Any avid NBA fan would know that the most heated rivalry, steeped in decades of tradition and titles, is the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics. Recently, Cedric Maxwell (1981 Finals MVP, 1984 Game 7 Hero) and Michael Cooper (5x Champion & famed Larry-Legend stopper) sat down and chatted , one-on-one, for the 1st time since the Lakers devastated the Celtics in six games of the 1985 NBA Finals. Worst part? LA crippled Boston on the old Boston Garden.
That Lakers victory marked the first time that LA had beaten the Celtics and the first time since drafting Bill Russell, that the Celtics lost a deciding game on their famed parquet floor. The Celtics loss in game 6 also marked the first time any NBA team had won a championship in Boston Garden.
Though ’85 was a series of firsts, it also marked one final moment…
Though no one had known it at the time, game six in Boston was also the last time Cornbread Maxwell would wear a Celtics uniform, being traded to the Clippers just a few months later for Bill Walton.
The 2 NBA legends started with one of the Celtics shining moments and one that stung Lakers’ fans and Cooper showed, he still wasn’t over the 1984, game 7 loss to the Celtics.
Coop indicated that, to this day, the Lakers ’84 Finals loss still stings the worst. Michael and Cornbread talked about everything from the brilliance of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, to the nightmares Maxwell gave James Worthy (choke sign?), the origins of the nickname “Tragic Magic” and the behind-the-scenes rivalry that included some harsh racial undertones from the LA, African American players to the Celtics’ ML Carr, Cornbread, Henderson, Buckner and Chief.
Until this podcast, the bitter rivalry and hard feelings still existed. Hear Max panting and imagine him sweating as he talked about his (continued) hatred for all things LA. Cooper took comfort and surprise in hearing the true feelings the legendary ’84 Celtics had for the Lakers. As an astute NBA history buff, I thought I heard every imaginable story about this 60 year old rivalry but I was wrong as these two iconic players relive, retell and rethink a lot of what actually happened during the 1980’s version of this 60 year old rivalry.
- Wondering what the Lakers thought when McHale replaced an injured Cedric Maxwell in the starting five in 1985? You’ll be surprised…
- Who did the Lakers game plan for most for, besides Larry Bird? Another shocker…
- Did you know Cornbread used to hang in the Forum Club?
- What did Coop and his teammates hate most about Boston? What did Max and his Boston teammates hate most about the Lakers?
- How did Max TRULY feel when he was traded to the Clippers before the 1985-86 season?
- Why did Michael Cooper retire early?
- How was Kareem as a teammate?
- Was Magic Johnson really that happy all the time? What was Magic’s favorite pass time with his teammates?
All these questions and WAY more are answered in today’s Cedric Maxwell Podcast.
So, sit back with a loaf of Cornbread and enjoy some classic, loose and never before heard, conversation with 2 NBA role players, turned team legends.