Magic Johnson sees a similarity between the NBA Finals trilogy of Cavaliers-Warriors and the defining rivalry of his playing career.

"Everybody is caught into it, just like the Celtics-Lakers," Johnson said Monday.

Pat Riley disagreed.

"There's no hatred in this series," Riley said. "When the Lakers and the Celtics were banging heads back in the 80s, we had to carry the albatross of the Lakers' losing six times in the 60s to the Celtics. So there was a lot of bitterness that had really built up by the time we played them in '84."

Johnson and Larry Bird entered the league together in 1979-80, but it wasn't until their fifth season that they met in the NBA Finals.

After losing to Boston in seven games in 1984, the Lakers prevailed when they faced off again in 1985 and 1987. Plays that were considered merely hard fouls at that time might merit a suspension now.

"There was really a dislike there. To this day it sort of hangs around, when I see Larry and Danny ... " Riley said, laughing.

Johnson and Riley spoke inside the Conga Room at LA Live during a special event that American Express produced exclusively for select cardholders. Watch the video above for more of their conversation about the difference in the rivalries.

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