It Never Rains In Southern California …………


It Never Rains In Southern California  …………. 






Well  after  last  night’s  euphoric   victory by the  Los Angeles  Lakers over their   fiercest  rivals   for  NBA supremacy  in the Boston Celtics. There’ll   now  be  many  amongst  telling us  that  the  Lakers  are  now  indeed  the  best  team  in the NBA. Record wise  and   statistically  that’d  prove  to be  the  case.    But the argument  does   continue  even  amongst  the  most   discerning  of  fans  of  not  just  the  NBA  but  amongst   both  teams’ legions   of  fans. 




Bryant and  Garnett  shake  hands  prior  to the  game  played  last  night  at  the TD Banknorth Center  in Boston,  Mass,.
Bryant and Garnett acknowledge each other by shaking hands prior to the game played last night at the TD Banknorth Center played in Boston , Mass,. ...............



Bryant  and Garnett  shake  hands   prior  to  the  game  played  last  night  at the TD Banknorth Center in Boston , Mass. ………..





But  as  the  title  of  this  piece  reads  and   it  can  be  attributed  to the  neo-soul  r&b  group Tony, Toni , Tone !  One of the  premiere  r&b groups  of the  late 80’s  and  early  90s, fronted  by  Raphael Saadiq.  An  accomplished   musician and  producer  in  his  own  right.




The game  itself  though  not overly suspenseful  did   pit   two  teams  who  as  of  late have been  playing  some  excellent  basketball. And  if  nothing  else  the   hierarchy  of the NBA  has  to  be  pleased with the way   the  season  seems  to  be  turning  out  thus  far.   We’ve seen  the  consistency  of  one   of  its  brightest  stars  in LeBron James  of  the  Cleveland  Cavaliers. Who’s  now  leading  them  to  great  heights   this season.  He’s  ably  abetted  by the  likes  of   Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams  and  others.   




Garnett looks to make  a move  against  Gasol   of the Lakers ................
Celtics' Kevin Garnett looks to make a move against the Lakers' Pau Gasol ............



Kevin Garnett  of  the  Celtics  looks  to  make  a  move   against the  Lakers’ Pau  Gasol.






But  it  is the  Lakers  and  Celtics    whom  the  league appears  to live and  die  by  when  it  comes  to  equating   its   success.  Especially   on the   business  side   of the  equation.  Anyone  who’d  think otherwise  clearly  hasn’t  seen  the  sort   product that the  two   teams  move   in  terms  of  merchandising,  not  only  domestically  but  also  internationally.  And  for  a  sport  that  now  generates  in  excess of  $8.5bn  annually  in  revenues.  One can  only   think  that this   brings a  smile  to  the  face  of  Commissioner  David  Stern  when  both  teams are  successful  and  sit  atop  of  the game.





Jordan Farmar of  the Lakers  and  the  Celtics' Ray Allen contest  a  loose ball  during  the game.  .............
Jordand Farmar of the Lakers and the Celtics' Paul Pierce (seated) contest a loose ball during the game........



Jordan Famar of  the Lakers  and  the  Celtics’ Ray  Allen  contest  a  loose  ball   during  the  game .  ……………






The  Lakers  visited  the  TD Banknorth  Center  in Boston  ,  home  to the  Celtics   not long  after  having   slayed  the New York Knicks.   Kobe  Bryant  was  coming  off  a  highly  impressive  game  where  he’d  scored  61 points   against the  woefully  inept   Knicks. And  the  Celtics , themselves  prior  to last  night’s  overtime  loss  has  strung  together  an  impressive  win  streak.   Good  enough  to abate  those  who may  felt  that  they  were   going  on a  downward  slide.   But  as  evidenced  by last  night’s  meeting  this    game  meant  something  to both   teams.  Be it  psychological  or  otherwise.   Whoever  held   the   upper  hand  could  be   viewed  as  the  presumptive  favorites  now  to  win  it  all.   A  far   reaching  statement  when  one   bears  in  mind  an  injury  can  all  too   quickly   derail   the aspirations  of  either   team. As  it  is  the  Lakers  were  playing   without   center Andrew Bynum.    He’s  believe  to  be   out  of the  Lakers’  lineup  for   at  least  two  to  three  months   minimum.   His   play  of  late  had  given  everyone  reason to  believe   that the  team  would   be  good  enough   to  avenge   last  season’s  series  loss to the Celtics in the  NBA  Finals.






