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12:45 AM EST: Final thoughts: Amazing Finals game. Despite its sloppiness, lack of scoring, and choppiness, I would place this among the pantheon of all-time great NBA Finals. Officials allowed the players to play, coaches to coach, and fans to be fans. An overall great experience and I'm happy to have shared it with you. Congratulations, your 2010 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
12:41 AM EST: Kobe on his legacy: "Now I can have dinner with Magic."
12:39 AM EST: Kobe on why the 2010 championship meant the most: "IT was the toughest."
12:38 AM EST: Kobe: "I was exhausted." Saw that during the game, but shocked he actually admitted it.
12:37 AM EST: Kobe: "I still do not know how we won this game."
12:36 AM EST: Thought Phil was gracious in victory.
12:36 AM EST: First thought for Phil's press conference: "Look at that ridiculous crease in his hat."
12:33 AM EST: With all of the uncertainty this off-season, could the Lakers actually three-peat without any changes?
12:32 AM EST: Still think Pau should have won MVP. His Game Six and Seven performances were great outside of free-throws.
12:30 AM EST: @Matthew You have posted two of the most insane comments in the history of Bleacher Report tonight. You are the definition of an internet "troll".
12:27 AM EST: A couple of thoughts: That final ball shouldn't have been in Rondo's hands. Ray Allen's legacy is irreparably damaged. Doc Rivers is retiring. Thoughts?
12:21 AM EST: Love how Magic just accepted the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the Lakers, then the first words out of his mouth for ESPN were, "You gotta hand it to the Boston Celtics." Come on, Magic. You're great, but don't try to act objective.
12:18 AM EST: Overall I feel Doc was respectful. A little sour grapes when talking about Perkins, but considering his team blew a large lead to lose an NBA championship it's understandable.
12:16 AM EST: Doc to team on Perkins' Absence: "You guys still haven't had a chance to truly defend your title yet." Sour grapes there.
12:14 AM EST: Doc has been extremely respectful. Acknowledges how much rebounds played a factor in Lakers victory.
12:14 AM EST: Sticking around through press conferences, so stay tuned.
12:11 AM EST: Funniest subplot: Adam Morrison has two NBA championship rings now.
12:09 AM EST: Booing Bill Russell is unbelievably disrespectful. Thought Lakers fans had more class than that.
12:07 AM EST: Didn't like the last poll, one last one: Where do these Finals rank among the greatest ever?
12:05 AM EST: Nope, Magic. Gotta love how he worked the Finals for ABC. Here's for staying neutral...oh wait...
12:04 AM EST: Favorite post-game question: Will Jerry Buss' extremely awkward son Joey be accepting the trophy this year?
12:01 AM EST: "And the new single is coming soon" - Ron Artest's words after winning his first NBA championsip. I love this guy.
11:57 PM EST: Going to stay on through the awards cermonies and press conferences. New poll: Does Ron Artest's performance redeem him for the Malace at the Palace?
11:56 PM EST: Horrible performance or not, Kobe has five titles. Makes him fifth on my All-Time greatest player list.
11:55 PM EST: Adam Morrison! Whole room here erupts in vicious laughter.
11:54 PM EST: Rondo miss! Lakers are NBA Champions! What a hell of a game. Both teams laid it all on the line.
11:53 PM EST: Of course Sasha hits both of them perfectly. In a night where Rasheed and Artest are the two best players on the court, Sasha has to hit the clutch free throws to make it a two possession game.
11:53 PM EST: Friend Joel (Lakers fan): "Why is he in the game?"
11:52 PM EST: Laker fans may murder Sasha on the court if he misses these free throws.
11:50 PM EST: Rondo for three! Both teams are laying it all on the line here. Amazing play. Rajon Rondo just stepped up to "go-to-guy" level. That shot was amazingly clutch.
11:48 PM EST: Idiot friend Todd is acting like Ev from the "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" after her team lost on "Fresh Meat". Hating on everything Lakers.
11:47 PM EST: "MVP" chant is a little more enthusiastic after this fourth quarter performance.
11:45 PM EST: Allen! This is unbelievable. My heart is pounding out of my chest. Amazing last two minutes.
11:45 PM EST: Artest! Then he pulls a Brad Miller.
11:44 PM EST: Rasheeed! Celtics fans, you always believed in him, right?
