I rarely talk sports, but I am about to enter my own version of sports heaven.

The Lakers vs. Celtics Finals are sure to be a blast. As a long suffering Knicks fan — a bud had season tickets during the Ewing-Oakley-Starks era — I appreciate good bball, and this is sure to deliver that.

And somehow 4 years ago, we were on a cruise. We would come back to the room after too much sun booze and food, and Mrs. BP would nap, and I would watch World Cup Soccer. I became totally hooked. Since then, I have become totally enamored of World Cup, and look forward to a bunch of very delightful vegomatic time in front of the big screen . . .

Category: Sports

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

27 Responses to “Sports Heaven: Lakers/Celtics; World Cup”

  1. johnborchers says:

    The Belmont is this weekend too. It’s the last of a big horse races.

  2. Clay says:

    Just took a break from the Celtics/Lakers game. Didn’t think the Celtics would make it to the finals.
    Gotta pull for em. Have enjoyed watching them over the years since the 60′s. Played a little B-Ball myself in college.

  3. so much for: “Orlando roasting the C’s”

    great ex. of “Coaching Matters”

    w/that, “Black Mamba” on the Lakers, makes it a hard one pick..
    ~~
    these “the Ewing-Oakley-Starks era” were some awesome Knicks teams.

  4. louis says:

    Lakers in 6, Still can’t decide on World Cup winner.

  5. alfred e says:

    @BR: Is this about bball or soccer?

    Did World Cup Soccer once when it was in Chicago thanks to my son’s affiliation with Daimler-Benz. I played it in college, but compared to BBall it’s slow. Kind of like waiting for someone to give out or get hurt.

    I am a serious BBall fan. Well, my undergraduate college was UK. Go figure.

    I was seriously rootin for Phoenix and Nash as a lot were. Never bet against Phil. The Maestro. Or Riley, except his health is failing. I knew him as a Freshman. The women were lined up outside his room.

    But I spent my prime working years in the Chicago area. Phil is right where he was with Jordan. Only in LA and the owner’s daughter. Zenmeister. True. True. Strength. Jordan refused to lose.

    But the key to the entire team was “the worm” , Rodman. He got inside everyone’s head. With Phil’s help.

    I don’t follow the NBA all that much. Too many games are decided in the last 30 seconds, which can take an hour.

    College BB. Except it’s become a junior league. UK and Calipari will be in the top ten forever, and never win the big one. It takes time and experience and seasoning. UK fans will eventually learn that lesson thanks to coach K.

    Pitino and UK were perfect. Ego. And the rules. Got in the way. Guess there’s more than one decision Pitino would like to take back.

  6. alfred e says:

    OT: But where else to go.

    BP is proving they are incompetent. Yeah, right the cap is in place. And so?

    So just like last week BSO can show up wanting strut his wings and again prove himself to be BSO.

  7. Robert M says:

    No clue on Lakers/Celtics. I do expect it to go to seven.
    World cup trivia all you ever need to know; Whose motto is two wars one cup?

    England

  8. Chief Tomahawk says:

    BR: Time to upgrade to a Samsung 3D LED TV!!!

    From ESPN.com: “View the complete World Cup TV schedule, including select matches in 3D ” The World Cup will mark the rollout of 3D sports telecasts for ESPN.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/world-cup/coverage?addata=2010_wc_mul_ti_plt&cc=5901&ver=us

  9. WNL says:

    This year also boasts a fantastic Stanley Cup series. The games have been spectacular – very high energy and drama. Game 4 Friday night at 8pm Eastern.

  10. alfred e says:

    @wnl: I can remember being in Toronto on business in a bar (of course) when the final Stanley Cup game went into (??) over-times. It went into very early morning hours.

    What were we supposed to do?

  11. VennData says:

    Second the Stanley Cup comment, great hockey.

  12. patient renter says:

    I am almost losing sleep I’m so excited about the World Cup. Next Saturday, US vs. Enland!

  13. patient renter says:

    Or for those who don’t want to see Enland, England is also playing.

  14. beaufou says:

    patient renter:
    lol

    Favorites- Brazil and Spain
    Dark horse- Argentina if they don’t get too many yellows and reds.
    Winner- Germany

  15. I think soccer is a love it or hate it type thing. I’m more a hockey fan when I don’t have my nose buried in financial. There is not enough scoring in soccer…..they need to make the nets bigger ;)

  16. drey says:

    You know what you’re going to get out of Kobe and Gasol. If role players like Fisher and Artest continue to play as well as they did tonight the Celtics have a problem (only Odom had an off game). I haven’t seen the Lakers work that hard on defense all year, it was like they were getting in each other’s way lining up to take charges…

    The big rebounding edge was also telling. This appears to be a team which has tired of being labelled as ‘soft’. The Celts were able to get in the Lakers’ heads in ’08 – somehow I don’t think #24 is gonna let that happen again.

  17. mcullen8320 says:

    Watch out for USA v England next Saturday. USA beat England 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, so a USA win is not unprecedented.

    Tim Howard in goals for USA plays for Everton in England, and is regarded as one of the best keepers in their league.

  18. srvbeach21 says:

    Next Saturday should be great to watch. The morning game of Argentina-Nigeria could be a great game, and US-England is a huge opportunity for the US team.

  19. gabcarac says:

    Good for you, Barry! Welcome to the World Cup. We just need you to become an increasingly immersed fan to start calling it “Football”, as everybody else in the world does, and dump that “soccer” thing. After all, it is really played with the feet… Cheers!

  20. Darkness says:

    Watch the round robin to see what top tier team the refs are willing to buy the most acting from, that’s how I pick the winner. That’s worked since 98, which was the first tourney I’ve followed.

    BTW, Paris during the world cup is a great place. The Parisians all run away, leaving the place empty.

