IT WAS A RELIEF to see that the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game 7 Thursday night. It was the Lakers' 16th NBA title (one fewer than the Celtics' record 17), and I think it marked the first time the Celtics lost a Game 7.
If the Lakers are playing anyone, it's stressful, but it's worse with the Celtics. I've said that the NBA is at its best when the Lakers and Celtics are good at the same time, and it's true. There are tons of people out there who don't care for either team, but there's no NBA rivalry to match it.
The history alone -- with everyone from George Mikan and Bob Cousy to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to Jerry West and John Havlicek to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson to Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett -- is astounding. I don't think it's hyperbole to call this a matchup for the ages.
There was a downside to the victory, though.
It's funny, but the Lakers have won 11 titles during my time as a fan (1969 to present), and I've enjoyed them. But I'd enjoy a Miami Dolphins or Baltimore Orioles championship more. It's been 36 years since the Dolphins won and 27 years since the O's did it. Too long.
The Dolphins could win -- you never know (the Saints did) -- but the Orioles sure aren't going to win anytime soon.