Legendary Basketball Rivalries
Knicks and Pacers Rivalry
The most extreme NBA rivalry, I believe, was the Knicks and Pacers rivalry. It all started when at the 1987 draft lottery the last two teams were the Knicks and Pacers the ultimate prize, Georgetown center Patrick Ewing. The lucky winner was of course New York City, but the Pacers had something up their sleeve, UCLA shooting product, Reggie Miller. This wasn’t a normal rivalry between teams, this rivalry was between two states, the “Hoosier State”, Indiana and the “Concrete Jungle”, New York. This was the “City Slickers” against the “Country Heros”. This was not really a rivalry this was a legacy. I was not alive during these blood wars between two unforgiving NBA teams, but I have watched tape after tape of Pacers shooting star Reggie Miller against movie producer Spike Lee’s beloved New York Knicks.
These two teams had no love for each other or anybody else. Adding to the already great rivalry was Reggie Miller’s delightful and famous trash talking. One person who couldn’t handle Reg’s legendary talk, Knicks shooting guard, John Starks. The first time Reggie said a word to him we all knew this was gonna be a war to remember.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXs-dSowe9A You have to make sure you watch this whole movie sometime though.
The Knicks and Pacers rivalry is still going since the time it started at the 1987 draft lottery, but is not the same, although lately Pacers’ power forward tyler Hansbrough has had a career high 20 points against the now heavily favored New York Knicks.
Celtics and Lakers Rivalry
The Rivalry between these two teams, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers is the loongest rivalry in the NBA and arguably the most known.
Ever since the NBA really started these teams were at it. The first two major players were Wilt Chamberlain (Lakers) and Bill Russell (Celtics). This rivalry between these two players even lasted to when Wilt Chamberlain was traded to the Philedelphia 76ers.
In 1979 each orginazation drafted their next legend, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry “Legend” Bird. These two players hailing from the midwest already started a rivalry, Indiana State against Michigan State. When they were drafted to different coasts and rival teams the competition really heated up. The only team that could beat the Celtics was the Lakers and the only team that could beat Lakers was the Celtics.
The battles raged on in those years with players like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, and James Wothy. Then they stopped, neither team was a championship competitor. The only team really competing was Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
When the Lakers drafted Kobe Bryant and the Celtics drafted Paul Pierce it was time to redeem the old battles, but not in the same way. The Lakers eventually picked up Orlando Magic superstar Shaquille O’Neal, starting their next rivalry against the Detroit Pistons, leaving Celtics with young Paul Pierce. It had looked promising again, but one team was behind.
After 5 years each team was back with new addittions Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Rajon Rondo, and Ron Artest. The battles have been on ever since then and still are, but in a couple of years they will die down again, bringing new players with new skills. This rivalry will always be and it will always be legendary.
Note: This page is still under construction. If you have anymore geat NBA, college, or High School rivalries, please, let me know.