Dig a little deeper, however, and you can make a stronger case for Spurs-Lakers as the greater playoff rivalry. Over the last 40 years, the Celtics have met the Lakers in the finals four times (1969, 1984, 1985, and 1987), with each franchise winning twice. If we count this season, however, the Spurs and Lakers have met six times in the last 10 years (always in the second or third round), and even the blowouts have been dramatic. Between them, these two teams have won seven of nine NBA titles in the post-Jordan era, and eight of the nine Western Conference crowns. Beyond that, they've always had chemistry: The glamour and flash of Kobe Bryant and Co. vs. the fundamental brilliance of Tim Duncan and his mates. And both superstars have something major to prove: Bryant, that he can go all the way without Shaq. Duncan, that he can win back-to-back titles. Something's got to give.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.