To say the 1980s rivalry between the Celtics and the Lakers represents America’s racial anguish is actually a short-sighted understatement. As I have grown older, it’s become clear that the Lakers-Celtics rivalry represents absolutely everything: race, religion, politics, mathematics, the reason I’m still not married, the Challenger explosion, Man vs. Beast, and everything else. There is no relationship that isn’t a Celtics-Lakers relationship. It emerges from nothingness to design nature, just as Gerald Henderson emerged from nothingness to steal James Worthy’s errant inbound pass in game two of the 1983 finals. Do you realize that the distance between Henderson and Worthy at the start of that play – and the distance between them at the point of interception – works out to a ratio of 1.618, the same digits of Leonardo da Vinci’s so called “golden ratio” that inexplicably explains the mathematical construction of the universe? Do not act surprised. It would be more surprising if the ratio did not.
—Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
The Lakers and Celtics meet in the NBA Finals for the twelfth time starting tonight.