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Case Number 17179: Small Claims Court

Buy Los Angeles Lakers: 2008-2009 NBA Champions at Amazon

Los Angeles Lakers: 2008-2009 NBA Champions

Warner Bros. // 2008 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 3rd, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson wishes he was a little bit taller. Wishes he was a baller.

The Charge

Shaq could not be reached for comment.

The Case

Hey, the Lakers won the NBA title last year! And it wasn't very exciting. But the Warner Bros. and NBA Entertainment try their very hardest to wring out suspense from one of the bigger foregone conclusions in recent sports memory.

I'm not a Lakers fan and enjoyed watching the Celtics put the hurt on the purple and gold last year. As someone who's suffered with the Knicks for so long, I take joy on the pro hardwood where I can get it, and the Celts acted as my championship surrogate. Whether you're a Boston fan or not, you have to admit their 2008 championship run was pretty impressive, with lots of memorable moments.

The Lakers, on the other hand, had this thing sewn up as soon as the Orlando Magic improbably beat the Cavaliers and knee-capped David Stern's (and every hack beat writer's) fantasy of a Lebron/Kobe match-up for the crown. Kudos to the spunky Magic, but they weren't going to deny Phil and Kobe, especially with memories of the season-ending nuke job they endured at the hands of the Celtics last year. So they cruised through the series, ceding only one game to the Magic, and won the franchise's 15th title, an impressive feat no doubt.

This hour-long program details the run, starting from the embarrassment of last year's loss, scanning over the regular season, dwelling on the not-so-competitive postseason (Hey Nuggets, way to blow it!), before devoting most of the runtime to the championship series. There is dramatic music, slow-motion shots, fade-outs, and fade-ins, but when the series ends 4-1, there's only so much tension post-production can get you.

As is the case with these discs, the presentation is slick, blending gameplay and behind-the-scenes footage with player and coaching staff interviews. If you've seen any of these championship videos, you know what to expect. Lakers fans should enjoy it, but casual hoops followers might not be so compelled; less for the execution of the DVD and more because the on-court storyline was far from mesmerizing.

Anamorphic widescreen and stereo is par for the course, as is the bounty of extras: player slideshows, two game highlight reels, a Lakers roundtable with former players, the fourth quarter of Game 7 versus Houston and Game 6 at Denver, spotlights on Trevor Ariza, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom, and a retrospective on Kobe's ludicrous 81-point game against the Raptors.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Congrats Kobe—you won me over with your classiness at the Olympics.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (CC)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurettes
• Interviews
• Slideshows
• Game Footage


• Lakers Official Site

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