There are so many things that I hope to accomplish here in Boston, and one is to catch an NBA Lakers/Celtic game at the TD Garden. However, it wasn’t that easy to accomplish – it took some research, planning and execution. Back in December, about ten minutes after the Celtics schedule was released, I figured out the day the Lakers would be playing the Celtics. I saw that they would be playing February 9th, which was extremely convenient because my birthday’s February 11th. Now for the planning part, I knew the odds of attending the game were likely because I could use the gift of Lakers tickets as an early birthday/late Christmas present. So I called my parents in California and told them about my amazing idea. They told me to remember why I was in Boston (for a great education) and I refuted that it would be an educational experience to witness such a rival team and observe how journalists report on such an intense game. Long story short… I was in attendance at the Lakers Celtics game on February 9th. (Thanks again Mom and Dad!)
While I don’t want to give too much away since most of my wonderful adventure at the TD Garden will be featured on COMlife Episode 5 (premiering February 24th!) I was fortunate enough (thanks to media contacts I made as a BU COM student last semester) to be given a tour of the Garden with my friend, Sonali. She is also from California too and she could not be talked out of wearing a Lakers jersey no matter how much I begged her.
The tour was great and I was lucky enough to go on the court where I could see some of my favorite players: Jason Kapono, Troy Murphy and Steve Blake, who had just been released for play three hours prior. Since I’m from California and see celebrities I take a lot of pride in the fact that I don’t go senseless over them. I could easily pass by actors at Starbucks in Montecito without bothering them or nonchalantly pass by Oprah at the local grocery store she frequents in the summer without telling her how much I adore her. (Ok, the Oprah encounter has never happened… but if it did, I’d like to think I would be civilized). However, while on the Celtics court, I found it to be a huge struggle to restrain myself from not walking right out on the court to high-five Troy Murphy and hug Steve Blake and tell him that he needs to perfect his crossover if the Lakers want any chance of making it far in the playoffs this year. Other than getting to go on the court level and watching warm ups, the game was incredible. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of the Celtics or not, the atmosphere they create for the game is phenomenal. The fans are so devoted and even though the crowd was mixed with green and white and purple and gold we were all just there to watch a good sports game. I remember my dad explaining to me the deep rivalry of the teams when I was younger but the way I witnessed it, the two teams were really just friends playing a basketball game. When Celtics player, Kevin Garnett and Lakers player, Ron Artest, sorry, I mean Meta World Peace, both fell after diving for a loose ball, Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant offered a hand to both players which was a huge gesture of sportsmanship and as my mom would say, “That’s my boy!”
To add to this educational experience, I also learned to keep your eyes out for the videographers that shoot video for the above the court Jumbo Tron screen. Sonali and I were featured in slow motion devouring nachos on the Jumbo Tron and then laughing about it (great photo op) and I may have forgotten exactly who won the game… but I posted a link just so we can all double check…
Taking in the game in person ranks high up there in the greatest experiences I have had in Boston so far. It also helped me realize that sports journalism is something I want to continue to pursue at BU because the energy I felt in the Garden is something that I want to share with others whether it be by putting together pregame feature stories on players, and/or reporting during and after the games. BU offers me the opportunity to learn, develop and tighten the skills to make this a part of my future career.