NBA Finals: a wrinkle in time

The Future

(Disclaimer: The following story was born in the writer’s imagination and has been performed by a trained professional. Do not try this stunt at home. If you experience dizziness, become lethargic, or have a sudden desire to say “live long and prosper” while attempting to travel through time, consult a doctor immediately.)

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This just in: Due to a rip in the space-time continuum, Kelly Martinez has traveled forward in time to June 2020. Because his teleportation has left a wrinkle in the fabric of time, Martinez has been able to make contact with us here in 2019 to report on the 2020 NBA Finals.

Without further delay, let’s go to Martinez.

(Radio squelch.)

Kelly Martinez here, reporting live from Staples Center in California where Los Angeles and Boston fans will renew their iconic East Coast-West Coast NBA Finals rivalry tomorrow night for all of the Association’s marbles.

What’s that? (Pauses to listen to earpiece.)

Yes, I said NBA Finals and Los Angeles in the same sentence.

I’m sure it seems unlikely to you back in 2019, but in fewer than two years after joining the Lakers as a free agent, the NBA Finals have followed Lebron James to Los Angeles.

In his fourth season as a head coach, Luke Walton is ready to bring the City of Angels its first NBA crown since 2010.

Following his team’s shootaround this morning, Walton, in an exclusive interview, told me, “In this, my fourth season as head coach, I’m ready to bring the City of Angels its first NBA crown since 2010.”

It might surprise you in 2019 to know that it’s actually the Los Angeles Clippers who are representing the West in this year’s edition of The Finals. (I keep forgetting you don’t know in 2019 what’s already happened here in 2020.)

Last summer’s (the one that hasn’t yet happened for you) signing of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Kawhi Leonard made the Clippers instant front runners to represent the West in this year’s Finals.

Following the team’s only regular-season loss, which came on opening night, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer fired former coach Doc Rivers in a heated confrontation in the team’s locker room at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City. An anonymous source (a.k.a., the hot dog guy) reported that Ballmer took exception to Rivers’ begging for someone—anyone!—to play defense during the team’s 200-199 loss to the Utah Jazz.

As Rivers stormed out of the room, bystanders reported hearing him say, “I can’t believe that following what will probably be my former team’s only regular-season loss, Steve Ballmer fired me in a heated confrontation in my former team’s locker room at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City!”

Ballmer elevated Walton from assistant to head coach the following day and the rest, as they say, is history. Actually, that would be the future to you all in 2019.

Lakers fans in 2019 might, however, be happy to know that Lebron will sit courtside with Billy Crystal and Jay Z for tomorrow night’s series opener.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you from the future. Walton is about to address the media here at the team’s practice facility in Playa Vista and I want to grab an apple fritter and Diet Pepsi before the guy from the Los Angeles Times gets here.

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