1980s Lakers, Celtics Greats Jaw About Boston's Probable 18th NBA Title This Year

Boston is set to pull ahead in the race for the all-time NBA title tally, perhaps as soon as Friday night.
Feb 1, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) makes the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) makes the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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The 64-18 Boston Celtics have had an unbelievably dominant run through the 2024 NBA playoffs this spring. The team has gone 15-2 thus far, and stands on the cusp of beating the Dallas Mavericks en route to its 18th league title.

Boston has taken a probably insurmountable 3-0 edge over the Mavericks in the NBA Finals as of this writing. The two teams will square off at least one more time, on Friday night in Dallas. No team in league history has ever rallied all the way back from an 0-3 deficit to actually win a playoff series, although several have managed to at least won three straight games in response to create a seven-game series— including last year's iteration of the Celtics (prior to the trade acquisitons of All-Defensive guard Jrue Holiday and two-way star center Kristaps Porzingis) did manage to push the Miami Heat to seven games after falling 0-3 to them during the Eastern Conference Finals.

Per Dave McMenamin of ESPN, there's no love lost between several generations of prior Lakers and Celtics, who are currently tied for the league record for the most championships in history, with 17 apiece. Longtime Lakers big man-turned-ESPN LA 710 radio commentator Mychal Thompson got the fracas cooking, with him talking smack over the airwaves.

"If you see Cedric Maxwell," Thompson said on his call-in radio show, "tell him I hate him."

Maxwell, who won the 1981 Finals MVP for Boston, responded after Boston won Game 1 in convincing fashion, 107-89.

"Well here's a message I want you to deliver to Mychal," the 6-foot-8 former small forwardl, also now a radio broadcaster, told McMenamin. "Tell him: 'F--- you.' ...And tell it to James Worthy, too."


Maxwell played for Boston from 1977-85, winning in 1981 and '84.

"I don't want to have to face Cedric Maxwell if Boston gets to 18 before us," Thompson told McMenamin. The two square off against each other on the sidelines, calling the games for their respective franchises twice a year. "It will be insufferable for me to sit through that for three hours dealing with his 'I told you so's.' I'm going to have to call in sick for the two Boston games next year if they hold on and win this series."

Thompson played for the Showtime-era Los Angeles Lakers from 1986-91, winning consecutive championships in 1987 and '88 ('87 came at Boston's expense).

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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM

Basketball is Alex's favorite sport, he likes the way they dribble up and down the court.