The longest it’s taken me to get from hotel to arena entrance so far this trip is 20 minutes. I rode the T (Boston’s subway system) which drops off at North Station right under the arena.
The standard trip has been about 10 minutes in a cab.
Today’s trip took about 6 minutes even though we were in a bus. With the aide of a police escort and a bus driver that thought he was behind the wheel of a lambo you can really get some stuff done, even through the narrow streets of Boston.
Yes it was the same guy that wore the Celtics hat the other day, he got demoted from team duty to third bus family duty. Thank god he’s not responsible for any of the players or coaching staff getting to the game.
Much has been made about the refs ability to distinguish where the centerline is after a couple of questionable over and back calls in Game 1. The normal center stripe is obscured by the giant Larry O’Brien trophy sticker that is applied to the floor for the Finals.
As you can see above (and in the post from media day) the line stops at the trophy, but a set of grey lines cut through the trophy as well as the logo.
The trophy and “The Finals” script are significantly marked up after just a couple days of use.
While Phil, Kobe and Pau head into the interview room to address the media after practice, the rest of the team deals with the reporters on the floor. Each corner of the floor is given a podium, mic, backdrop, and speaker setup to make it easier for the mass of reporters to get the answers to their questions.
This particular setup has been Lamar Odom’s home for the past two days.
The Lakers returned to the Garden floor this morning for a practice session following their 98-88 Game 1 loss to the Celtics last night. When the team came back out from their film session they were broken up into two groups–Bigs (Centers/Power Forwards) and Smalls (Guards/Small Forwards).
Taller wing players like Trevor Ariza and Sasha Vujacic fall into the Smalls category even though they both go about six-foot-seven because their game is perimeter based. Kobe Bryant on the other hand spent time with the Bigs (as you can see above), working on his high post and baseline moves with Kurt Rambis.
More from practice to come.
Reserve guard Coby Karl was the first Lakers team member to hit the floor tonight, besting Trevor Ariza by a good five minutes. They were followed by Luke Walton and then Ronny Turiaf.
Expect to see a lot of white mixed in with the yellow & black seats of the Garden. The team is giving away white shirts that “Gotta Beat LA” on the front. One is draped over each seat.
It’s just before 6pm on the east coast, a full three hours before tip, and a lot of the media members have already arrived. This ice sculpture featuring the logos of the Lakers & Celtics along with the Finals script is being displayed in the media dining room.
Hype and posturing can finally take a back seat as Game One looms just a few long hours away (this 9pm start makes for a long day). Yesterdays rain has subsided, but the fog has remained and the temperature outside is about 60 degrees.
The team just got back from shoot around at the Garden and now has about six hours before they have to start heading back for Game 1.
I indulged in a northeastern institution this morning–Dunkin’ Donuts. These outnumber Starbucks in this city about 6 to 1 by my rough count. Everything I got was pretty tasty.
There are a lot of things I love about Fenway Park and the Fenway Frank is not one of them. As an outsider I feel like I reserve the right to go against this revered form of the hot dog. In the interested of full disclosure, I don’t like Dodger Dogs either (who wants a hot dog that extends past the bun).
The Fenway Frank takes one of the most simplistic foods and makes it even simpler, taking the bun out of the equation and replacing it a single piece of white bread. The next item on the Sox list of things to do is to take the word “be” and replace it with just “b”.
There’s not a lot of middle ground on the Fenway Frank, you love it or you hate it. Something I love about Fenway–the only mustard they have is spicy mustard. The way it was intended to be. That stuff can make anything taste good.
Boston is a Red Sox town. No matter how focused the city is on the Celtics this week, it’s still the Sox that stir the drink (with the Patriots coming in a close second).
So in accordance with my “If two teams are battling for first place in the greatest cathedral of the game with the home team’s ace on the hill then you have to go” rule, I made it down to Yawkey Way last night to see Beckett and the Sox take on the Rays.
Baseball has always been my first love and it doesn’t get any better than a game at Fenway. Being able to tack it onto a trip to a Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals is a pretty good deal too.
Just to show that the Celtics are never to far from any New Englanders mind, various “Beat L.A.” (see video below) and “Let’s Go Celtics” chants broke out between breaks in the action.
“Beat L.A.” shirts were also on sale outside of the ballpark.