Well, that Game 7 was a grinder -- but that meant that the 4th quarter was close, with plenty of chances for big shots... none bigger than that 3 by Ron Artest to basically win the game for LA.
When the game was over, the instant reaction was that we will not remember the build-up to Game 7; as usual, we will remember the champs -- Lakers repeating, Kobe winning his 5th ring.
But then Ron Artest did his post-game interview with Doris Burke, and we had the kind of crazy joy that only Ron-Ron can provide. How could I not lead today's SN column with Artest?
He thanked his therapist -- not his physical therapist, his psychotherapist. And in the litany of thanks he offered, that one stood out, for two reasons:
(1) Only Ron Artest would acknowledge that he uses a shrink. (2) His shrink, apparently, gave him the confidence to shoot (and make) that game-sealing 3. So kudos to YOU, "Dr. Sandy."
For me, Artest is the defining player of this Lakers championship. He was the change from last year's title to this year's. He personified the intensity of Game 7. He carried the team when Kobe was doing his best John Starks impression. (OK: Kobe wasn't THAT bad. Hardly.)
Ron thanked everyone. I say: Thank YOU, Ron-Ron.
More you'll find in today's column:
*Are the Celtics finished? (No.)
*How about Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers? (Maybe.)
*Is this a must-win for US Soccer?
*Tiger hates Pebble Beach greens.
*More love for Utah.
*Ubaldomania. Enough said.
Complete column here. More later.