I Hate the Celtics!

Loren Kantor
Buzzer Beater
Published in
6 min readJun 1, 2024

--

Celtics legend Larry Bird was always public enemy number one to me.

In Game 4 of the 1985 NBA Championship, Dennis Johnson hit a buzzer beater to defeat the Lakers and tie the series at two games each. As a 20-year old Lakers fanatic, I lost my mind. I watched the game with my dad at my parents’ house and went into the backyard to channel my rage. I kicked a stray basketball into the neighbors backyard with all my might. A moment later, I heard the sound of shattering glass followed by a woman’s scream. The basketball destroyed the neighbor’s glass table and sent shards everywhere. No one was hurt, but I had to fork over $500 to replace their poolside table.

My hatred for the Boston Celtics was cemented that day. As Lakers star Magic Johnson once said, “It’s one thing to lose, but losing to the Celtics is the worst feeling I’ve ever had.” This was from a man who endured an HIV positive diagnosis. To Magic, learning he might die was less painful than losing a basketball game to his rival. This is irrational. But I get you Magic.

As a teenager and young adult, my love for the Lakers knew no bounds. Any true Lakers fan will tell you that loving the Lakers also means hating the Celtics. Why? It goes back to 1959 when the Celtics first defeated the Minneapolis Lakers for the championship.

For the next ten years, the Celtics dispatched the Lakers seven times in the NBA finals. The Lakers had Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt…

--

--

Loren Kantor
Buzzer Beater

Loren is a writer and woodcut artist based in Los Angeles. He teaches printmaking and creative writing to kids and adults.