Everyone over the age of 30 has their own memories of the rivalry.
Personally, I was in elementary school. I was first exposed to sports during a span of time when the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, the Bruins were in the Stanley Cup, and the Red Sox were in the World Series. But the Celtics were the team that didn’t just make it to the Finals, they won. I was hooked.
I can still remember the feel of our living room carpet on my elbows as I lay on my stomach and propped my head up far too close to the TV. If I got up too quickly I hit my head on my parent’s glass coffee table. I remember being really mad that the Houston Rockets beat the Lakers in ‘86 because I knew we would just steamroll them that year. I remember being a lot less confident the next year because of McHale's limp. I certainly remember the kick in the gut that was Magic’s baby-hook shot game winner. Most of all, I remember hating the Lakers with all my heart and loving the Celtics with all my soul.
I’m certainly not alone. Pierce and Garnett remember those days too.
"What pretty much got me started in basketball, growing up in Los Angeles, [was] watching the Lakers and the Celtics," Boston's Paul Pierce said. "And it's ironic, just being a Celtic, growing up, now you're playing against the Lakers in the Finals. As a kid, I hated the Celtics. I'm going back home to play against my team that I grew up watching. It's a dream come true, just thinking about it. I think that rivalry really revolutionized the game of basketball . . . and now I'm part of it."
Kevin Garnett was just as excited, though he grew up in South Carolina and spent his latter high school days in Chicago. Garnett flashed back to sitting at the kitchen table, "that big plate of food in front of me, watching the Lakers and Celtics play on Sunday, Hubie Brown and Dick Stockton doing the games. I remember that like it was yesterday. Fire going. Mom telling me, 'Don't get too close to the TV, it'll kill your eyes.' I'm looking forward to this."
What are your memories? Share them with us in the comments.