immortality. The other team will have only their own tears.