The Lakers are coming to town this Friday, and anytime the purple and gold face-off with the Boston Celtics it gets the juices flowing. The storied rivalry between the two franchises and the home fans disdain of each opposing team is usually enough to fire up whichever arena they play in. This particular season the Lakers are in the middle of a rebuilding process, and with Jellybean Bryant gone the only holdovers from the Pierce/Garnett-Kobe/Gasol era in the rivalry will be on the LA sideline Friday night - the artist formerly known as Ron Artest, Metta World Peace (he's on the sideline because he doesn't actually play) and the coach Luke Walton. But there is more than just the usual bad blood to get fired up for Friday night's matchup. The stars have aligned and the Lakers and Celtics just so happened to be tied exactly in the NBA's All-time win column:
NBA - ALL-TIME WINS— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) February 2, 2017
Boston Celtics - 3,252
Los Angeles Lakers - 3,252
(Celtics vs. Lakers Friday in Boston)
The chances of this happening have to be astronomical. I'm comfortable saying this will probably never happen again. The two franchises with the most wins in NBA history, a league that's been in existence since 1946, are meeting with the "Most Wins Ever" championship belt on the line. According to my math skills and Basketball-Reference.com, the Lakers have held that title since the November 1st, 2001, where they won their 2nd game of the season against the Utah Jazz and took the distinction from who else - the Celtics. The two teams actually finished the previous 2000-01 season tied at 2,563 wins, but a couple more seasons of Shaq and Kobe were enough to pad the Laker lead until now.
The Lakers have improved this year from the embarrassing dumpster-fire tank machine they rolled out last year to send Kobe out in style. They've already matched their win-total from last season with 17, and even though they've lost 8 of their last 10 games they're on a sizzling 1-game winning-streak fresh off a victory over the 21-27 Denver Nuggets. All jokes aside the Lakers have some good young players to build around, and I think Walton is a terrific coach. So what better way to plant the seeds for the next era in the rivalry than tomorrow night's historic happenstance.
The Celtics on the other hand are coming off a huge win over the Toronto Raptors last night, and have ridden 5-straight victories to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. The atmosphere in the TD Garden Wednesday night sounded like a playoff game, and although the Lakers might not technically be marquee opponents right now I expect to hear those Beat LA chants reigning down Friday night. Let's snatch that all-time win record and build a sizable lead while the Lakers still suck.
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 2/02/2017 02:30:00 PM Tweet Edit