Thunder-Heat The New Lakers-Celtics?


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.

Michael Jordan followed as arguably the league’s greatest solo act with no equal to challenge him during the 90s.

Tuesday’s Christmas Day Finals rematch between the pillars of their respective conferences, LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant, the Miami Heat vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, reminded just how riveting last season’s title series was and the undeniably tantalizing prospect of more to come, of an emerging Magic-Bird, Lakers-Celtics-style rivalry.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, a teenager during that great period, and assistant coach Bob McAdoo, a Lakers reserve for two Finals series against the Celtics, saw the makings of a modern-day rivalry between dueling MVP candidates and their championship-chasing teams last June.

“Both teams have multiple, once-in-a-generation players,” Spoelstra said prior to the Heat’s 103-97 Christmas Day win, referring to the Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook as supporting superstars. “You don’t see that too often, but we remember when we were in the Finals last year, the speed, athleticism, and competitiveness of that series, what we talked about was probably similar to what you saw in the 80s with those Celtics and Lakers teams. Coach McAdoo even said it reminded him of that because it was a force of nature of two teams of young, talented future hall of famers in their prime, and multiple ones on each team. That was a fierce, fierce series, and the five games did not properly tell how competitive that series was.”

The Heat won Games two through four by a margin no greater than six points. Tuesday’s intense matchup made it four of the last six between the two decided by six or less.

“Of course that’s a sexier matchup, as far as LeBron and me and Russell and D-Wade, Serge [Ibaka] and Chris Bosh, of course that’s the matchup everybody wants to see,” Durant said. “But you never know. We never try to concern ourselves like that, we try to take it a day at time, but it does play on last year, everybody talks about us building a rivalry. So, you know, if it does happen, that’d be fun, that’d be something great to be a part of.”

The new collective bargaining agreement, with its harsher luxury tax penalties, might ultimately determine the fate of this rivalry. The Thunder are in excellent position to contend for the foreseeable future. They made the difficult decision to trade James Harden before the season after locking up its young core of Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka at manageable salaries through 2016.

“We’re excited about where we’re going, but still we want to win a championship now,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “We’re not playing for next season or the next season after. We’re like every team, if you have a chance to win you want to win now.”

Heat owner Mickey Arison got one title with his dream-team trio and the Heat are prohibitive favorites to repeat. But, he’ll will have to commit to paying stiff luxury taxes to keep James, Wade and Bosh together to fulfill LeBron’s “not one, not two, not three…” prophecy.

The three All-Stars are under contract through 2016-17, but all three have early termination clauses after next season, and whispers of a James departure for the Lakers are already coming in like the warm Atlantic lapping the South Beach sands at low tide.

132 Comments

  1. LOL says:

    There is 30 Championship banners between the Lakers and Celtics, and they have met in the finals more than any other team in NBA history. This article is a joke.

  2. Sean says:

    In basketball history (or North American sports), I have to say Celtics-Lakers is probably not gonna be matched for a long time but I think the greatest sports rivalry title goes to Real Madrid-Barcelona in (european) football…

  3. Bulls says:

    The article never once said that the Heat Vs. Thunder matchup was better than the great rivalry of the Celtics and Lakers. All it said was there is a chance that it can become something great because it has the right pieces. The 2 best players in the league with Lebron, and Durant. Two “Superstars” in Wade and Westbrook, and then solid supporting cast headlined by Bosh and Ibaka. It’s just a matchup that looks good or “Sexy” as Kevin Durant says.. It has the makings to be a great rivalry if everything works out perfectly.. We all know that won’t happen, but it’s worth thinking about. People need to calm down a little bit with getting so defensive about the comparison. I agree, it’s not even close, but that wasn’t the point of the article, so give it a break.. On a side note: I do actually believe there are way too many comparisons in sports, and most of the people complaining about them will be the first ones to compare their favorite player with someone else.. At least if you are going to make comparisons, make them logical, and things that actually make a little sense..

    • Bulls says:

      Sorry, two supporting “superstars” – I put superstars in quotations because I’m not convinced either one of those 2 are superstars, but some people describe them as such. Although, I do think they are both great players and all-stars.

  4. Paddy Considine says:

    Dude, Caplan, you’re an idiot. Quit watching the NBA, as it is obviously not doing anything for you. The Lakers-Celtics rivalry began decades ago, KD and LBJ are just new toys. I hate sports journalism these days. The Pistons upset the Heat, shoot 58 percent or something (over 60 percent from 3!), and what’s the headline on ESPN? “Heat Miss Wade.”

    NBA Journalism is the thirsty girl in the middle of the circle of naked dudes.

