The Celtics-Lakers rivalry is still going strong even though Boston is playing in the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers are merely bystanders and it’s been tough for a few former players who wore the purple and gold to see the Celtics on the precipice of an NBA title heading into Friday night’s Game 4.

What might even be worse for select Lakers alums is running into Celtics greats they played against and having to listen to them celebrate Boston’s enviable position.

“I know Paul Pierce is happy and it kind of makes me sick to see him gloat and be that happy because that team is about to win,” Lamar Odom told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “They were the best team that year (in 2008). I tip my hat to ’em, even this year, but it kind of makes me sick.”

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Odom can appreciate the journeys of Celtics star duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to get to this point. But Odom, who played with the Lakers from 2004-2011, is still bitter about how Boston fans reacted to the Celtics walloping the Lakers by 39 points in Game 6 of the 2008 Finals to get their hands on the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

“(Jayson) Tatum and (Jaylen) Brown, as a professional, as an ex-NBA player, to see them kind of go through the process and make it to the Finals and get better every year as players, I’m happy for them as individuals,” Odom said. “But I’m a Laker at heart and in Game 6 they beat us pretty bad.

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“And that’s when their fans surrounded our bus and wouldn’t let us leave. Shook our bus. That’s when I kind of was on a ‘(expletive) Boston’ vengeance.”

Mychal Thompson feels similarly to Odom as he played in the heyday of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. Thompson won two titles with the Lakers when he played for the franchise from 1986-1991.

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And there would be nothing worse for Thompson, who calls Lakers games on the road, to have to hear it from former Celtics center Cedric Maxwell about how Boston vaulted into the top spot over Los Angeles for most NBA titles.

“I don’t want to have to face Cedric Maxwell if Boston gets to 18 before us,” Thompson told McMenamin. “It will be insufferable for me to sit through that for three hours dealing with his ‘I told you so’s.’ I’m going to have to call in sick for the two Boston games next year if they hold on and win this series.”

Featured image via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images