The Boston Celtics became a legendary NBA team in 1984 after winning their first championship, but the players would not have been able to topple Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and company without James Worthy’s attempt at retaliation.

The Boston Celtics were a team that was fueled by James Worthy’s attempt at retaliation. The team had fallen short of winning the championship in the 1984 NBA finals, and they were determined to make sure it didn’t happen again. They won the title in 1986, but not without losing some key players along the way. Read more in detail here: james worthy.

The 1984 Boston Celtics Were Fueled by James Worthy's Attempt at Retaliation

When James Worthy behaved rough during the 1984 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics knew something like that was going to happen. It was Game 6 of the NBA Finals, and the Los Angeles Lakers were up against the wall at home. They needed a victory to keep the series alive and send it back to Boston.

On a fast break, Worthy bumped Cedric Maxwell, who was going in for a layup. Kevin McHale’s clotheslining of Kurt Rambis in Game 4 prompted the action.

According to Maxwell, Worthy committed a “cardinal sin” that allowed the Celtics to win Game 7 in Boston, completing the series.

The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals.

#NBAFinals Game 2 Moments: 1984 Gerald Henderson’s big steal saves the day. On the verge of a 2-0 series deficit, Gerald Henderson intercepts James Worthy’s pass intended for Byron Scott and drives in for a game-tying layup. @Celtics win in OT (124-121) to tie the series.

— NBA History (@NBAHistory) June 2, 2018

In the 1984 NBA Finals, the Celtics had no business defeating the Lakers. The Lakers had totally outplayed them through three games. The Celtics would have been down 3-0 in the series if it hadn’t been for Gerald Henderson’s stunning steal in the final seconds of Game 2.

Even in Game 4, the Lakers dominated the first half and a large portion of the third quarter. The Celtics were in desperate need of a spark. When McHale memorably pulled down Rambis with his powerful clothesline foul, they got it. The bench was emptied, LA fans booed, but the Celtics were the ones who profited the most.

After his team was blown out in Game 3, Larry Bird slammed his teammates, labeling them “sissies.” The Celtics recovered to win Game 4 and tie the series after McHale’s harsh foul looked to shift the tide.

After splitting the following two games, Boston won Game 7 to wrap up the series. Despite the fact that McHale’s foul may have swung the game’s momentum, he believes it was their offensive rebounding that was crucial.

During a 2021 interview on The Cedric Maxwell Podcast, he noted, “We didn’t play great in those games, but we offensively rebounded the heck out of the ball.” “We essentially forced our will on them.” We didn’t shoot the ball very well, but we were just tossing it up there and getting it over and over again. That series was won solely on the basis of superiority on the boards.”

Cedric Maxwell, a forward with the Boston Celtics, stated Worthy’s retaliatory action motivated him.


James-Worthy-Celtics-1024x794 The Los Angeles Lakers are a professional basketball team based in Los On June 2, 1985, in Inglewood, California, James Worthy speaks with Bob McAdoo during the 1985 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

Maxwell, according to legend, instructed his teammates to climb on his back for Game 7. In 1981, he won the Finals MVP, and he was optimistic that he could have a huge game this year. Maxwell said that the remark about leaping on his back did not go as planned.

In 2008, Maxwell told The Boston Herald, “You may say ‘get on my back,’ but what I really said was an X-rated version.” “The ‘climb on my back, lads’ bit didn’t quite go as planned. It was a legend.

“Everyone was talking about it at the time, but all I cared about was coming out and playing a fantastic game.” I had previously been named MVP of the playoffs. In order for us to be successful, I felt like I needed to have a great game against James Worthy.”

Worthy made waves in Game 6 when he pushed Celtics player Maxwell from behind as he went in for a layup. “The Lakers are giving the Celtics a taste of their own medicine,” said announcer Dick Stockton, recalling McHale’s strong foul on Rambis.

Maxwell remembered the scene from the play.

“In Game 6 out in LA, I’m going in for a layup, and James Worthy does a cardinal sin that you never do,” Maxwell said on a video posted by NBA History & Legends on CLNS. “I remember walking out, thinking, ‘I’m gonna get his ass. I’m gonna get him. “

“It was in the locker room, and Larry and ML (Carr) were there, and everyone was chatting, and I said, ‘Don’t worry.’ You don’t have to be concerned. Get on my back, y’all. For you, I’m going to win this stupid championship.’

Maxwell carried out his plan to the letter.

On this day in 1984, a championship Game 7 was played in Boston for the last time. Cedric Maxwell’s 24 points led the Celtics to a 111-102 victory against the Lakers.

Another Game 7 will be played tonight. Here’s to the hopes of “another special moment” #NHLBruins

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) June 12, 2019

Game 7 was moved back to Boston for a winner-take-all matchup. The atmosphere was electrifying, and the Celtics were eager to take advantage of their home court edge. Maxwell was the most driven person I’d ever met.

“One of my greatest pals, (Bob) McAdoo, was wounded and couldn’t play,” Maxwell added. “They put Kurt Rambis on me when they first began out, a guy with spectacles who couldn’t see me.” There was no way that would happen.

“Then they slapped Worthy on me.” When I scored against Worthy, I glanced to their bench and yelled, ‘That b**** can’t defend me.’

With 24 points, Maxwell led the Celtics in scoring. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and 14-for-17 from the line. Maxwell added eight rebounds and eight assists to his stat line.

The Celtics won by a score of 111-102. Despite being outplayed for the most of the series, they won their second title of the decade.

Larry Bird knew it was over when he saw Magic Johnson guarding him during the 1984 NBA Finals’ crunch time.

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