  5. And 1 says:

    Are you kidding me?! These two haven’t even built a rivalry – there’s no intensity when James and Durant face-off. Unlike Magic vs. Bird – there was always that intesity of ‘hold-on-to-your seats’ folks! And on top of this, the Lakers and Celtics of the late ’70s and ’80s were dominant teams!

    There are other teams emerging, such as; the Clippers, Grizzlies, Jazz, who are filled with young talented players, who will challenge your so-called “rivalry” between the Thunder and the Heat.

  6. Shan says:

    i hate it when you start comparing the present to the past…why not THIS may possibly be ONE OF THE NEW GREAT RIVALRY HEAT vs OKC LBJ/WADE vs KD/RUSS.

  7. Lakers-R-Us says:

    No one can top the Laker-Celtic rivalry. Look at the history.

  8. Jose says:

    Imposible… Lakers vs Celtics start on the begginings of NBA… Heat vs Thunder = 1 year ago….

  9. Miami Heat BIG fan says:

    Better watch out for the Mavs-Thunder Rivalry first…

    What a BIG match-up there!

  10. AlexWebb says:

    OK so the teams aren’t what they used to be but that is mot fair to now then utterly disregard them from there own comparison. Also it’s not just about the stats on the board it’s how they play against each other, the way these types of rivalry games bring out the heart in the players, so they might be the best technical teams but you can’t bet against any team that has the will to push them through games just like last year a battered a bruised C’s took miami to a 7 game series just to show the NBA they haven’t given up. These articles bring the worst out of people as well, just to try and see which fire the can start now.

  11. Garie says:

    ARE YOU SERIOUS?

    disclaimer: Miami/Okc are good(great) teams in their own rights.

    This is a premature comparison.

    You can compare the hype it brings in your old bones but please don’t disrespect the two greatest teams in NBA history.

    KD and ‘Bron are great players in the making, as well as this rivalry. But even Magic and Bird will have their eyebrows raised as well as humbled with this comparison. Think like a basketball fan!

  12. Bunsenburner says:

    The long answer: no.

  13. RealProphet says:

    Honestly, the Lakers and Celtics finals from a few years ago was more interesting than OKC and Miami last year. I mean, I understand the match up looked great and was fast and athletic, but the Heat just kinda punked them and dominated them. Kobe, Odom, and Gasol going up against Garnett, Allen, Pierce, and Rondo went 7 games, they had arguably equal talent, they hated each other… Kobe vs Allen, Garnett vs Gasol, Artest vs Pierce, and it got ugly at times. That’s a real rivalry. No one wants to see Lebron and KD go at it and then go out to dinner together afterwards and then talk about the next time they gonna practice together.

  14. gl33sta says:

    Come on, be serious, the new celtics-lakers?? No disrispect to OKC an MIA, but we can talk about this question in 20 years…

  15. Richard Kindly says:

    They’ve met one time in the finals and they’re the new Lakers/Celtics? I expected a young guy to have written this article, but you look old enough to know better. Either you just wanted an interesting headline or you are on drugs.

  16. Ricardo says:

    Clearly folks who loves basketball and know the history said it clearly no comparison at all. The new generations are clearly excited to see their teams play heats vs thunders so they failed to see the meaning of rivalry cause both team faced each other in the finals once followed by their first Xmas game against each other so the writer asked if it possible rivalry the answer is NO; when you look at rivalries such as Magic and the Lakers vs Bird and the Celtics they been doing for years and fans and players were tuned to watch same as when Michael and the Bulls vs Ewing and the Knicks for eastern finals. The rating for this year game went to the Lakers vs Knicks and not the heats vs thunders now that’s a fact from not only ABC, but from NBCsports, ESPN and other sources.

  17. WARNING! says:

    im hungry for some celtic cereal and laker juice

  18. Josh says:

    The Thunder are going to need to put up a better fight than getting beat 4-1 if you want to call this a rivalry. As of right now, the Thunder are just another team the Heat have beaten. Even Jerry West has been quoted as saying that he didn’t feel like he had a rivalry with the Celtics when he was playing … the Celtics were the team they couldn’t beat. A rival needs to put up a bit of a fight.

  19. Jumppong says:

    then who’s the Celtics? and the Lakers? is it OKC the Celtics?? or Heat is the Lakers??

  20. JB says:

    Okay you can not compare that to the Lakers and Celtics because they have been going at it since The Logo and Bill Russell where playing. In 2010 when they where in the NBA finals it was still the same thing. Maybe when the OKC vs Heat goes through four to five eras of basketball maybe then we can talk about this

  21. gig manera says:

    Bloody hell!

