DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

3 posters

Go down

DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND Empty DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

Post by Sam Mon May 31, 2010 2:33 pm

Forty-one years seems like an eternity in many ways. In basketball years, it seems like May 5, 1969, was yesterday. Perhaps the illusion of a time warp may be attributed to the similarities in the scenario. An older team; an injury-riddled season; a fourth seed in its own division; no home advantage; underdogs; playing a team led by a great shooting guard and a tough, tough front line. The principal difference is that May 5, 1969, was the occasion of Game Seven, and this season's proceedings haven't started yet.

Every instant of that long-ago experience is so vividly fresh in one's mind that it's natural to sift through the events and wonder how many of them might be repeated.

This trip will be by charter and not a cramped commercial flight. But will it play out in much the same way? The shredding of newspapers like corn husks, with sports and business sections excised and the leftovers jammed out of sight. Games of Gin springing up without missing a beat from the previous trip. Reporters making the rounds and trying to squeeze little gems out of banal, well-practiced responses. Long bodies trying to find some way to stretch out and grab some sleep. Very little talking except for the Gin games.

Perhaps, after 41 years of technological and other advances, the flight will be different. Maybe the feature film will be entitled "Lakers on Parade" rather than "Bullitt." (Let any of those guys try to be as cool as Steve McQueen or have the vertical leap Steve's car had in that movie.) It's likely that, on a charter flight, the initial p.a. announcement won't wish the team "good luck against the Los Angeles......Warriors." Odds are there will be no guy named Siggy, sleeping soundly until the approach of any stewardess (now flight attendant), at which he instantly became upright.

One certain change is that the Airport Marina Hotel apparently doesn't exist any longer. Wherever they stay, it's sure to be a lot more posh than that place. Will the first order of business be to gather in the lobby and crowd around some poor guy named "Red," as he tries to manufacture hundreds of tickets out of his allotment of four per player? Will players be pleading for ducats to satisfy the modern day equivalents of people named Bill Cosby and Johnny Mathis?

Things can't have changed so much that the players will neglect haircuts, looking up friends, and congregating for the inevitable card games. But will there be a little radio announcer who was so nervous (far more so than the players) that he had three cigarettes working simultaneously during a bridge game?

Will their minds be riveted on the upcoming game as they take the limo to the Staples Center? Or will they casually be discussing the movie they'd seen on the plane? And just very occasionally displaying little telltale signs of tension among all the hilarity?

Surely the last practice before the big game will be far more intense and structured than the three-ring circus of long ago. Ring 1: guys in the rotation playing 2-on-2 games of "21." Ring 2: guys not in the rotation dribbling balls around the perimeter of the court. Ring 3: the center/coach of the team standing at mid-court, taking 45-footer after 45-footer, and cackling with laughter each time one happened to go in. The only possible greater insanity would have been for that "Red" character to don a long coat, blacken his eyebrows, slap on some glasses, light his stogie, and slouch around singing, "My Name is Captain Spalding," while his brother, Zang, played the harp in the background.

But, in the end, it's the game that matters, and here's hoping similarities will rule the day. When the Celtics come out that runway, the difference from the tone of that final practice should be shattering. Whatever prelude to the game has been played out in the locker room (whether reactions to some memo stupidly sent out by Lakers ownership or other motivating factors) should have transformed them completely. Their countenances should be gray with concentration. They should look neither left nor right, and their eyes should just bore holes in whatever they encounter. It should be physically frightening to observe!

And, above all, they should immediately dominate the game like a tsunami! The best way to win basketball games has not changed through the years: never give the opponent an even chance! Like the Fabulous Forum before it, the Staples Center is not a difficult place to win an away game. One theory is that the crowd is comprised of so many high rollers that they very understandably have much on their minds...and, if things start to go badly, it's easy for them to become distracted enough for the crowd energy to desert the building. Yes, the Lakers can definitely make comebacks; but punch that crowd in the belly early-on, and you've got an edge that doesn't disappear readily.

And so the reverie ends. This is not the past. We can write whatever we wish, but the games still have to be played and won. Yet the vivid imprints of long ago do not die easily. And a faded Forum program littered with triumphant Celtics autographs serves as an omnipresent reminder of greatness and how to solidify it.

Oh, and just one more thing. It's almost axiomatic that balloons will not be allowed in the arena. (Heh heh)

GO CELTICS....THEN, NOW AND ALWAYS!

Sam
Sam
Sam
Admin

Posts : 22663
Join date : 2009-10-10

https://samcelt.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND Empty Re: DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

Post by babyskyhook Mon May 31, 2010 3:15 pm

Sam wrote:

One certain change is that the Airport Marina Hotel apparently doesn't exist any longer. Wherever they stay, it's sure to be a lot more posh than that place.


Sam-

I can't believe the Celts used to stay there. That place was such a dump. It was only good for one thing- hooking up with flight attendants from international airlines. Singapore Air, Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong), Air France, Alitalia and Quantas are a few of the ones I remember of the top of my head that used to put their people up there.

That place was a gold mine that I randomly discovered in the early '90's when I met a flight attendant on a flight and asked her if she wanted to have a drink in LA and she told me to call her at that hotel. When I went to pick her up to go out, I saw all of these women from all over the world in the bar and immediately knew something was up. I've always been a "United Colors of Benetton" kind of guy, so that hotel was on my radar for many years and good times thereafter.

