Cap's Corner - 6/07/10
How did it feel to win your first NBA Championship vs. your college championships?
KAJ: My NBA championship was for me an indication that I would do well in the world of professional basketball. There had been speculation that I wouldn't make because I was not a 'bruiser' type but I was able to prove that theory wrong and I never looked back from that moment on. Winning that first championship gave me great satisfaction in proving my detractors wrong about my potential.
Do you have a favorite championship, one that was especially sweet? And what made it more special?
KAJ: My favorite championship was beating the Celtics in 1985. In 1974 the Milwaukee Bucks had played the Boston Celtics for the world championship and we lost in seven games. In 1984 the Lakers lost to the Celtics in seven games after we gave away game two of that series. The Lakers were the first team to dominate the NBA winning five championships between the late forties to mid fifties. But Bill Russell's entry into the NBA saw his teams win eleven championships in his thirteen year career. So by 1985 the Lakers were 0 and 8 against the Celtics in world championship competition. And I was 0 and 2. Being able to blot out the memory of our loss in 1984 was one of the most satisfying parts of beating the Celtics in 1985. The '84 series saw the Celtics' Kevin McHale blindside Kurt Rambis on a fast break. The Lakers needed redemption and we found it in 1985!
What were the similarities and differences between 2 of the all-time greats you played with, Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson?
KAJ: Oscar and Magic were similar in that they were able to initiate the offense for the each of their respective teams. And they did it without making a whole lot of turnovers. They were dis-similar in their styles; Oscar was no frills and he rarely showed emotion on the court. Magic always had his heart on his sleeve and enjoyed making the game more entertaining for the fans. Hence the no-look passes and huge smiles when he did something particularly entertaining in the heat of competition.
Some antics that happened during the 1984 Playoffs .
KAJ: In 1984 someone came to the hotel where we were staying and tripped a fire alarm at our hotel in Boston that caused us to lose sleep as they nearly had to evacuate the hotel. During the series there was a game where the temperature on the court was around 100 degrees which has been referred to as the sweat box game. After the final game in Boston in '84 the Celtics did not provide adequate security and the fans rushed the court at the end of the game and harassed Laker players. When we returned to Los Angels the overall effect on our team was we wanted to beat them again and we knew we would have to raise our level of competition and tactics to be able to deal with the way the Celtics approached the game. I remember during the '85 Playoffs where somebody tried to foul James Worthy on a fast break and a fight almost broke up and K.C. Jones ended up coming out on court to help the confrontation. When K.C. made a move towards our players I stuck my hand down and grabbed him, preventing him from getting any closer. Nothing came of this incident but it gives you and idea of how determined the Laker team was not be intimidated.