The Celtics–Lakers rivalry involves the two most storied franchises in the NBA. It has been called the best rivalry in the NBA. The two teams have met a record twelve times in the NBA Finals, starting with their first Finals meeting in 1959. They would go on to dominate the league in the 1960s and 1980s, facing each other six times in the 60s and three times in the 80s.
The rivalry had been less intense since the retirements of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the early 1990s, but in 2008 it was renewed as the Celtics and Lakers met in the Finals for the first time since 1987, with the Celtics winning the series 4–2. They faced off once again in the 2010 NBA Finals which the Lakers won in 7 games. The two teams have won the two highest numbers of championships, the Celtics 17, the Lakers 16; together, the 33 championships account for half of the 66 championships in NBA history.