For Kobe, beating Celtics in finals matters; don't believe otherwise
In the moments after the Lakers beat the Suns to advance to the NBA Finals,
"I didn't give a damn who we played,'' he said. "Didn't matter to me.''
Not true. It matters. The Celtics and Lakers open the NBA Finals at the Staples Center on Thursday night and brace yourselves for an abundance of hype regarding Kobe's mission to win a championship against Boston.
It matters. It always matters.
Kobe has won four championships. He won three with
Especially in the wake of L.A.'s humiliation in Boston two years ago.
Fair or not, Laker greats are measured by how they do when they play Boston in the Finals.
Abdul-Jabbar's frustration was compounded when Kareem was part of the 1983-84 Lakers who lost a seven-gamer to Boston. It was a series the Lakers dominated over the first four games. It drove L.A. crazy. Those Lakers hated Boston and they hated the old Garden. Coach
When the Lakers finally beat the Celtics in Boston in the Old Garden in 1985, Riley said, "All the skeletons are cleared out of our closet. Lakers owner
Kareem was named MVP of the 1985 Finals and said it was the highlight of his career. He had beaten Boston. In Boston.
Ditto for Magic. He was a goat when the Lakers lost in Boston in 1984. In a book,
"It was the worst night of my life,'' he said. "I told myself, 'don't ever forget how you feel right now.'''
Now it's Kobe's turn. He can tell us that it doesn't matter who the Lakers play in the Finals, but he is a man concerned with his legacy and it's got to bother him that
The Lakers blew a 24-point lead
We all wrote about the Lakers being too soft. We mocked
As if we needed any more fuel, Kobe has an old score to settle with
In this spring of 2010 Bryant looks like a man on a mission.
He's got the eyes of a killer. He singlehandedly beat the Suns at Phoenix in Game 6. Now he's back in the Finals with his four rings, but he's playing for something more than one for the thumb. This is his chance to do what West and Baylor and