The NBA Finals are always a big deal, but the 2010 Finals will play a rather significant part in recent NBA history.
If the Flakers lose, this would be the 3rd time Bean loses in a Finals' series he's been favored (2004 & 2008). That means in 7 Finals appearances he's lost almost half of them. This title would give Ray and Paul 2 apiece, or 2 less than Bean. People always talk about time and place playing such a huge role (like if Bernard King was on those Flakers teams in place of James Worthy wouldn't King be in the HOF by now?). Therefore I think the argument could easily be made that if you had substituted Ray and (especially) Paul on those LA teams that won it from 2000-2002 the results would very likely have been the same. Remember Shaq was the most dominating player in the game (especially the first 2 of those titles).
Does this mean that I'm insinuating that Paul and Ray are better than Bean? No. However for all those (I mean you ESPN) that salivate over the Bean-MJ comparisons, Michael won 5 MVPs, never lost in the Finals and only lost one series between 1991 and 1998 (his comeback attempt in 1995 to Orlando). In other words when he was favored he got it done. Bean's got one MVP (which he shouldn't have gotten that year- Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett should've won that award over him, way to give him a lifetime achievement NBA MVP award). Are you starting to see the light that Ray and Paul are closer to being as good as Bean then Bean is to Michael? That's my point. And a championship for the Celtics would legitimatize that point.
This would also mark the 3rd time that Whistling Phil will have lost in the Finals when he's been favored. Did Red ever lose that many?
The bottom line is the significance of this Finals matchup is pretty big in the recent history of the NBA. I for one, would feel really validated with my beliefs when the Celtics win. Go C's! Get Banner 18.