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Lakers and Celtics Rivalry

Jun 03, 2008

Its the 1980s all over again! One of the most storied rivalries in NBA history has been rekindled as the Lakers and Celtics meet again in the Finals!

The History

For those of you not old enough to remember, the Celtics and Lakers rivalry ruled the NBA world in the 1980s. You had the Showtime Lakers made up on superstar point guard Magic Johnson along with Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy. The Lakers were a true run-and-gun team that were the most flashy and spectacular basketball teams of all time. Then you had the hard working, fundamental team basketball of the Boston Celtics. Back then, the C's were led by the big three: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish. During the '80s, the two teams met each other in the Finals three times with the Lakers winning two of those. In total the Celtics won three titles in the '80s while the Lakers won five.

Despite the heated battles, both teams had a great deal of respect for one another. Bird and Magic were great friends off the court despite being mortal enemies on it. The fans for both teams are known to be some of the most loyal and passionate fans in all of sports. The old, creaky Boston Garden was one of the toughest places to play back then because of the rowdy Celtic fans. In L.A. all of the big stars like Jack Nicholson and Dyan Cannon sitting courtside at the Great Western Forum.


After Bird and Magic and the rest of the Celtics and Lakers greats retired in the early '90s, both teams went through a drought. Forced to rebuild with younger players, both squads missed the playoffs throughout the decade. The Lakers were the first team to bounce back, drafting Kobe Bryant in 1996 and signing Shaquille O'Neal that same year. The Lakers got back to a championship level in 2000 and won three straight titles under coach Phil Jackson. The Celtics on the other hand, rebuilt a little slower from their bi-coastal rivals. They did however draft Paul Pierce in 1998 and he helped bring Boston back to the playoffs, but could never get them to that championship level.


At the end of last season, the future of both teams looked grim. Kobe Bryant was unhappy in L.A. and wanted to be traded and so did Paul Pierce in Beantown. But as luck would have it, the Celtics traded for two superstars in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and the Celtics went from being one of the worst teams in the League to championship contenders. The Lakers surprised everybody this year with their improved play and chemistry. Trading for Pao Gasol immediately turned the Lakers into title contenders. So after a fairytale season with both franchises, these storied teams will meet once again in the NBA Finals - much like the olden days!


Kidzworld predicts that the Celtics will defeat the Lakers in seven games! The Celtics have home court and we think that Kevin Garnett will raise his game another notch to outplay the league's MVP in Kobe Bryant. But if this happens, don't feel bad for L.A. We have a feeling this rivalry will continue for years to come!

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