dEDGE Post Scriptum
Lucky enough to attend Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz, I was very excited to be back at Staples Center, where I had witnessed many magical Lakers moments through the years, but was more surprised by the familiarity of it all. Here are some of my observations from Game 1.
A sea of gold as t-shirts were given out upon entering the arena. Brian Shaw can still shoot from long distance. All of the players working up a heavy sweat in pre-game workouts. Announcer Lawrence Tanter in animated playoff mode. Derek Fisher proudly leading the team out onto the court. Jeffery Osborne singing the National Anthem and woo-wooing the crowd into a frenzy. “Big Game” James Worthy delivering the game ball to a standing ovation, then slapping Kurt Rambis on the backside as he left the court. Everyone in their seats prior to the start of the game. A noon tip-off that actually started on time. Eddie Murphy, Dyan Cannon, Lou Adler, Dustin Hoffman, Kelsey Grammer, Kanye West, Jack Nicolson, and for my girls, Zach Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. The Lakers Band playing “Rocky.” The loudness of playoff intensity. Kobe fist bumping all of the statisticians. The Bench Mob standing until the Lakers score a basket. The Red Coats protecting the court during a stop in play. How red Jerry Sloan gets when angry. The footwork and confidence of Deron Williams. Andrei Kirilenko, initials AK, jersey number -47.
Andrew Bynum looking a little stiff when he jumps. The number of really hot girls. Coincidence? Hmm… No one really walking around during the game. The number of tatoos on Shannon Brown’s guns. Adam Morrison looking uneasy and out of place on the bench. Sasha Vujacic hitting the floor after running into a moving screen set by a smiling Carlos Boozer. Phil drawing on his clipboard during a timeout. The moans from the crowd when Luke Walton shoots. The cheers he gets when he makes a shot. How effortless Kobe shoots the ball. Brevin Knight – Steve Urkel? The crowd chanting “Utah Sucks.” Thunder sticks. Thinking how average we looked in the first half, yet still up 62-40. Wondering why referees can’t see what we see. Kobe muttering through his jersey. Laughing at the halftime performance.
Frank Hamblen jumping out of his seat upset with Lamar Odom’s effort. The Laker Girls… Chants of “MVP! MVP!” No mercy for the contestant who shoots the half court shot, and misses. Pau Gasol’s gallop. Watching Josh Powell rub his arm before he shoots a free throw. Trevor Ariza hitting overdrive on the fast break. Jeff Van Gundy looks like Montgomery Burns from “the Simpsons.” The Kiss-Cam. Kobe dropping the M-F bomb after slamming home an emphatic jam and drawing the foul. Purple and gold streamers. ”I Love LA.” A forest of TV and satellite antennas stretching to the clouds from mobile vans. Norm Nixon and Rick Fox. Spearmint Rhino cards. Catching Money on 570 AM radio. The absence of Laker flags on the drive home.
For more playoff sights and sounds, check out this follow up article: Final Playoff Observations