Which NBA franchise is the greatest: Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics?
via AP

Which NBA franchise is the greatest: Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics?

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The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are two of the most successful franchises in NBA history. The Los Angeles Lakers have 16 NBA Championships and electrified the NBA with some of the most entertaining basketball players of all time. The Boston Celtics have 17 NBA titles and built their identity on tough players who worked together as a team. Who do you got? 🏀

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The movie stars, the beaches, the Lakers—there is no other team more closely associated with its hometown like the purple and gold. In a city of stars, the Lakers often shine the brightest.

Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain were the first players to thrill crowds in Los Angeles. Next came Showtime with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, bringing an up-tempo style of basketball that sizzled under the Forum lights. The dynamic duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant delivered a three-peat dynasty to the City of Angels. Finally, Pau Gasol joined Bryant for a pair of titles.

If you want a rival to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, look no further than the rafter full of jerseys at the Staples Center.

Boston doesn’t have the glitz or glamour. The Celtics have grit and toughness—and that’s the way Boston fans like it. The Boston Celtics might not have the prettiest brand of basketball, but they will grind you to a pulp for the win—a reflection of the blue-collar town they represent.

Los Angeles has its stars, but the Celtics' squad was forged through fire. Bob Cousy and Bill Russell led the way for Boston early, with the latter winning 11 championships for the city. Next came the hard-nosed Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, and Jo Jo White. John Havlicek and Tommy Heinsohn continued that grinding tradition until a legend came into the fray. Larry Bird, and his dazzling shooting, led Kevin McHale and Robert Parish to three championships.

The Lakers stars might be a little louder, but the Celtics players won titles and went about their business. Like professionals.

Boston loves to lord its number of championships over everyone, but what have the Celtics done since the '80s? Boston has won one championship with a super team in 2008, and that’s it. 

Not only did the Lakers dominate in the '80s, the team continued winning titles, securing five after 1990. The Celtics are a franchise of the past. No matter what era it is, the Lakers have won or are winning championships.

You can’t be a great team without a little drama. Even the Lakers' conflicts drew a big audience. The Bryant-O’Neal feud was just as captivating as the duo's title runs. And even with their backs against the wall, the Lakers found theatrical ways to overcome and win.

The great thing about the Celtics is their proven success. They have the most title banners of any team in the league, and any basketball fan knows greatness is measured in rings. Count 'em up. The Celtics have 17, more than any other team in the NBA.

Any team that wants to discount Boston must deal with that fact. If anyone else doesn’t believe that single number makes the Celtics the greatest, they are delusional.

From their humble beginnings, the Boston Celtics have always preached teamwork above all else. Sure, they had their stars, but their success always hinged on their primary players working together. Me-first basketball has never had a place in Boston. It is that philosophy that has brought the success needed to be the greatest NBA franchise ever.

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