  22. Drew says:

    i love how laker and celtic fans hang on to the history. it makes sense, that is the only good thing they can hang on to, seeing that their teams arent even in the top half of the league. still, lakers and celtics have a good time remembering the good times….BUT heat and thunder fans have a much better time actually LIVING the good times. you cant compare generations. only thing that matters is here and now, not 20 years ago. it is time everybody faces the facts, LAKERS-CELTICS times are over ! it doesnt matter anymore.

  23. Brotha says:

    ‘Bron cant be in lakers uniform. He promised more than 5 championships in his current organization. He already got big help from Heat’s role players and they could probably establish Heat Dynasty over Thunder, Celtics and Lakers. For more than 3 season, I guess.

  24. Reblogged this on Project Double Guns and commented:
    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.

  25. NBAfan says:

    in a word…NO.

    The Lakers and the Celtics are conerstone franchises for the league. Combined, they have more titles than years Lebron James or Kevin Durant has been alive. This rivalry SPANS GENERATIONS..do you really think MIA will be anything more past Lebron or do you think OKC will be anything past Durant?

    Maybe you’re trying to say that Lebron vs. Durant is the new Magic vs Bird…that is more believable than MIA vs OKC as the new LAL vs BOS….

    Lebron and Durant are great great players….whether the stars will align and this becomes anything like Magic vs Bird…well, that”s up to Lebron and Durant..and well…the NBA and it’s marketing team

    • nonsense,you idiot….bron too great for kobrick cryant,get used to him dominating,the real fkn deal.

      • KobeWinner says:

        STFU! Lebrick will always dominate until the NBA refs calls Lebrick’s 4 steps traveling!!

        Maybe that’s an evolved version of the Crab Dribble since he always get away with it.

        LOL!

  26. Austin says:

    Are you serious? Heat/Thunder over Lakers/Celtics…i just lost all respect for you as a journalist. 33 Combined WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS between LA/Boston…2 combined with the Heat and Thunder. Please dont’ forget about history…SMH

  27. Diego says:

    Please quit making this comparison, the game is diffrent now it has evolved. Nothing will ever rival Bird and Magic. This is just some sort of publicity comment. I cant imagine the NBA really thinks this, that would be absurd!

  28. Rick says:

    It’s a little premature to call it a Bird-Magic rivalry. Let’s wait for them to actually win a few championships between them…

  29. Kobe Bryant says:

    I really think that comparing the old rivalry between the Lakers & Celtics and the new minor competition between the Thunder & Heat is like comparing an ancient mammoth and an elephant. You would think an elephant is big, because you have never really seen an mammoth, which is a lot larger then a normal size elephant. Therefor, you guys can’t really judge and decide which rivalry is bigger. Right now, the Heat & Thunder rivalry is bigger, but compared to the ancient rivalry between the best NBA team, the LA Lakers and the worst team in the NBA – The Celtics, the rivalry was tthe biggest of them all. (Lakers Fan).

  30. MicbaelDavis from OZ says:

    haha all these kobe haters comments, how old is he? and he still avg. most points per game, they say with lebrick, awhh dwayne takin points n limelight off him too, what about kobe? he got howard,nash,gasol takin points of him, n his still avg 30 a game, and who was the fastest person to get to 30,000 points? awhh yeh lets see lebrick do that, he isnt even that good of a shooter, only good at driving cuz his a brick, go back playing nfl, okc heat rival will never happen, lakers,cel best of all time in any sport in the world, thats comin from an AU, the great land down under

    • Cry baby says:

      stfu…. LOL

      Kobrick aka Sir Chuck Up was the leagues finest player 3-4 years ago but now its LeBron and KD and they both will get to 30k

      Yeah he is scoring more points a game .. but all he does is shoot. Lebrons played half the time and has more triple doubles

      AND LEBRON is shooting better than Kobe evrywhere on the court including 3s

      Durant is like Kobe but BETTER and more EFFICIENT

      Damn if field goal % was gas Kobe would be a Hummer burning right through the tank!!!

      • KobeWinner says:

        Oh I’m sorry… Did he hurt you because he said bad things about your GF Queen Lebrick??
        Just stop drinkin’ the Kool Aid ma man! LOL!

  31. IJB says:

    People are missing the point of this blog lol. They clearing are not comparing the CURRENT dynamic of the Thunder-Heat to the Celtics-Lakers. Like it said, Magic & Bird dueled 3 times in 4 years, and the Celtics-Lakers rivalry as whole date back to the 50’s/60’s. What’s being suggested is that LeBron & Durant can at least match Magic and Bird for cross-conference/superstar rivalry in say 10 years after they’ve faced each other enough.

