LOS ANGELES: It may be 2008, but the National Basketball Association Finals have a decided 1980's feel this time around.
With a rich history to draw from, two of the game's greatest franchises, the Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, square off in the NBA Finals, which begin Thursday in Boston.
"The crazy thing is I grew up watching Boston against Los Angeles playoff series," said Boston forward Paul Pierce.
"And it's ironic, being a Celtic, now you're playing against the Lakers in the Finals. As a kid, I hated the Celtics.
"I'm going back home to play against my team that I grew up watching. It's a dream come true, man, just thinking about it.
"I think that rivalry really revolutionized the game of basketball, and now I'm a part of it."
While it is not Magic versus Bird, each team has its own cast of stars who will write a new chapter in the renewed rivalry.
Boston gets most of its offense from its big three - Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. They combined to score 60 points in the Celtics' 89-81 series-clinching win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday.
Allen had 17 points and Garnett added 16 points for Boston which has not met the Lakers in the Finals since their last trip to the league's showcase event in 1987.
"The Lakers won the West and we won the East and now we get to play each other. That's the way it should be," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.
The Celtics have gone 10-1 at home in the playoffs but are just 2-7 away from the TD Banknorth Garden.