  21. The Curmudgeon says:

    Why the “beautiful game” isn’t: Argentina vs. Italy in 2006, decided on penalty kick in the stoppage minutes because Argentina was called for a foul in the box. Instant reply definitively showed that the Italian player was never even touched–nothing but air between him and the defender. Italians are great actors.

    Also, US v Brazil recently in an exhibition match. Goal was scored by Brazil–the ball clearly made it completely across the goal line, yet referee failed to call it.

    Soccer would be much more interesting and far less fraudulent if FIFA would put some more refs on the field and institute instant replay. The game at the World Cup level is more about flops (i.e., an exaggerated fake that you were fouled) than it is about kicking a ball into a net. I think this is attributable to the immense difficulty in legitimately scoring when so many rules (offsides, e.g.) act to prevent it.

    I did like the foul they called last night on Pau Gasol for flopping. Basketball refs aren’t so easily duped as are FIFA refs. Appears Gasol played a little soccer in Spain growing up. If the World Cup referees would pull more cards for flopping that might help the game’s legitimacy. Otherwise, its just flop city.

    Soccer refs have so much impact on the game–sometimes all that’s needed is one good flop and you’re off to the World Cup finals. Ask Argentina in 2006.

  22. ashpelham2 says:

    Great sports time for me too. I am happy to see Lakers vs Celtics again. takes me back to being a young boy and watching Magic versus Bird, Worthy versus Dennis Scott, Kareem versus Chief, Reilly and his fancy watches.

    But I also am stoked about Ivan Basso coming back 4 years later and winning the Giro d’Italia, after endurning a 2 year ban for suspected blood doping, and now posting his medical testing values all over the internets for the world to see. They don’t have HIPAA in Italy!! And next up, I’ve got le Tour to look forward to, and to if Basso can turn the double over favorites Contador/Evans or even some fellow named Lance Armstrong. exciting times to be a cycling fan!

  23. mbelardes says:

    I think the 2010 Lakers/Celtics matchup is all about the motivation to win. In 2008, the Celtics were not just more powerful, they were hungrier. They simply would not be stopped. In 2009, the Lakers just had more skill than the Magic could handle.

    The Lakers were “soft” in 2008 and so they went out and got Ron Artest, the hardest guy in the League. (Who also has his own past and demons to answer for and will use this Series to do so.)

    Gasol bulked up and on a mission to prove he is tougher than Garnett. Last night, it looked like he was proving it alright.

    Bynum missed 2008 and is playing through an injury to add toughness and length.

    But the real factor here is the motivation:
    2008 was the definition of an ass beating. No one has admitted this more than the Lakers themselves and Phil outright reminds them of that daily. The Celtics have dissed the Lakers multiple times since the 2008 loss. Ray Allen dissed them at the ESPY’s. Garnett has dissed them in interviews. Even Scalabrine, who didn’t even play one second in 2008, has talked trash. Boston fans harassed Lamar Odom’s children at The Garden in ’08. The Boston fans threw rocks at the Laker’s bus on the way to the hotel after the 39 point beatdown they took to lose the ’08 Finals.

    This stuff has been discussed FOREVER in Los Angeles by both the fans and the Lakers. It was about 1 week after the Lake Show won the 2009 Finals before the fans started bringing up the Celtics again. We (in Los Angeles) literally hate the Celtics and Boston has no idea how bad our city and our team wants to beat these guys.

    The whole team is emanating a vibe that I have actually never seen before. Usually they have sort of a primadonna vibe where they know their talent will win out. They are no longer the hot/cold Lakers and have changes into a more consistent finesse and professional team. But right now, they are not playing around and finesse has turned into force. This is beyond business, it’s personal for them. Kobe always has that mentality, but now we are seeing it from Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Farmar and even Fisher (who is usually serious but now he looks homicidal out there).

    Pundits are saying 6 or 7 games. I think the Lakers aren’t just motivated to win, they want to win this IN BOSTON. They are screaming that with their composure. They have the size and talent (and the ultimate closer) and they are motivated by revenge. It doesn’t look good for Beantown.

    Lakers in 5. That is not to disrespect the Celtics. They will play better as the Series wears on. But I just do not think the Lakers will be denied. They are out to dominate every second. You can tell that when guys like Farmar are picking Rondo’s pocket with 3 seconds left in the 1st quarter and 2 Lakers going for every rebound on both sides of the court.

  24. patient renter says:

    “Soccer would be much more interesting and far less fraudulent if FIFA would put some more refs on the field and institute instant replay”

    As we saw the other day in Baseball, Soccer isn’t the only game that suffers from bad calls.

    “The game at the World Cup level is more about flops ”

    That’s why a flop is an instant yellow card if the ref detects it.

    “I’ve got le Tour to look forward to”

    Andy Schleck will win it.

  25. larry says:

    Cue the USA chants… This World Cup is different from previous ones in that it’s a neutral location for European and South American sides and it’s played in winter. Cooler temperatures will lead to faster paced games.

    As a World Cup warm up, I suggest some soccer reading: Jonathan Wilson’s INVERTING THE PYRAMID for a understanding soccer tactics (like any sport, it becomes more interesting when you truly understand what’s going on) and then Simon Kuper’s SOCCERNOMICS for an economics look at soccer.

  26. philipat says:

    For the 96% of the world’s population which is not from the US, which aprticular sport are we discussing here?
    On the subject of US sport, I have also noticed that, with the exception of the US,most countries which host a World series, do actually invite the rest of the world to participate.

  27. formerlawyer says:

    to Chief Tomahawk

    Just get your office data projector, find a large blank wall and attach to video/dvd player (or else just get a cheap one ie. $500 or so).

    We watched the Winter Olympics, Stanley Cup Playoffs and now Football this way.