  32. Pafeu says:

    C’mon, we all know that NBA as a product needs marketing just as anything does. But you’ve got to come up with something more than that. It’s a cheap move to throw such a comparision. Not to mention that Thunder is suprisingly fading when it comes to play with Heat, so there’s no true rivalry here.

    And not to mention that Magic and Larry didn’t work out together, so I really don’t know where’s the competitiveness in these guys nowadays.

  33. Ablab says:

    I love journalists.

  34. Lorenzo says:

    Hell, no!

  35. brown says:

    cant be a real rivalry if miami keeps winning everything

  36. David says:

    Jeff Caplan… king of overstatement.

  37. Drake says:

    So a 50 years or so rivalry is compared to one that is… um… half season long? Yeah, sure…

  38. niko808 says:

    Maybe if they meet again in the Finals 2+ more times then it would have the weight of the Bird V Magic Rivalry in the 80’s but overall the Lakers V Celtics rivalry spannes generations so there is no comparison.

    The Heat & Mavs have a bigger rivalry at the moment as they have met twice in the finals, but that never gets a mention & rightly so as i doubt it will ever happen again.

  39. niko808 says:

    Maybe if they meet again in the Finals 2+ more times over the next 5/6yrs then it would have the weight of the Bird V Magic Rivalry in the 80’s but overall the Lakers V Celtics rivalry spannes generations so there is no comparison.

    The Heat & Mavs have a bigger rivalry at the moment as they have met twice in the finals, but that never gets a mention & rightly so as i doubt it will ever happen again.

  40. MathSimon says:

    I just have something to say

    The Finals last year was nowhere near THRILLING. 4 – 1 is not THRILLING

  41. Vash says:

    Making a statement like that is outrageous. The Lakers/Celtics rivalry is like the holy grail of rivalry in NBA games. Without these rivalry, we wouldn’t even be hearing “BEAT LA” on every North American sports that likewise like to beat the hell out of every Los Angeles team.

  42. Betteden says:

    This is a joke. How can a rivarly that started back in the 1950’s be compared to a rivarly that has been going on for less than a year? Lakers – Celtics rivarly is one of the greatest in professional sports and those two teams are the most storied franchises in NBA history.

  43. sid21 says:

    Its really sad to see that there are so many haters of teams and players. Leebron, kobe, melo, durant, are all exceptional players. Their rivalries are what keeps us going. If your a true sports fan you should recognize how talented each player is and on what level they are playing. Kobe is an amazing legendary type player but he simply isnt the best anymore. And thats because he is out of his prime. On the other hand lebron is the best because right now he is in his prime. If you people cant accept that you guys really dont understand the game of basketball. If you really want to compare them than compare them while kobe was in his primem but right now hands down lbj is a greater player. Stop hating another player/team just because you like one…..freaking narrow minded idiots….comments from you people sometimes are so ridiculous.

  44. jake s says:

    Thunder are contenders. It’s not what you want to hear if you are a big city fan i.e. Boston, L.A., New york, but they are. Thunder play some of the best ball in the world. The thunder are headed to the top with their big three aged 23. Heat big three are aged 28. Heat down, Thunder up.

  45. specialfriedrice says:

    of course they had to throw in bs about The King possible stabbing the Heat in the back for the Lakers…why seriously why…you get paid to write…do a better job…no one pays me to hear my negitive thoughts…so do a better job and quit the bs stuff…

  46. Lorenzo says:

    Stop talking nonsense like this one (how the hell you compare Thunders/Heats to Lakers/Celtics??)
    Instead, work on your top 10 plays, your refs, your overestimation of certain players like Blake Griffin and Lebron James (the second one is overestimated only when he wins the MVP title for three times though)
    It’s all about your system, dear Mr Stern, which is composed by media and by the overcoming of certain rules (travelling violation, it exists in YOUR NBA official rules of the game).
    Basketball is not only show.
    Spectacular plays are good, i don’t deny, but three or four or even more fastbreak dunks, where the dunkers makes three, four and even five steps without hearing a whistle in a single game, can make the difference. Basketball is not only a show or only a way to make money, Mr Stern.

  47. Orlando Magic Toaster says:

    Here in Ireland no one really knows of the Heat, Thunder or Durant, Westbrook.. Lebron is only known more because of his drama when he left Cleveland.. That aside everyone knows of Celtics, Lakers, Bird and Magic.. The comparison is way off and would need a lot more recognition to be compared to big franchises like Lakers v Celtics.

  48. RNY says:

    its not a rivalry when you have only one team wining. The heat have dominated in almost every meeting with thunder.

  49. wtf says:

    such a stupid article. from the title is stupid. doesn’t worth reading it. bleah. the poster should the fired for this.

