Incredible. As Dan Wetzel writes, no one was expecting this to happen 12 months ago. Kobe wanted to be traded, and the Celtics – seemingly forever cursed in the lottery draft (see Len Bias and the 1997 lottery) – once again were unlucky with the ping pong balls.
But it happened. Kobe stayed in LA and they later picked up Paul Gasol. The Celtics somehow managed to pick up both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. And now we have the two most storied franchises in basketball back in the finals together for the first time since 1987.
Since the peak in 1998 for Jordan’s last championship, the NBA Finals Nielsen ratings have been in decline. But something tells me that this series might just beat out last year’s pathetic showing for the Spurs vs. Cavaliers Finals. If a return to the Lakers and Celtics in the finals together doesn’t do it, then nothing will.