2010 NBA Finals: The Next Chapter of the Greatest Rivalry in Sports

The Boston Celtics hold a 9-2 edge in the NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers. These two franchises have won 32 of the 63 NBA championships.

But what does it all mean?

1. These two teams have met 11 times with a world title on the line and their meeting in 2010 makes it an even dozen.

1 (sub-A). They have the greatest rivalry in sports because when they meet, it is for all of the marbles. The other great rivalries (Yankees/Red Sox, the NFC East) are all regular season rivalries.

2. There is no parity in the NBA and there has not been any in the 63 years that the league has crowned a king.

2 (sub-A). If the Bulls' six titles are added, then three teams have won 38 of the 63 NBA championships and it will be up to 39 in 64 if the NBA playoffs ever come to an end.

The debate can be made that the rivalry did lie dormant for over two decades since the teams last met in the short shorts era. Of course, the counterpoint to that argument is that the rivalry is back now, so the gap from 1987 to 2008 was merely a long intermission for the greatest rivalry in sports.

With the hyperbole concluded, we can now look at the road to the 2010 NBA Finals.

This has been a brutal playoff run for the NBA. The gaps between games have been too long, the games have been disappointing, and the one series that went seven games (Bucks/Hawks) was utterly unwatchable.

The deer running into the bar in Milwaukee was more interesting than anything the Bucks and Hawks put onto the court.

The Lakers beat great young talents in Kevin Durant and Deron Williams then beat a crafty, old vet in Steve Nash. The Celtics ran the gauntlet in the East, beating Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard.

When the Lakers lost to the Celtics in 2008, Andrew Bynum was out with a knee injury. In 2010, Bynum is limited with a knee injury.

In 2008, Rajon Rondo wa...

About the Author