The Lakers Strike Back: Never Rile a Giant

April 28th, 2010 by Bill Hare Leave a reply »
The overwhelming Lakers’ 111-87 victory over Oklahoma City in a contest even more overwhelming than the final score indicated was reminiscent of what happened with another Los Angeles team a generation ago.

The 1984-1985 team coached by Pat Riley was becoming traumatized by losing world championship finales to the mighty Boston Celtics.  On May 27, 1985 the Lakers and Celtics met at Boston Garden in Game 1.

The result was one of the greatest humiliations in Lakers’ history, as the Celtics romped 148-114.  The Boston press, never known for its gentleness, laced into a Lakers team it accused of choking whenever the title was on the line and Boston was the opponent.

Much pounding was directed at then 38-year-old veteran center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  According to the critics Father Time had caught up with the former UCLA great and Game 1 proved it.

Before Game 2, Pat Riley ordered a closed door meeting with his players at the hotel where the Lakers were staying.  The only mystery to hotel patrons and employees was why Riley bothered to bolt the doors shut on the meeting.

Everyone in the nearby vi ...

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