Kobe Bryant seals his legacy:
Purple and gold confetti raining down upon him, Kobe Bryant hopped up on the scorer’s table, shook his fists and extended five fingers.
When he hopped down, Boston’s legendary Hall of Fame center Bill Russell was waiting to shake his hand.
A Game 7 classic — and this time, it finally went the Lakers’ way.
Bryant, the finals MVP, scored 23 points despite 6-of-24 shooting, and the Lakers won their 16th NBA championship Thursday night, dramatically rallying from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Celtics 83-79 in Game 7 of the NBA finals.
Bryant earned his fifth title with the Lakers, who repeated as NBA champions for the first time since winning three straight from 2000-02. Coach Phil Jackson added his 11th, matching Russell’s total and possibly putting a cap on his remarkable career if he decides to leave the Lakers.
I think this is the end for Jackson. The wheels haven't quite come off the bus in Los Angeles, but they're damned well coming off as everyone ages. Wasn't it ten years ago the Lakers started on this improbable run? With the departure of Shaquille O'Neal, the on-again, off-again personal relationship between Jackson and Bryant, and a league that seems to value nothing but the wrong aspects of the sport, the Lakers have another title. I think this was the toughest one yet, to be honest with you and the real story is not so much the greatness of the Lakers but the collapse of a Boston Celtics franchise that should have won this outright.
Kobe? Kobe Bryant doesn't need anybody. He has his legacy. He has his championships. He has everything.