The Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. Two legendary franchises with a storied history of intense battles on the hardwood. From the Showtime Lakers of the 80s to the Splash Brothers era of the Warriors, these two teams have provided fans with some of the most exciting and memorable moments in NBA history.
The Early Years
The Lakers and Warriors first met on the court in 1948, when the Warriors were still based in Philadelphia. The Lakers were still in Minneapolis at the time. The two teams would go on to face each other in several playoff series during the 60s and 70s, with the Lakers usually coming out on top.
Showtime Lakers vs Run TMC Warriors
In the 80s and 90s, the Lakers were led by the legendary Magic Johnson and the Warriors were powered by the high-scoring trio of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, who were known as Run TMC. The Lakers and Warriors had some classic battles during this era, with the up-tempo style of both teams leading to some high-scoring affairs.
The Kobe and Shaq Era vs the We Believe Warriors
In the early 2000s, the Lakers were led by the dynamic duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, while the Warriors were in the midst of a long playoff drought. However, in 2007, the Warriors shocked the basketball world by upsetting the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. The Warriors, led by Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson, became known as the We Believe Warriors and captured the hearts of fans across the league with their gritty and determined play.
The Rise of the Splash Brothers
In 2009, the Warriors drafted a sharpshooting guard out of Davidson College named Stephen Curry. Alongside fellow sharpshooter Klay Thompson, the two formed the Splash Brothers and revolutionized the way basketball was played. The Warriors went on to win three championships in four years, cementing their place as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
The LeBron James Era
In 2018, the Lakers signed the biggest free agent on the market, LeBron James. The move signaled the Lakers’ intent to return to championship contention. However, the Warriors still remained a formidable foe, with their star-studded lineup of Curry, Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. The two teams faced off in the 2019 Western Conference Finals, with the Warriors winning in a sweep.
The Future of the Rivalry
As the 2020-2021 season approaches, both the Lakers and Warriors have made moves to strengthen their rosters. The Lakers added reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell and veteran point guard Dennis Schroder, while the Warriors drafted highly-touted center James Wiseman and acquired sharpshooter Kelly Oubre Jr. The stage is set for another chapter in the Lakers Warriors rivalry, and fans can’t wait to see what’s in store.
The Lakers Warriors rivalry is one of the most storied and intense in NBA history. From the early battles of the 60s and 70s to the high-scoring affairs of the 80s and 90s, and the recent dominance of the Warriors, these two teams have provided basketball fans with some of the most exciting moments in sports. As the two teams gear up for another season, fans can only hope that the rivalry will continue to thrive and provide us with more unforgettable moments.
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