Paul Pierce thinks LeBron James-Kyrie Irving is new Magic Johnson-Larry Bird rivalry
Former NBA star and Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce has never been a man short on opinions. His latest one came via a TMZ reporter who asked Pierce if he thought the Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics rivalry was back on, thanks to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
After bringing up the latest Lakers-Celtics rivalry that was headed by Pierce and Kobe Bryant, the Boston legend responded in a very matter-of-factly manner.
“The Lakers rivalry is back on. They got Kyrie and LeBron. It’s on. It’s on,” Pierce said in a video posted by TMZ.com. “The rivalry is back. For sure. It’s official.”
That is a strong proclamation from Pierce. The thing that made these rivalries so special were the battles the two teams had in the NBA Finals. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird headlined the most well-known piece of this long-lasting rivalry and the two met in the Finals four times in the 1980s.
Pierce and Kobe faced-off twice on the NBA’s biggest stage with the Celtics beating the Lakers in 2008 before the Lakers returned the favor in 2010.
It’s tough to envision a path where James’ Lakers and Irving’s Celtics could both make it to the championship in the next few years.
While Boston has a clear path to the Finals, Irving may only be wearing the Celtic-green for one more season as he becomes a free agent in 2019.
The Lakers seem to have little shot at making the Finals, despite James appearing in the last eight occurrences. The Golden State Warriors are head-and-shoulders ahead of the Lakers at the moment, as are the Rockets, and arguably two or three other Western Conference clubs.
It has been proven that you can never completely rule James out, but the Celtic-Lakers rivalry seems destined for only regular season glory for the time being.