Here we are, a few hours away from the end of the 2009-2010 NBA season. What to say, what to say? How about I let Ron Artest explain the particulars [from J.A. Andande's ESPN piece]:
"We're the last two teams left in a Game 7," Artest said. "It's amazing."What exactly does Ron Artest know? Nevermind.
It's the first seventh game in the NBA Finals since the San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons in 2005.
"Really?" Artest said. "Seven? The Pistons? To Game 7? That was probably pretty intense. Was it in San Antonio?"
I guess the stale question is this: How did we get here? I honestly don't know. The regular season ended so long ago I don't actually remember anything from it other than what other writers say happened. But while what goes down in the regular season doesn't always carry into the playoffs, what happens in the playoffs most certainly carries into the following regular season. But does it extend further than that? Does one game change legacies?
A ton of voices right now are saying that careers hinge on this one game. I'm going to roll the dice one last time and go to Ron Artest for his thoughts on legacies [again from the Adande piece]:
"I don't make history," Artest said, insisting that's the duty of the media and the fans. "It's not something that I need to worry about. Unless Twitter starts making history. Then I can use my Twitter."Jesus. His brain is filled with cotton candy and saw blades.
Look: This one game will simply alter how we talk about these players. It will merely be another example we'll pluck out of the tupperware container filled with NBA history that we open when chatting ball; another example to wield when building monuments or burning effigies.
No NBA event occurs in a vacuum, so legacies simply are not made or broken in one game, or even one season. They are built up over many years like ambitious Lego castles or Phish bootleg collections. Yes, this game is important for how Kobe's biography reads, but so was when he scored 62 points in three quarters, and when he shaved the mini-fro, and '96 draft night, and the fake viral video of him leaping over that car, and when he went to Beijing in 2008 and taught all the kids how to work, and when he was minutes away from becoming a Chicago Bull, and when he scored 40 points or more in nine straight games, and... understand? A lot more than one championship, won or lost, gets factored into his legacy, and the legacies of all others involved in this game.
The veterans we are watching already have their rankings among the greats set, with a margin of error of five players, and the younger guys will have dozens of more opportunities like this one to bust dams.
So let's not think about any of that tonight. For 48 minutes, let's all try to put aside any thoughts of how we can shoehorn this one game into the career arcs of its players, and just watch ball. We have a game seven here, folks. Two very good teams are about to explode at each other for four quarters, leaving one as the 2009-2010 NBA champion. Forever. Pull out every sports cliche you've got, because they're all on the table and in play. This is Highlander, Thunderdome, the Olympics, a Ken Burns series, an ice cream sundae, Magic's baby hook, Bird's steal and the end of Armageddon rolled into one.
See everyone on the other side.