  50. Nikjared says:

    Not even close.. Lakers and Celtics met 12 times in finals

  51. riggedrival says:

    no, since lebron got durant in his pocket

  52. Ivan says:

    Kobe is the best player between James and Durant. Don’t ever compare these two guys to Kobe because they are younger than Kobe.

  53. kobeista says:

    if the STERN wants it would be :D stern made nba a money making thing

  54. MJ the greatest says:

    I can only put Lebron with two other people, Jordan and Chamberlain. A player that stands out over everyone in his generation. There are a lot of very good superstars, but none can do what James is able to do. Durant could come close if he bulks up to 250 lbs, but that’s the closest someone right now could play to his level. The NBA is into another Bird vs Magic era type with LJ vs KD right now. I feel sorry for all other teams and young superstars,because these two will have a regular date every June and everyone else would just sit back and watch.

  55. TroubleSeyd says:

    Now matter how good the games are today, if it’s compared to the past, even if it really is better…people will say the ones from the past are better. Thats how the world is today *shrugs*

  56. Mino says:

    Too early to say. Lebron may bolt from Miami soon, or Durant may bolt from OKC. It’s a common trend with superstars today, leaving their teams behind, so it’s likely new rivalries wont form as there will be no more 1-franchise for life players.

  57. Arky says:

    Whispers of LeBron opting out to go to the LAKERS? Whispers from Lakers homers, maybe.

    This time last year it looked like Chicago-Miami was going to be a great rivalry for years to come. These things are fragile..hard to get rivalries between teams in different conferences since it falls over if either of them don’t make the Finals…

  58. Dillan says:

    Lmao, people overseas wouldn’t even know who the Thunder are. Trust me as an Australian people still know who Bird and Magic are. Durant wouldn’t get a flicker of recognition from people. How can you compare a worldwide famous rivalry that has lasted the years to a team who’s superstars freaking train together every year. They’re just two currently good teams with awful names.

  59. thesniper321 says:

    if dallas and the lakers get out their slug, the Rocket can start sweating cuz the warriors and the wolves have better chance to make the playoffs

  60. Shootums says:

    I like Durant and Lebron a whole lot better than Kobe and Pierce.

  61. gurl on 23 says:

    Maybe Thunder would won if James Harden still on their team but still I believe that Heat is still the number one as of today and with their hunger of winning another championship title that would become their driving force to have it.

  62. Victor Manoel says:

    Man, I bet my boxers that LeBron back to CLEVELAND is way more likely than LeBron to the Lakers. LeBron loves being loved, so it would be natural if he comes back to the city where he has unfinished business. Anyway, I really hope this Heat-OKC rivalry gets bigger, it would be fun to watch, but these things involving the Finals are very unpredictable: the “greatest rivalry of all times” should have been Kobe vs. LeBron, but it never materialized; so, some folks started to talk about a LeBron (Cleveland) vs. Carmelo (Denver) rivalry (i remember that); now that Kevin Durant emerged as one of the best players of his generation, everybody’s talking about Lebron vs. Durant. Maybe, in June, we’ll be talking about a Heat-Clippers rivalry, who knows… As LeBron has been being the best player (or the second best) in the league for such a long time, everybody in the West who succeed is viewed as the contender against him. In fact, the real rivalries involving LeBron were “Cleveland vs. Pistons”, “LeBron vs. Wizards” and, of course, the bloody rivalry against the Boston Celtics of the Big 3 era.

  63. Ghigz says:

    Never dude. Never. It may be exciting. but never. championship ratio is not even satisfying. its like 33:2 championships. Lakers-Celtics is the best rivalry in sports history. period.

  64. RH says:

    The NBA, and the media, tend to be about the demographics overrating the stars in places like the Northeast and Southern California. Fact is, LeBron is a more phenomenal player than Magic or Bird was… and so is Durant. Heck, even Allen Iverson was more phenomenal than those superfuds, given that he beat the later Lakers pretty much all by himself in a series, but could not beat the officials, who were using ‘next year’s rules’ to bail out the Lakers… which the league then officially instituted to save face.

  65. manchild32 says:

    Not even close.

    The Heat are not even close to either franchise now or then. Lakers n Celtics built teams the right way. The heat are a bunch of guys who teamed up to take the easy route to the title. Then there is the Thunder who have zero inside presence much like the Heat. 2 titles between them.

    Not even close yet again.

  66. John says:

    Are you kidding me? I almost fell asleep watching this so-called rivalry.

  67. Mark Coleman says:

    Not even close. They meet in the finals once and already writers want to crown them the new Celtics and Lakers rivalry. Please spare me… The Lakers and Celtics have a history. This between Miami and OKC just happened basically over night. I am not a fan of none of these teams. But to compare them to Magic and Bird is just insane. Anyone who has basketball knowledge knows this is laughable.

