‘Beat LA’ chant moves from the hardwood to the diamond

BOSTON (WHDH) - Beat LA!

It’s not just a chant for Celtics fans. For decades, “Beat LA” is practically a way of life at the Garden. And it always means the most when everything is on the line.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett knew it 10 years ago when the Celtics took down the Lakers to win a title in 2008. Larry Bird understood it when he met Magic Johnson and the Lakers several times in the 80s.

And even further back, legends Bill Russell and the Lakers lived the “Beat LA” lifestyle, beating the Lakers in the finals practically every year in the 60s.

Boston and Los Angeles couldn’t be further apart, but fans share a common bond, both in passion for their home team and disdain for their counterparts on the other coast.

Now there’s a new Boston vs. LA series, this time on the baseball diamond — and the stakes are just as high. It’s a championship and coastal bragging rights on the line.

And somehow, Magic Johnson is still battling Boston — now as part-owner of the Dodgers.

Before Monday night’s game, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens made it clear that everyone in the C’s locker room is hoping the Sox — like the Celtics have done so many times before — can beat LA.

“We’re huge fans,” Stevens said. “We’ll be watching closely. Luckily we don’t play the next two nights, so they’ll be on every one of our TVs, and we’ve had a blast watching them and we’ve used them as an example for our team. Everything about them just screams champions, so I’m hopeful they can get that done.”

While the Celtics and Lakers have a long-standing rivalry, the Red Sox and Dodgers almost never play, and Game 1’s starter — Clayton Kershaw — has never pitched at Fenway Park.

(Copyright (c) 2018 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)