Ah the 80s. When basketball was basketball and the courts were populated by all-time greats like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Kareem, along with a host of assorted supporting players who made the whole thing into great theater. Perhaps no team in history understood this idea of sport as theater as well as the aptly nicknamed 'showtime' Lakers of the early/mid 80s. This was one of the greatest basketball teams ever assembled. As a lifelong Celtic fan that's not easy to admit but its true. These guys played basketball like nobody's business. They were pros of the highest order whose seemingly effortless mastery on the court was the result of incredible talent and discipline. I think its a testament to the level of concentration required to do what they did that, when the Celtics disrupted that concentration during the '84 Finals the Lakers were basically finished.

They didn't make that mistake again though. Next time the two teams lined up against each other in the finals in '85 the Lakers were ready for any mind games the Celtics might throw at them and erased decades of frustration by beating the C's (in the Garden no less) in 6 games.

Here's a highlight reel of the showtime Lakers. Sit back and enjoy. They don't make basketball like this anymore.