11:44 PM EST: Replay shows a possible up-and-down on Gasol Shot.
11:41 PM EST: Gasol with a huge shot. Might have put the game away.
11:41 PM EST: Lakers missed Gasol wide open there. Followed by another horrible offensive position for Celtics. Ball needs to be in Pierce or Allen's hands only.
11:40 PM EST: Terrible call there. That was a charge. Karma made Gasol miss that first free throw.
11:39 PM EST: Horrible offensive possession for Boston there. Game is slipping away.
11:38 PM EST: Two huge makes there. Say what you want about his FT% tonight but he's made them when they count.
11:37 PM EST: Huge free throws here for Gasol.
11:35 PM EST: Tough foul call there on Bryant. Didn't know he had his 1998 hops left in the tank. Would have brought the house down had he made it.
11:35 PM EST: Huge shot by Pierce there. Just two points in the fourth quarter there.
11:33 PM EST: Friend Todd makes a great point: Media is going to blow-up over Kobe's massive rebound total. Many of those have been uncontested, and considering the amount of shots missed, of course rebounds will be high. Lakers up six now. Huge sequence for the Celtics now.
11:31 PM EST: Question that keeps popping into my head: Will Phil have an XI hat ready if the Lakers win?
11:29 PM EST: Kobe!
11:28 PM EST: Lakers up for the first time in what feels like two months. (Lakers 66, Celtics 64)
11:26 PM EST: Kobe's legacy will be defined by the final minutes of this game. Either he is a choke artist or a champion. No in-between.
11:25 PM EST: Commercial break thought: The Warriors' "new" logo is fantastic. I love the trend of going back to retro jerseys.
11:23 PM EST: Another amazingly clutch Fisher moment. I can barely contain myself. Can a game be both horribly played and one of the best in NBA history? I think so.
11:22 PM EST: @Dave Couldn't agree more. Kobe has been just horrible tonight. Another two missed FT's from Gasol. More choking at the line for the Lakers.
11:21 PM EST: This is how basketball should be played. Game is physical as hell.
11:20 PM EST: Celtics up just one. Lakers can go up on this possession.
11:19 PM EST: @ Matthew That is the most ridiculous comment ever posted in the history of Bleacher Report.
11:17 PM EST: Amazing make-up shot from Allen. Then, Artest takes a horrible shot after me complimenting him.
11:14 PM EST: Terrible foul on Ray Ray there. Inexcusable. Kobe is great at drawing those fouls. Allen should know that. "MVP" chant was an absolute joke, though. Artest has kept them in the game for the first three quarters. (Celtics up one, 8:30 left in NBA Finals)
11:13 PM EST: By the way, it would only be fitting if this game went to overtime. Would put this Finals in the pantheon of greatest ever.
11:11 PM EST: Love the officiating tonight. Letting the players decide the championship. Fantastic job. (Celtics 59, Lakers 55, 9:00 left in NBA Finals)
11:10 PM EST: My answer to MVP question: Pierce if Celtics win, Gasol if Lakers win.
11:08 PM EST: MJ's son is ripping on Kobe via Twitter. And on cue, Kobe turns the ball over. Just a horrible performance.
11:08 PM EST: New poll: Who is the MVP?
11:05 PM EST: Huge and-one for Gasol. Missed free throw. Followed by an incredibly sloppy turnover for Boston. You can't ask for a better Game Seven than this.
11:03 PM EST: Predictions for the fourth quarter: 15 points for Kobe, 10 points for Ray Allen, Lakers win by three.
11:00 PM EST: Great play by Tony Allen on the in-bounds pass. Had L.A. hit a shot to end the quarter, they would have had all of the momentum heading into the fourth.
10:58 PM EST: Fisher coming back. Huge coup for L.A. Big run for the Lakers. And Scalibrine again!!! He is the new great white hope. (Celtics 57, Lakers 53, 2.7 seconds left in third quarter)
10:56 PM EST: Ron Artest is earning his purple and gold stripes tonight. He's single-handedly keeping the Lakers in the game.
10:55 PM EST: Fisher leaves with apparent sprained ankle. Huge if Farmar has to play clutch fourth quarter minutes.
