Reliving the '80s: Twenty-One Years Later, The Rivalry is Renewed

Chris TorelloCorrespondent IMay 30, 2008

Between the 1980 and 1988 seasons, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers claimed all but one of those NBA championships. The days of Bird and Magic certainly will be missed, and the sky hooks and famous steals will forever be classic memories in NBA history. Now, just over twenty years after the Lakers beat Boston in six, it's time for Kobe to square off against the Boston Three Party and have the 2008 NBA Finals take its hopeful and rightful place in line with this rivalry. 

The 2007-08 Boston Celtics were a complete 180 of what the 2006-07 team looked like. Joining the always hard-nosed Paul Pierce would be a Former Huskie and Timberwolve. Hot-shooting Ray Allen and underachieving Kevin Garnett were both traded away to Boston, something that one would only think of seeing on a Xbox 360 game. The three came together and turned the Celtics from worst to first in the Eastern Conference, winning 66 games. For the Celtics, it is their first trip to the NBA Finals in twenty-one years when Larry Bird and company lost to the same team they will face this year, the L.A. Lakers.

Magic Johnson was electric and Karim Abdul-Jabaar had height when their Lakers' teams beat the Celtics during the 1985 and 1987 Finals. Both grabbed Finals MVP honors (Abdul-Jabaar in '85, Johnson in '87) and showed that the Lakers were the team of the eighties when it came to winning head-to-head match-ups with Boston. Now, Kobe Bryant fresh off of his MVP-season will try and take a young team back to the top for the first time since his winning days ended with Shaq in 2002. Yet a year ago, Kobe didn't want to be a Laker and within a matter of four hours one summer afternoon made it seem like he kept flipping a coin as he continuously swtiching his answer to the question, "Do you want to be a Laker in 2007-08?" Whether it was Lincoln's face or Washington's head being thrown up in the air repeatedly, Kobe ended it after the final flip landed on "stay." It's a good thing two and following a mid-season trade that brought NBA star Pau Gasol to L.A., the Lakers road a wave of momentum in one of the most competitive Western Conference fields in years to a first place finish. After beating the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers are now four wins from winning their first title in six years. With this win, Kobe will prove he was can win without Shaq and tie the big man in championships won.

Prediction: Celtics win 4-1