Sometimes one ugly shot deserves another and so came the waning tenths of seconds of the same game. Now Kobe’s rocking the pill (someone who should have the ball in his hands during these moments) but even his shot doesn’t find rhyme or reason as the Mamba’s out of rhythm. So off the iron and back into play the ball goes. Now it seems as if every player on the court and on the bench, plus everyone in the arena and their momma ran for the loose ball like kids in the park chasing a soccer ball. It’s Ron who times it right however, in a hare and tortoise situation where Phoenix’s Jason Richardson ends up resting under the tree, or in this case the hoop. As Ron’s Flintstone fast legs seem to escape him he hoists another awkward shot off balance that banks of the glass. This time, however, it’s wet like victory champagne.
As Gold arms rise and purple, Phoenix hearts sink, red illuminates the backboard. The game is a rap like ‘My World’ and Marv Albert can give his verbal thumbs up. Chick Hearn can look down with pride as the games finally in the fridge, with the series soon to be in the freezer. Now isn’t redemption the realest story in the NBA? Ron redeemed himself in less than a few minutes and confirmed that he was the right show stopper for the show time. As the game came to a close Ron and Kobe ended up in each others face in a much different way to that time the year before. LA was back in control and someone great named Ariza was merely an afterthought.
Ron and L.A. both needed that shot. Not just for that game, but the even bigger games that followed. Even Kobe had to throw up air balls before he hit the big time. You sometimes have to hit rock bottom in order to reach the top. The Lakers had that after losing to Boston two years back. Now, when it came to the closer of the Boston-LA Finals in Game 7, the time was Ron’s. They say adversity builds character. Well Artest has been through his fair share of adversity and has a lot of character to boot. Ron-Ron ensured that LA saw double and was by far the MVP of the deciding game. His defense and complete play kept LA’s throne guarded, and made them the all around champs for another season. Artest even hit a crucial three pointer, similar to the one that bricked against Phoenix, to cement the win.
Phil Jackson may not have told Artest to shoot it (in his mind and Ron’s) but his therapist probably did. It may have been ill-advised but in the press conference following the game to Ron it was “whatever.” WAP! Obama would be proud. Change had come for a guy who was throwing punches at people the last time he sent the crowd in a frenzy. Number 37 really made Game 7 a thriller. Michael would have been proud too; Tyson, Jordan, Jackson. Then, the Lakers and Artest finally came together in perfect harmony like that autotune on the T-Pain remix Of Artest’s ‘Champions’ track. Although this season hasn’t been the same song, once World Peace returns from his world tour in Cheshire or Glasgow, he’ll be ready to play again. The next time Gasol grabs a board and sees his frontcourt mate open like the Venice Beach courts on a playoff night, he won’t think twice about passing.