10:54 PM EST: Possible game-saving block by Gasol. Then goes to the line on the other end. (Celtics 56, Lakers 51, 2:37 left in third quarter)
10:53 PM EST: Great Odom transition offense followed by another Rasheed post-move. Role players are deciding tonight's game.
10:52 PM EST: Horrible Kobe shot.
10:51 PM EST: Lack of hustle led to that Pierce three. Great observation by JVG. Still have no idea why he's in the booth instead of coaching.
10:48 PM EST: Mark Jackson: "We have ourselves a Game Seven, folks." Thank you for your insightful analysis, Mark Jackson.
10:47 PM EST: One of the ugliest successful fastbreaks in NBA Finals history there. All that matters is they got the two points. Lakers within six.
10:46 PM EST: Pau Gasol is the most offensively talented big-man in the NBA today. You cannot convince me otherwise.
10:44 PM EST: Most important five minute stretch of Kobe Bryant's career here. On cue, he hits a jumper. Lakers within ten again.
10:43 PM EST: Other friend Todd (idiot) is goading Joel right now. Hilarious.
10:42 PM EST: Friend Joel (die-hard Lakers fan) is dejected right now. Looks like I did after the 2004 World Series.
10:40 PM EST: Mike Breen: "Another board for Rasheed Wallace." -- he's been great tonight.
10:39 PM EST: Via Twitter: Kobe is looking like Vince Carter right now -- could not agree more. The word choke is really coming to my mind right now.
10:38 PM EST: I don't think I'll ever get over loving the E*Trade baby commercials. Fantastic.
10:36 PM EST: Commercial break. Energy is completely sucked out of the Staples Center. Lakers need it to be within five by the end of the third. (Celtics 47, Lakers 36)
10:34 PM EST: Ball-hoggish shot by Kobe there. And-one for Garnett. Big period in the game for Lakers. (Celtics 45, Lakers 36, 10:10 left in third quarter)
10:33 PM EST: Great shot by Garnett. It didn't count, but you can bet it's on "Sportscenter" Top Ten Plays.
10:32 PM EST: Second half begins. Here we go again.
10:31 PM EST: Thoughts on Kings-Sixers trade: Ridiculous fleecing in favor of Sacramento. Kings get rebounds, blocks, toughness, and an expiring contract. Sixers get a soft center and Nocioni. I like Nocioni, but there's a reason he wears out his welcome quickly.
10:27 PM EST: Not to be too graphic, but room talk has shifted as to methods for giving people pink eye. Sorry about all the off-topic posts, but it's half-time.
10:24 PM EST: Couldn't have said it better than Michael Wilbon just did regarding the ceiling of Kobe and LeBron among the all-time NBA greats.
10:21 PM EST: Missed all of USA-England last Saturday. I had never been more disappointed to miss a sporting event. Can't wait for tomorrow. A must-win game.
10:19 PM EST: Friend here brought his fourteen year old brother here. Puberty is high comedy. Can't stop laughing right now.
10:18 PM EST: @Mai - Agreed. I think David Stern would have had a coronary right in the stands had an actual fight broke out.
10:16 PM EST: Fifteen offensive boards for the Lakers. Absolutely unreal that they're not ahead right now. The team that has won the rebounding battle has won every game. Could tonight be the exception to the rule?
10:13 PM EST: New halftime poll: Kobe over/under 30 shots taken tonight?
10:10 PM EST: Halftime - Celtics 40, Lakers 34. Kobe is 3-for-14 from the field. Legacy is not looking so good right now.
10:10 PM EST: And....he's gone.
10:09 PM EST: Scalibrine sighting! Every white man watching this game just did a giant fist pump.
10:08 PM EST: @P. - You cannot say anything negative about Artest or Rasheed tonight. Both have been fantastic.
10:07 PM EST: Horrible overreaction to an obvious foul there. And Boston fans wonder why their team is hated.
10:06 PM EST: Room conversation now about how Artest came on Kimmel in nothing but boxer shorts.
10:05 PM EST: Odds on Artest-Pierce scuffle leading to a double technical were so great Vegas wouldn't even put it on the board.
10:03 PM EST: The entire Staples Center holds their breath every time Shannon Brown has the ball. And Rasheed's play tonight only highlights his awful play during the regular season. (Celtics 38, Lakers 31, 1:30 left in second quarter)
10:03 PM EST: Not going to lie, Jeff Van Gundy is being a little creepy right now. He could be your next head coach, Lakers fans.
