For any team in the NBA, there is a lot to prepare for when you’re about to host the Los Angeles Lakers.
The reigning champions boast a roster with the likes of two of the best players in the world. But if you’re the Boston Celtics, there’s more to worry about than planning for LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
That’s because they aren’t just playing the Lakers. They’re playing their longtime rival and getting all the history that comes along with it.
It’s something Brad Stevens always is cognizant of when Boston plays Los Angeles, and he tries to remind his players to recognize the privilege of being a small part of that story.
“You always have to remind yourself what you at eight years old would have thought, right? What you at 15 years old would have thought — and I’ve said that before when we’re getting ready to play the Lakers to our team,” the Celtics coach said Friday after practice in his media availability.
“If you’re concerned about your role in this game, if you’re concerned about how many minutes you play or when you might be going in, don’t forget about that 15 year old that would have died to be on the end of the bench. This is a special opportunity, this is a special rivalry. Obviously the opportunity to compete against the very best is always a great challenge and they’re excellent. They have an excellent team on top of all that. We’ll certainly look forward to the challenge and I don’t think that we will look at it as anything but grateful for the opportunity to compete in the game.”
The Celtics and Lakers organization lead the NBA in championships with 17.
That just makes things all the more interesting now.