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锘? Shira Springer , Boston Globe: When Celtics legend Bill Russell presented Kobe Bryant(notes) with the MVP trophy, the Staples Center crowd erupted into chants of "M-V-P, M-V-P.鈥?Naturally, Bryant savored the moment with his wife and daughters by his side. But he had even greater reason to cherish the cheers amid freshly fallen purple and gold confetti. Bryant heard few cheers during Game 7 of the 2010 Finals because his play didn鈥檛 deserve them. By his own admission, it was a tough night. And a miserable statistical line tells the story. Bryant scored 23 points on 6-for-24 shooting. He went 1 for 7 in the first quarter, 2 for 7 in the second, 2 for 6 in the third and 1 for 4 in the fourth. More than at any other time in the playoffs, Bryant needed help from his teammates and they came through. Scoring 20 points, Ron Artest(notes) did more than keep his emotions under control. Pau Gasol(notes) contributed 19 points and 18 rebounds. Derek Fisher(notes) stepped up with a 10-point (4 for 6) effort. "I just wanted it so bad," said Bryant. "I wanted it so, so bad. On top of that , I was on E. Man, I was really, really tired. And the more I tried to push, the more it kept getting away from me. I鈥檓 just glad that my teammates really got us back in the game. I was thankful that I was able to make one shot at the end of the game and made some free throws. But it was a tough one." The prospect of winning a fifth ring, of solidifying his legacy as one of the game鈥檚 all-time greats, of winning one more championship than Shaquille O鈥橬eal(notes) surprisingly proved overwhelming for Bryant. Instead of channeling his famed desire and single-minded focus into a great performance, he stumbled. It was the rare occasion when Bryant failed to elevate his game on the biggest stage. Anyone watching in the arena or at home could sense a problem almost from the start. And Lakers coach Phil Jackson was no exception. "In the first half, I just mentioned I thought he was a little bit too animated," said Jackson. "He was trying too hard, and I thought he鈥檚 a guy that can try hard and get things accomplished by sheer will. But this night was not one that he was able to do that on. He had to do things that were off ball and things that were in the context of what we wanted to do offensively." Kevin Ding, Orange County Register: Upon being handed that precious gold , Kobe Bryant raised it over his head just one time 鈥?then turned around to share it. Bryant looked back and dodged a wildly spinning and over-the-top-happy Ron Artest, the Lakers鈥?lone newcomer who could hardly contain his joy at having helped the team so much to repeat. And Bryant quickly handed the NBA championship trophy over to co-star Pau Gasol. Bryant was an exhausted, thankful NBA Finals MVP at the end of a remarkable team effort that brought the Lakers their second consecutive title. The Lakers won an epic Game 7 over the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics, 83-79, on Thursday night at Staples Center. They did it despite a 13-point third-quarter deficit and with Bryant so scattered much of the night that his own mother said courtside early in the fourth quarter with mouth agape and eyes wide: "I can鈥檛 believe it." For all the Lakers鈥?combined skill and intellect, they won this because they were "about being persistent and aggressive," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who secured his record 11th NBA coaching championship. Jackson said the key was Gasol managing to dominate from the post for a brief stretch late in a game in which both teams seemed to need a crowbar to get anything into the net. The play was so physical that crowbars might鈥檝e been wielded while playing defense, too. "We kept our minds and our hearts into the game at all times, and we hustled," Gasol said. "We hustled. I think 53 rebounds 鈥?23 offensive rebounds 鈥?just tells you how much this team fought to be able to become champions again." Chris Forsberg , ESPN: Set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Celtics guard Ray Allen(notes) said it鈥檚 hard to think about his future until the sting of Thursday鈥檚 Game 7 loss to the Lakers in the NBA Finals wears off. But in the aftermath of that crushing defeat, he indicated his preference is to be back in a Boston uniform next season. "I鈥檒l deal with that when the time comes, but it鈥檚 obvious that I don鈥檛 want to be anywhere else," said Allen, who labored through 3-of-14 shooting, while scoring 13 points in 45 minutes of action. Asked later if Boston could replicate its postseason success next year with the same aging core, Allen said, "I don鈥檛 see why not." The question now becomes how much do the Celtics want Allen back, and will they be able to offer the same length of contract and money as other potential suitors. Allen earned $19.8 million in the final year of an extension he signed with Seattle before being traded to Boston on draft night in 2007. While his salary was second only to Paul Pierce(notes) on this year鈥檚 team, Allen , who turns 35 this offseason, is likely to see an offer from Boston that runs no more than two years 鈥?extending to the season that Kevin Garnett鈥檚(notes) contract expires 鈥?at maybe half the price he made this season. Earlier this season, Allen said he鈥檇 prefer to be a liftime Celtic. "I鈥檇 like to be here," Allen said at the time. "There鈥檚 no reason to be any other place. I鈥檇 love to retire with this organization. [But] that鈥檚 up to the team. I want to be here. This team has proven over the decades to be a winner, one of the best in sports, and that鈥檚 what this organization plans to do. I鈥檓 committed to it." Author's Resource Box Devvicky SportsArticle Source: Questions Answered About Shaklee Questions Answered About Shaklee June 21, 2012 | Author: adelphinon1 | Posted in Marketing

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