The Purple are Still Seeing Green

During crunch time of a close game in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, a Pistons defender overplayed Bird to his right. Bird, meanwhile, started dribbling left. The defender continued playing Bird to his right, waiting for Bird to switch the ball to his shooting hand.

Didn't happen.

Bird threw up a 15-foot left handed jump shot that went in off the bank-board.

As the story goes, Magic Johnson and James Worthy, holed up somewhere in a hotel room, jumped to their feet and started screaming and giving each other high fives. Byron Scott? He remained seated without even breaking so much as a smile. Earlier in the year, Scott had started a war-of-words in the press with injured Celtic Bill Walton.

It appears that the 2008-09 Lakers have chosen Byron Scott as their progenitor.

The Orange County Register tells us that the purple now prefer watching Celtics games to getting scouting reports. Kobe is glued to the tube in one training room, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in another. When the ref makes what the Lakers perceive as a bad call, profanities are shared generously and loudly.

The game winds down and the Pacers have the lead with just seconds to go. The purple are frothing at the mouth with anticipation, a Lakers' loss last week dropped them behind the green in the fight for home court during the playoffs. Tick...Tick...Ray Allen misses a three...tick...tick...wait...E.House grabs the carom...tick...tick...Paul Pierce is open from range...tick...tick...the shot goes up...and...in...sending the game into overtime.

Sh$T!!!! The purple are grief-stricken, again.

One of the European three-point shooters can't take it any more. He leaves the room in disgust.

Derek Fisher isn't impressed. If we play our best on Christmas Day, he says, "we'll win."

Kobe Bryant says the Lakers see the Celtics in the weight-room mirrors, suggesting that one reason the purple lost was due to the Celtics being more physical in the paint.

The Lakers quest to dethrone the Celtics doesn't stop at efforts to bolster their physicality. Laker guard Sasha Vujacic developed a color-coded superstition. He won't wear green, even during Christmas season, and chides anyone else who does.

Earlier this month, Jerry Buss tried to tamp down expectations for the Christmas-Day rematch.

I'm not buying.

It's gonna be Hammer-and-Claw.


Anonymous said...

It must have killed them to see Paul send the game into OT then watch Ray throw the final nail in the coffin. You'd think they'd be motivated to lock down and blow out their next opponents but I hear they had a lackluster game against the bucks. The sad thing is they've learned nothing from the Celts. LA times says Kobe et al. have a bet on who can have the most steals this season. If this isn't a glaring sign that there are too many egos on there to commit to team defense I don't know what is.

Lex said...

I'm getting pretty excited for this game.

The Celtics put together an amazing string of basketball between 72-74, and it looks like this team is on target to do the same.

12/25 will be a great barometer because it will be in LA.

We have 12/24 off, but will be on a plane from Boston...

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