Orlando Appropriately Acting "Mickey Mouse" for NBA Finals

Donald FincherAnalyst IJune 10, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 09:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket past Mickael Pietrus #20 of the Orlando Magic in Game Three of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 9, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

I will admit up front three things in writing this article.  First, I am not a follower of the NBA for many reasons.  Secondly, I live in Orlando.  Finally, I'm pulling for L.A.  

This originally started out as nothing against the Orlando team, but because the Lakers have already won two games, the series (and with it the NBA season) would be over quicker if they were to keep winning.

So I caught a score on ESPN that showed me that the Lakers had the chance to win Game Three.  I then tuned it to the end of the game to pull for them so it could be over sooner. It's what happened as the game was winding down that made me now want to root for them until the end.

I don't have a son but I had put my daughter in several sports as she was growing up, and one of the lessons I taught her was not to celebrate when she scores.  When you practice hard, you should expect to score.  If you don't, why are you even playing?

And the phrase that we have taught her, and I'm sure most of you will have heard this, is to "act like you've been there before."

Well, Orlando didn't do that at all.  When Kobe made the shot that pulled the Lakers within two points but left only .02 seconds on the clock, someone in the Magic organization had already released confetti, which landed all over the floor.

My immediate thought was that if it was going to take everyone 15 minutes to clear the arena, there was plenty of time to wait, say 20 seconds, to ensure that the game really was over when he pulled the lever.

But to dwell on the first thought that comes to mind misses the bigger picture.  This was Game 3. The Magic are still behind a game.  Yet, in their unprofessionalism, releasing confetti as if they've just won the series was ridiculous and made me embarrassed to be from here.

Do you mean to tell me that the Orlando Magic are so happy to win a game off these guys that they're popping the corks and floating the streamers?  If I were a fan, that sure wouldn't instill any kind of confidence in me.

So, it seems rather fitting that the home of Mickey Mouse and the home of the Magic just so happen to be the same place.  Sadly, this is just not a sports town.