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We all felt it on the bench. It seemed like that 3 minutes lasted forever. It was special. I’ll talk about that forever, just knowing being down 20 and these people are still standing up, cheering us on, because they know we just have to win one game.
— Ray Allen on fans chanting “Let’s go Celtics” in the waning moments of Game 6, setting up some interesting side theater heading into an already epic Game 7.

2010 NBA Finals. Lakers. Celtics. Game 7.

I’m not one to hyperbolize the importance of basketball games. After all, they are just basketball games. Most fans seem to live and die by the successes and failures of their cherished franchises. I, on the other hand, am not moved by most  singular events in sports. Out side of the temporary highs and lows, I tend to move on rather quickly once the results are final. This is because to me and to the vast majority of basketball fans, the NBA is not a means to and end and I can not stress this enough.

However, this rivalry, this series, this game, it’s on another level. This not another trivial playoff match up. The lexicon used in the title of this post alone conjures up feelings of epic proportions.

Celtics vs Lakers. The greatest rivalry in all of sports. The abhorrence between these two storied franchises and their enormous fan bases couldn’t be anymore palpable. Dichotomy between them is like day and night. East coast vs. West coast. Blue collar and white collar. Black and white. Purple & Gold and Green & White. The only common ground these two share is at stake tomorrow night: Championships.

Game 7. Is there another phrase in sports that better represents life and death? What we feel when these words are muttered is a volatile mix of overzealous excitement, fear, anxiousness, and unbridled enthusiasm. Win or go home, as they say. Do or die. Let the best man win. All or nothing. Two equal yet opposite fates  await those who enter a game seven. The outcome is never certain yet the build up is always electrifying.

NBA Finals. This one might not need explaining. This is what all basketball players dream of. The day dream of it when they are young. They fight for it when they are prime. Some even sacrifice their legacy for it when they are old enough. You are no one until you win somethnig and there is no better stage to win than the NBA Finals.

When we put the pieces of the puzzle together we create a creature of unfathomable powers: “Celtics at Lakers, Game 7 of the NBA Finals.” The syntax of that sentence gives Thursday night an aura of legendary proportions. 

Please believe me when I say that I’m not trying to embellish or overemphasize the epic nature of Thursday nights game; This will be the biggest basketball game of our generation. Game 7 will be a game for the ages.

No matter who you are cheering for, and regardless of the outcome, please enjoy this one. I know I will.


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