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Back in the 1980s, the Los Angeles Lakers had the Laker Girls. The Detroit Pistons had the Classy Chassis. The Boston Celtics had nothing. There were no cheerleaders or dance teams in Boston back then.

Former Pistons forward Rick Mahorn and former Lakers guard Michael Cooper spoke about their NBA days during an episode of Cooper’s Showtime With Coop podcast. They both mentioned their own team’s dance squads, and Mahorn offered his own explanation why he believed the Celtics didn’t have one in those years.

Rick Mahorn and Michael Cooper each had their battles with the Boston Celtics

Mychal Thompson of the Los Angeles Lakers battles for a rebound with Rick Mahorn of the Detroit Pistons during an NBA game at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California in 1987. | Rick Stewart/Getty Images.

Mahorn and Cooper both had their issues with the Celtics. Cooper had a little more history because his Lakers met the Celtics for the first of three times in the NBA Finals in 1984. The Celtics rallied from a tough start in the series and came back to outlast Cooper and the Lakers in seven games.

The Celtics and Lakers met again for the championship the following season, but the Lakers got their revenge. LA won the 1985 NBA Finals in six games. They became the first visiting team to celebrate a championship on Boston’s home court.

After the Celtics defeated the Houston Rockets in 1986 for their third championship of the decade, they met the Lakers again in 1987. The Lakers outlasted the Celtics in six games.

Before the Celtics squared off against Cooper and the Lakers in 1987, they had to make their way through Mahorn and the Pistons. The Pistons had a golden opportunity to take control of the series in Game 5. With the series tied at two games apiece, Detroit had a 107-106 lead and possession of the ball with five seconds left. That’s when Larry Bird famously stole the ball and fired it to Dennis Johnson, who laid it in for an improbable game-winning basket.

The Pistons never recovered. They won Game 6 back in Detroit, but the Celtics closed out the series with a Game 7 win in Boston.

Mahorn gives his thoughts on why the Celtics didn’t have cheerleaders in the 1980s


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Mahorn and Cooper reminisced about their playing days on Showtime With Coop. After venting about the Pistons loss to the Celtics in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, Mahorn explained why he believed there were no cheerleaders in Boston back then.

“Boston never had cheerleaders because they all probably looked like Bird and (Kevin) McHale and Robert Parish,” Mahorn told Cooper. “Looking like they got eyeballs of Frankenstein. Dennis Johnson — love you DJ — but it was like, come on, man. You all ain’t no cute group of dudes.

“Y’all could put on a suit and still look like the same old knuckleheads that y’all were. But they were some bad boys, man.”

The Celtics may not have won many beauty pageants, but they still managed to break the hearts of the Pistons in 1987.