MIAMI -- Magic Johnson and Larry Bird duked it out in the NBA Finals three times in four seasons, although it seemed more like a million glorious battles. The two regular-season games between the rival Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics throughout the 1980s were must-see TV as those teams and their transcendent stars swept up a generation of new fans.
Thunder-Heat The New Lakers-Celtics?
This is a cool notion, but the answer is a definitive no. The Lakers-Celtics rivalry has 50 years of history, featuring dozens of the NBA all-timers. DOZENS. The teams have met 12 times with the NBA Championship at stake. Oklahoma City and Miami have met just once. Nothing will ever replace Lakers-Celtics, but that doesn't mean this rivalry won't be great. Let's enjoy it for what it is--high-level basketball and quality drama--and not try to evaluate it through the Lakers-Celtics prism.