David Stern and the NBA's wishes came true this evening with LA's dominating win - an NBA Finals Game Seven played on a Thursday night between the Lakers and the Celtics. There is no more marquee a game they can imagine (until LeBron goes to the Knicks and we have an NY-LA finals) having as the final, massive infusion of cash before the league's four month off-season slumber.
And while I'm not convinced that Stern didn't have a little hand in insuring that the Finals went the full seven, it's really the fans who are the big winners in this scenario. I had dinner tonight at an Irish Pub in The OC, which was obviously chalk full of Laker's fans rooting on their squad and taunting a small smattering of Celt's fans, where the key to the story is that I dined with a friend who is a digital product manager and his very pregnant wife - neither of whom would ever bother watching an NBA game, but both of whom will most definitely be tuned in on Thursday night.
The reason that the Super Bowl is such a massive draw is because it is one single game to decide it all, and its that same "Win-or-Lose" concept that makes Game 7's in all of the other major pro-sports so exciting. Considering the total back-and-forth we've seen this series, and given the experience level and talent depth of both teams, I think this one is shaping up to be an epic battle and wouldn't be surprised to see it all come down to one shot...
A Kobe buzzer beater in Game 7 of the finals versus the Celtics in Staples Center - somewhere David Stern is grinning.