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NBA FINALS: LAKERS VS. CELTICS

The rivalry: in their words

The Magic Man and Larry Legend look back on their classic matchups and ahead to an anticipated series

June 05, 2008

Magic Johnson

Lakers vs. Celtics

It's funny, because I really didn't have a personal rivalry against Larry. I'm sure as for him, it was always the Celtics versus the Lakers. We never really guarded each other. So it wasn't really a personal rivalry in terms of, I'm trying to go at Larry or something. I think it was, Larry and I were always the focal point.

We didn't sleep for two weeks playing them. We talked about it every day. Actually, Larry probably will feel the same way, during the regular season, that's all we watched. Where are the Celtics? Did they win last night?

On the '87 Finals: We knew they had some injuries, so we wanted to run, we wanted to keep that pace up. Also, too, they had a short bench, we felt. We saw that the starters were playing a lot of minutes, so we felt even if we didn't have the lead in the first half, it wouldn't matter. If we just kept the pace going, we could wear them down. And we did that.

A lot of fans that watched Larry and I, that probably were not watching the NBA quite as much, are going to come back and watch this Finals because they want to see what the Celtics and the Lakers are going to do. . . . . When you think about most fans around the world who watch basketball, if you ask them what teams would they want to see in the Finals, they would pick these two teams.

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