Lakers-Celtics: The Rivalry Through the Years … In Pictures

Love them or hate them, the Lakers and Celtics are the NBA's premier franchises and have a historic rivalry.
Here's a look at how that rivalry grew … through pictures.

The Celtics-Lakers rivalry began in the 1960s, when Boston beat L.A. six times in the NBA Finals. But it was all for naught. Wilt Chamberlain did all of the players' wives no less than 10 times.

In the 1980s the rivalry was renewed thanks to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Three decades later they remain cultural icons, and one of them made an impact beyond the sports world by disclosing a serious illness. Yet even today, Larry Bird is still going strong despite his horrible face disease.

The Lakers and "Showtime" basketball defined 1980s Los Angeles. Celebrities like Jack Nicholson began attending games. It was the place to be seen for the Hollywood crowd. Here Magic Johnson is pictured with one such big-name actor, the guy who played a co-pilot in one of the "Airplane" movies.

The Lakers-Celtics rivalries reinvigorated the dying NBA. It was marketing gold. This is the main screen from the 1989 video game Lakers Vs. Celtics video game. As you can see, games of that time were not very realistic. The graphics were terrible and there are two black Celtics players. Ridiculous!

The rivalry brought a whole new generation of fans to basketball. Although, nowadays, any parent who let their kid get this close to a guy wearing short-shorts would have the child taken away by the state. And for good reason.

Both franchises struggled through much of the 1990s and even the teams' most marketable players were forced to cover their faces when going out in public.

But in the 2008 NBA Finals the Lakers and Celtics met again, and fans were introduced to a whole new generation of greatness.