PHILBOXING SPECIAL NBA FINALS COVERAGE: LAKERS IN SIX
By Homer D. Sayson
04 Jun 2008
CHICAGO -- At first, I thought it was ridiculously absurd. This idea of me writing about basketball in a boxing website. It felt strange, like selling a typewriter at a computer megasale.
But while red-blooded Pinoys have an enduring love affair with boxing, it's also a known secret that basketball is never too far, lying in wait like a loyal, beloved mistress.
That's when I realized that this might just work, selling hoops in a cyberspace community worshipped by blood-thirsty fight fans. Besides, deep down inside, I know that Paclanders have hearts that are big enough to beat for two loves --- boxing and basketball.
And so with the kind blessings of Dong Secuya and Salven Lagumbay, the genuises behind Philboxing.com and Mannypacquiao.ph, here I am. Ready to embark on another journey as regular sports columnist.
In case you're wondering, I didn't just drop from the sky the other day. I've been around for sometime and had previously contributed stories here before taking a long break.
But I'm back now. And by the way, you can also read my writings at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, where I have recently become a contirbuting NBA writer. In fact two of my articles had seen print at the PDI this past few days, and quite frankly, I think I did a fairly decent job.
For the 8th consecutive year, the NBA headquarters in New York has been kind enough to give me credentials to the this year's NBA Finals.
I only applied credentials for the East Games and due to travel hitches I was unable to book an offordable round-trip ticket to Boston for Games 1 and 2. But I will, however, cover Games 6 and 7, if necessary, at the TD Banknorth Garden.
In the meantime, I will continue to analyze and scrutinize these NBA Finals, here and at my other outlet, the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
I hope you will enjoy the pieces that I will whip here as often as possible. And I promise more fun when I arrive at Boston, where I will upload pictures, write a diary, etc., and take you on a vicarious ride to the greatest basketball spectacle in the entire planet.
As a special favor, Dong and Salven made sure that you won't miss my articles. They will assign my works prominently at Philboxing.com and at Mannypacquiao.ph under the Special Coverages icon.
(Column intermission: It's nice to have friends in high places, isn't it? So here's a piece of advice to all you handsome Paclanders: Choose your pals carefully, because you sure can't choose your relatives.)
Anyway, allow to go on with the business at hand: the 2008 NBA Finals.
In case you just woke up from a long coma, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics will joust for this year's NBA Finals. It's a best-of-7 affair with Games 1,2 6 and 7 to be contested in Boston while LA hosts Games 3,4 and 5.
In my Inquirer article, I picked the Lakers to win in six games. I haven't changed my mind, and I don't intend to do so, either.
Kobe Bryant is simply on a league of his own right now, scoring 31.9 points per game on a remarkable 50.9 percent clip from the field. He is also throwing 5.4 assists a contest and grabbing 6.1 rebounds.
Kobe does everything for the Lakers, and I won't be surprised if he also drives the team bus on their road games.
Unlike seasons past, the Lakers are no longer a one-man show. Kobe now has lots of friends. Really, really good friends.
Like Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, who has a combined playoffs average of 32.4 points, 22.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists. The Laker bench is deeper than the Pacific Ocean and their coach is a brilliant one, Phil Jackson.
My mind picked the Lakers to win because my brain said the stats and the odds heavily favored the Lakers. But the heart has a mind of its own, that's why I'm also rooting for the Celtics to score a monumental upset.
Gosh, wouldn't it be so satisfying to remove that smirk off Jackson's bearded face?
I've personally met Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in one of the many Bulls games I've covered at the United Center here in Chicago. Unlike most superstars, they are devoid of any air, are very friendly, and they play their guts out, playing with an eageness to please that is endearing.
KG scores 21.1 a game, Pierce belts 19, while Allen chips in 14.2. But on any given night, they could go berserk and combine for 80. So here's hoping they'll do it often enough to beat LA.
But don't bet the house on it.
The bottomline is, this championship series will be fun. And with me chronicling the events, I look forward to making it more memorable to all of you hoops fans out there.
Till then. Check this coulmn out, as well the my articles at the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
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Editor's Note: We would like to give a warm welcome to our dear friend and colleague, Homer Sayson, who is undoubtedly one of the country's most colorful journalists, for giving this area some rich and animated content. Welcome aboard Homs!
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