The 1984 NBA Finals:5 Highlights
Here are the top 5 highlights from the 1984 NBA finals. Most NBA fans remember the 1980's for the rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics as well as the competition between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson for the best player in the NBA. The 1984 NBA Finals was the first of three years where the Lakers and Celtics faced off for the NBA Championship. So, without further ado, here are the top five highlights from the 1984 NBA Finals.
1. Game Two. This is both a highlight and a lowlight depending on who you ask, however overall it has to be a highlight because of the drama. In Game two of the series, after Gerald Henderson stole the ball and tied the game when James Worthy threw an ill-advised pass, Magic Johnson still had a chance to be the hero. However, Magic could not make a decision and eventually dribbled out the clock. The game went into overtime and the Celtics eventually won to tie the series.
2. "The Heat Game." For some people, this may be the number one highlight of the 1984 NBA Finals and it is an iconic image. Game five of the series was known as the Heat Game because the temperature outside was 97 degrees and the Boston Garden did not have any air conditioning. With the outside heat paired with a sold out stadium, the temperature during the game reached well over 100 degrees. Oxygen tanks had to be rolled out onto the floor so that the players could recover. The Celtics won the game and the Boston Garden once again proved to be the ultimate home court advantage.
3. "The Clothesline/Choke Game". Game four featured maybe the most iconic image of the entire Lakers/Celtics rivalry during the 1980's. After taking a two games to one advantage, the Lakers looked to push the series to three to one on their home court. The Celtics gained a pyschological advantage during the game when, while on the fast break, Kurt Rambis was clothesline by Kevin McHale in order to prevent an easy layup. The Celtics antagonized the Lakers with physical play, such as Bird pushing Kareem Abdul Jabar as well as pushing Michael Cooper into the stands along the baseline on an inbounds play. Game four also featured Cedric Maxwell putting his hands around his throat in a choke symbol late in the game after James Worthy missed a crucial free throw. The Celtics went on to win the game in overtime and perhaps gain the psychological advantage that propelled them to victory.
4. "We played like a bunch of sissies." The fourth best highlight of the 1984 NBA Finals came after the Lakers easily beat the Celtics in game three. The Lakers had won the game 137-104 and Magic Johnson dished out 21 assists. When interviewed after the game, Bird claimed that the Celtics had played "like a bunch of sissies." Many people point to this comment as the motivation that fueled the Celtics to winning the championship and it will always go down as one of the most memorable NBA sound bytes of all-time.
5. The Boston Garden crowd was a highlight in and of themselves. The ecstatic crowd at the Boston Garden during the Celtics game seven victory can still put goosebumps on your skin when you watch the old footage. This was a crowd that loved basketball and relished in the rivalry between the Lakers and the Celtics. When the camera pans the crowd, you can see the joy on each fan's face as they can barely contain themselves. It will make you want to drop everything and go to a basketball game.
There you have it, five of the many, many highlights from the 1984 NBA Finals - one of the most dramatic Finals series of all-time.