There is only one HUGE problem with all of this madness. The NBA is trying to artificially create the drama and emotion that existed back in the 70's and 80's between the two teams. They are trying to awaken the rivalry from the dust. Only those same emotions don't exist anymore. Not between the players and NOT between the fans. All though my hatred for the LAkers has NEVER worn off since those shining years of the 80's growing up rooting for Larry "LEGEND." My LOVE for BOSTON didn't stick around either. Although I am rooting for the Celtics, and have been the entire season because as far as the franchise is concerned I want to see them return to what they once were, however they aren't the same team anymore. The main reason I want the Celtics to win is because I have been a fan of both Kevin Garnett & Ray Allen for quite some time. So I am excited for both of them to "hopefully" get a championship. They both deserve it, but Kevin Garnett more so.
I think Scoop Jackson put it best from his Page 2 article he wrote for ESPN.com:
"The '80s takes it. Because of the one factor that existed then but doesn't now: race. The black versus white element of the rivalry in the '80s was just as important as anything geographical or basketball-related. That's what made a sports event transcend athletics and enter into America's social structure. Race -- built on the Bird/Magic non-basketball dynamic -- was the core reason we all were galvanized and fascinated. And though many would consider this a hindrance to what the rivalry was about, in truth it essentially made the rivalry beautiful. It made each race respect the other, forty-eight minutes at a time."
To add to that, I wouldn't say it was ALL race, but more so it was BIRD and Magic, I mean they were rivals in college battling each other for the College title, and then they both entered the NBA as rivals again competing for Rookie of the year. So although they are friends now, during their years on the court they HATED one another. If you were a Larry Bird fan you weren't a fan of Magic (you might of respected his game, but you HATED him.) Likewise if you were a fan of Magic Johnson then you HATED Larry Bird. Those emotions and sentiments between fans and players don't exist anymore.
So David Stern, please give it up man, just let the finals be what they are, a GREAT match-up between two GREAT teams, and not a rebirth of what ONCE was.