The 2010 NBA Finals: Brought to You By the Letter “R”


Rivalry. Websters dictionary defines the word as this, "The state of being a rival in competition." Revenge. Same dictionary, different term, "To avenge (as oneself) usually by retaliating in kind or degree." You're wondering why I'm using the letter "R" to start my column today about the NBA finals? It's because it is the foundation of what we'll see play out over the next two weeks is embedded in these two words. Both fraught with meaning. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics. Probably one of the most coveted rivalries in sports. It's the equivalent of Red Sox vs. Yankees in baseball, or the Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys in the NFL. If William Shakespeare himself could have written the perfect script for the NBA finals, it would have included these two teams. So why the rivalry? Well dolls, pencils out. It's time for your history lesson. Let's take a step back into the hallow hallways of NBA past. These two teams have met in the finals 12 times since 1948, nine of which, Boston has won. However, the rivalry was really sparked via the emergence of two super stars, one on the east coast, the other a westsider. Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson. It was the disco age of the late 1970's. NBA attendance was low, dance club attendance was well.. high. The league was in desperate need of a ratings boost. Folks saw the NBA as a "bad boys league." Something had to change, before basketball slowly diminished into a thing of the past. The 1980's brought in a new president, a changed country, and a new opportunity... for the NBA. The Boston Celtics introduced the world to Larry Bird. A lanky white guy, quick on the court, with absolute percision in the game, who played with a heart of gold. The west coast found its new leader too. His name, Magic Johnson, and Lakers magic is what he manifested on the court. The two superstars brought their teams to meet in the finals three times. It's been said that their rival...

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