“Top Gun released in 1986 and Celtics won an NBA title; could history repeat itself?”: How there may be a correlation between Tom Cruise’s new ‘Maverick’ and Jayson Tatum and company

Samir Mehdi
|Published May 27, 2022

The Boston Celtics won the NBA championship in 1986, the same year Tom Cruise starred in Top Gun. Could history repeat itself in 2022? 

Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics first faced off against the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals in 1981 where Bird led them to their first title since the Havlicek and Cowens era. After missing out on the Finals two years in a row to the Philadelphia 76ers, they made it back in ‘84 and won, once again. 

Those ‘84 Finals would be the second of three chips for the Celts during their ‘Larry Legend’ era. They make the Finals the following year and face Magic Johnson and the Lakers once again, losing this time around.  

Things came back full circle when the Rockets made the NBA Finals in 1986 and the Celtics had to face off against them, led by a young Hakeem Olajuwon. The series was competitive but it was Bird who hoisted the Larry O’Brien for the final time in his career.

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Completely unrelated to the triumphs of Bird and his Boston squad, Tom Cruise leapt onto the silver screen with a hit in Top Gun that same year. 

Will the Celtics win the 2022 NBA championship because of the new Top Gun? 

The answer for the aforementioned question is a definitive no. That ‘no’ isn’t to say that the Celtics won’t will a title, rather, it’s to say that they most definitely will not win because Tom Cruise decided to reignite a franchise that hasn’t had a follow-up movie in nearly 4 decades. 

However, it is interesting to see that the Celtics won the NBA Finals when Top Gun first came out in 1986 and now, they’re one win away from being in the Finals for the first time since 2010. Coincidentally, Top Gun: Maverick is coming out this year as well.

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A slightly bigger coincidence is that the Mavericks lost in the Western Conference Finals in 1986 and well, Tom Cruise’s code name in Top Gun is named ‘Maverick’. Fast-forward to today and the Mavs just lost in the WCF yet again and with this new release having just come out. 

Interesting, I suppose. 

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About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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