  68. Mack says:

    Too early to compare it with Celtics-Lakers. C’s and Lakers have been rivals for what , 5-6 decades and each time they meet in the Finals , it was just epic. Russel-Chamberlain and Magic-Bird just to name a few. Hell , even Pierce-Kobe was interesting. While OKC-Miami rivalry is budding up (though OKC got flattened in the Finals) , it is waaaay too early to compare these two teams with one of the most greatest rivalries in sports history.

  69. ThisTopicIsPurelyNonesense says:

    LOL.. nonsense! OKC-MIAMI the new LAKERS-CELTICS? lol..purely nonsense.. those teams are way imageinations. lol

  70. ccb says:

    This is just nuts! Nothing can replace, or even come close to the greatness of a Celtics-Lakers rivalry! It’s just been a year since Heat and OKC met in the finals! Lebron and Durant (especially Lebron) are not even worth being mentioned in the same sentence as the true legends Bird and Magic, at least not yet..

    • KobeWinner says:

      Yeah baby! Lebron took the easy way out to get a championship. To me, he’s not even worthy of the comparisons given to him with NBA legends especially MJ! He can’t even be compared to the great Kobe Bryant. This is media trying to hype Lebron as the next MJ. WTF!

      Mamba Out :)

  71. EBoogey says:

    Never don’t ever disrespect magic-bird they have history b4 meeting in the finals after a crazy NCAA chip game lebron has more experience (10 seasons) not saying his better than KD but there is no comparison to magic-bird way more interesting in a way better league…

  72. KobeWhiner says:

    mr ball hog scored 40pts against the nuggets = LOSE, he shot the ball 20+ times howard shot it 6 times. i wonder why they wanted howard yet that ball hog just keeping the ball to himself. how many times did they lose when that kobe score 30pts or more? such an over rated player. greatest ball hog ever

    • KobeWinner says:

      6 Rings ma man! Mark it!

    • imacRuel1 says:

      wow… a bone-deep hater! Did you watch the Lakers-Denver game? Howard got a flagrant 2 & was ejected in the 3rd quarter… He was a liability on defense too (most of them I think). Kobe was the only Laker player shooting great whose will too win is always present… The Lakers lost to Denver b’coz of poor team defense. LBJ is a great player & I respect him so much. I’d like to see him (Miami) & Lakers go at it in the Finals… but you’re hate is really out of the line. Peace!

    • The Truth says:

      Nash = Batman
      Cryant = Joker

      #Waive Cryant

      • All City says:

        THE TRUTH = THE PENGUIN

        YOU MUST BE A DEPRESSED BOSTON FAN TO NAME YOUR SCREEN NAME AFTER PAUL PIERCE’S NICKNAME!
        FYI, PAUL PIERCE IS ON THE LEVEL OF A ONE, JOE JOHNSON OR A DANNY GRANGER!!

      • pauld. says:

        Pierce on the same level as Johnson and Granger?You’ve lost the plot there dude.Pierce is a great player, almost of a legendary status while the other two are just good players, with Johnson being the better of the two.Comparing Pierce with either of them is just ridiculous.

      • KobeWinner says:

        Healthy Wade = Batman
        Bosh = Robin
        Lebrick = Batgirl

  73. EBoogey says:

    Impossible, lebron is on his tenth season more experienced not saying his better than Durant but to compare to magic-bird nonsense there is no true history other than the finals match up between their teams last year magic-bird was way deeper and a lot more interesting…

  74. KobeWhiner says:

    stop talking about ball hog kobe, that overrated ballhog will never ever win a championship again. mark my words.

  75. H to the Z says:

    Who cares about the old rivalries, it’s all about Lebron vs. KD. They’re the best two in the game. Lakers and the Celtics fell off a few years ago.

  76. Dan says:

    Where does the NBA find these writers? They are comedians!

    • Stop the Thrash says:

      LBJ the King has vehemently denied any speculation that he might even possibly end up with the Lakers, since he’s delighted to win rings in South Beach……………so let’s see more responsible reporting, shall we ?

  77. bernel sim says:

    kobe is not a great player lbj the best of the best we have right now

    • NBN says:

      C’mon man…. lbj is the best of the best?? i totally agree. Kobe isn’t a great player?! lol….
      The Kobe fans Lebron Haters x Lebron fans Kobe Haters talks are disgusting….
      Lebron = ACTUALLY the best player on the planet
      Kobe = One of the GREATEST player nba ever had, SOMEDAY lbj propably will be too….
      Can everbody accept this?? Plz??….

