Although the Los Angeles Lakers did not make the 2022 NBA Playoffs, there is a certain incentive for the organization and its fans to watch the 2022 Finals.
The Boston Celtics, like the Lakers, were struggling midway through the 2021-22 season, but the former was able to transform itself into a contender much to the dismay of the latter. The two iconic rivals have jockeyed for the lead in NBA championships, but Boston took a leg up in the race when they won Game 1.
Even though the Lakers and Celtics have not faced off in the Finals since 2010, the rivalry is still very much alive and former players like Magic Johnson reiterated that the Purple and Gold will never want to see Boston win, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
“It was always Dr. [Jerry] Buss’ goal to pass Boston,” says Laker great Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who led the Lakers to five of those championships. “The Lakers never want the Celtics to win.”
Johnson’s teammate Mychal Thompson echoed the sentiment, saying that all Laker fans are Warriors fans during the Finals:
“Dr. Buss always would say losing is bad enough but losing to the Celtics was not tolerable,” says Mychal Thompson, who won two titles in LA including one over Boston in the 1987 Finals.
“We are all Warriors fans now,” he said. “They have to do us a favor and keep us tied with Boston. We can’t let them get to 18 before us.”
As Klay Thompson’s father, the elder Thompson has some added interest in the Warriors beating the Celtics and it is a sentiment all Lakers fans should be sharing. The younger Thompson even admitted he was eager to play Boston because of his L.A. fandom growing up, so hopefully he is able to help push Golden State over the top.
Although there has been a bit of a Golden State-Los Angeles rivalry, Boston will always be the enemy and there should never be a scenario where Lakers fans root for the Celtics. Even though Los Angeles’ season ended in disaster, they can still have a clear rooting interest in the Finals.
Lakers Nation overwhelmingly rooting for Warriors
A Celtics title would cement this season as the worst one in Lakers history, so fans should be cheering for the Warriors to come back in the series. They know what is at stake should Boston win, and it was confirmed in a recent poll where the vast majority said they were pulling for Golden State.
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