‘Against A Bad Mo*erfu*er:’ Ex-Celtics Player Relives the 2008 Finals Against Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Lakers

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The NBA has intense rivalries that enthralls a fan. The most revered of them all is the fierce battles between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics from the past. While we don’t have any new ones to cherish, these two teams have given us plenty of memorable moments to look back.

The end to the 2000s decade saw the Laker-Celtic rivalry re-emerge from its ashes. Kobe Bryant led a fearless Laker team to the NBA Finals in 2008, only to get bettered by Boston’s ‘Big Three.’ However, the Mamba didn’t stop there and redeemed the loss a couple of years later. 

Former Boston Celtics player reflects on the emotions that come along with the rivalry

For an NBA player to be a part of either the Celtics or the Lakers franchise is extraordinary. Only a few of them get to be the face of these two teams, but Kendrick Perkins is happy with what he got. He was a member of the Celtics’ championship-winning team in 2008. 

Perkins recently connected with ex-NBA stars, Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their podcast, where the latter asked him about the 2008 NBA Finals during a segment on the show. 

Before diving into the details about the series, Kendrick Perkins took the moment to reflect on the magnitude of the Laker-Celtic rivalry. The 36-year-old was overwhelmed to be a part of it, and he detailed the emotions that he felt before Game 1’s tip-off.

Boston, Massachusettes–June 17, 2008 Lakers Kobe Bryant walks off the court as the Celtics celebrate the championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the TD Banknorth Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“When I say crazy, y’all know from going to the Finals, if you ain’t careful, you could just get caught up in the whole finals itself. You know the media, the introduction, all that shit you got to remember that you had to play motherfucking basketball then on top of it, we going against a bad mo**erfu**er on the side,” Perkins explained. 

“So we had to make sure we were locked in. Get to the Staples Center all fired up, and they running all the traditional things like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, Kareem, you know, hell shit, all the ancient mo**erfu**ers that was on it,” he added. 

Perkins on how the Celtics managed to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers

The 2008 NBA Finals was a matchup for the ages. It reignited the rivalry between two of the most decorated teams in the association. The Celtics to date dominate in head-to-head matchup in the finals, but the purple and gold never go down without a fight. 

As far as the 2008 Finals is concerned, it might look as if the Celtics walked away with it, but Kobe Bryant and his men put on a determined fight. 

Kendrick Perkins didn’t contribute much on the offensive end for the Celtics, but he had his defensive duties sorted out. Here’s how he reflected about it on ‘All the Smoke’ podcast: 

“So we get to the game and once it was jump ball, it was like we would go trap the sh** out of Kobe, and everybody else got to beat us, and that’s what that’s the way we made it,” mentioned Perkins. 

“They was like, Perk, you got Gasol here. KG you got Lamar Odom. It’s how we’re gonna play him [Kobe], we’re gonna force him to take jumpers and see if we go trap Kobe on the pick and rolls and see if we can get the ball out of his mo****fu**ing hands, and that’s what we did,” he explained. 

Kobe Bryant averaged a series-high 25.7 points in six games, but the victory was snatched out of his hands by the Celtics’ dominant trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen.

However, the Lakers went back-to-back in the subsequent years by winning against the Magic and the Celtics to complete the double. The 2010 triumph proved to be more sweeter for obvious reasons!

Also Read | The Next Shaquille O’Neal? Insane Stat Puts Zion Williamson Right Next to the NBA Legend

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