The rested and healthy Lakers played just 12 mostly blowout games in the run and gun West to reach the 1987 Finals, while the Celtics battled through 17 far tougher games back in the much more rugged, humid and brutal East. Part 2, though, is very strong and Part 3 is also pretty stellar. One of the more remarkable moments in the documentary comes when Johnson describes walking through Boston with some of his teammates before a game against the Celtics. Perhaps the greatest of them all is the Boston Celtics vs. Johnson was at a disadvantage from the start. Despite not appreciating the tagline, Bird was the Great White Hope.
After his clothesline of Rambis in 1984, numerous Lakers , Johnson, and A. I wonder if that will be mentioned in part three. Several other similar incidents also took place, too numerous to note in this article. The team that was anointed to replace the Knicks and Celtics as the denizens of great team basketball that appealed to the mostly white fan base, the 1977 champion Portland Trailblazers, saw their mini-dynasty implode due to devastating injuries to superstar flower-child center Bill Walton, Bob Gross and others. He did so in a league where many white fans saw him and his people as usurpers. Numerous dubious calls in 2nd half helped Lakers rally from 16 points down to win a one-point epic.
He brought in the celebrities, the Laker Girls, the atmosphere, and the crowds followed. His teammates and opponents initially doubted his talent, because of his skin color - something that still happens. Later, they unloaded Bob McAdoo, traded the 1 pick which everyone presumed would be Joe Barry Carroll, and ended up with Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale. And you have epic athletic conflicts. Was it the color of their skin? Those who watched the games can remember the intensity. Others talk about how the Celtics taunted like nobody ever before. One of the most enjoyable, supplementary aspects of the great Celtics and Lakers rivalry was the announcing.
He was a singular, world-class player who wanted little to do with the racial narratives that fans infused the Johnson rivalry with. Instead, Westhead was let go, and Pat Riley — who had recently been working as the color commentator alongside Hearn — was chosen to step in. Perhaps more than any other player of the 1970s, the athletic and intense redhead embodied the type of all-out effort player many white fans loved to cheer, admire and emulate. Even more so when the Celtics nabbed future Hall of Famer Kevin McHale. Fans openly blamed the Black players for the teams overall failure.
It wasn't the most crushing defeat, but it was decisive nonetheless. In the final analysis, it was a rivalry that forced America to no longer view the league in black and white. Michael Cooper kicked a pass out of bounds that was erroneously called a jump, which subsequently was prematurely called a jump again when Ainge had possession clearly. In the 1981 playoffs with the Lakers behind 87-86 in the final seconds of the decisive third game of the then best of three first round mini-series, Earvin Johnson disobeyed coach Paul Westhead's orders to get the ball into Kareem on the last play and tried to be the hero again. Fans and reporters filtered the stylish, showy aura that defined Johnson's Lakers through a racial lens. Still, there were a few omissions that bothered me.
Green in game four of the 1987 Finals tried to pick fights with McHale because Bird was too bad to mess with and the normally unaggressive Kevin was looked on as relatively soft - and unstoppable. . But suddenly I really cared who won. Abdul-Jabbar was slated to sit out the next game. They released a god damn white dove at Bird's first game.
Installment — 90 by my count. Legacies would be altered tremendously. With so many star players and big names legends like Johnson, Bird, Kevin McHale, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pat Riley and many others are sure to give their takes on the hatred that existed between the two franchises. Bird: Hometown fit Every basketball fan knows the links between Magic and Bird. The Lakers were too physical, too fast, and easily controlled the game.
The answer is complicated and probably different for each person. The long-overdue episode will be a rare two-part series that dives into the greatest rivalry of all time. The joy and the anguish and all of the other emotions that they express in telling their story are what bring the documentary to life. Air Balls Choosing Donnie Wahlberg and Ice Cube as narrators was a horrible decision. But its conceit is rooted in a fallacy.