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NBA FINALS * OTHER VIEWS

Add the Lakers to Dynasty List

June 14, 2002|MIKE LUPICA | New York Daily News

The Lakers have now played 12 NBA Finals in the last 23 years and won eight of them, and you have to know they have become every single thing in basketball that the Yankees are in baseball. They won a championship one night when a 20-year-old Magic Johnson went to center because Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was hurt. Then they won more with Magic and Kareem and James Worthy and even a guard named Byron Scott.

Now they have won with Shaquille O'Neal, three titles in a row and three MVP awards in the Finals, a center as great as any to ever play the game. People who don't want to put him with Russell and Chamberlain and Kareem are blinded by the past. And Shaq is as big a star as the Finals have ever seen. That puts him with Michael Jordan. In the three Finals Shaq and Kobe Bryant have won, they have lost a total of three games. This is the way the Yankees went through the World Series when they were winning three in a row for Joe Torre.

On the court in New Jersey where the Lakers finished off the Nets, Magic Johnson kept talking about the Yankees and Lakers.

"We've got Phil," Johnson said. "They've got Joe Torre. The both of them just sit there with their legs crossed and make all the right moves and then watch their teams win."

Always when we talk about the great dynasties of sports, we start with the Yankees, then get to Vince Lombardi's Packers and the Boston Celtics and the old Montreal Canadiens. Too often, we forget the Lakers. But there is a magic to them, in all ways.

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