  78. Lee says:

    Too early to tell we are not even half of the games for this season, i see more of a competition than a rivalry between the two but I would say this you can never put the lakers and celtics out their pedigree and tradition of being a top caliber teams is always there.after the all star game they will show their real wares . i’ts too far to compare…

  79. JAMIE says:

    lebron will never be in a lakers uniform, he spent 7 years with a awful team like the cavs and still persisted, at his age i see him ending in miami ( as long as they can get the players around him after wade retires )
    PS they can never be the same as lakers – C’s, because OKC will never have the money to spend on players to keep them winning titles…. small franchises, small budget.

  80. Houdini says:

    Greatest rivalry in all of NBA is Wizards vs Hornets

    • Yes Man says:

      Oh yeah, definitely. It’s so heated every time they play, I think there’s an average of 3 techs per game and each team really wants to win. Always an exciting finish.

  81. c's over lakers says:

    C’s-17 championships
    Laker’s-16 championships

  82. Adiktuz says:

    dafuq, not even close the celtics-lakers rivalry has been on for 5 decades already, Lebron and KD are not yet worthy of being compared to Magic and Larry.

  83. Wing Dings says:

    Stop. Just stop. Why do sport writers always compare it to MagicXBird whenever an emerging superstar compete with the one of the best players in the NBA. When Wade and Lebron weren’t on the same team, they say that it’s the new Magic and Bird. *face palm*

  84. thesniper321 says:

    I haven’t laughed like that for ages… Thanks for the good time mr Jeff Caplan

  85. Miggy3d says:

    If Miami and OKC is the new Lakers, Celtics, then the Clippers should be the new Detroit with CP3 acting as the new Isiah thomas who stole 2 Championships between that rivalry.

    • artifex says:

      I think Griffin would make a good Bad Bod, ehmm, what he’s actually called… Bad Blake? – seems so fitting then. IF we want to continue all this comparison, I’m sorry for all Knicks fans, who remained always very good but never good enough in the 80s… Difficult just to include the Spurs and Celtics (the “too old’s”) and Grizz, Warriors and Hawks (surprising newcomers).

      That’s what makes a true rivalry difficult: Too many competitive teams but it surely makes the season very interesting!!

  86. Ming says:

    Make this suggestion agin after the rivalry has lasted a few more decades and through a few eras

  87. Cheese says:

    These type of comparisons are an insult to the Lakers and Celtics, the two greatest franchises in the NBA

    • Average Joe says:

      I fail to see the insult. Please enlighten us with your rationale.

      • whats wrong with you guys says:

        Combine the number of championships from both heat and OKC and u’ll still have less than half of the amount either boston or lakers have on their own.

  88. I suppose... says:

    I’m not a Lebron “hater”, but I’m not a certainly not a fan. I respect the reality he’s a strong player, but if he comes to Lakers I’ll start watching baseball. Even though I’m a Laker fan, and most fans would welcome his talents to southern California, I’ll trade him off my squad in NBA2K (20whatever).

    • PSR says:

      You can’t say you’re not a “hater” and just call Lebron a “strong” player. Right now, he’s the best player in the League hands down. And the fact that you would give up your team if he ever came there should make you realize that you are indeed a “hater”.

  89. lol says:

    not even close the lakers celtics rivalrie has so much history we have faced the lakers 11 time and each of those times were epic

  90. jacobm says:

    we’ll see about this in a decade if both teams are still dominant

    • Tom says:

      The Thunder should be…idk if durrant or westbrook is gonna leave…if i had to guess i’d say westbrook would leave but in 10 years the thunder will probably still be a championship contender…the heat on the other hand will not be, d-wade will retire sometime in the next 10 years and i seriously doubt bosh and james are going to spend the rest of their careers in a miami heat uniform.

  91. Harold Mangum says:

    I don’t know if the OKC and the Heat can replace the Lakers and the Celtics, but the whole fan base of the NBA surely hopes so, You at NBA.com has almost beat the Lakers Celtics Horse to death. New players, new times, you need to update and quit going on legends.

  92. All City says:

    Whats funny is that MIA had to bring in a guy like Pat Riley to transplant the recipe of how to build a contender from what he learned from the greatest franchise of all time, the Los Angeles Lakers!
    Dr. Buss will go down as the greatest owner in all of sports and Pat Riley did a great job of learning from Dr. Buss and the Laker Organization!
    All you New Born Heat fans out there fail to recognize, is that Pat Riley is taking credit for the recipe he stole from Dr. Buss!!

