Killing Giants

It’s best when the act is between giants. Underdogs are overrated, or are just underrated giants (in disguise). My full essay on the idea is published here.

Here on We Remember Love, I celebrate the victory of the most gigantic of victories in sports history: The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. It is a gigantic occasion for the following reasons:

There is nothing Like Game 7 of a 7-game Series

Championship fights in boxing or MMA, final matches in the major tennis tournaments, Gold-medal events in the Olympics, the World Cup Finals in the sports that have World Cup Finals, Golf majors; these are all big sporting events, but they do not have the inherent drama and context of the final game of a 7-game series when the championship is on the line.

This is especially true for basketball, because the championship can be decided by the last shot in the final second. The event in itself becomes gigantic.

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The Lakers vs. Celtics Rivalry is the Biggest in Sports

The context for this is that they are the two franchises that won the most championships in the NBA’s history (33 out of 64 IIRC). With the Lakers’ victory, they are only one behind Boston’s record. Furthermore, most of the Celtic’s championships came at the expense of the Lakers!

For further context, The Chicago Bulls have 6 (all during the years when Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson were a player and coach tandem), and the San Antonio Spurs have 4. It’s not even close.

Between the Lakers and Celtics they have fought five game sevens (not sure if including this one), this would only be the second time the Lakers won one.

The coach that has the most championships used to be the Celtics’ Red Auerbach, with 9. Phil Jackson, the current Lakers Coach, now has 11 (6 of which he won while with the Chicago Bulls). The only other person with as many championships is the former Celtic Bill Russell, who won 10 as a player, and one as a player/coach. Insane.

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SUBPLOTS!

In 2008, the Celtics (having most of the current roster of players) destroyed the Lakers in the finals. The obliteration was so complete that the reputations and legacies of the Lakers involved were tarnished and/or compromised. Last year the Celtics were ageing, and did not make the finals due to injuries to key players. The Lakers won that championship.

This year, the Celtics destroyed the whole Eastern Conference in such a convincing manner, including the Orlando Magic who was last year’s runner up. This performance suddenly invalidated the Lakers’ championship. It didn’t mean anything if they couldn’t beat the Celtics.

Furthermore, the key players on both rosters are ageing veterans. This is even a bigger problem for the Celtics. It’s almost certain that the team will be broken up after this season. This will be their final run, and the franchise won’t be as competitive for the foreseeable future.

Both coaches: Doc Rivers for the Celtics, and Phil Jackson for the Lakers are on the final years of their respective contracts. Neither are sure to return, and its very unlikely for the coach who will lose.

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RETARDED FANS AND ANTI-FANS

Many ‘neutrals’ hate both teams. Some people hate the Celtics because it’s a team from Boston. Many hate the Lakers because they are “Hollywood.” Neutrals hate the fanbases of both teams, because they tend to attract bandwagon morons. During championships between these teams, neutrals side passionately against the team they hate more. This all comes to a head when it’s about one of the most polarizing athletes of all time: Kobe Bryant.

People want to believe that they hate Kobe because he is an egomaniac. This is inauthentic. They hate Kobe because his fans dare to compare him with Michael Jordan. But see, Jordan is the most obsessively egomaniacal athlete ever. It’s a big part of what made him great. I was a boy too and idolized Jordan. I still have my Jordan poster in my room at my parents’ house (he was destroying the Lakers in the finals too!).

In any case, look for any thread where Kobe Bryant in mentioned. I promise you it will become a retarded discussion within 3 subsequent posts. This is an axiom in sports culture.

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I have so much more to say, but these are tangential to establishing how this victory is a giant one, among giants of sports in general.

But since WRL is an anime blog, let’s talk anime blogs! Right now, it’s like the game 7 of this particular match of giants in the Anime Blog Tournament: Baka-Raptor vs. Sea-Slugs! Anime Blog.

