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How The Lakers And Celtics Could Become The Biggest Rivalry In Sports Once Again

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The Lakers and Celtics are two of the most storied franchises in the NBA, and maybe even in the entirety of US sports.

The battles these two teams have waged over the years have been incredible, from the 1960's, where Russell's Celtics dominated the Lakers in almost every meeting they had, to 2010, where Kobe Bryant led the Lakers in Game 7 to capture their 16th NBA championship.

As of late though, both teams haven't quite been the same. Los Angeles is still stuck in rebuild mode after Kobe's retirement, and although the Celtics did claim the number one seed in the East last season, they have been through their own rebuild, and are nowhere near as dominant as the Celtics' of the 80's were.

With the recent mega-deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston, as well as signing Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum, and with the recent drafting of Lonzo Ball for the Lakers, both teams could quickly return to the level of dominance fans are used to seeing out of them. Here's exactly how it could happen.

Kyrie Gets Traded To Boston

https://twitter.com/celtics/status/900156123818455044

The first few steps in the timeline have already been completed.

Both the Lakers and Celtics have drafted (hopefully) future All-Stars in the 2017 draft, Tatum going to Boston and Ball going to L.A., which is sure to propel both franchises to the top of their conferences in the future.

Boston, however, is a few steps ahead of the Lakers. The major acquisitions of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving will no doubt push the Celtics into the title picture for the foreseeable future, that is, if everything goes to plan.

LeBron Signs With The Lakers In 2018

Via @postedswaps/IG

Via @postedswaps/IG

Here's where things get interesting.

LeBron has been rumored to leave Cleveland ever since Kyrie requested a trade from the team months ago, and all signs are pointing towards the fact this may become a reality.

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The Los Angeles Lakers have repeatedly come up in conversations regarding potential destinations for LeBron to land come the summer of 2018, and after the events of yesterday, James may be seriously considering a move to L.A.

The Lakers don't only have the young promising talent that would entice a major free agent like LeBron to sign, they also have massive cap room come 2018, enough, in fact, to sign two All-Stars if they wanted. Boston has Kyrie, Tatum, and Hayward, why can't the Lakers grab LeBron and Paul George to pair with Ball?

Both Teams Dominate Their Conferences And Meet Each Other In The Finals

Via Bleacher Report

Via Bleacher Report

The final step for both franchises to reignite the Boston-Los Angeles rivalry will be to put it all together and make the Finals at the same time.

A big three of LeBron, PG, and a sophomore Lonzo Ball should do quite well in the West, facing competition from an aging Warriors' squad, a revamped Minnesota Timberwolves, maybe the Denver Nuggets and as always, the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers would definitely have a harder road to the Finals compared to the Celtics, but having LeBron on your team is almost a guaranteed ticket to the Finals at this point.

In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics, consisting of Kyrie, Hayward, and Tatum would be going up against the likes of the 76ers, Washington Wizards, and Milwaukee Bucks, which does pale in comparison to the Lakers' competition.

Assuming that both teams can navigate their respective conferences, the storylines surrounding a Finals series between the two would be unheard of.

The Lakers going for their 17th title, the Celtics their record 18th.

The number two and number three overall draft picks from 2017, Ball vs. Tatum.

Two of the best swingmen in the league going head-to-head, Paul George vs. Gordon Hayward.

LeBron going for his fourth (maybe fifth) title to add to his impressive resume.

And the biggest of them all: Former Cavalier teammates going up against each other. Can Kyrie get it done without LeBron by his side?

No matter what the result, here's to hoping both the Lakers and Celtics can return to their former glory, as let's be honest, Los Angeles vs. Boston is the NBA's biggest selling matchup regardless of the roster. Having LeBron go one-on-one with Kyrie would only make it that much sweeter.