DWIGHT HOWARD: I have never ... NEVER ... seen a player built up and crushed down so quickly. During the Magic's series with the Cavaliers, everyone was on the Howard bandwagon. He was deemed the most dominant center in the NBA and placed in that super-duper-star status. During the Finals, his flaws were exposed and, apparently, numerous. He has no moves, he has no shot, he misses free throws, he struggles to make plays out of double teams, he brings the ball down too much, etc.
I still think Howard can be a super-duper-star. Dude is just 23 years old and seems to be a guy who can be coached up. Sometimes you need to be shown your flaws in order to fix them.
PHIL JACKSON: I hope he comes back, but I understand if he didn't. It's a sweet ending to a career. His record 10th title and his greatness solidified. But I hope he comes back for another year or two to see if he can keep adding to it.
MITCH KUPCHAK: One guy that isn't getting his due in all this is Kupchak. When Jerry West ran this organization, he was great at making the right moves and willing to take chances. Well Kupchak, who assisted West for many years, has done the same thing. Everyone knows that he robbed the Grizzlies for Pau Gasol. He also robbed the Magic for Trevor Ariza. He got Derek Fisher back and drafted Andrew Bynum, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton and Jordan Farmar. And in his most defining moment -- trading away Shaq -- he didn't get chopped liver. Lamar Odom was a key component on this title team. They also got Caron Butler ... who they dealt for Kwame Brown ... who they dealt for Gasol.
He also had two trades he didn't make. He didn't trade Andrew Bynum, despite the demand from Kobe Bryant. He also didn't trade Kobe when he demanded one for himself, either.
KOBE BRYANT: Four titles, MVP award, NBA Finals MVP, 81 points. He needs to be placed among the greats. While he isn't Michael Jordan, it isn't stupid to at least debate that he is up in that realm.
RIOTS: I've never understood why fans riot after the city's team wins a title. I know that it is just knuckleheads who find an easy opportunity to act a fool, but it makes no sense.
STAN VAN GUNDY: I still don't know how I feel about him. He made some great adjustments in this series. He also made some colassal mistakes. His own players tune him out from time to time ... but he did just take them to the NBA Finals. And if not for a missed layup and missed free throws (things out of SVG's control), this series would still be going.
ORLANDO FANS: I get that a smallish NBA city getting thrust to the big time is an exciting deal. But they've made some mistakes, too. Chanting "M-V-P" while Dwight Howard is shooting those critical free throws in Game 4 was stupid. Also in Game 4, that chick who fell when trying to sit down was hilarious! Sorry, I don't understand why bringing Nick Anderson on the court during your first NBA Finals appearance since "Nick the Brick" melted down in 1995 was a good idea. And while you see these long time super stars in LA, Orlando bumps out Hulk Hogan.