The NBA relies heavily on history. With that being the case, the league could use a Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics NBA Finals for the upcoming season. Two storied franchises, with a bevy of superstars across both teams, helping to reshape the future of the league.
The Past: Combined together, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have 33 championships, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. This rivalry dates back to 1959, their first Finals meeting in which the Celtics swept the Lakers 4-0.
The likes of Larry “Larry Legend” Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson had both cemented their legacy in the school of effort, grit, passion, and respect as the ’80s came around. Fast forward to the present day, when the basketball Gods have made the Lakers-Celtics rivalry rebirth in full fashion.
Danny Ainge heads the Celtics’ basketball operations as he stares from his office across the country to view his former rival Magic Johnson assembling weapons to his roster to take down the vigorous West and eventually reach the peak of the mountain that is the NBA Finals.
The Present: The way things have played out in the NBA the past two off-season’s, many opinions wouldn’t be brushed off as to thinking this was all planned. Kyrie Irving, who in his own way bolted from the Cavs to a history-decorated team in the Celtics, is primed to take this young, talented team to its 22nd Finals appearance.
On the flip side, Magic has done the most foreseen yet unthinkable move in delivering Los Angeles the greatest player arguably of his generation in Lebron James. This is prime excitement for many Laker fans who haven’t felt much adrenaline entering the Staples Center since the departure of Kobe in 2016.
For it to be only two years later, Los Angeles can’t be too disappointed in Magic’s efforts on his promise to deliver a star, and giving the fans just that in Lebron. To lose Kobe and gain Lebron, both of which will go down as legends, is a miracle.
The Future: In today’s NBA, nothing is certain. Trades come to fruition and finalize in the blink of a tweet, leaving teams in rebuild. With that, there’s no certainty that we will get another chance in the near future to see this Finals matchup.
What if Lebron gets familiar with the Lakers’ system, habits, and style and decides that it’s not his usual forte of what he was used to in Cleveland and bolts for the neighboring team in the Clippers? Moreover, the Lakers’ young star Lonzo Ball was linked to multiple trades in the wakening of Lebron’s impending decision with the Lakers at the forefront.
However the Celtics have more of a legit concern, as Irving’s contract has a player option remaining after this season that he’s openly expected to decline, making him an unrestricted free agent and open to destinations such as the New York Knicks with Jimmy Butler. The Celtics front office has had full confidence since the day the trade was made that they’d be able to retain the services of the early MVP candidate from his first season in Celtic green.
“I still would take Boston against the rest of the field,” said Woj. “I still think in the end, there comes a moment of truth when you look around and you have to make a decision about somewhere else. And when you really start inspecting the questions that are in almost any other circumstance he would go to, you would say: ‘Boy, it’s pretty good here [in Boston].’ I still think it is going to be really hard to walk away from [the Celtics].”
The Certain: What we know for sure is what is certain. Lebron is locked in with the Lakers for the next four seasons assuming that nothing of utter destruction occurs. Irving, has at least this season with a healthy Gordon Hayward and Co. and can legit control the East for years to come pending his decision this summer.
Yet, with the latter in question, and it being a drought since this classic rivalry faced off for the Larry O’Brien Trophy, fans should only hope for a remake this year.