As a longtime Celtic, Paul Pierce knows the intensity of the rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers first-hand. With both teams back at or near the top of their respective conferences this season, it feels as if the rivalry has entered a new era.
New players are on both sides, including Kemba Walker for the Celtics, along with young playmakers like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. And of course, the Lakers are now led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The two franchises are the most successful in NBA history, and they will both be looking to add to their championship total come June.
However, they still have plenty of the regular season left, including a tilt with each other on Sunday. Despite this not being an NBA Finals series, Paul Pierce believes this game will mean a lot because of the long, storied history of this rivalry, so expect a playoff-type atmosphere on Sunday at the Staples Center in a potential NBA Finals preview.
“This game always meant something to me, regardless of how good or bad the teams (are),” Pierce said. “There’s something about the atmosphere. You know the history already that goes behind it…It’s just something about this game every year.”