Showtime Lakers and Larry Bird
When Larry Bird of the Celtics and Magic Johnson of the Lakers met, the rivalry became that much intenser. In the 80's the Celtics and Lakers met 3 times in the finals. The rivalry became worn down by the 1990's when both teams were in a slump with Magic Johnson retiring prior to the 1991-92 season due to him having the HIV/AIDS virus and Larry Bird retired after the season due to an aching back, the teams didn't meet in the finals until 2008. The Lakers became a title contender, winning 3 titles in a row and creating a dynasty while the Celtics suffered a few lackluster seasons until they met in 2008.
2000's and Beyond
The rivalry didn't become intense again until 2008 when the Celtics won in 6 games. The Celtics lost to the Magic in 2009. In 2010 they went to a nail biting Game 7 with the Lakers winning 83-79 in Game 7. They haven't met since then.