The National Basketball Association has kept millions of people glued to their TV sets, as if it were the 80’s again. Who can forget the rivalry in the 80’s between two of NBA’s franchises that heated up everyone’s living room during most of their hard court matches? Today, NBA’s fan-base, which spans generations of both hard court heroes and the roaring crowds, is back to the rafters again.
The internet has stepped up to the plate of competition between the rival teams – not on the hard court – but on its pages. Scores of content have been written, and blogs are set up as fast as the next ball flies in mid-air. Innovative ideas such as smileys and emoticons bearing banners of competing teams have become available on the internet, such as the latest designs by Zaazu.com; news feeds and social communities are all abuzz about the NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers (not necessarily in that order) are at it again – their rivalry has made a comeback, and so have their fans that waited for over 20 years to witness another heart-pounding showdown on the hard court, which might just settle -once and for all -the nagging question as to who is the best.
That question has been partially answered with the way internet users have been sending emails to their friends with downloadable animated smileys, or how pages at MySpace or Friendster have utilized which smiley icons to use: more Celtics emoticons or more Lakers cool smileys?
When Magic Johnson and Larry Bird threw in the towel in the 1990s, everyone thought the rivalry between the two teams had taken the bench as well. Little did everyone guess that the retirement of Johnson and Bird only sent the rivalry to a temporary hiatus, and would ignite, more explosively in 2008.
But when did the rivalry actually start?
Sports records pointed to the 60s as the dateline for Celtics-Lakers rivalry to start brewing. This was in a series of games, which the Celtics held on to victory, 6 times out of 8 events. But the succeeding years proved to the Celtics that the Lakers were not lame ducks, but rather formidable opponents; thus rivalry did not die down a natural death.
This face-off between the two teams at the Finals comes at the right time – their first actually, since the Finals in 1987. Everyone still remembers the glorious days in the 80’s and babies born during that era are now grown-ups, and as immersed as their parents in rooting for any of the teams. As the Finals kicks off, the rivalry intensifies. Now, after over 20 years of waiting, and a few new faces, this fresh NBA Finals between the Lakers and the Celtics will definitely be one for the books – and for free smileys available online.
Whoever wins, takes all: fame, fortune and a memorable smiley in its name.