Claude Johnson at NBA Finals Game 6

Proof. I was honored to be a guest of Converse, which has a luxury suite at the Garden, directly in line with the court and the Celtics bench.


I was at the game last night.

Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

The Celtics won.

Makes sense. Green has never been more “in” than this year.

As I predicted, the Battle of Bunker Hill anniversary (233 years ago, yesterday) really did play a role. The Celtics did after all “see the whites o’ their eyes.” But unlike Colonel Prescott’s men, they never ran out of ammo and never did stop shooting.

Seriously, some things stand out:

  • Team desire,
  • Rajan Rondo’s 7 steals,
  • an N.B.A. Finals record low of 2 offensive rebounds by the Lakers,
  • Ray Allen and James Posey combined 10 of 12 shots from beyond the 3-point arc,
  • “Doc” Rivers’ technical foul with 10 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter.

The “T” on Rivers, for arguing with refs, ignited the Celtics, who were only 3 points up at the time. A few minutes later they were up 23 and never looked back.

You must give “Doc” his due. Last year people in Boston wanted him fired. It’s easy to say his job this season was an automatic piece of cake with Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. But not really. Big talent doesn’t always respond to coaching. But his team’s response to that “T” was exactly what “Doc” intended. Not all coaches can pull that off.

Rivers also stressed defense as the key. The Celtics had 18 steals, an N.B.A. Finals single game record.

Some photo impressions, below.

2008 NBA Finals ticket stub

What proves to be a historic ticket stub.

There was also a special N.B.A. hosted hospitality reception, hosted by David Stern, who made an appearance, as did Celtics legends Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, and John Havlicek, Lakers exec Mitch Kupchak, “Black Magic” film director Dan Klores, talk show host Dr. Michael Dyson, N.B.A. execs Adam Silver, Sal LaRocca, and Mike Bantom, Converse president Michael Spillane, and many other people from the N.B.A. “family.”

Boston Celtics Championship banners

Where will the Celtics fit their newest banner?

Paul Pierce, Finals M.V.P., interviewed by ESPN's Stuart Scott.

Paul Pierce, Finals M.V.P., interviewed by ESPN’s Stuart Scott.

NBA Finals Trophy Ceremony

The trophy ceremony.

After the game, pure bedlam ruled the streets of Boston. I hope no one got hurt. Mostly everyone was just having a good time. But the noise continued until past 3 a.m., which is when I fell asleep.

These guys didn't have much action but looked ready.

These guys didn’t have much action but looked ready.

Overall the event was a whole lot of fun.

As for the Lakers, they’ll be back strong next year with Andrew Bynum and the core of their young team. They’ll also have something more. The bitter taste of defeat that reveals to each player the difference between merely getting there … and winning it.