9:59 PM EST: So much for letting them play. Horrible call on Fisher.
9:57 PM EST: The intensity of this game is unreal. Incredibly sloppy, but both teams are laying it all out on the court.
9:56 PM EST: The look Kobe gave Artest after that airball was priceless. And on cue, he comes back, shoots the same shot, and hits it. Gotta love Artest.
9:55 PM EST: @Josh, glad you're enjoying the live blog.
9:54 PM EST: You have to love the tape delay so we can't hear the players swearing on the court. Because the 20 seconds of dead silence is much better.
9:52 PM EST: Adam Sandler should have stopped after "Big Daddy".
9:52 PM EST: @Jay - Pace benefits neither team really. Coming out of the timeout is huge though for Boston. L.A. has all the momentum.
9:50 PM EST: Commercial break. Tied at 25.
9:49 PM EST: Well, so much for Ray Allen's free agent stock.
9:47 PM EST: Another Artest offensive board. The Lakers are all over the place right now. It's like there are six men on the court. If they keep hustling like this, there's no way Boston can win.
9:45 PM EST: Gasol lay in followed by a clutch Artest steal. Followed by another Celtics turnover. Garnett almost killed Jack...LA riots times a billion if that happened. This crowd is unreal now. Tie game, 7:49 left in second quarter.
9:44 PM EST: Every Celtics fan just threw up their hands disgustedly at that Rasheed three.
9:42 PM EST: I'm really excited to see "The Expendables". Not because it's going to be a good move (it's going to be awful), but because I miss Stone Cold Steve Austin. RIP the good WWE.
9:39 PM EST: Lamar Odom sighting. They need him to have a big game tonight. And Ron Artest with a great offensive possession. Huge sequence for the Lakers. (Celtics 23, Lakers 19, 10:35 left in second quarter)
9:38 PM EST: Couldn't agree more, Eric. This isn't doing so much for his legacy. But it's the beginning of the second quarter. Give him time. I have a feeling he's going to have another big third quarter.
9:34 PM EST: Beginning of the second quarter is huge for L.A. If Kobe goes into ball-hog mode, this could easily become a 15-point game.
9:33 PM EST: Rough First Quarter for the Lakers: Celtics 23, Lakers 14 (End of First Quarter)
9:32 PM EST: Now it's to "Liar Liar", not to be too graphic but it involves a dream in which the quote, "I've had better" is used.
9:30 PM EST: Talk at my friend's place has shifted from the game to 50 Cent's massive weight loss. "He looks like he's from a Sally Struthers country."
9:28 PM EST: Big Baby always comes up huge in big spots. He's the type of player you hate to play against but love to play with. He's the fat American version of Sasha.
9:27 PM EST: Lakers need to get it together at the line. These are valuable points they're leaving off the scoreboard. (Celtics 17, Lakers 14, 2:27 left in First Quarter)
9:25 PM EST: Sorry, ABC, but "Scoundrels" looks awful.
9:23 PM EST: I would hate to be Perkins tonight. Watching Game Seven from the sidelines. Just awful.
9:21 PM EST: 2004 Kevin Garnett showed up on that block. And that alley-oop. Beautiful to watch.
9:20 PM EST: Jesus Shuttlesworth sighting. He really needs to step it up tonight.
9:19 PM EST: @Mai - Thanks, glad you're enjoying it. I'm really liking the pace so far. Lakers are outhustling the Celtics, though. And Kobe is getting teammates involved. Great sign for the Lakers.
9:15 PM EST: First commercial break. Celtics 10 -Lakers 9, 5:55 left in First Quarter
9:14 PM EST: @Adam - Thanks! Glad to have you on board as head of the NBA.
9:13 PM EST: Rondo! Love watching him play.
9:13 PM EST: I like letting them play, but that was ridiculous. Kobe was hacked on that sequence.
9:11 PM EST: (Celtics 7-6, 8:30 Q1) Lakers looking much hungrier than Celtics so far. All over the offensive and defensive boards. The only Celtics player that doesn't look tight is Rasheed.
9:10 PM EST: Letting them play early. Love the pace of this game. Love it. And there's Sheed in the paint. If he scores 15 points, the Celtics are NBA champions.
