As I was writing an article on Bleacher Report titled “Celtics and Lakers Reborn Rivalry Has Only Just Begun“, I began to think, “Is there really any rivalry in professional sports that tops this?” I won’t even get into college sports with Duke vs. UNC because I dont really do the research on all of that stuff to know the history and how many championships each team has or what not. So I’m talking professional sports, the 3 major sports of Baketball, Football, and Baseball.
For baseball, without question the rivalry is Red Sox vs. Yankees. For football, the best I could think of was either Patriots vs. Colts, Ravens vs. Steelers, or Giants vs. Cowboys. The problem with those is that I had to think. In the NBA, you don’t have to think. The top rivalry is Lakers vs. Celtics, plain and simple. Now how do these sports match up with each other in terms of which is the biggest rivalry?
As Celtics, or Lakers, or NBA fans, whoever is reading this, you would question if there is really even a need to create this post. No doubt, the answer is clear, and it is Lakers vs. Celtics. My opinion of why it is better than Red Sox vs. Yankees is this: They play each other way too much. Over the course of the season they play each other 19 TIMES. That is just the regular season, now bring in the post season where they are likely to play in a series of atleast 5 games, and now they have played each other 24 TIMES. Sometimes they will play each other two seperate times in two seperate weeks, its like come on already this is getting old and I am not even excited for it anymore. Then when they do play each other in the playoffs, it isn’t for all the marbles. Now sure it is always nice to beat the Yankees in the playoffs, but the Sox still have another series.
For the NFL, it seems like they maybe have too few games against one another. In football they move from week to week fairly easily. It is also a league in which one team from one league, usually does not go to the superbowl in back to back years, therefore making it difficult to get chippy with the other league. Divisional rivalries are always fun, but they are just not as over bearing as a Red Sox vs Yankees or Lakers vs. Celtics matchup. I don’t know if there is anyone who would disagree with me on this or not, but I can’t see any extreme extreme rivalries in the NFL.
Where Boston and LA mix it up is where they play each other the perfect amount of times. Although the Cavs and Celtics have gained somewhat of a competition with one another, the 4 games they play in a year seems to make the others a little less important. The Celtics and Lakers, however, only play each other once at home, and once on the road. That makes the one home game for each team extremely huge. Then when they do play in the playoffs, it is for everything. Both teams are going at it for the championship, and nothing less. Now put in how the Celtics have 17 championships and the Lakers hold 15, and they are also battling for those bragging rights. Nevermind how some of those championships came in head to head matchups.
When all is said and done, nothing compares to these two teams going at it. Like I said in my post on bleacher report, now that both teams are set up for the future, this will only get better than it currently is right now.
Photos Via (Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)