Inspiration & Sports

Lessons We Can Learn From The Lakers Bounce Back

The 1984 NBA Finals provided an opportunity for the Los Angeles Lakers to finally end the Boston Celtics’ domination over them since the green-and-white have gone 7-0 against the purple-and-gold during their previous championship series.

The Lakers actually took the series lead, 2-1 following their 137-104 hammering of the off-form Celtics on Game Three. But Larry Bird, who went on to win the Finals Most Valuable Player and add to his regular MVP trophy, took his frustrations to media, a move which sparked the fire back on Boston’s belly.

Boston went on to regain momentum of the series, forcing a seventh game on the way to winning the NBA championship via a 4-3 Finals victory.

Pat Riley, then Los Angeles coach, wrote in his book The Winner Within what he told Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the rest of the Lakers during their last team meeting at the end of their failed title bid in the 1984 season:

“There’s only one thing we’re going to play for next year. I want you to think about this (Finals loss) all summer. Even though we lost, they can’t take away our pride or our dignity, we own those. We are not chokers or losers. We are champions who simply lost a championship,” Riley recalled.

Indeed, that final team meeting did something amazing among the Laker players. For in the 1985 season, the Lakers returned with a single resolve – redeem themselves and regain the crown they lost to the Celtics.

And they did that in 1985. The Lakers compiled a 62-20 record, went 11-2 in the Playoffs, before finishing off the Celtics in their highly-anticipated championship rematch, 4-2 en route to the 1985 NBA title.

Honestly, when I read that part of Riley’s statement to the 1984 Lakers batch, I’m reminded of the times I tend dwell on my past errors or mistakes. And every time I do that, I lose my joy, my vigor in life and end up focusing more on my disappointments.

I think it’s human nature to focus on mistakes and disappointments. It’s human nature to look at the bad side and even at times, dwell on self-pity party.

Yet, God has other things in mind for us.

Psalm 103:12 says, As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions (sins) from us.

God is a God of second chances. We may have sinned, committed one mistake after the other, we may have done something terrible that we feel like God won’t forgive us.

Yet, this psalmist reveals God as the God of new beginnings.

God forgives and He forgets our mistakes.

If you’re down and you feel you’re out, go down your knees today and receive His forgiveness.

The way to get up and bounce back is by going down (on our knees).

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4 Responses to “Lessons We Can Learn From The Lakers Bounce Back”

  1. Wish I was alive to see Magic and Bird go at it for real :).

  2. come on! I totally agree that God is a God of second chances!

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