NBA Hall-of-Famer Compares Current Celtics and Lakers in Viral Rant

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Boston Celtics vs. the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. They’ve met in the NBA Finals an NBA record 12 times and both have the same number of banners (17). However, that same competitive feud was not on display this year.

Both teams started off the season slowly, but one managed to pick things up while the other continued to crumble. On January 1, the Celtics were 17-19 and the Lakers were 18-19. However, by the time the end of the season rolled around, Boston was 51-31 and LA was 33-49.

Lakers legend and NBA Hall-of-Famer James Worthy joined The Ticket on 97.1 Detroit Sports Radio on May 25. During his interview, he said that the Lakers are “embarrassing” right now and that Boston is running laps around them.

“You look at Memphis, you look at the way Boston is playing right now, you look at the way Milwaukee has built a team over time. We need to create players that have cohesiveness,” Worthy declared. “…So the Lakers – it’s embarrassing and it’s unacceptable.”

Boston is currently competing in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat while the Lakers failed to reach the postseason. Worthy said that Los Angeles went wrong when they traded away their core in an attempt to form a “Big 3.”

Worthy Calls Lakers Desires ‘an Illusion’

When discussing LA’s issues, Worthy said that their problems first began when they traded away their championship core for Russell Westbrook. He said that the Lakers were trying too hard to copy the Brooklyn Nets.

“We had it a couple years ago and we traded it all away to try to win, to try to match what Brooklyn was doing and what other teams were doing with their Big 3 players,” Worthy explained. “I think that’s going to go away. That’s an illusion, having the Big 3. You see what happened in Brooklyn, you see what happened with the Lakers. Even though everyone experienced injuries, you still should be playing better and you should definitely be in the playoffs.”

The Nets’ Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden didn’t even last the entire season. Brooklyn traded Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers at the deadline in exchange for Ben Simmons. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook remained intact for the duration of the season.

And according to recent reports, LA’s Big 3 could be spending even more time together next season.

Lakers Won’t Trade Pick to Ditch Westbrook

According to Jovan Buha of The Atheltic, teams around the league are asking for a first-round pick in order to take on Westbrook’s contract next season. The 33-year-old point guard is set to make just over $47 million next year, making him the third-highest paid player in the NBA.

However, Buha also noted that the Lakers “have no intention of using a first-round pick to facilitate a Westbrook trade.” So, unless teams lower their asking prices or the Lakers cave in, they’ll be bringing back the same big 3 next season.

Worthy’s assessment of Los Angeles’ roster is one that’s shared by many, as the Lakers bringing Westbrook back is widely viewed as the worst-case scenario. But with his giant contract, the Lakers might be stuck behind teams like the Celtics who built their teams naturally.

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