The Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to the 1960s. Both teams have a rich history of success, with the Celtics holding a record 17 NBA championships and the 76ers not far behind with three.
The Early Years
The rivalry between the 76ers and the Celtics began in the 1960s, when both teams were powerhouses in the NBA. Led by Bill Russell, the Celtics won eight championships in a row from 1959-1966, while the 76ers had a formidable team of their own, featuring Wilt Chamberlain.
The two teams faced off in the playoffs several times during this period, with the Celtics usually coming out on top. However, in 1967, the 76ers finally got the best of the Celtics, defeating them in the Eastern Conference Finals and going on to win their first NBA championship.
The Bird Era
In the 1980s, the rivalry between the 76ers and the Celtics was reignited with the emergence of Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics. Bird led the Celtics to three championships during this period, while the 76ers had a talented team of their own, featuring Julius Erving and Moses Malone.
The two teams faced off in several memorable playoff series during this time, with the Celtics usually coming out on top. However, in 1983, the 76ers finally got their revenge, defeating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals and going on to win the NBA championship.
The Iverson Era
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rivalry between the 76ers and the Celtics was reignited once again, this time with Allen Iverson leading the charge for the 76ers. Iverson was one of the most electrifying players in the league during this period, leading the 76ers to the NBA Finals in 2001.
The two teams faced off in several memorable playoff series during this time, with the 76ers and the Celtics each winning a few. However, the rivalry between the two teams took a back seat as both teams struggled in the years following the Iverson era.
The Modern Era
In recent years, the rivalry between the 76ers and the Celtics has been renewed once again, with both teams boasting talented young rosters. The 76ers are led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, while the Celtics have a talented group of players that includes Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The two teams have faced off in several memorable playoff series in recent years, with the Celtics usually coming out on top. However, the 76ers are a team on the rise and could soon be a major threat to the Celtics’ dominance in the Eastern Conference.
The rivalry between the 76ers and the Celtics is one of the most storied in NBA history. From the battles between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain in the 1960s to the modern-day matchups between Joel Embiid and Jayson Tatum, these two teams have always brought out the best in each other.
As the 76ers and the Celtics continue to compete against each other, fans can expect to see some of the most exciting and intense basketball in the league. Whether you’re a fan of the 76ers or the Celtics, there’s no denying the rich history and tradition of this great rivalry.
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