  93. awardwriter says:

    Hold you horses, buddy… Way too early to be talking like that!! They still have to deal with Playoff Kobe and possibly Melo Man Ant… No, It’s not the Durant-James show just yet… and may not be as long as Kobe is still playing in the league.

  94. Cal says:

    Not even close. There’s no rivalry in the NBA that wil compete with Lakers/Celtics.

    • Chris says:

      I’d say the Lakers & Celtics rivalry is one of sports greatest rivalry, not just basketball.

      • TDindaPaint says:

        easily top 5 with red sox yankees and cowboys steelers ohio state michigan and duke nc

      • artifex says:

        Well, difficult to tell at the moment. As said in the artcle, it seemed a million times Celtics and Lakers matched up but it was in fact 4 out of 10 in the 80s (though both got to the finals more often and the Michigan State vs Indiana State adds to the Magic-Bird finals competition.
        Heat and Thunder are “just” present and I think in a decade we can tell better. I don’t know but I can imagine in Dec 1984 (after their 1st matchup) people also downplayed comparisons to the former Russell-Chamberlain rivalry

    • Ron says:

      I think the Clips and Heat or Lakers can be…not the Thunder. Had they kept Harden then yes. Maybe. But once he went that too went out the window.

    • baller says:

      yah.. i think comparing heat-thunder to c’s-lakers is an insult to what the c’s/lakers rivalry had done to nba.. same thng with comparing mike to kobe, kobe to mike.. magic to bron.. or anyone else compared to.. those people did what they had to.. just stop comparing man.. these articles make smh.. just enjoy what these guys are doing..

      • Goku says:

        guys all there saying is it has that FEEL…..

        Clearly the two most talented teams in the league are OKC and MIA

        MIA has LeBron who is the best and OKC has KD who is currently a close second

        Thats all!!!!

        They are not comparing it to the historic value of lakers v celtics

    • me says:

      exactly….plus right now, it’s pretty CLEAR that Heat is the better team and I ain’t even rooting for the Heat. SMFH that’s what KD gets for wanting to be buddy buddy with the person preventing him from winning a championship…..

    • Go NETS!! says:

      The Heat’s coach comparison is an insult to his players. Dwane is waayyy better than Westbrook. If you were to switch them two, the Thunder would win the match up. Despite their difference in ages, Dwane is more efficient with more bball IQ. But, too bad for Duran, as a fortune teller, I would say Duran will suffer the same path that Lebron did when he was in Cleveland even though the Thunder team now is much better than what Lebron had in Cleveland. It’s fate for Duran. He will have to seek his first NBA title with another team else where…

      • wide.awake.nightmare says:

        you cant even spell his name right
        OKC forward = Kevin DURANT
        Hungry like the wolf = Duran
        you moron, turn off the culture club CD and understand the sport before you post please

    • All City says:

      THIS ARTICAL IS HAS NO MERIT,
      A RIVALRY HAS TO INVOLVE A GREAT DEAL OF HATRED, ANIMOSITY, VINDICTIVENESS & JEALOUSY BETWEEN THE STAR PLAYERS OF BOTH TEAMS!
      FOR THE RECORD THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER RIVALRY THAT WILL COME CLOSE TO WHAT BIRD & MAGIC HAD, EVER!!!
      IN THIS CASE THE RIVALRY BEGAIN IN THE NCAA FOR BIRD AND MAGIC, IT APPEARS TO HAVE STARTED WHEN BIRD DEVELOPED A BIT OF ANIMOSITY AND ANGER TOWARDS MAGIC OF THE ATTENTION MAGIC WAS GETTING OVER BIRD THROUGH THEIR RESPECTIVE COLLEGE CAREERS & GOT BLOWN INTO FULL ANGER AND HATRED OF MAGIC WHEN BIRD LOST TO HIM IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP (03/26/79)
      AFTER THAT YEAR IT BECAME A FULL BLOWN RIVALRY ONCE THEY ENTERED THE NBA AND THE REST FROM THERE IS WELL KNOWN!!!

      JEFF CAPLAN, NEXT TIME YOU REFERENCE A RIVALRY DO NOT USE BIRD/MAGIC – AS THEIR RIVALRY IS TRULY ONE OF A KIND AND WILL GO DOWN AS THE GREATEST RILVALRY IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA! REALITY IS EVERY RIVALRY BETWEEN TEAMS AND INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS ARE ALL UNIQUE AND SPECIAL.
      ALTHOUGH NOW A DAYS ITS THE MEDIA INSTIGATING ANY CONFLICT BETWEEN PLAYERS (OF ALL SPORTS) INTO A RIVALRY WHICH DOES NOT HOLD THE VALUE OR WEIGHT OF BIRD/MAGIC RIVALRY.