Every professional sport has its own rivalry that even the most casual fan is aware of even though they might not root for either team. For the NBA, they might hold the single most iconic one as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have been heated rivals dating back to 1959 when they met in the Finals for the first time.
The Lakers and Celtics have played each other in the Finals a record 12 times, with their most recent clash in 2010 resulting in a Purple and Gold championship.
While both organizations have won 17 total championships, the Lakers have been the more consistent team throughout the decades. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, like everyone else, is well-aware of the history between the two storied franchises and went so far as to call it the best rivalry in sports.
“It’s the best in all of sports, in my opinion,” Vogel said before the Lakers’ contest against the Celtics on Friday night. “There’s nothing like Lakers-Celtics. Many of us grew up as children learning about the NBA game, learning about basketball by watching Lakers-Celtics. To me, there was only three teams in the NBA when I grew up in the Philadelphia area and it was Sixers-Celtics first and then either Celtics-Lakers or Sixers-Lakers. So obviously they had some great battles in the Kobe years, it’s just one of the great rivalries and hopefully we have a great game tonight.”
For younger fans, the rivalry might not hold much weight as the two teams have not since each other in the Finals since 2010, though it is apparent there is extra energy in the arena when the Lakers and Celtics face off during the regular season. Even though L.A. was embarrassed in their recent game against Boston, the win seemed to energize the pro-Celtic crowd and will surely be something for them to hold their hat on.
Losses to Boston always seem to sting a little more because of their history, so it would be good to see Los Angeles use that as fuel to bounce back and salvage what has been a disappointing 2021-22 campaign so far.
Kevin Garnett wanted to speak with Kobe Bryant about joining Lakers
The rivalry was renewed in the late 2000s when the Celtics made a blockbuster move to trade for Kevin Garnett and formed a Big 3 that included Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. However, the Lakers were also rumored to be in the mix for Garnett’s service and the former superstar revealed that he wanted to speak to Kobe Bryant about potentially teaming up before making his decision, which he wasn’t able to do and eventually accepted the trade to Boston.
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