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.
As was reported in the LA Times yesterday, finding a room in the Boston area has been pretty tough due to a convention and college graduations. Through the weekend contingency plans such as flying to Providence, Rhode Island or Manchester, New Hampshire were considered until finally securing enough rooms for the traveling party at a hotel on the harbor.
Today we made the move from the temporary hotel to the one that the team usually stays at when they visit Boston.
The whole process is kind of strange. You put your bag outside your room and then get on the bus to head to practice. After the media session and run through, you get back on the bus, go to a different hotel, get new keys, and find your bag waiting for you in your room.
All these hotel rooms have started to look the same to me as we’ve progressed through the playoffs, so when I found my bag sitting inside my room upon arrival it was like I was in the same place and someone had made the bed. I can’t imagine what doing this for a whole season would be like.
The Finals became real to me today as I got my first glimpse of the Lakers purple against the green and parquet (I feel like I’ve typed “parquet” 400 times and we haven’t even tipped off game one yet) of the TD Banknorth Garden.
Something about those colors clashing and knowing what is on the line makes everything seem right in the basketball world.
If you’re a dork like me that cares about videoboards and the graphics that adorn them then the TD Banknorth Garden is a treat.
My picture taking skills don’t do this board justice. STAPLES Center has many fine amenities that make it one of the best arenas in the country, but the jumbotron at the Garden blows it out of the water. Beautiful HD and fancy graphics make me happy.
Many things have changed about the NBA Finals since the Lakers were last a participant just four short years ago. One big thing (*completely intentional pun*) is the Larry O’Brien trophy gracing center court during the Finals.
The center court trophy sticker will be making it’s first appearance at STAPLES Center next week, but it’s already in full force on the parquet of the Garden.
The first version of the sticker was a little bit washed out and has since progressed to the full color gold you see above. I’ve had mixed feelings on the trophy sticker since the NBA started doing it. On the parquet I’m giving it a thumbs down.
Toronto Raptors All-Star Forward Chris Bosh was in the house for today’s media sessions on behalf of Jay Leno and the tonight show.
If you could equate bad decision making to basketball stats our bus driver would be going for 40 points and 20 boards a game.
Bus driver decided to fly the green flag today and wear his Celtics hat to work. Perfectly understandable when your team is in the Finals, but probably not advisable if you’re going to be around a bunch of Lakers supporters…. or the actual Lakers themselves.
Glares turned to jeers until the driver was asked to remove the hat by a staff member.
It was 75 degrees when we showed up in Boston last night. This morning when I woke up–Rain. At least it’s still fairly warm outside (64 according to the lady on the other end of my wake up call). Luckily we play basketball indoors so the weather won’t have much bearing on the days itinerary (but it could put a serious damper on my plans to catch the Red Sox/Rays matchup tonight).
Phil Jackson and the rest of the coaching staff weren’t letting the elements interfere with their usual breakfast meeting. When I went down to grab some breakfast they were seated together talking hoops like normal.
The Celtics normally practice at their training facility in Waltham (about 25 minutes west of downtown), but will workout at the TD Banknorth Garden today for media purposes. The Lakers follow them with a media session before they kick off practice at 1:30pm Eastern.
The team practiced this morning and had a brief media session before boarding the flight bound for Boston and the Finals. Lakers.com is along for the trip and will bring you all the mundane details that you never knew you wanted to know about what it’s like to go to the NBA Finals.
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Every round of the playoffs has seen exponential growth in the amount of media that shows up at practice and games to cover the team. The Finals are no exception as more and more cameras cram into the Toyota Sports Center. As you can see in the picture above it gets pretty hectic and it’s only going to get worse when we get to Boston.