For an entire decade no fans dealt with more futility than those of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Between 1959 and 1969 the Lakers played the Celtics in the NBA Finals seven times, and lost all seven.
These were not bad Lakers teams either with stars like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Frank Selvy, and later Wilt Chamberlain try as they might the Lakers could never beat the Celtics.
However, as good as the Lakers were the Celtics were always better. When the Celtics lost a key player they simply replaced them with somebody of equal talent (e.g. John Havlicheck for Frank Ramsay), yet the constant was always Bill Russell.
Russell owned the Lakers as a player and in 1969 as a player-coach when he told his team before game seven of the finals "A lot of things can happen, but the Lakers can not beat us. They just can't beat us."
Throughout the 1970's the Lakers remained strong winning five division titles, but the Celtics fell into a tailspin after claiming the 1976 title from Phoenix.
However, in the early 1980's the rivalry was given new life as two players stepped on the scene who would "save" professional basketball.
In 1978 the Celtics drafted Indiana State forward Larry Bird and in 1979 the Lakers drafted Michigan State's Ervin "Magic" Johnson.
Over the next decade each team seemed to take the personality of their best player with the Celtics viewed as the gritty, blue-color, hard working (and white) embodiment of Boston.
The Lakers took on the persona of the man named Magic becoming the running, gunning, Showtime, jet set (and black) embodiment of Los Angeles.
During the 1980's the Lakers (5 titles) and Celtics (3 titles) won 8-of-the-10 Championships decided during that decade, one or both appeared in every NBA Finals that decade, and three times faced each other in the Finals.
1984 brought back bad memories for Lakers fans, as the Celtics once again took the titles in a game seven at Boston Garden's where the temperature reached 91 degrees.
The Lakers would finally one-up their Beantown counterparts in 1985 and 1987 both by 4-2 margins.
The 1990's were not kind to the Celtics after a string of bad luck (primarily the deaths of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis) and the disaster of the Rick Pitino era sent the NBA's most storied franchise into sub-mediocrity.
At the same time the Lakers under former Bull's coach Phil Jackson claimed three straight NBA titles behind the dynamic duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.
However, the two teams once again find themselves on top of the NBA with a rebuilt Celtics featuring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo beating Bryant's Lakers 4-2 in the 2008 Finals.