Updated: June 16, 2010, 12:37 AM ET

Game 6: Lakers Rout Celtics

Legacies On The Line In Los Angeles

By Andy Kamenetzky

The Lakers stand on the verge of NBA Finals elimination at the hands of the Celtics for the second time in three seasons. Throughout these Finals, we've heard talk about what a title would mean for the legacies of Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant.

A Finals win would give Jackson title No. 11, put him into position for a fourth three-peat and further cement his standing as the coaching gold standard.

For Bryant, it would be a second title without Shaquille O'Neal and a fifth in all, placing him just one behind Michael Jordan. It also would put a feather in the cap of anyone aiming for the title of greatest Laker of all time: beating the Celtics to win a championship.

Should the Lakers fall short of the title, it would be Bryant's third failure in the Finals (as opposed to Jordan, who went 6-for-6) and the second time he comes up short as a team's unquestioned alpha dog. Fuel also could be added to the most common criticism of Jackson, that his fortune came as the result of his players rather than his coaching acumen.

But for all the talk about places in history, I suspect there's a bigger piece of the puzzle for both: If the Lakers lose in the Finals, the Celtics become the one team neither could beat.

Read the rest from Kamenetzky at ESPNLosAngeles.com.


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