I like both blogs, the same way I like I actually like the Celtics franchise (if not this particular team, though I respect their game). I love the sport of basketball too much to be a hater. I’m a Baka-Raptor partisan, since we were part of the now-defunct Oi, Hayaku! blog. I used to dislike him because I didn’t get his blog (he was dumping on Evangelion then), but I realized one shouldn’t really hate ugly blind lizards. They’re just animals.

Both blogs are giants in their respective parts of the sphere. But one has to be the Lakers, one has to be the Celtics. Here’s how I broke it down:

Why Baka-Raptor is like the Los Angeles Lakers:

Los Angeles Lakers Baka-Raptor
It’s all about Kobe Bryant. It’s all about Baka-Raptor.
Kobe Bryant wants it to be all about Kobe Bryant. Baka-Raptor wants it to be all about Baka-Raptor.
Kobe Bryant wants it to be all about Kobe Bryant. Baka-Raptor wants Kobe Bryant to be all about Baka-Raptor.
Kobe Bryant has a rape case in his history. Baka-Raptor has rape cases in his pre-history.
In the end Ron Artest/Pau Gasol/Derek Fisher/Lamar Odom pulled through for Kobe and for the win. In the end, ghostlightning is asked by Baka-Raptor to pull through for him and the win.

Why Sea Slugs! Anime Blog is like the Boston Celtics:

Boston Celtics Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
It’s all about team. It’s a multi-author, so-called ‘team’ blog.
Glen Davis is a Big Baby. One of the authors is a baby (seriously young); and Kabitzin has a baby.
The Celtics is one of the oldest teams with the greatest pedigree. SS! AB is one of the oldest anime blogs; so old it got seeded first (in a seedings determined largely by blog age).
The team color is green. Nama-ko’s hair is green.
Rasheed Wallace is old. Kabitzin is old.

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Vote for Baka-Raptor now.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in fanboy, meta and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Killing Giants

  1. Pingback: The Dogs of Conflict: Who’s the Over/Under? or, Giant Killing is Best Done Between Giants

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    Down the line people are going to say that none of my titles matter unless I prove I can win one without ghostlightning.

  3. Kabitzin says:

    Is length all that matters?

    • Nah, Khlodom, Fish checking if his testicles were as big as he thought they were in the locker room, The Machine preening his eyebrows before making clutch free throws, Queensbridge, dodgy-sounding psychiatrists, Zen-master telepathic ear worming, and “KOBE PASSED ME THE BALL”

  4. adaywithoutme says:

    Wait, shit, Baka-Raptor has to do with the Rapture? Dammit, how’d I leave him out of my thesis, then?

  5. Myssa Rei says:

    A few years along the line, your daughter will ask you about why: a) her baby pictures are on your anime blog, and NOT because you’re playing the happy daddy, and b) why it seems like you’ve been using her to pimp for Baka-Raptor. :P

  6. Shinmaru says:

    rofl @ Adam Morrison in the group picture. He’s a two-time champ! He should be glowing!

  7. Robert Weizer says:

    the suns finally got revenge against the spurs

    anything after that was a big resounding “whatever”

    i’m the squall leonhart of sports fandom

    • Robert Weizer says:

      i mean in terms of sports it goes like this:

      the heck with MMA and wrasslin and nascar (call me when nascar is more like f-zero)
      baseball is interesting but after a point it’s boring (biggest benefit is when the AZ Diamondbacks score 6 or more runs, then three free tacos with purchase of a large drink the next day)
      football is probably the most involved in terms of fandom (but still tertiary to my other interests)
      i really don’t watch much basketball after a certain point in the season because I always end up finding new games to play around the start of the year :3

      screw soccer, the FIFA are not true allies of justice (they took away kamen rider last week)

      call me when you can relate kobe bryant to the field of anime

      call me and baka-raptor when you can do that with steve nash

  8. First, my less then humble basketball response. I’m one of those neutral haters. I wanted the Celtics to Die in a fire when they were crushing the Cavs (I only cheer for them because of Lebron). But when they reached finals I realized Kobe was the greater of evils, plus I liked Rondo & Big Baby as players. Rondo’s not afraid to play dirty “playoff basketball” to win (ask Brad Miller of the Bulls) & Big Baby is a beast. So f*ck you Lakers fans. Especially the ones who can’t name the whole starting lineup, or who haven’t started watching a game until “your team” made it to the finals. I hate you guys the most. I despise you like I despise the people who watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and the corny and atrocious haltime shows (except for the Boss & Prince, those kicked ass). *exhale*

    Second, as for the blogs, I’ll cheer on Baka-Raptor since he rolls in your circle of influence.

