There comes a game in every great player's career where he is absolutely unstoppable on the biggest of stages. Think Dirk Nowitzki's 30/19 performance in a 2003 Game 7 versus the Kings. Think Tim Duncan's 37 and 14 at Staples Center versus the Lakers in '98, paving the way for a sweep of a team that would eventually three-peat. Think Kevin Garnett's 32 and 21 in Game 7 in the 2005 Conference Semis. I could keep going with this list.
But the point is, tonight, David West became that player. He became that guy who found it within himself to go to the next level. No, he didn't show us that he will be the next Tim Duncan, the next Kevin Garnett, or the next Dirk Nowitzki. He showed us that he is ready to step into their shoes.
And that's what made this game so special. We could see the future, smell it, touch it, feel it. Win one more game, and this team will have achieved greatness unseen by the Hornet franchise. The future is now. It's very rare that an entire fan-base can see a new age unfolding before its very eyes, all within a single game. I imagine this is how San Antonio fans felt as the Duncan era began to take shape. I'm elated that the new website's first day also witnessed David West's break out party.
Tonight definitely ranks up there with Glen Rice's 39 versus New York, and Baron's triple double madness versus Orlando. Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, David West's 38/14/5/5 will go down as one of my fondest Hornet memories.
[Note: I'll get some numbers and similar less sappy things up tomorrow morning.]