If you’re into basketball history, at least some of the better games of the modern era, then today’s the day I hope you have ESPN Classic as a part of your cable/satellite package and that you see this post in time to set the DVR before going to work. The programmers must be in a Boston Garden kind of mood, because we’ll see three memorable games on the old parquet floor.
It starts at 1 PM ET with Game 7 of the 1984 NBA Finals. This was the first time Larry Bird and Magic Johnson had met in a Finals as pros. The Celts won this one and Johnson’s poor play got him the nickname “Tragic Johnson” and his team the “LA Fakers”, as they lost a series they should have won.
Those nicknames didn’t last long though, because the Lakers got arguably the greatest individual victory in the history of their franchise, when they won a clinching game on the Garden floor in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. I’m not saying the 1985 Lakers were the best in team history, but clinching on the floor of your archrival one year after a humiliating loss? It would be tough for a Los Angeles fan to come up with something sweeter.
Then we backtrack a decade and look at one of the greatest NBA Finals games every played. That was in 1976 when the Celtics and Suns went triple-overtime in a Game 5 that all but settled who would win the title.
In yesterday’s look at daily sports on TV, I joked that the Summer League championship between the entries of Phoenix and Golden State might be their biggest clash since the ’76 playoffs. Because Phoenix won that battle, they got the right to play Boston and create this incredible Game 5 in the Finals.
Lest we forget the contemporary world, the Yankees continue their series against the Texas Rangers on MLB Network (7 PM ET). And for something more off the wall, try the NFL Network at 8 PM ET for their ranking of the Top 10 uniforms of all time.
TheSportsNotebook will take a look at the NL West today. Yesterday’s focus was the AL East, with particular attention on the starting pitching of the Boston Red Sox.