Roundball Ramblings

On June 17, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers played a game of basketball. It was the sixth game in the NBA Finals and Boston was leading the best-of-7 series by 3 games to 2. Boston had had a rough road to the Finals, with several series going to seven games against teams they had been expected to beat handily. Comparatively, LA had cruised to their Finals berth and many analysts had picked them to win.

However, things had not gone according to predictions and Boston now had two chances to win it all. But the Celtics had numerous injuries and some of their players, Kevin Garnett in particular, appeared exhausted in their close game 5 loss. And LA had the best basketball player on Earth in the form of Kobe Bryant. Nobody expected LA to roll over.

Here’s how the game went. The Celtics started the game by crushing the Lakers into tiny, tiny pieces. After that, they ground those pieces into an extremely fine powder. Then they set that powder on fire. At the end they took what was left, mixed it into an energy shake, and had it for breakfast. Boston 131. LA 92.

It was one of, if not the, most complete whuppings ever meted out in an NBA finals game and I enjoyed it immensely and for a variety of reasons. Paul Pierce, who survived multiple stab wounds in an altercation several years ago, and who has suffered through many a terrible season with the C’s, played tremendously in the post-season and cemented his legacy in Celtics history. Kevin Garnett, buried for years in the backwater of Minnesota, came through in the clutch to put the capstone on a Celtics season transformed by his defensive abilities. Ray Allen turned around his poor post-season performance and turned in a Finals series for the ages (22 3-pointers in 6 games).

And the Lakers, whose utterly unfair wins over the Kings during the 2002 Western Conference Finals still pain me, had their hat handed to them.

Best. game. ever.

Book: Gang Leader for a Day

Venkatesh is a sociologist who spent ten years studying a housing project in Chicago. He gained access to the projects through a sort of partnership with a local gang leader, without whose permission he would not have been able to get very far. In this book he tells the story of his experiences and the lives of the people in Robert Taylor Homes.