Game 7 didn't disappoint -- unless, of course, you are a Celtics fan. This is the great thing about the 7 game format....I started the series thinking "The Lakers are going to win, just don't get embarassed." After Game 2, I was basically happy because the Celts proved they could hang with the migthy Lakers. Game 3, hung tough, but lost when Derek Fisher decided to be clutch. Game 4 - same as Game 2. But then we get to Game 5, and the Celts take us back to LA with a 3-2 lead and a chance to shock the Lakers on their home court. That was the point where this series changed for me, and I knew that I'd be upset of the Celtics didn't win the title. But they played Game 6 like a team that knew it had 2 shots at winning it all. They acquitted themselves well in Game 7 and played with the heart of a champion -- and for that I'm glad. But I can't help the fact that I have a bitter taste in my mouth this morning because I know the Celtics could be champions right now.
All of that being said -- I really don't care for him, but I have learned to respect Kobe Bryant as a player. I don't think he'll ever be considered the best player ever -- He simply is not as good as Michael Jordan was. What I do think he is, though, is the best player in the game today, and one of the best of the current generation.
Switching gears a bit to the World Cup -- the first round of games have been somewhat boring....and I mean that in the context of someone who DOES NOT find soccer boring. In spite of the slow start to proceedings, though, the week has produced some interesting results. First there was Spain falling 1-0 to Switzerland. The Spanish team played a solid game, but couldn't net an equalizer despite numerous chances late in the match. Thursday saw 3 very compelling matches. First, Argentina took down South Korea 4-1. Argentina's my pick to win it all, and they showed a bit of flair in this match. Then we saw Greece eke out a win vs. Nigeria. Maybe not the most technically pleasing match, but anytime you've got two teams clawing for their survival, it tends to be compelling. The day finished up with Mexico downing France 2-0 in a very entertaining game. Can't muster much love for the French team, even though they are stocked with players that I have followed in the EPL. Maybe it's because of the whole Thierry Henry handball against Ireland that I can't let go of.
Today is off to a good start as Serbia stunned Germany 1-0. Germany breezed to a 4-0 victory in their opening match, so this was a bit of a surprise. As I'm writing, the US and Serbia are just about to get underway. This is a huge match for the US -- much bigger than last Saturday's game against England. True, producing a draw against England gains some respect for an improving US team, but these next two games are against opponents that the US is expected to beat. That's a different kind of pressure to play under, and if the US really wants to prove that it has started to become a power in World Football, then they have to take a minimum of 4 points from these two games. Doing so should get them out of the group stage.
So wrapping up a longer than necessary post with a quick note on music. I heard on WGN 720 this morning that Billboard has determined that Michael Jackson's most popular song of all time is "Say Say Say", which most will remember was a duet with Paul McCartney. Since his death, most have focused on Jacko's talent rather than his...ummm....unique personality. While it is true that Jacko shared writing credits on the song, I find it somewhat ironic that his most popular song was one that appeared on a Paul McCartney album.