Sport: Laker Talent, Celtic Team

Making space in the Boston rafters for a 15th flag

If it seems in the proper order of things that the Boston Celtics are champions and the Los Angeles Lakers runners-up, a feeling yet persists that the Lakers are the better basketball players, while the Celtics' virtues extend beyond the sport's linear boundaries, just out of Magic Johnson's range at 24, no longer within Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's reach at 37.

Jabbar is a beautiful player. Too quick and agile to be so tall and angular, he seemed to have been designed originally as a natural...

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