As the confetti falls down on the Toyota Center floor and the crowd screaming, it ended a dramatic 2009 NBA Finals and the 3rd championship is handed to the Rockets since 1995. Rockets Tracy McGrady could not hold in his emotions as he was hysterically crying in the sidelines.
Tracy McGrady, who has not made it past the first round ever in his career before this season, did more than win a championship. He also receives the NBA Finals MVP Award, the best player achievement in the playoffs. McGrady averaged 18.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, and averaged a high 49 percent from the field in the NBA Finals.
“This trophy is for all the supporters and for all the people who doubted us all season long,” Yao Ming said after the game, following a loud locker room celebration in which the Rockets celebrated with $300 champagnes in their locker room.
“I knew as soon as I was traded here, that we were gonna have a good chance on being the champions. I had no doubt on myself or this team,” Ron Artest said.
Ron Artest was arguably the best defensive player of the 2009 playoffs. He held Celtics Paul Pierce to a low 12.3 points per game in the NBA Finals. Pierce averaged 22.6 points per game before the NBA Finals.
Known mostly for his defensive ability, Artest's hard work and workouts with David Macha, Rockets Strength and Conditioning Coach paid off in the Finals, as Artest averaged 14.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG in the NBA Finals.
Rockets’ coach Rick Adelman, who finished with a 51-31 record in the regular season said, "Every single one of our players played their hearts out every single night and this is their reward."
Yao Ming was just as ecstatic as any player on the Rockets. "I'm very happy right now. Before the season started, McGrady and Artest came up to me saying, ‘this is our year’ and they were exactly right. I wanted to represent for my country in the playoffs this year and I feel like I did a good job," Yao Ming said. Ming averaged 16.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 1.8 BPG in the Finals.
“I told Tracy, Yao, Ron-Ron, Steve, Rafer, Scola, and all our guys that winning a championship is the greatest feeling in the world,” Brent Barry said. Barry was the only player in the Rockets’ team with a ring before the season started.
As the Rockets were presented with the Championship trophy by NBA Commissioner David Stern, it was a great moment for the Rockets’ franchise and their players. A fifth-seeded Rockets beating the best winning team in the regular season, the Celtics, in six games....can it get any better than that?
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