Toughness, Revenge, and the Pursuit of Immortality
Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics

When his team raised the Eastern Conference Trophy, Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced: “This starting five has never lost a playoff series.”

That’s a bold statement from Doc, and it lets outsiders inside the head of the Boston Celtics. They feel like an injury to Kevin Garnett deprived them of a chance to defend their title in 2009. They feel like the Lakers got off easy last year with the Orlando Magic. They feel like that title should have been theirs. It should be noted however, that if not for severe injuries to Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza in 2008 that NBA Finals series outcome may very well have been different as well.

The Lakers, on the other hand, have a score of their own to settle. They understand that this series will decide what team will be remembered as “The Team” of this era. The Lakers don’t want to be remembered as one and done champion, a team that snuck in to win a title when Boston wasn’t 100%. They want to be remembered as the team that controlled the era, a team for the ages.

This subplot makes a series already rampant with storylines even juicier, and no Hollywood story is complete without the theme of revenge.

Uma Thurman had it in Kill Bill had it.

So did Denzel in Man on Fire.

And let’s not forget old Liam Neeson in Taken.

It’s only a matter of time before we know if the 2010 NBA Finals will have it too.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Call it a hunch, but for Kobe Bryant and his Lakers teammates, I don’t think they give a damn how it’s served.

As long as they get it.

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