With the World Cup dominating the headlines at present, you could be forgiven for not noticing that the NBA playoffs are nearing their climax as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers prepare to do battle for the Larry O' Brien Trophy, (named for Lyndon B. Johnson's Postmaster General, which is nice).
The reigning champion Lakers are looking to avenge their Finals defeat of two years ago, while the Celtics are hoping for one last hurrah from their aging squad.
This is a matchup of NBA bluebloods with Celtics having won seventeen titles to the Laker's fifteen. It's also the most common finals combination, with this being their twelfth meeting. Neither team has dominated in the postseason so far with both being pushed to six games twice. It's a matchup of stifling defense and inconsistent offence from the Celtics against stellar offence and mixed defensive play for the Lakers, which should average out and add up to a tight series. Both sides will look for any edge, so the intangibles are all important.
Los Angeles is home to many style icons and the Lakers have one of their own in Kobe Bryant. Check the haute couture all white ensemble he sported last month. The Celtics are somewhat lacking here, with Kendrick Perkins summing it up best: "I'm already ugly, I can't add no more to it." Don't be so hard on yourself Kendrick, but if you don't try, you can't win.
Classic East Coast Vs West Coast here as the raw energy of Who Are We by N.B.S. takes on the heavily produced Lakers Anthem with Ice Cube and a heap of contributors. For my money, N.B.S. win this one, due to a much better chorus and sampling Lux Aeterna, which makes anything better.
The Lakers have no shortage of starpower in the stands, with Leonardo Di Caprio, Denzel Washington and Andy Garcia regular attendees, but Jack Nicholson is the real deal here having had courtside seats for thirty years. Boston has Jack Black.
The Lakers could have had a blowout here, but unfortunately let their advantage slip. Recently retired Rick Fox is dating Eliza Dushku, and recently traded Sasha Vujacic has the pleasure of Maria Sharapova's company. In their absence the best they can do is the other Kardashian, Khloe, who is married to backup forward Lamar Odom. The Celtics don't have much to offer here either, but Shelden Williams is married to WNBA all star Candace Parker, so we'll give him this one. Athletic talent trumps no talent.
Lakers 2 Celtics 2. Well, that didn't help separate them. I suppose they'll just have to settle their issues on the court.
Update. Well, as you may have noticed during Sasha Vujacic's eight minutes on the court last night, he has not been traded and still plays for the Lakers. I was thinking of Vladimir Radmanovic who was traded last summer. Hey one Serb is a lot like another. But only one of them is dating Maria Sharapova. As such, this means the Lakers win the WAG category. Sorry Candace, but Sharapova is lusted after internationally, which always trumps domestic appeal. The Lakers go up 3-1 and win the intangibles battle, which looks fitting after last night's dominance. Apologies for any confusion.