The Night The Lakers Conquered Orlando

I was hoping tonight to write a proper preview of the Lakers' matchup against the Orlando Magic tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, this weekend finds me far, far removed from sound body and mind. Since about the end of the Celtics win on Thursday night, I've been staggering around with a 100 degree fever and expelling bodily fluids from various orifices in humiliating fashion. In fact, I'm not totally sure what website I'm typing on right now. I think this is Silver Screen and Roll, but it's just as likely I'm writing an Amazon review of Loverboy's Greatest Hits. Anything's possible when you've ingested as much Ny-quil as I have.

But even in this semi-hallucinatory state, my thoughts have drifted to great moments in Lakers-Magic history. There was the signing of Shaquille O'Neal in 1996. There was the 2007 acquisition of Trevor Ariza for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook (LOLZ). And of course, there was Dwight Howard's sign-and-trade deal that landed him in purple and gold in the summer of 2012. Yeah, I know that last one hasn't officially happened yet. But it's just a matter of time, folks....

My favorite Lakers-Magic memory is from the spring of 2009, when the Lake Show went into Orlando and won their 15th NBA championship. Naturally, any time your team wins a championship is an occasion to be savored. But this one was especially sweet because it was just a few months after the launch of SS&R. We were in our infancy then, but the championship help put us on the map and bring us together as a community.

So if you've got some time to kill tonight, take a moment to watch these highlights from the Game Five clincher in Orlando and raise a glass (in my case, it'll be a plastic dosage cup of cough syrup) to the 2008-09 Lake Show. Three Lakers who played in that Game Five - Ariza, Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic - are gone, but they'll always have a place in our mental scrapbooks. As will Rafer Alston, who somehow was the starting point guard on an NBA Finals team.


Follow Dex on Twitter @dexterfishmore.

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