Being a champion is more than simply having the jewelry to show for your efforts. Being a champion is a state of mind.
If you ever want to know how a true champion goes about their business, then I’d suggest watching the Lakers 102-89 demolition of the Boston Celtics in Game One of the NBA Finals.
However, if you want an example of the state of mind a champion must be in at all times, then I’d suggest watching the following videos of Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant.
People always seem to get it twisted. Just because this is L.A. doesn’t mean that everything is Hollywood. In fact, we’re talking about two very different towns that just happen to have a few streets in common.
In Hollywood, the Lakers are nothing more than a roadside billboard. In Los Angeles, the Lakers represent the people of the city and their singular focus day in and day out.
Nowhere was this better illustrated than when Sony Pictures decided to use Game One of the NBA Finals as an advertisement for their latest box office flop fluff – Grown Ups.
Sitting in the front row, waiting for ESPN to bite, were the lead actors of the soon-to-be released feature film.
ESPN saw it as an opportunity to entertain. Phil Jackson saw it as a couple of feet propped up on his stage (props to Mark Jackson for that zinger) while Kobe Bryant took it as an insult that Chris Rock would dare disturb him at his place of business.
Well played, Sony and ESPN! I mean, you wouldn’t get front row seats at the theatre and then answer your cell phone just as the final act of Phantom of the Opera begins, would you?
Nor would you crack jokes while standing next to a brain surgeon with a scalpel in his hand and an open scull on the operating table, right?
So what makes you think that turning the NBA Finals into a promo for a here today/on Netflix tomorrow movie was a good idea?
I guess some folks just haven’t learned.
Everything in L.A. isn’t all Hollywood and everything in Hollywood isn’t all fun and sun.
Trust me; there are some dark alleys you don’t want to venture into in Tinseltown after dark. Just ask the Boston Celtics who walked down the wrong street and found themselves with a knife in a gun fight.