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The Season That Was

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm •  Published: June 18, 2008

* I’ll remember this NBA season as the one in which Oklahoma City turned its attention from the New Orleans Hornets to the Seattle SuperSonics.

* I’ll remember it as the season that Oklahoma City’s first and favorite NBA son, Chris Paul, established himself as the game’s best point guard.

* I’ll remember it as the one Boston used to make a worst-to-first turnaround, assembling a trio of stars before riding Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to the franchise’s first championship in 22 years.

* I’ll remember how the Celtics embarrassed the Lakers in the NBA Finals, turning a historic rivalry into a humiliating rout.

* I’ll remember the final series being much worse than the 4-2 result that will go down in the history books.

* I’ll remember this NBA season as the year Garnett finally validated his career, forever silencing his critics by capturing his first, much-deserved title.

* I’ll remember Garnett’s emotions immediately following the game. The way he leaned back, reached down in his belly and jubilantly bellowed “ANYTHING’S POSSIIIIIIIBLE” in his postgame interview. I’ll remember thinking Garnett is a shinning example of hard work paying off.

* I’ll remember watching a blissful Garnett suddenly and perhaps subconsciously tell ESPN’s Michele Tafoya how great she looked on the championship-clinching night. I’ll remember thinking a live television audience was about two seconds from Joe Namath-Suzy Kolber Part II.

* I’ll remember this season as the year Paul Pierce punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame.

* I’ll remember it as the year Kobe Bryant answered his critics by becoming a better team player, leader and teammate.

* I’ll remember it as the year Bryant was criticized even more for doing all of the above.

* I’ll remember this season as the first in which Bryant took home the regular season MVP award and the second in which he was on the wrong end of the win-or-go-home slogan that embodies the NBA Finals.

* I’ll remember it as the year that brought Boston coach Doc Rivers vindication after nearly the entire NBA world called for his head the previous year. (I’ll be surprised if the always classy Rivers ever brings up that fact.)

* I’ll remember how Rivers thoroughly out-coached Phil Jackson.

* I’ll remember thinking during Game 6 what in the world Jackson possibly could say to his team at halftime with the Lakers down 23. I’ll always remember that whatever it was didn’t work.

* I’ll remember how the Celtics provided the latest example that defense wins championships. While run-and-gun is fun, I’ll remember hoping Golden State, Utah, Seattle, Memphis, Phoenix, Denver, the Lakers and my Washington Wizards all took notes during the championship series.

* I’ll remember 48 wins not being enough to make the playoffs out West.

* I’ll remember that in spite of all the Western Conference’s accolades, the East captured its third title in five years, and by three different teams.

* I’ll remember it as the year Shaq was traded back to the West.

* I’ll remember the city of New Orleans proving the basketball world wrong.

* I’ll remember it as the year Kevin Durant took home Rookie of the Year honors, the start of what’s sure to be a long and illustrious career.

* I’ll remember Tim Donaghy.

* I’ll remember the Celtics’ faithful booing NBA Commissioner David Stern after Game 6.

* I’ll remember Houston peeling off 22 straight victories from late January to mid March. I’ll remember being in the city of Houston when the streak ended, watching it all unfold at a bar with family, friends and a captivated turned devastated city.

* I’ll remember the Knicks being awful. I’ll remember thinking they could make the playoffs after acquiring Zach Randolph.

* I’ll remember the Miami Heat coming as close as possible to tanking a season.

* Above all, I’ll remember missing the NBA in OKC.


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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