Former NBA player and two-time champion Lamar Odom made a guest appearance on VladTV, where he talked about numerous things from his professional career and personal life. One of the things he touched upon was the famous finals series in 2008 when the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Boston Celtics.
Creating a historic team
The 2007/08 season was a turning point for the Lakers franchise that struggled for a few years in a row before that. After getting back Phil Jackson as a head coach and later acquiring Pau Gasol through a trade, things started clicking for the Lakers. Odom immediately knew they were a championship-caliber team.
Great coaches go hand in hand with great players. I think Phil was the life reserver; we knew we would be alright. We had Kobe; we had Phil, the tradition, we knew we would get on point. The moment we got Pau, I knew it was going to take us over the top.
Lamar Odom, via VladTV
Even though the Lakers were loaded with talented players, the Boston Celtics and their big three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and a tremendous supporting cast outplayed them in the finals series. Odom remembers that crucial game six in which the Celtics blew out the Lakers leading with over 30 points at some point. Celtics winning their first championship in 22 years caused an absolute frenzy in the arena, and Odom says they couldn't even leave the stadium normally because of all the fans that stormed their bus.
Losing to the Celtics was a valuable lesson
They say failure often leads to success, and Odom talks about how everyone on the team was on the same page, knowing what they needed to do next. So they came back with a vengeance next season and worked hard as a team to bounce back after a tough loss to the Celtics, which they eventually succeeded in doing.
We didn't just lose; they beat our ass in six games. In that six game, they beat us so bad they didn't allow our bus to leave. They were shaking our bus when we were leaving. God knows what would've happened if we won that game. It was a short hurt, but you got your party on for a week or two, and then you get your ass back to the gym right back in LA, getting ready for the season. The whole team had the same mindset that we were going to go back to the finals next year. Everybody was one the same time; we just knew it.
Lamar Odom, via VladTV
After defeating the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA finals, the Lakers had the chance to get their share of revenge against the Celtics in 2010. They beat them in 7 games after a grueling and hardnose series that often resembled an actual battle rather than a basketball game. The Lakers won back-to-back championships, but that loss to the Celtics made them understand talent wasn't enough and that they would have to grow as a team to put themselves in a position to win, which they eventually did.