One Final Take on the 2009 NBA Season

Tom DeRiggiContributor IIJune 18, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a play against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

As the Laker's gallantly hop, skip, and jump down Sunset Blvd. all the way to Figueroa St. to the Staples Center, I thought I'd take the time out to devour this past NBA season. I thought I'd come up with 10 things that we were going to remember about this season, whether they be good or bad. So as Kobe holds both trophy's up for the LA faithful, and Adam Morrison tries to take over the crown from Mark Madsen as the whitest-white guy in the NBA, I'll give you guys the 10 things that we should take from this past season.

1. Kobe Bryant finally wins the title without a man by the name of Shaquille O'Neal. Kobe finally gets the proverbial monkey off of his back, and wins his fourth title. Now 20 years from now, when you look back on this championship run, the media is going to say that Kobe had "no one" to help him. But in reality, he had more help then any of the Superstars he is being compared to; mainly Michael Jordan.

Michael had Scottie Pippen and role players. Jordan made Scottie better and vice-versa. But the role players that Michael had KNEW their roles and stuck to them. Never faltered, never wavered.

Kobe has the best, I repeat, THE BEST back-to-the-basket post player in the NBA right now, in Pau Gasol. Along with a freak of a basketball player, 6'11" Lamar Odom, who can play all five positions, a PG that just hits big shots constantly, as well as a budding star-role player (much like James Posey) in Trevor Ariza.

So we'll remember this year as the Kobe run in which he didn't "need" a lot of help, but in reality he had plenty.

2. Lebron James wins his first MVP but fails to get his team to the Finals, despite a top 15 all-time game winner. We will remember Lebron and the Cavs stumbling against the Orlando Magic, rather than remembering their stellar season in which they had the best record in the NBA. Lebron wins his first (of many) MVPs in 2009 but faces an extremely bad match up in the Magic. Lebron did all he could but he hasn't learned to completely trust his teammates yet. He averaged a 45-9-8 until the last game of the Magic series, but even that wasn't enough.

If I'm Lebron, I tell my publicist/manager/Nike Rep to get me on the phone with Michael Jordan. I ask him to tell me how he learned how to trust his teammates during the 1991 playoffs and how he ultimately won that championship, because the NBA NEEDS Lebron to be great. And you're only truly great if you win.

3. The three closest players to Jordan all fought for the MVP this season. Lebron James wound up winning it with Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade fighting right behind. Everyone was ready to crown Dwyane after the 2006 championship but that soon faded as he ran into injuries. But now he's back and I can't wait to watch him next season.

Kobe won last year, but I think he'll take the backseat on this one in exchange for the championship.

4. A trade that made two teams make a complete 180. Of course I'm talking about the Allen Iverson-Chauncey Billups trade. Detroit was a powerhouse in the East, while Denver couldn't get out of the first round. As soon as this trade happened both teams did a 180.

Detroit became an average low-seed Eastern Conference team, while Denver rose to the two seed and fought all the way to a Game Six in the Western Conference Finals.

Let's see what Denver does next year to improve.

5. We may be seeing the next great Point Guard in NBA History. Sure we have Chris Paul and Deron Williams who will probably be in this discussion as well, but after Derrick Rose's performance in the playoffs against the reigning champion Boston Celtics we have no reason to put a ceiling on this dude's potential. Rose scored 38 in his first playoff game and did not miss a free throw.

I'm giddy that the league has so many good young point guards. After all they're the key to a team's success. Can you tell I was a PG?

6. This is the year that the Tim Duncan-Era Spurs begin their decline. You can just see it in "Timmmayyyyy's!!" play. He is run down, and he just hit the 1000 game meter in the NBA which is never a good sign. Tony Parker was injured and Manu Ginobili is a free-agent in 2010 along with Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Dirk, Nash, Britney Spears, and Michael Jackson. (Seriously though, the 2010 FA list is out of this world.)

Say goodbye to the boring, basic, fundamental Spurs as they try to rebuild around TP.

7. Kevin Durant finally proves that he should have been the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft. Let me see: would you rather have 154 games played at 23 PPG (26 this past season), or 61 games played at nine PPG and seven RBG? I'll take the former. 'Nuff said.

8. Nike Basketball's hilarious MVPuppet commercials fail because Lebron doesn't make the finals. Could have truly been one of the best series of commercials ever if Lebron and Kobe made the finals. Nike would have had endless possibilities for ideas for commercials. But the Cavs fell apart and we shall never know.

9. The Kevin Garnett injury may have turned the entire fortune of the other playoff teams. First of all, if he's in the lane against the Magic, Boston wins in five or six. Then we have a Cle-Boston final. It would have definitely gone seven games; I'll take Cleveland in a Lebron game winner. But it would have been way more entertaining Eastern Finals.

Once again, what if?

10. And last (and probably least), we'll remember this season for the crazy Twitter sensation that has now taken over the NBA. It's so crazy let me give you the run down of athletes courtesy of www.hoopeduponline.com

Boston Celtics
Leon Powe - @LeonPowe
Paul Pierce - @PaulPierce34
Stephon Marbury - @StarburyMarbury

Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban - @Mark_Cuban / @mcuban

Indiana Pacers
Troy Murphy - @Troy_murphy
Danny Granger - @dgranger33

Los Angeles Clippers
Baron Davis - @Baron_Davis

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Los Angeles Lakers
Derek Fisher - @derekfisher
Kobe Bryant - @bryant24
Sasha Vujacic - @SashaVujacic
Lamar Odom - @RealLamarOdom

Milwaukee Bucks
Charlie Villanueva - @CV31
Andrew Bogut - @AndrewMBogut
Joe Alexander - @SeeJoeDunk

Minnesota Timberwolves
Brian Cardinal - @Cardinal_Brian
Mark Madsen - @madsen_mark
Mike Miller - @m33m
Randy Foye - @randyfoye

New Orleans Hornets
Chris Paul - @CCPP33
Tyson Chandler - @tysonchandler

New York Knicks
Nate Robinson - @nategreat
Quentin Richardson -@qrich
Wilson Chandler - @Will_Chandler

Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard - @dwight_howard

Phoenix Suns
Jason Richardson - @jrich23
Steve Nash - @the_real_nash
Shaquille O’Neal - @THE_REAL_SHAQ
Alvin Gentry - @AlvinGentry

Portland Trailblazers
Jerryd Bayless - @JBay4

Sacramento Kings
Donte Greene - @DonteGreene
Jason Thompson - @jtthekid
Rashad McCants - @DrManhattan1

San Antonio Spurs
Bruce Bowen - @Bowen12
Fabricio Oberto - @obricio7
Michael Finley - @Da_Finster

Toronto Raptors
Chris Bosh - @chrisbosh

Utah Jazz
Kyle Korver - @KyleKorver

See what I mean?

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