Lakers, Celtics Renew Rivalry for Finals

Teams will face each other in reprise of '80s showdowns
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2008 7:59 AM CDT
Lakers, Celtics Renew Rivalry for Finals
Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom, center, and teammates hold up the Western Conference trophy after beating the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Western Conference basketball finals Thursday.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics will revive a historic rivalry in this year’s NBA finals, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Celtics’ defeat of the Detroit Pistons last night will bring the celebrated franchises together for the 11th time in the finals. Lakers coach Phil Jackson will seek a record 10th finals victory while the Celtics battle in their first finals since 1987.

It will be packed with stars, great for ratings, and heavy with symbolism, Mike Bresnahan writes. "Somewhere, David Stern is smiling, along with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, James Worthy and Kevin McHale." The teams’ two match-ups this season don’t bode well for the Lakers, who lost both by wide berths. But things have changed since then, and now both teams are ready for a series that will be both symmetrical and physical. (More Boston Celtics stories.)

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