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David Stern is a Happy Man

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I'd be throwing out fist-pounds too if my team always won.
I'd be throwing out fist-pounds too if my team always won.

As the Eastern & Western Conference Championships played out each in 6 games last week, the NBA Finals had 4 potential match-ups in the works and the league has got to be pretty thrilled with the most marquee, cross country rivalry in sports coming out on top. Once LeBron and the Cavs were eliminated from the fray in the Eastern Semis, the remote possibility of a Phoenix - Orlando Finals must have had David Stern a bit shook up. After the Lakers and Celtics each got up 2-0, he probably breathed a sigh of relief, until each series got interesting again for a moment before eventually turning out the way most around the league and ABC (who will broadcast the games) had hoped.

This NBA Finals is really a testament to two organizations that have consistently done a fantastic job in building teams that can compete at the highest level over the course of many decades of basketball. While the Celtics have had a few lulls in success, most notably and recently the mid 90's to mid 2000's, they have had more championships than any other franchise, including the longest dominant run seen in professional US sports. At the same time the Lakers rise to the top under owner Jerry Buss in the early 80's has been remarkably unshaken, with only a few low seasons in the last 30 years - during which time they've played for and won more championships than anyone else.

This year is no different. Three years ago, sick of the longest lull in franchise history, the Celtics went and rebuilt their team, luring in All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce, while since building around them with key acquisitions Rasheed Wallace, Michael Finley and Nate Robinson and the amazing development of Glenn Davis and Rajon Rondo. In almost the same way the Lakers blew up their once great Shaq-Kobe-Phil dynasty while retooling for a couple of seasons. As Kobe grew into more of a team player, so did the quality of the team around him as they brought back Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher, turned Lamar Odom into the best Sixth Man in the NBA, and landed a pair of their own major All-Stars in Pau Gasol and Ron Artest.

With the big names all coming together under the brightest lights, this NBA Finals should be a very tough, well played seven gamer (the NBA knows how to get their money's worth!) that both teams fans can expect to thoroughly enjoy. Folks in LA don't have to look any further than the Clippers to see that it's not very often in professional sports that a franchise spoils their fan's quite like the Lakers and Celtics have, so we at Project Franchise salute their owners, GM's and coaches for doing their fans a solid and Just Winning Baby.