It started with a whistle and ended with a whistle. As the Los Angeles Laker’s took the floor for the last time in Los Angeles, thousands watched with anxious thoughts. Would the Laker’s walk out victorious? Or would the Laker’s walk out as only ‘second best.’ After day’s of watching the Laker’s second half breakdown in game 4, LA wondered which Laker team would show up for game 5. Would it be the energetic and confident Laker’s from the first half, or would it be the lethargic and fragile Laker squad from the second half. One thing was sure though, number 24 wouldn’t go out without a fight.
“There’s a million way to get respect…but there’s only one way to get the kind of respect thats undeniable.The kind that they can never take away from you. Win”
Win. Simple as that. While it is only 3 letters it means the world to some. For the Laker’s, the dreams of winning a championship meet them face to face.
One would expect the Laker’s to be worried and down after the greatest comeback win in NBA Finals history by the Celtics, but instead it was just the opposite. As if it is all part of a script, Kobe Bryant is unfazed. The kind of calm and collectiveness that Kobe shows at news conferences and at team meetings is one that we haven’t seen in ages. The last time we saw someone this collected and calm? Michael Jordan, 1989.
What many remember as “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo followed a game 6 loss to the Cavaliers which would have clinched the series. In a game that crushed the hearts of the Bulls, Michael Jordan remained calm and collective and stated three words to his team mates. “We will win.” These same words would be echoed by a young man with talents beyond our imagination. Fast Forward back to the present Game 5, and LA fans find themselves in the same predicament. Up by 15 at one point, the Laker’s have see there lead almost cut in half. As the game cuts to the final 3 minutes LA fans watch with fear on would shoulder, and hope on the other. With the game too close to call, each minute is precious, each dribble important, each shot contested.
As the whistle finally blows, the Laker’s live another day. In a game where passion played as much of a role as talent, Kobe Bryant remains calm and collective at post-game interviews. In a series where the odds are against them, the quote “Be history or make history” seems appropriate. While we can’t say with certainty that the Laker’s will make history, many would agree that this Laker team has all the tools, talents, and drive to do just that.