When I get off work today, I think I'll tune in to classic cable TV to see what that adorable Cosby family is up to. Later, I'll work on my Patrick Swayze dance moves.

After dinner, I'll probably listen to some George Michael or maybe Gregory Abbott to mellow out.

Why am I acting this way?

Because the Lakers and Celtics are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1987.

I'm lost in the '80s again.

Sure, L.A. and Boston are basketball snobs. They think they invented the game. They have 30 championships between them — and want more. It all seems rather greedy.

But as another '80s icon, Gordon Gekko, noted in the film "Wall Street": "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind."

Greed wins championships.

Heck of an era, the '80s.

This year's NBA Finals matchup is drawing numerous comparisons to those Boston-L.A. pairings of bygone years. It includes the league's best player (Kobe Bryant) and arguably its second-best (Kevin Garnett). It involves one franchise that has won 14 championships (L.A.) and one that has won 16 (Boston). Between them they have appeared in 38 Finals since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles in

1960-61. This is their 11th Finals meeting.

But this will be the first time they've met wearing long shorts.

The 2008 Finals include the two best franchises in basketball and the two best general managers — at least if you use this year as a measuring stick. The Celtics went from Stinktown to Glory Road when Danny Ainge acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The Lakers had a similar turnaround when Mitch Kupchak signed Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol.

Each finished the year with the best record in its conference, which has raised suspicions that NBA commissioner David Stern desperately wanted a Lakers-Celtics nostalgia-rama.

Big deal. Didn't everyone?

How much more middle America could we take? Last year's series between San Antonio and Cleveland drew a big yawn. Did anyone really want more Tim Duncan, stooping in protest after every call? More Manu Ginobili, crab-walking his way to the rim?

For that matter, did anyone really want to see Detroit's Rasheed Wallace picking up T's by the bushel?

We won't even mention what a Jazz-Magic Finals might have done to the ratings.

Which raises the obvious question: Is this a fix?

Heaven's no.

This year's matchup only illustrates there is no conspiracy. It was an accident. Otherwise, something similar would happen every year: L.A. vs. Boston, New York, Chicago or maybe Philly. Yet New York — the league's biggest market — hasn't won a championship since 1973, hasn't even been to the Finals since 1999. Boston hasn't won a title since 1986. And the Lakers' last title was six years ago.

The NBA could use a boost. It has been widely suggested the game's popularity is slumping. A Harris Poll survey in early 2007 rated pro basketball as only the fifth-most popular American sport.

Try as it might, the NBA hasn't been able to recapture what it had going 10 years ago.

But now things are looking up. Instead of Bird vs. Magic, it's Kobe vs. Kevin. Instead of McHale-Bird-Parish, it's Garnett- Allen-Pierce. Rather than Magic-Worthy-Jabbar, it's Bryant-Gasol-Fisher.

It's good to be gold or green.

Yes, the matchup reminds you of the '80s, and there's stuff from the '80s that makes you shudder: bow ties, suspenders, heavy metal bands, torn sweatshirts and leg warmers, for instance.

On the bright side, there were the Lakers and Celtics, who met four times in the decade.

Besides, Tammy Faye Baker was actually kind of hot.


E-mail: rock@desnews.com