2010 NBA Finals: When There's No Team To Root For, You Root for Greatness

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IJune 15, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the first period while taking on the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 15, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  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)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As I turn on Game Six of the NBA Finals, I know one thing: I don't want either team to win.

Unlike most people, I never wanted a Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers finals rematch that had all the hoopla because of the battles in the '80s.  I would much rather see the underdog versus the winner on paper in the NBA Finals, so then I would at least have a team I'd want to root for.  

Instead I'm stuck wavering back in forth in my mind as to who I'd rather see win another ring.

I hate the Lakers.

If you're not from L.A.or should I say, if you're not from L.A. and superficialthen how can you be a fan of this team?  It's been in the finals three straight years, has the best coach in the leagueif not the best coach everand also has the best player in the league.  

The Lakers are the team that pulled off the greatest trade in NBA history by delivering Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for Kobe Bryant on draft night.  It makes you wonder if the Hornets would still be around in Charlotte if it wasn't for that move?

Shall we also forget the Big Ben-esque maneuver that Lakers pulled on the Memphis Grizzlies to acquire Pau Gasol?  I mean grabbing one of the best big man in the game for Aaron McKie, Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Marc Gasol, and first-round picks in the 2008 and 2010 NBA Drafts may not be a full on raping, but the Lakers definitely took the Grizzlies into a stall and forced them into it.

I hate the Celtics too.

Here's a team that was great, sucked for so many years, and then jumped back on the radar as one of the greatest NBA cities by pulling a New York Yankees and buying a championship.  

Okay, I know the Celtics didn't really buy a championship, because there's a salary cap and every team has the same advantage, but let’s be realistic here, they bought their championship.

This team is much different this year though.  The star studded trifecta of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen are finally showing their age and were basically no-chance contenders throughout the year.  I'll definitely give them credit for being able to show up in the playoffs, and finally harness all their talent together and make an unbelievable run that has a great chance of achieving their second championship in two years.

But did I mention I hate the Celtics?

I just hate watching this team because of the me-against-the-world attitude that the entire roster displays on a daily basis.  The screaming, the yelling, the taunting, the mean mugging.

Come on, Kevin Garnett.  Do you really think most NBA power forwards are scared of your skinny physique, fragile old body, and Beatlejuice-looking head?  

Paul Pierce is the biggest actor in the league since Vlade Divac, and Ray Allen thinks his place in NBA history is much better than it really is.  Now, we have to add in the antics of Rasheed Wallace to the mix this year and the new DreamWorks duo of Nate Robinson and Glen Davis, who now think they could be starters on an NBA team.  

The cast of the Celtics is a big turn-off in my book.

So, since I don't like either team, who do I root for?  I root for greatness.

I've thought about this for awhile, and I finally figured out who I am going to root for.  Everybody wants to see a great series; if you're not a fan of either team, then of course the best scenario is to see a Game Seven that comes down to the buzzer, but there's still a problem with that thought process.  

Even if you see a great game, there's still something missing when you see that last shot go in or rim out.

I said I'm rooting for greatness, which means I'm rooting for the Los Angeles Lakers.  Tough decision to make, but one I am fully set on.  We love seeing greatness in all shapes and forms, and the Lakers not only have the greatest player in the game, but the greatest coach as well.

I have to root for Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant.  

I could go through all the stats for both of them to show how remarkable they are, but all I want to see is Phil get his 11th ring and Kobe get his fifthboth of them getting one step closer to be recognized as the greatest ever in the game as coach and player.  

Phil may already be there with his 10 rings overall, but he's still near enough to Red Auerbach and his eight consecutive championships and nine overall to want to keep on achieving and set an unattainable mark.

Kobe has a chance to enter the MJ realm.  The MJ realm is the league of extraordinary gentlemen that currently only consists of one man, Michael Jordan.  It's a place that in the back of our mind we don't really want anyone else to reach, but also a little part of us wants someone to get in the discussion.  

Kobe has a chance to do that.  A championship this year would give Kobe five overall rings with another back-to-back championship run on his resume and would put him one ring away from MJ.  

The comeback from 3-2 series and the need to win two straight at home would take his legacy to the next level, and the talk of any other player as the greatest in the league right now would diminish immediately.

It's what I want to see.  It's a decision that I hate to make, but I know it's the right one.