Hardly Anybody is Pulling for the Boston Celtics Outside of Boston
May 25, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after a basket against the Indiana Pacers during the second quarter of game three of the eastern conference finals in the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s unique landscape is defined by the unparalleled dominance of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. This rivalry, unlike any other in major sports leagues such as the NFL, NHL, and MLB, is a testament to the sustained excellence of these two incredible franchises, and unique in major North American sports.

In 2024, the Boston Celtics, just four wins away, distinguish themselves from the Lakers. As heavy favorites against the Dallas Mavericks in this year’s NBA Finals, the Celtics have an opportunity to secure their 18th championship, potentially getting a leg up on Los Angeles. A win would add to their storied legacy, reinforce the unique nature of their rivalry with the Lakers, and put them one up in the chips department. Does anybody betting on basketball outside of Boston want to see that?

The Celtics’ potential to surpass the Lakers in total championships highlights the dynamic and ongoing competition that has defined the NBA for decades. This continual push for supremacy between these two teams underscores why the NBA is unique in having two franchises that are head and shoulders above the rest, both historically and in the present day.

NFL Football

The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have six Super Bowl victories in the NFL. The Patriots, particularly under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, exemplify a modern dynasty with remarkable consistency and success in the 21st century. However, the NFL’s structure and the physical toll of the sport create a level of parity that prevents any team from achieving dominance across multiple eras in the way the Celtics and Lakers have in the NBA. The Steelers’ dominance in the 1970s was significant but confined to that era, lacking the multi-generational impact seen in the NBA.

NHL Hockey

The NHL’s Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team with 24 Stanley Cup victories, dominating especially in the mid-20th century. Yet, no other NHL team comes close to matching the Canadiens’ success over such an extended period. Despite their 13 championships, the Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to maintain a success or cultural impact comparable to the Canadiens, particularly in the modern era—the Canadiens are a singular historical powerhouse without an enduring, equally successful rival.

Major League Baseball

In MLB, the New York Yankees stand out with 27 World Series titles, showcasing dominance across different eras. The St. Louis Cardinals, with 11 championships, are the second-most successful team but possess a different overwhelming presence and historical continuity. The Yankees’ rivalries, such as with the Boston Red Sox, are significant but lack the ongoing, balanced competitive narrative between the Celtics and Lakers.

NBA Basketball

The NBA’s distinctiveness lies in the sustained excellence and direct rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. Both franchises have won 17 championships, representing a significant portion of the league’s history. Their rivalry transcends eras, defined by iconic players and memorable moments.

The Celtics’ dominance in the Bill Russell era, followed by the Larry Bird years, set a high standard. The Lakers’ various peaks, from the “Showtime” era with Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant years, and now with LeBron James, have kept the competition fierce and compelling. This head-to-head rivalry is unique, as both teams continually challenge and elevate each other, creating a narrative unmatched in other major sports leagues.

You May Also Like

Julius Randle Preparing For Kobe Bryant To Pass Him The Torch

With the Los Angeles Lakers missing the playoffs for the second consecutive…

Lakers News: Anthony Davis Ranked No. 11 In NBA’s 2023 Social Views

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis went into the 2023-24 season with lofty expectations after the dominant…

Lakers News: Thomas Bryant Appreciates Teammates Instilling Confidence In Him

In the absence of Anthony Davis, other Los Angeles Lakers players will need to step up and perhaps at the top of that list…

Lakers Rumors: Could Phil Jackson Still Wind Up In LA?

In two stints as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson has led them to seven finals appearances, winning five NBA championships…