The Past and The Present of The LA Lakers and The Boston Celtics

By: Taren Vaughan

The rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics has been one for the ages. Over the years, these two teams have both had rosters filled with legendary figures in the game of basketball from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Bill Russell. Not only did they each have stand out players, The Lakers and The Celtics have numerous championships under their belts, making them two of most successful franchises in NBA history. Join me as we take a trip back into time.

One of the most memorable match ups between the Boston Celtics and The LA Lakers came in the 80’s, the era of Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird. This thirteen year run between two of the biggest superstars in league history still has fans talking about it as if it happened yesterday. If you forgot how the 1984 championship series went down, here’s a little refresher:

After taking the series to a Game 7 against their rivals, the Boston Celtics became the 1984 NBA Champions, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 111-102. Even with all the hype and pressure centered on Johnson and Bird, the two still managed to have fun:

“We came along at the right time,” “That’s all I can say. I needed Larry and he needed me. We pushed each other, meant so much to each other and meant so much to the game. It was a fun time.” –Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Mr. Johnson is right. There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition.

Now that was a glimpse at old school Lakers versus Celtics. How does new school compare? In 2008, it was the Celtics’ turn to shine once again. Only this time, it wasn’t Magic and Bird who were the headliners. It was Kobe Bryant against Boston’s “Big Three”: Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It was only right that this series went to a Game 6 as both clubs were hungry to win a championship title. Claiming championship status was not anything new for either squad but this one was most memorable to Boston’s “The Big Three” as the win meant the first ring for all three players.

With this year’s playoff match up between the two teams, anything is possible. The LA Lakers took Game 1 of the series with yet another classic performance from Kobe Bryant. But it was Boston who took Game 2, defeating the Lakers 103-94. Not only was Boston victorious, but Ray Allen made a little history of his own, setting a playoff record of eight three pointers. Did you really think Boston was going to go back home down 2 games? With the series now tied, either team could come out on top in Game 3.

There have been other franchise battles throughout NBA history that have kept fans on the edge of their seats. Who could forget the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons better known as “The Bad Boys”? But the match up between The Boston Celtics and The LA Lakers will forever be of the most intriguing in professional sports period. We could sit and talk for days about all of the memorable moments that have occurred every time these two go head to head. The question now remains: Who will it be this time around? Will the Lakers continue to reign as World Champs? Or will The Celtics kindly snatch their crown?

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