It was definitely a very special senior day at Pauley Pavilion Saturday.
Usually, on senior day, there is additional emotion. It's bittersweet to say goodbye to the outgoing seniors.
This year saying goodbye to Ray Young and Jason Kapono generates even more bittersweet emotion. Saying goodbye to Young and Kapono, your heart swells for them – and for yourself as a Bruin fan. There is the additional emotion of – what could have been. There is the added feeling of support for them, having been a UCLA basketball player at probably the most inopportune time in the history of the school. Young and Kapono will always be especially endearing because of this. They're like two warriors who have fallen on their sword for the empire. They will always hold the heart of Bruin fans in whatever they attempt to do. There aren't two UCLA basketball players you want to see have more success in the pros than Young and Kapono. After what they've been through, they deserve it. They deserve something.
For this reason alone, it was a beautiful thing to see UCLA beat
Given the circumstances, the script was actually written about as well as you could expect. Young and Kapono have some triumph in their final game in Pauley Pavilion. The fans mob them (well, a bit), and they get a win in their final game in front of John Wooden.
If they have to endure their final game as another 30-point blow-out against
It was a good script, because it actually had a little dignity, in a story recently that has had very little. With the team winning its final game of the season, it kept the boo birds away. It also generated some good energy, which also helped to refute the ridiculous and perplexing non-story that has been running in the Los Angeles Times this week about fan support. And it worked as the least ugly send-off of Steve Lavin, in his last game at Pauley Pavilion, which, at this point, is good. It almost feels like the pillars that make up the foundation of Pauley Pavilion can't take much more ugliness.
It would be an even better ending to this absurdist script if UCLA played well against
After Young, Kapono, the young Bruin players and Bruin fans salvaged a little dignity Saturday, we want to see this season end with just a little more.