Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why These Finals Matter to Me

Well, for starters, obviously, I'm a huge Lakers fan.

But there's more than that.

At the beginning of last October I made a long trip out to West Virginia because my grandmother passed away. It was a difficult time for me because we had always been very close. She taught me to be a Lakers fan. All of my habits (good and bad!), my passion, my genuine love of the game came from her. I don't know how she became a Lakers fan. I never asked, though now I wish I had. But when I was young and she lived with us, I would stay up late and go into her room and watch basketball with her. It was awesome.

So I went to her funeral, consoled my family and came home and went on with life. A few weeks later the NBA season officailly started; and before long a plucky young Lakers team that a few months before had been full of bickering, trade demands and hostility began growing into a championship-caliber team. I've watched them throughout the season as they took their lumps, won games they shouldn't have and lost plenty I wish they hadn't, and every time I couldn't help but think how much my grandmother would have loved these Lakers. They're the closest - I think - to Showtime that we've gotten, and they are just a ton of fun to watch.

So I watched, and remembered, and cheered.

And now here we are, facing impossible odds, and all I can think is that I wish that she could have been here with me. I would have paid damn good money to have flown to West Viriginia and watched one more NBA Finals with her. But I can't.

So instead I'll watch it at home, knowing damn well that she's watching too - and having ol' Chick Hearn calling play-by-play the whole time no doubt - and remember her.

So the emotion will be high tonight; on the court and off. I'm sure lots of Lakers fans will feel the same way; the fear of having the season end so close to a championship. I'll be there, screaming at every call, every play, hoping for a miracle and knowing that my grandmother is doing the same.

For me, these Finals are about memories, and here's hoping for another happy one.

1 comment:

Reva said...

Bummer for us, but I love the idea of your grandmother getting the Chick Hearn experience again...a beautiful way to think about it =)