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Lakers emphasize green not their color

06.20.10 at 11:20 pm ET
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After defeating the Celtics to win the 2010 NBA championship, Kobe Bryant admitted he had downplayed the significance of beating the Lakers’€™ storied rival during the finals series.

‘€œI was just lying to you guys,’€ he said after Game 7. ‘€œWhen you’re in the moment you have to suppress that because if you get caught up in the hype of it all, you don’t really play your best basketball.’€

Now that Bryant and the Lakers have won the trophy, there is no hiding his feelings.

The Lakers recently appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in celebration of their victory. When asked if he talks to or is friendly with any of the Celtics, Bryant quickly replied: ‘€œNo.’€

Derek Fisher added, ‘€œIt’€™s just different. If you’€™re a Laker, it’€™s really hard to like anything green. Period.’€

See the clip below at the 2:04 mark.

Read More: Celtics, Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lakers

A look back: Bol at the Boston Garden

06.19.10 at 6:41 pm ET
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On Saturday, 7-foot-7 former center Manute Bol died at the age of 47. Bol played in the NBA from 1985 to 1995 for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat. He faced the Celtics 26 times during his career, averaging 2.7 points and 4.6 rebounds against the C’s.

See Bol in action at the Boston Garden back in 1988:

Read More: Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Manute Bol, Miami Heat

Aftermath of finals roundup

06.18.10 at 4:01 pm ET
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After the final buzzer sounded on Thursday night’€™s Game 7, the Celtics‘€™ improbable run at banner 18 ended as Kobe Bryant and the Lakers repeated to win their second consecutive title. Despite the NBA season coming to an end, storylines after the game flowed like the streamers and confetti in the Staples Center. Here’€™s a roundup of what national and local writers are saying after the finale of a classic series.

‘€“ Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column on this being Kobe Bryant’€™s most difficult title out of his five championships. After struggling in Game 7 and nearly shooting the Lakers out of the game, Bryant began to trust his teammates, especially in the fourth quarter, which brought him another ring.

‘€“ With his fifth ring, Bryant surpasses Magic Johnson as the greatest Laker of all time, writes Chris Broussard of ESPN. Magic, who has also won five championships, always won with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whereas Bryant has done it with and without Shaquille O’€™Neal, contends Broussard. Against other Lakers greats such as Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, Bryant outranks them with his handful of rings.

‘€“ Though he coached a team to a championship for the 11th time in his career, Phil Jackson‘€™s future is uncertain. T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times writes that Jackson has no idea where or he’€™ll be next year and that his salary might be too rich for the Lakers.

‘€“ Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe feels that Pau Gasol and not Kobe Bryant is the true MVP of the finals. Ryan writes that Gasol was the real closer with his offensive rebound and basket in the final two minutes to cap off his 19-point, 18-rebound effort. While Bryant had some great performances in the series, it was Gasol who was the most consistent Laker.

‘€“ On the Boston side, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports views a lot of changes on the way for the Celtics. The most uncertainty is with the decision coach Doc Rivers will have to make on whether or not to return. The 48-year-old could depart the Celtics to spend more time with his family in Orlando and watch his sons play basketball.

‘€“ Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston writes that despite being an unrestricted free agent this summer, Ray Allen still wants to return to the Celtics. The question will be how much is Boston willing to pay and will Allen take a discount to stick with a very close group? Forsberg feels that at 35, Allen is getting up in age and likely won’€™t see a contract more than two years.

‘€“ The most surprising piece of information that came out after Game 7 was the news that Rasheed Wallace could retire after only one year with the Celtics. Gary Dzen and Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe write that after the loss, Rivers revealed that Wallace might walk away from the game. Wallace struggled to get through Thursday night after experiencing cramps and strains as he filled in for the injured Kendrick Perkins at center. The 35-year-old has played in three finals and made four All-Star teams.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers,

Big Baby: Game 7 makes for long summer

06.18.10 at 7:50 am ET
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LOS ANGELES — Was the tank on empty? It was the same question asked after Game 7 against Orlando in 2009. And it’s a question that could linger with the Celtics all summer long after dropping the seventh and decisive game to the Lakers Thursday night at Staples Center.

