Congratulations to the 2009/10 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams played hard, the ball didn't lie, other clichÃ©s happened, and the better team just about won. Game 7 was a marvellous exercise in magnetically terrible basketball - the standard was low, but only because the pressure was high, and the effort redoubtable. It wasn't pretty, but it was sure as hell tense.
Congratulations in particular go to Ron Artest, who was the best player in the game. Kobe Bryant may have won the Finals MVP award - which was more than a little awkward in light of his game 7 performance - and Pau Gasol's second half may have turned the game around, but Artest carried more of the team. He kept them in it in the first half, and helped them seal it in the second. And his dagger three pointer, which would have been an absolutely awful shot had it missed, did not miss. Crazy Pills did almost everything right.
More importantly, congratulations to him for his two post game interviews. The first coming seconds after the final buzzer with fashionista Doris Burke (who incidentally is totally working the glasses)......
......and then his post game press conference, when he has had time to calm down, gather his thoughts, round up his family, find some Wheaties, and get a little drunk.
The eccentricity, awkwardness and unmistakable comedy of a man thanking a hood and a psychiatrist in the moments immediately following the finest moment of his professional life cannot be understressed. The fact that this is followed up by a pantheon comedy moment - in which Artest encourages his dad to flex, introduces every family member he has ever had, speaks of David Stern on first name terms, mocks Kobe's refusal to pass to him, invites everyone in the room to the club, openly cheers at the sight of breakfast cereal, apologises to the Indiana Pacers so profusely that he forgot what prompted him to do so, offers to beatbox, and shouts out his doctor for the second time - is simply impossible to believe. Or it would be, had it not happened. There is nobody else quite like Ron Artest, and at times like this, that is a good thing.
Stay happy, Ron Artest. You're a sheer joy when you are.