‘These Two Teams Hate Each Other’: Former NBA Coach Reflects on Lakers vs Celtics Rivalry

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The Boston Celtics vs the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the most storied rivalries in NBA history. On January 30, these two teams will face each other in a regular-season fixture for the first time in the 2020-21 NBA season, and the build-up for it has been intense. 

The internet is hyped up for the Laker-Celtic clash on Saturday. Several media outlets have been doing interviews with people who were involved in the rivalry in the past, and others who’ve grown up admiring the glorious battles. 

Likewise, former Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale recently connected with ESPN’s SportsCenter, where he gave his take on the upcoming clash, and moreover, provided his memories of the epic rivalry from the past.

“Right away, the first thing I think about is the physicality and the battles and the fights. So ‘The Clothesline,’ right out the gate, when you talk about [Kevin] McHale, and [Kurt] Rambis, and these guys and what it meant to them, and what they were willing to do to win a game,” Fizdale expressed. 

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David Fizdale was a Los Angeles Lakers fan growing up

Fizdale grew up in Los Angeles and rooted for the Lakers when he began following the game. Thus, he has a lot of knowledge about some of the iconic moments from the past. “These two teams hate each other. This is a real rivalry, and they weren’t even calling the flagrant fouls then,” Fizdale mentioned. 

“So what really stood out to me was the absolute clashes and then as you move through the history of it, I remember seeing it vividly, the Celtics crowd running out on the court, swarming the Lakers team and literally just taking them off the court,” he added. 

The reason why this is one of the most revered rivalries ever is that they’ve met each other in the NBA Finals 12 times! The Celtics hold the upper hand with a 9-3 record, but Fizdale’s memory is still fresh from the time when the Lakers won two titles between 1985 and 1987. 

“But the last thing was obviously my hero growing up, the great Magic Johnson. When he exercised all those demons and he came across the lane with that babyhook over three Celtics, that will be burned in my memory forever,” the 46-year-old mentioned. 

It’s been more than a decade since we witnessed a Lakers vs Celtics matchup in the NBA Finals. The purple and gold hold the honor of winning the most recent clash, which back in 2010 when Kobe Bryant muscled his way to a fourth championship! 

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