9:09 PM EST: And there's Fisher with another clutch play. First field goal is huge.
9:08 PM EST: Energy in this crowd is unreal. I don't know if I have ever heard a louder beginning to the game. And there's Artest with a three. Notice how quiet it got.
9:05 PM EST: @badcoachsociety (via twitter) - MVP is decided tonight. Whoever has the best game for the winning team wins MVP
9:02 PM EST: @Ray - Under if the Lakers are going to win tonight. But I'll put it up as a poll question for everyone.
8:59 PM EST: I'm not going to lie, the fan in me is coming out here. I'm absolutely giddy about this game.
8:57 PM EST: Say what you want about the Lakers, but this pre-game introduction is fantastic.
8:54 PM EST: Christina Aguilera for the national athem again. She has always been my biggest celebrity crush ever since the "Genie in a Bottle" days. Christina over Britney any day.
8:50 PM EST: @P. - How can you possibly enjoy that song? That was like the ultimate cop-out choice. I mean how about Drake, "Over"? It's a mainstream hip-hop choice and current. NBA and ABC dropped the ball there.
8:46 PM EST: Derek Fisher is a coach in waiting. I respect him more every time I hear him speak
8:44 PM EST: I'm with four of my best friends for tonight. All stupid comments made tonight will be repeated for a national audience. I told them that. Be aware.
8:38 PM EST: @Antwan - There are two keys to this game in my eyes and both are members of the Celtics: Rasheed Wallace and Rajon Rondo. With Perkins out, Rasheed is going to need to play inside the paint instead of taking another six three's like in Game Six. And Rondo needs to hit a jumper. The Lakers are completely disrespecting him at this point, and if he's really among the NBA's best point guards, he will step it up with a big Game Seven.
8:34 PM EST: @Jay W. If you put a gun to my head and make me pick, I'm taking the Lakers. But honestly, I think it can go either way.
8:31 PM EST: Really, NBA? "It Ends Tonight" by the All-American Rejects? Really?
8:30 PM EST: Okay, we're up and running. I have really enjoyed the "Jimmy Kimmel Game Night" series. I continue to think Kimmel is vastly underrated. If I'm drafting late-night hosts, I probably take him over everyone except Conan.
So... here were are: Game Seven of the NBA Finals.
Regardless of your rooting and/or betting interests tonight, one thing is for certain: legacies can and will be cemented tonight.
If Kobe wins his fifth title tonight in comeback fashion, even Magic Johnson says that makes Bryant the greatest Laker of all-time. In addition, if the Lakers win, we must begin to look at Pau Gasol among the pantheon of all-time great sidekicks in NBA history.
However, one can argue that Boston has much more on the line tonight than L.A. Even the most optimistic Celtics fan acknowledges that 2010 is probably this nucleus' last championship run.
And the crazy thing is, if this nucleus wins another NBA title, it places them only one behind Bird's Celtics. Not that I'm comparing one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history to a thrown-together group of hungry former superstars or anything.
Despite all of that, the greatest component of tonight's game isn't the effect on Kobe's legacy, Pau's legacy, or the Big Three's legacy.
No, the greatest component of tonight's game is that everything matters. Every shot, rebound, foul call, celebrity in the stands, Derek Fisher flop, and gallon of drool falling out of Big Baby's mouth.
Every tiny intricate detail about tonight could be the difference between a championship and second place.
And, in the immortal words of Reese Bobby, "If you're not first, you're last ."
Because of that, nothing about how we got here matters.
The overbearing officials who have sucked the life out of four of the six games have a clean slate. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom's five game journey on the Yellow Brick Road to find their heart is insignificant. And, because there has been no stand-out MVP so far, the MVP will be by whoever has the best performance tonight.
For that reason, and because championship-deciding Game Seven's almost never happen, I feel it's only appropriate that I live-blog the event.
Any questions, comments, and complaints are welcomed . Especially during the lull at halftime, questions will help us keep this entertaining. Non-basketball related questions will also be accepted as well.
Because of the unfiltered nature of live-blogging, I will probably say something inappropriate on my own, so try to keep all questions semi-appropriate.
With that said, let's make this as fun as possible and hope for a great game!
For anyone already following, I will begin at exactly 8:30 ET. Thanks!