The Celtics had built leads of 23-14 after one quarter, 40-34 at halftime and 57-53 going into the final period.

But the Celtics were outscored 30-22. And it’s the 30 points that most Celtics pointed to afterward as the real reason for the loss.

“Close is not enough,” summed up Glen Davis. “You’ve got to win it. This is the way it is. Someone else has to lose and it sucks. It’s how you look at it. It’s how you bounce back. I don’t know what’s going on with who’s coming back [next season]. But I’ll be ready when training camp comes around.”

Davis did acknowledge the play of one Laker in particular – Ron Artest. The forward burned the Celtics in Game 7 for 20 points, including a dagger of a 3 with just over a minute left that put the Lakers up six. He also ripped the ball from Davis’ own hands on a loose ball rebound with just under two minutes remaining and the Celtics down one possession.

“Artest was the difference in the game,” Davis said. “He wanted it. He took it from us.”

In the end, like everyone else in green, the next three months could be very difficult to stomach.

“It’s going to be a a long summer because of this. But, like I said, somebody has to lose and you have to take the approach in a positive way and look forward to next year.”

Read More: Celtics, Game 7, Glen Davis, Lakers

TA: Hard to come to grips

06.18.10 at 7:24 am ET
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LOS ANGELES — No one took Thursday night’s loss harder than Tony Allen.

He was walking out of the Celtics dressing room and took a right-hand turn before bravely making a U-turn and agreeing to meet with reporters outside. He was the first Celtic player to try and express what had just happened.

Clearly heart-broken, he tried to come to grips with losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals, 83-79, as the Celtics fell short in their bid to win title No. 18. The Lakers won their 16th by rallying in the fourth quarter, outscoring Boston, 30-22.

“Definitely a tough one to swallow,” Allen began. “What I am going to say is I love this group of guys. It’s just a really emotional time for me. Just a tough one to swallow right here.”

Allen admitted that what makes this particularly hard to deal with is the uncertainty regarding veterans like Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace and head coach Doc Rivers.

“I definitely want to see this group back but who knows,” Allen continued. “It’s not that surprising. We fought hard to get here it’s just a real unfortunate Game 7 for us to lose.

“I definitely want to see Doc back. I don’t know. It’s tough right now.”

With those words, Allen became choked up and was excused by the group of reporters.

Read More: Celtics, Game 7, Lakers, NBA Finals

Celtics video: C’s react to loss

06.18.10 at 7:12 am ET
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LOS ANGELES — Celtics players speak to the media following the team’s Game 7 loss to the Lakers in the NBA finals.

Read More: Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

Ray: ‘One of the hardest feelings of my lifetime’

06.18.10 at 2:40 am ET
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LOS ANGELES — Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen called the Game 7 loss to the Lakers Thursday night “one of the hardest feelings” of his life after the Lakers rallied for an 83-79 win over the Celtics at Staples Center, the first time in five tries the Lakers have beaten Boston in a Game 7.

Allen, in what could be his final game as a Celtic, finished with 13 points on 3-for-14 shooting.

“It’s disappointing,” Allen began. “This is probably one of the hardest feelings I’ve felt in my lifetime. We’re scratching and clawing, trying to do everything we could to pull this one out. That’s probably what hurt the most – just having the opportunity to win down the stretch. It didn’t go our way.”

And the mood in the locker room after what could be the final game together for these particular group of Celtics?

“Tears, just a lot of tears,” Allen said.

And would he return?

“It’s hard to think about playing,” he said. “You’ve got guys that are veteran players that come in and do their job every night. You know, we’re here for a reason. It’s tough to see it end this way.

“I’m extremely proud,” Allen continued. “We’re a group of guys that stay within ourselves and do what we’re capable of. We fought the good fight all the time. When people didn’t believe in us, we stayed true to ourselves and made sure we came in and did our jobs every day. We don’t win this final game, but we still have a lot to hold our heads high for.”

Read More: Celtics, Game 7, Lakers, NBA Finals
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