But  last  night  Bynum  was  not  on  view  but  the  skills  of   Pau  Gasol  were.  He   was  the  foil   for  Bryant  as  they  withstood   and   then  outplayed  the Celtics in  order  to win the  game  in  overtime  110-109.  Bryant  ,  Gasol  and  Lamar  Odom  led  the  Lakers  in scoring  by  chipping  in 26, 24 and  20  points   respectively.  And  their   bench  which  is  viewed  upon  by many  as  having   more  depth  than  most. They  also  played  their  part  in   this   victory.    But  one  could   surmise that  had   not  Kevin  Garnett of  the Celtics  let  his   emotions   get the  better  of   him   by   fouling  out.  We  might  well  have  been  talking   about  this  being  a  Celtics’  victory  instead  of  the  Lakers    being  triumphant.  But  ifs and  buts  can’t  make  up  for  an  irrational   moment   by   a  player.   The  game  is  won   by those  who    choose  to  play  the  game  to  it  culmination.    And  that’s  something  that  Garnett  should’ve  really  thought  about at the  time. 





Bryant celebrates  with  his  teammates  after their  win over  the  Celtics on their  homecourt  in Boston, Mass.,
Bryant celebrates with his teammates after their victory over the Celtics in overtime on their homecourt in Boston, Mass., ...............




Boston celebrates with  his  teammates  after their  victory over  the  Celtics in overtime  on their  homecourt in Boston, Mass,.  ………….





His team  looks to  him   for their  emotional   ,  vocal and  physical leadership.   But somehow  he   forgot   about that and   let  them   down.   I  know  also that   fans  there  in  Boston   are  also   questioning  the    officiating that  took  place    last  night.  But  in all   reality  when  have we  ever  known  there  no to  be  any   form  of  controversy   when   two   highly   competitive  and  physical   teams   meet   in the  NBA ?     The  officials  themselves  rather  than   adjudicating  a  game   tend to   interject themselves   into   the  event   far  more  than  is  really   necessary.  Perhaps  this  is merely  a  reflection  of  their  persona  as they  surrounded   by  highly   paid  athletes  that  they  may  some  feel in  awe  of.  Or  the  very  fact  that they’re the   ones  who  feel that  they  ought   to be  in charge  and   the  center  of  attention  at all  times. 




Bryant  of the Lakers  eagerly  awaits  the play  of the Celtics' Paul Pierce  whilst  playing  defense ...........
Byrant of the Lakers eagerly awaits the play of the Celtics' Paul Pierce whilst playing defense ..............


Byrant of the Lakers eagerly awaits the play of  the Celitcs’ Paul Pierce  whilst  playing   defense. …….





The  game  in the end   may  have  met   everyone’s   expectation.  But  on the  other   it  may well  have  not.  On  this  all  it merely  proved    was  that t he Lakers   were   merely  up  to  the  task  of  beating  the  Celtics  on their   homecourt.  It  may  well  bode   well   for  the  future  should   they  meet  in  the  Finals.  But  that’d   be   predicated  upon   both   teams   making  to  their   respective   conference  finals and   winning   through.   But  for  now  the  Lakers’ fans   can   bask  in  the  limelight   and  feel  good.  Just  like the  song  written  by   Raphael Saadiq  would   suggest  …..It  Never Rains  In  Southern  California .












pictures  appears  courtesy  of  nbae/getty  images / Brian  Babineau  ………………



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