NBA Finals are one of the most anticipated events in sports, but there have been some games that were never played. Here are 10 of the greatest NBA Finals that never happened.
The highest per in nba finals history is a list of the top 10 greatest NBA Finals that never happened.
As the NBA Finals approach their conclusion, it’s difficult not to reflect on all of the past winners. The NBA Finals, for the most part, have not disappointed the teams that have advanced. That isn’t to say we wouldn’t have preferred an option if it had been offered to us.
We’ve seen everything from No. 1 seeds to underdogs rise to the top. We’ve seen some of the greatest players rise to the top, and even young guys like Devin Booker have shown us what they’re capable of.
Nonetheless, there are a few NBA Finals matchups that we wish we could have seen but never happened. Let’s imagine what might have occurred if these 10 Finals matches had taken place.
10. San Antonio Spurs vs. Boston Celtics – 2008
The Boston Celtics won the NBA championship in 2008, with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett leading the way. Do you know of another squad with a fantastic trio? The Spurs of San Antonio.
The Spurs advanced to the Conference Finals before losing to the Lakers. During their dynasty years, the Spurs boasted Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. This would have been a high-octane clash between two All-Star-studded groups. Not to add that Duncan and Garnett would have fought for supremacy on defense.
9. Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 2022
This would have been an NBA Finals to remember if everyone had been healthy. On the one hand, you have LeBron James, who is attempting to win his fifth championship. He’d have to go past Kyrie Irving, his former teammate, who has openly expressed his dislike for him. On the other hand, you have Kevin Durant, who is attempting to cement his legacy as a leader rather than a follower, and James Harden, who is attempting to win his first ring after years of failure.
The NBA Finals would be the most star-studded ever. The last time LeBron and Durant squared off was in 2012, when both were rookies in Oklahoma City. All of the parties are in their 30s this time. The major points and plot lines were all present. Regrettably, each player’s health was not.
8. Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 2011
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were the last team to achieve two three-peats. With the Lakers, Kobe Bryant was one of the last players to complete a three-peat. Bryant was eager to follow in the footsteps of his mentor in the 2011 playoffs after winning titles in 2009 and 2010. However, the Lakers were swept by the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs.
It would have been amazing if this match had taken place. LeBron was in his first season as a villain in the NBA. The Big 3 of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade made their debut that year. With both Bryant and LeBron in their primes, a three-peat on the line, and LeBron’s first chance at a ring on the line, the whole country would have been riveted to the broadcast.
7. Houston Rockets vs. Chicago Bulls – 1997
Michael Jordan’s retirement in 1994 was welcomed by the Houston Rockets. In 1994 and 1995, this helped the franchise win back-to-back championships. When Jordan returned, though, Chicago was once again the greatest in the world. Many people are unaware that the Rockets were the second-best overall team from 1991 through 1998.
The Rockets had another opportunity to win a championship in 1997. The majority of the championship team was still intact. With that considered, the true narrative would have been the 1984 NBA Draft’s two crown gems. Hakeem Olajuwon, the No. 1 overall selection, is pitted against Michael Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick. All we can do is speculate on who will emerge victorious in this conflict.
6. New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 2000
In 2000, the Lakers won their first of three championships during the Shaq and Kobe era. In the NBA Finals, the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers and Reggie Miller. While this six-game series was exciting, Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks would have been a dream matchup.
Consider the possibilities. Ewing would face Shaq, Latrell Sprewell would face Kobe, Allen Houston would face Glen Rice, Larry Johnson would face Robert Horry, and Charlie Ward would face Derek Fisher. If you wanted to, you could also include superfans Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee. With the two largest markets in the world at odds, this would have gotten a lot of attention all around the globe.
5. Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 2006
The animosity between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant became too much in 2003, and Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat. Shaq had the first laugh in 2006, when he joined up with Finals MVP Dwyane Wade to win Miami’s first title, and his first without Bryant’s assistance.
While the Dallas Mavericks’ run was incredible, it would have been even more thrilling if Bryant and the Lakers had advanced to the Finals. Bryant and Shaq had a strained relationship. Bryant was enraged when Shaq won a championship without him. This would have been the last showdown for the league’s “alpha” and the Lakers’ dynasty.
4. Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 1986
The rivalry between the Lakers and the Celtics was reignited in the 1980s. The emergence of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird contributed to this. The rivalry dates back to the 1979 NCAA Championship, when Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans defeated Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores.
When the two teams played in 1984, Bird had the upper hand, but the Lakers avenged themselves by defeating Boston in six games in 1985. There aren’t many instances in the NBA when we get to witness a trilogy. Bird has earned his third consecutive MVP award in 1986. The series had a one-to-one relationship. We’ll never know who would have had the upper hand if the situation had been reversed.
3. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls – 1998
The Chicago Bulls’ “last dance” was a tale in and of itself. It was Jordan’s, Scottie Pippen’s, and Dennis Rodman’s last season. By the conclusion of the season, Phil Jackson was all but gone. Jordan was hunting down his sixth championship ring as the Bulls attempted to complete a three-peat.
Jordan’s victory against the Utah Jazz was satisfying, but defeating the Lakers would have been more exciting. We saw that battle in 1997 with the same outcome, despite the fact that Karl Malone and John Stockton were both All-Stars in their own right. The Lakers would have had a youthful Kobe Bryant, Shaq in his peak, and a regular-season record of 61 wins. Jordan vs. Kobe was never shown. This was much too wonderful to pass up.
2. Houston Rockets vs. Chicago Bulls – 1994
Michael Jordan resigned from basketball after the Bulls won their third championship in 1993, after the sad death of his father. Jordan, Pippen, and Horace Grant were still in their primes at the time. Making the Finals for the fourth year in a row was not unthinkable.
The Rockets finished the season with a 58-24 record, headed by Hakeem Olajuwon. The future NBA champions of 1994 finally got a chance to play in the NBA Finals for the first time. While the tale of top draft choices Jordan and Olajuwon from 1986 would have made news, it would have been much more significant if the No. 1 pick (Olajuwon) had defeated the No. 3 pick (Jordan). Especially if it had prevented Jordan from capturing his fourth title in a row.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 2009
The worst blunder in NBA history is not seeing the three-peat of Bird and Johnson, or Jordan vs. Kobe. By far, we have never seen Kobe Bryant and LeBron James compete in the NBA Finals against one another. While LeBron is widely regarded as the second-best player in NBA history, many fans think the distinction belongs to Kobe. Both athletes were battling for something significant in 2009, but we never got to witness it.
Bryant was attempting to win his first championship without Shaquille O’Neal. What better way to accomplish it than against the regular-season MVP, LeBron James? In the case of LeBron, he was attempting to deliver Cleveland its first NBA title. Johnson vs. Bird, or Jordan vs. Olajuwon, would have seemed like a matchup. Instead, we’ll have to keep wondering how it could have gone down.
The nba offseason trade ideas is a list of 10 NBA Finals that never happened. These are the top 10 greatest NBA Finals that never happened.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the greatest NBA Finals of all time?
The NBA Finals of the 2016-17 season was the best series ever.
Has any team lost 4 0 in the NBA Finals?
Yes, the Golden State Warriors lost 4 0 in the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
Who never lost in NBA Finals?
The Golden State Warriors have never lost in the NBA Finals.