The 2014 NBA Finals are underway. What better way to prepare for a great series than to countdown the ALL-TIME BEST 10 NBA FINALS!
10. Bulls/Jazz (1997 NBA Finals)-Bulls win 4-2
The Bulls juggernaut met their match in the Utah Jazz. Malone and Stockton were formidable enough to take it to six, but the Bulls were just a bit too much. The highlight of the series was Game 5, when a flu-stricken Michael Jordan tallied a remarkable 38 points. More importantly, the Bulls won the pivotal game and the series.
9. Lakers/Celtics (2010 NBA Finals)-Lakers win 4-3
This was a meeting of the two previous NBA champions (Boston in 2008 and LA in 2009). Boston even bested the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals. The Lakers looked strong in a Game 1 win, but the Celtics bounced back in Game 2. Los Angeles then took Game 3, before surrendering Games 4 & 5 to Boston. The Celtics were up 3-2 and poised to win their second title in three years, but Kobe & company blew-out the Celtics in Game 6. Game 7 was a nail-biter, but the Lakers were able to repeat as champs.
8. Rockets/Knicks (1994 NBA Finals)-Rockets win 4-3
Hakeem and the Houston Rockets finally get the title, but the hardened Knicks gave them all they could handle. This series might be best remembered for a white Ford Bronco rather than an orange basketball, as Game 5 was interrupted by the infamous O.J. Simpson freeway chase.
7. Heat/Spurs (2013 NBA Finals)-Heat win 4-3
Last year’s NBA Final was a modern classic. The two excellent teams traded victories, but the Spurs found themselves up 3-2 and in need of one win in Miami to close out the series. The Heat edged them in OT in Game 6 and clipped them in Game 7 to repeat as NBA champions.
6. Celtics/Lakers (1969 NBA Finals)-Celtics win 4-3
Just another ho-hum Celtics/Lakers NBA Finals. In 1969, they went seven games with each one extremely close. Ultimately, Boston got the best of Los Angeles in 1969, which would be a painful trend for Lakers fans early in the rivalry. How good was Jerry West in this one? He won the MVP…on the losing team!
5. Celtics/Lakers (1962 NBA Finals)-Celtics win 4-3
How much better can you get than overtime in Game 7 of the NBA Finals? Here’s another crazy fact: neither team scored below 107 points in the entire freaking series! We would end up getting many more Celtics/Lakers showdowns in the Finals, but this one still stands the test of time.
4. Bulls/Jazz (1998 NBA Finals)-Bulls win 4-2
The most iconic shot by the most iconic player in NBA history…just in case you’ve been living in a shoe for the last two decades, it’s Michael Jordan. Something tells me Byron Russell’s epitaph will read “He pushed off.”
3. Lakers/Pistons (1988 NBA Finals)-Lakers win 4-3
Showtime vs. the Bad Boys. You couldn’t ask for more of a contrast in styles. Magic and Isaiah were incredible, but it was James Worthy’s game seven triple-double that sealed another title for the Lakers.
2. Celtics/Lakers (1984 NBA Finals)-Celtics win 4-3
Two of the greatest players of all-time. Two of the greatest teams of all-time. The greatest rivalry in NBA history. seven games. Goodness, how was this one not going to make the list? The Celtics and Lakers were so dead-even that they would trade NBA titles for years to come, but the Celtics got the better of them in this one.
1. Knicks/Lakers (1970 NBA Finals)-Knicks win 4-3
Just when you though Jerry West’s 3/4 court shot to tie game three was iconic, enter Willis Reed. Yep, in game seven he hobbled his way on to the Garden floor and lead the Knicks to an NBA title. What’s really amazing is that this was one was never made into a movie.
Tomorrow for our wrestling fans, the ALL-TIME BEST 10 KING OF THE RING PPVs!