By Craig Kwasniewski
Just a very brief prediction on the NBA Finals... Lakers in 6.
But here are some other things I hope to see:
-The real hedgehog sitting courtside for the game. Just how cool would it be when the Lakers do that "Hollywood Nights" celeb montage and we see a split screen of Stan Van Gundy and Ron Jeremy!
-Kobe winning the first "Bill Russell Memorial" Finals MVP award and temporarily silencing his critics with an NBA title. I say temporarily because, let's be honest, media members outside of LA can't wait to start the LeBron era and will continue to belittle Kobe's efforts (6 NBA Finals appearance, 4 NBA Titles, 3 All Star MVP's, one league MVP.... etc, etc, etc). Yet somehow despite all those accolades, we kept hearing how LeBron has bypassed Kobe like somehow Kobe has turned into Washington Wizards Jordan. Kobe's gonna be around for awhile folks. He's too smart and too much in tune with his body to see the type of production drop-off as we've seen with Duncan and Garnett.
And by the way, can we stop naming NBA awards after dead Boston Celtics players? Not for nothing but I believe there are 29 other teams in the league.
-Phil Jackson passing angry Red Auerbach in NBA titles. Red has said that Phil never built a team from the ground up, but Red never had to compete for NBA titles with 29 other teams. Red never had to deal with the NBA draft. Red never had to deal with salary caps, player entourages, media scrutiny.... basically the modern NBA. Can a Red Auerbach deal with the likes of Dennis Rodman or the Kobe/Shaq feud and get a combined 6 NBA titles out of them? Phil getting his 10th NBA title ends all of that discussion.
-The beginning of the Dwight Howard era! I know he's been around for awhile but I'm giddy about him taking his game to the next level for the next 10 years. People gasp as the prospect of LeBron's peak years, well Dwight hasn't even started his near peak years. This guy will DOMINATE the east for a long time, and we'll start to see teams adjust their rosters to counter him much like the NBA did when Shaq was at his peak.