6. Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics – Basketball
Arguably the two most successful teams in the NBA. With 16 Titles to Celtics and 15 to Los Angeles, no other NBA franchise has a double digit in final appearances only. They have met 12 times in the NBA finals, with the Celtics leading the finals record, 9-3. The two are the only franchises to have 3000+ wins in the NBA. The first meeting in the finals was in 1959, when the Lakers were based in Minneapolis. It would be the second of eleven championships for the Boston Celtics in their famous dynasty.
Throughout the 60s, The Celtics led by Bill Russell squared off against the Lakers led by Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, not only during the regular season but their most common battleground was the NBA finals, including the famous 1969 final which marked the end of the legendary Celtics dynasty. 1969, can be a noteworthy incident where the NBA finals MVP was awarded to Jerry West (who was the first recipient of the award), and till date the only person on a losing team to receive this award.
The 70s saw relative success for both teams before the rivalry re-ignited in the 80s. The Lakers led by Magic Johnson and the Celtics led by Larry Bird met in the finals 3 times, with the Lakers winning 2 series to the single series for Larry Bird’s Boston against their eternal western conference rivals. The matches between the two during the 80s bought back memories of the 60s matches between the two.
A 90s lul, where both teams saw rebuilding and the emergence of the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs actually pushed the rivalry between the two back down. However in the 21st Century, the Lakers have been the dominating team, winning 5 Championships since the year 2000, while the Celtics have won the 2008 title, against the Lakers. Los Angeles would get its revenge by beating the Celtics in 2010.
Since the 2010s, both teams are a shadow of their former glory as they undergo extensive rebuilding processes. It is however, a matter of time before we see a re-emergence of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry in the world of basketball. There will be two scheduled matches between the two during the 2015-16 NBA regular season.