With a comeback of historic proportions, the Boston Celtics have come within just one win of reaching the same lofty heights that their New England brethren have enjoyed of late.
After years of futility and general fan malaise, the Celtics can claim a championship and enjoy the same champagne room reserved for the champion Red Sox and Patriots.
Just six quarters into the Celtics West Coast playoff swing, the Celtics were reeling, down by 24 points and the Lakers looked to be right back in this thing.
Boston appeared to be star struck, and in what more likely of places?
The Joker, a.k.a Jack Nicholson, grinned from his courtside seat while his Lakers drove for lay-up after lay-up and Kobe was having his way.
At halftime, reportedly Paul Pierce, who has wielded the biggest knife to plunge into the Lakers' showtime hearts, asked to guard Bryant.
Pierce's physical play seemed to take Bryant out of his rhythm and the Celtics' confidence was bolstered by each defensive stop. The biggest perhaps was a stunning block of Bryant that had several of my hardened Celtics' fan friends doing what can only be called a very odd looking happy dance brews in hand.
While I'm a fan of neither team, my respect for Pierce knew no bounds as the Lakers' lead sank to single-digits and the Lakers looked at a loss for what to do.
Phil Jackson appeared aghast that his team wasn't getting all the calls and Bryant even lost his cool reacting with genuine frustration on a foul call in the final minute that virtually clinched the game for the Celtics.
The final dagger delivered by Ray Allen, breaking Sasha Vujacic down on the perimeter one-on-one, driving past him for an uncontested lay-up with 15.7 seconds remaining. The hoop pushed the Celtics' lead to 96-91 and the Lakers had obviously been broken in mind and spirit.
The Big Three are now on the verge of putting the kibosh on any Showtime feel good re-emergence.
Instead, expect the eyes of New England to be on the Staples Center on Sunday night waiting for a potential coronation of the chosen ones.
Certainly Pierce has much to thank Allen and Garnett for in this potential chase for the championship. An NBA title is the only thing really lacking from each of the players Hall of Fame resume. I do find it a little hard to believe that the Lakers won't at least show enough grit to send the series back to Boston. But I admit that it would be fitting for the Celtics to gain the title back in Beantown.
Heck, it might not be the Garden anymore, but I bet you'll still be able to smell the ghostly aroma of Red Auerbach's victory cigar.