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.
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.
- #05 (Walton)
- #08 (Wedman)
- #12 (Sichting)
- 1971-72 Lakers
- 2007-08 Scores
- Banner 17
- Grassy Knoll Network
- Green Mile
- Larry & Magic
- NBA Scoreboard
- Russell v. Chamberlain
- Walton Gang (1977)