Now that I'm thinking of it, I'm not surprised at all that the Cs stayed there. Razz



Sam wrote:
Like the Fabulous Forum before it, the Staples Center is not a difficult place to win an away game. One theory is that the crowd is comprised of so many high rollers that they very understandably have much on their minds...and, if things start to go badly, it's easy for them to become distracted enough for the crowd energy to desert the building. Yes, the Lakers can definitely make comebacks; but punch that crowd in the belly early-on, and you've got an edge that doesn't disappear readily.





I think the LA crowd is an easy stereotype, but I know everyone around me is a real fan with knowledge of the game and a lot of passion. It is true for a game in Feb on a Tues night vs the TWolves, it's tough to get the crowd really revved up unless the lakers are playing well, but for games that matter, the place gets loud- really loud. And in the Finals, and especially vs the Cs, it gets very, very loud.

That said, Staples is like any other arena- if the road team comes out and takes control of the game (and especially if it seems like the home team is lacking i effort) the place will go quiet as a tomb.

Boston Garden was mighty quiet during Game 3 of the Cavs series and people were streaming for the exits very early. Just like the Cleveland crowd sat in stunned silence for most of game 5 of that series. Same with the PHX crowd for most of game 6. I saw the same effect in Orlando last year when I went to game 5. Once the Lakers took control of the game in the 2nd quarter, the crowd was never a factor. So I think the LA crowd is an easy stereotype, but crowd dynamics are the same everywhere in the NBA.


LA has won 11 straight home playoff games and are 28-3 at Staples in their last 31 playoff games there, so I like the fact that they have HCA.

The Cs are obviously a fantastic road team, though, so this aspect of the series, like most others, will be the irresistible force colliding with the immoveable object. One more great subplot in what will be an epic struggle.
babyskyhook
babyskyhook

Posts : 949
Join date : 2009-10-22

Back to top Go down

DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND Empty Re: DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

Post by Sam Mon May 31, 2010 4:08 pm

BSH,

I'm sure there are many great Lakers fans, as evidenced by the three on this forum. I just feel more comfortable about the Celtics dealing with Lakers crowds than with the crowds in a number of other cities.

As for the Airport Marina, I guess the location near the airport and the Forum was a factor. Probably the price too. I know I had no reservation, yet I was able to get a room on the Celtics' floor, so maybe they rented rooms by the half hour. (lol) I do know it was a great place to hold a post-game, all-night party.

I'll never forget talking to a guy at the party and remarking on what a great job the Celtics had done. And he responded, "What's a Celtic?"

Sam
Sam
Sam
Admin

Posts : 22663
Join date : 2009-10-10

https://samcelt.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND Empty Re: DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

Post by babyskyhook Mon May 31, 2010 5:15 pm

Sam wrote:BSH,


I'll never forget talking to a guy at the party and remarking on what a great job the Celtics had done. And he responded, "What's a Celtic?"

Sam

cheers

Now that is hilarious. Only at the Airport Marina Hotel.

Good health to both teams, Sam, and may the best team win.
babyskyhook
babyskyhook

Posts : 949
Join date : 2009-10-22

Back to top Go down

DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND Empty Re: DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

Post by pete Mon May 31, 2010 6:00 pm

Bsky,

I wish you and Mustang were Celts fans, but the second best thing is that you are great guys, and well informed basketball fans.

Thanks so much for what you have given us here. It was incredible to have you on the Game On threads cheering us on and giving your insight. Based on getting to know you two, should we somehow loose, I will be comforted knowing at least two Laker Fans who really deserve & appreciate the win, while understanding the true magnitude of what your team has accomplished.


Pete
pete
pete

Posts : 2859
Join date : 2009-10-13

Back to top Go down

DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND Empty Re: DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

Post by babyskyhook Mon May 31, 2010 6:40 pm

pete wrote:Bsky,

I wish you and Mustang were Celts fans, but the second best thing is that you are great guys, and well informed basketball fans.

Thanks so much for what you have given us here. It was incredible to have you on the Game On threads cheering us on and giving your insight. Based on getting to know you two, should we somehow loose, I will be comforted knowing at least two Laker Fans who really deserve & appreciate the win, while understanding the true magnitude of what your team has accomplished.


Pete


Pete-

Thank you for the kind words. I feel exactly the same way about you guys and Rosie, and was going to post something to this effect. But I couldn't have said it any better than you did.

I had a great time cheering for the Cs with you guys vs the common enemy in Cleveland. It was really fun, and I was happy to see your boys make the media eat crow.

But I'm glad MG and I are Laker fans, because I know I've grown some as a person as a result of the extended interactions with you guys who are fans from the other side. I se the Cs (and their fans) in a whole different way than I used to.

And if it's the Lakers that somehow come up short again, I wouldn't be bitter about it as I was in '08. I'd be majorly disappointed, but not bitter, because I would at least take some consolation in the fact that there will be a lot of joy on this board, and I would be happy for you guys and Rosie.


No matter what happens in the Finals, I look forward to talking basketball with the group on this board for many years to come, no matter the relative fortunes of our teams at a given point in time.

Good health to both sides, and may the best team win.
babyskyhook
babyskyhook

Posts : 949
Join date : 2009-10-22

Back to top Go down

DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND Empty Re: DEJA VU: MEMORIES OF LA LA LAND

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum