Now what makes this individual NBA Finals so remarkable is the individual legacies that are all riding on this as well. Phil Jackson has already established himself as the winningest coach of all time with his 10 NBA Championships, but consider what he is facing now. If the Lakers win this series Jackson has a chance to come back next season for a chance at his fourth three-peat. Just stop and digest that. His FOURTH three-peat. However, before he thinks about his 12th he has to win his 11th.
Kobe Bryant. I’m not going to waste everyone’s time with some obnoxious lead in on why Kobe is great. We all know he’s great. But he is on the verge of turning great into greatest. If Bryant and the Lakers win it all this year it will be the fifth NBA Championship for Bryant, tying him with Lakers legends Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Many people feel that in order for Bryant to become the greatest Laker of all time he needs to surpass Johnson’s ring total, but by tying him he will at least make the debate interesting. His fifth ring would also put him only one short of his childhood idol, a man who is almost unanimously considered the greatest of all time, a man named Michael Jordan. While he won’t admit it, everyone knows just how important it is for Bryant to keep moving up the ladder of champions.
A small side note – if the Lakers are victorious against the Celtics in the Finals it will be the fifth title for Lakers’ players Derek Fisher and the aforementioned Bryant. This would put them ahead of every other active NBA player, surpassing Tim Duncan, and maybe more importantly in the eyes of Bryant, surpassing Shaquille O’Neal, both of whom have four.
Next: What it means to Boston…