Every morning, we compile the links of the
day and dump them
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
"The last time we played them, it was a great learning experience for
us. It taught us what it takes to be a champion," said Kobe Bryant, who
scored 37 points Saturday. "With the defensive intensity they play, with
the tenacity they play with, we learned a great deal in that series."
Kobe Bryant is seething.
He remembers leaving the court when it looked like that photo. He wants to make the Celtics feel that themselves.
The Celtics have to be ready to take his best punch. Hell, I say you let him do what he's gonna do and you treat him the way we've treated all the other stars… with primarily single coverage and forcing him to try to carry his entire team while shutting everyone else down.
Yeah, I know. It's Kobe… and even LeBron doesn't close like Kobe. But the key to the Lakers winning is their frontcourt, not Kobe. Kobe will be what he is. But if Gasol, Bynum and Odom off the bench are kept in check… We'll be posting another picture just like that one.
On Page 2: Rondo's explosion of popularity
As Rondo’s performance on the court has improved, so has his
popularity and merchandising prospects. During the 2007-08 championship
season, the Celtics carried four types of Rondo jerseys at its online
store and netted $15,000 in sales, according to the team. This year, the
Celtics offer 17 variations of Rondo jerseys that have generated more
than $50,000 in sales – a 233 percent increase.
The fact that the 24-year-old point guard was on the cover of Sports
Illustrated last week hasn’t hurt either.
At Modell’s Sporting Goods, sales of Rondo merchandise increased 57
percent for the week of May 17 compared to the same period in 2008.
Modell’s CEO Mitchell Modell wouldn’t provide specific sales numbers but
he said Rondo and Celtics merchandise are outpacing the Boston Red Sox
I'm not sure everyone understands how amazing that last line is. Sure, it's probably a combination of the C's great run and the Sox slow start… but the Sox are king in Boston. Any time you have Rondo and the Celtics merchandise out-selling Red Sox stuff… you know there's a buzz in this town over this team.
A lot of us here have felt like Rondo is the future of the franchise. But we're mostly hardcore, live and die with every game fans around here. The fans that are buying stuff right now are more casual fans who loosely follow the team and have only now come to realize how great he can be.
But when the C's win the title… a lot of these casual fan will watch a lot more closely next year as Rondo takes his next steps of an amazing career.
There rest of the links:
Herald: Celtics focus on health pays off | Rondo points team right way | A Final look back | In 3rd year, Glen Davis shows mature side | Robinson and Rondo played great as Celtics won PG battle | Celebs all a-tweet over C's win | Fans scramble for Lakers-Celtics tickets | Globe: Face just one facet of Perk | Keeping core values helps | Marks during the season being erased | ESPN: First look at Celtics-Lakers | C's offense a balancing act | C's looking to perk up with some down time | MWDN: Souza: Garnett enjoying some down time | Here's to you, Mr. Robinson | WEEI: Blank banner says it all for Celtics | Celtics Blog: Sheed is there for his teammates