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Lakers, Celtics Preview: Win One for Dr. Buss

The Los Angeles Lakers will hold a tribute to the late Dr. Jerry Buss prior to Wednesday's game against the Boston Celtics.

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Lakers Host Celtics to Start Post-Buss Era

Getty Images

Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics and Jodie Meeks #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers fight for a loose ball underneath the basket in the second quarter during the game on February 7, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Photos and Videos

Spokesman's First Meeting With Buss

Long-time Buss family spokesman Bob Steiner recalls his first meeting with the Lakers owner. Steiner was working public relations for World Team Tennis in the mid-1970s. Raw video broadcast Monday Feb. 18, 2013.

Lakers Fans Pay Tribute to Jerry Buss

Fans headed to Hollywood and Staples Center to pay tribute to the late Lakers' owner, Dr. Jerry Buss. Angie Crouch reports from the Staples Center for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2013.
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It seems only fitting that the Dr. Jerry Buss era ends with the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Boston Celtics. When Buss took over the Lakers, LA had never defeated Boston in the finals, and the Celtics had directly denied the Lakers seven championships during the Bill Russell and Jerry West era.

Buss sought to change that, but his Lakers lost to Larry Bird’s Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals with Buss in charge. The next two times, though, Magic Johnson’s Lakers would get the better of the hated Celtics.

Although Boston still leads the head-to-head NBA Finals series 9-3, the Lakers have won three out of the last four June meetings. During the Dr. Buss era, the Lakers won three out of five head-to-head NBA Finals—a marked improvement from 0-7 during the pre-Jerry Buss era. 

On Wednesday, the two most storied franchises in NBA history play for the last time this season. It is the first time the Lakers will take the floor without Dr. Buss serving as owner of the franchise in over three decades, and the Lakers playing the Celtics only fits too well.

Never mind that neither team appears ready to compete for the NBA Championship this season. If there was one thing Dr. Buss would ask of his Lakers team to do, it would be to beat the Celtics.

Dr. Buss “talked about getting another championship and trying to put the Celtics in the rear view mirror,” Kobe Bryant said when reflecting on his last memories of Dr. Buss. Until the end, Dr. Buss still talked about beating the Celtics.

The Lakers currently have 16 Championships, while the Celtics have 17. 

These two teams met two weeks prior to Wednesday night’s game, and Boston massacred the Lakers 116-95. That game was not even as competitive as the final score would describe. However, the Lakers had a suitcase full of excuses and a doctor’s note that excused them for that poor showing. 

On Wednesday night, however, there will be a special presentation in honor of Dr. Buss prior to the game. Beating the Celtics on Wednesday night may not be a requirement to make the playoffs, but it would do a great deal to heal the city of Los Angeles and the global Lakers nation mourning the death of the beloved Dr. Buss. 

Win this one for Dr. Buss!

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