For me, I wasn’t actually watching the game, at least not in the first half. In one of the greatest inconveniences of my then-young life, I was watching my best friend graduate from high school to start the evening. I remember frantically refreshing the box score on my pre-smartphone cell phone, in anger, disbelief and depression at seeing that the Lakers were trailing at the end of the first half.
I remember essentially trying to kidnap my friend to wrap up, corralling his family and rushing back to their house to watch the second half, sitting huddled around a small TV, just me and my friend’s uncle (who was rooting for the Celtics) for the entire second half. It was literally the worst environment for a die-hard fan to watch this kind of game that I can imagine, outside of, like, sitting next to Danny Ainge.
Or at least it was terrible, until it wasn’t. The yelps of elation from my friend’s uncle slowly turned to grunts of dismay as the Lakers started to mount their comeback and take the lead, culminating in the then-18-year-old me unleashing a primal scream right in this grown man’s face when Kobe Bryant passed Ron Artest the ball, and Mike Breen let out a signature cry of “BANG!” as it went in. The game wasn’t over, but that was the dagger, and I have never sat through a more awkward family dinner afterwards while waiting for my dad to come pick me up.
I’ve never re-watched the first half of the most stressful game I’ve ever experienced that I wasn’t directly involved in, but I plan to tonight, when ESPN is re-airing Game 7 at 5:30 p.m. PST. I hope you’ll join me in watching it, and I plan to both live tweet the game over at Silver Screen and Roll’s account, and jump in here in the game thread a bit too. Let me hear your original Game 7 stories, and let’s all have some fun re-watching it together.