    • LOL casual neutrals hating on casual bandwagoneers.

      I find this lulz because it stops becoming about the teams and the sport and about the retards you see in the clubs or on the streets.

      Seriously if I hated on fans I wouldn’t cheer for the Lakers too.

      I have this friend who is a total Laker nut-job and won’t stop hating on the Celtics. On twitter he’s just non-stop with the haterade that it embarrasses me a little.

      The thing is, he’s from my rival school (Ateneo de Manila Uni, to my De La Salle Uni) and during the college basketball season he is fucking unbearable hating on my team and my uni.

      Moral lesson, don’t hate the playas, hate the fantards.

  9. Caddy C says:

    Hahaha, as a lifelong Suns fan, I’m not quite sure what to think having read and enjoyed a blog post praising the Lakers. My hate of the Lakers is instinctual, as is my bemusement whenever I see Charles Barkely on television. :)

    • Man who doesn’t love Chuck? Hating on Chuck would be turrible.

      The thing is, I don’t hate the Celtics. I don’t like this particular team — KG is obnoxiously intense, Fall Pierce is just ugh, Ray Allen is a Kobe hater forever, Doc’s gravelly voice, Veal Scalabrine, Mike Finley’s corpse, The Need for Sheed… it just goes on.

      But as a team and a franchise, what’s not to love? My opposition to them is only in the context of the Lakers rivalry with them. I really like Russell, and Bird, and McHale, the Chief, DJ, Walton (lol) and the whole tradition.

  10. vendredi says:

    I take it Baka-Raptor still owes you a post for the Lakers ousting the Suns?

  11. kadian1364 says:

    I’ve been an anime fan for about half my life; I’ve been a sports fan my whole life. And though I would defend to the death animation as a powerful mode for expression, capable of deep human insight as much as any other medium of fiction, sports does something anime has never been able to replicate: the moment of uncertainty. That magic moment when the outcome still hangs in the balance and a thousand thoughts go through my head. Who will make the right adjustments? Who has the imagination to create that on-th-fly play to break the game open? Who will hunker down and step up in this, the most important moment, and who will fade when the lights turn up and fold under the pressure?

    I loved the way the Celtics burned through the playoffs. Where the Heat and Cavs and Magic relied on ‘talent’ (3-point shooting, athleticism, relying on the superstar name to carry them in difficult stretches), the Celtics didn’t care who scored just played harder, smarter, and scrappier, and imposed their will to win on every Eastern Conference opponent. And I thought the Lakers would be the same: Only Kobe would really try (and fail) to do everything in bad stretches and his teammates would come up small, just like in 2008. But these weren’t the same soft Lakers that blazed through the West on relying sheer talent and length alone. They played hard to utter exhaustion, locked up on defense, Gasol took a beating but still commanded the ball, and Artest came through with every rebound and putback and crazy random three. So when the game was over and my team lost, I was upset but couldn’t deny the outcome: the Lakers won with grit and dogged determination in equal measure to the Celtics, and earned my begrudging respect.

    • IMO this is how sensible fans talk, and none of that hater rubbish.

      I utterly dislike this Celtics team, but my dislike is only matched by my respect for them, what they accomplished, and much of their methods.

      Lamar Odom said in a post-game interview how much he respects these Celtics, in how they made the Lakers work so hard. This is very much in keeping with what I like about Giants Killing vs. underdog appreciation. The opposition defines the greatness of each other.

      An underdog only represents ignominy and shame for the vanquished. Among equals they elevate each other. This is why this win was so great, and that there is no further shame in the greater scheme of things for these Celtics for this loss.

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