It is that time of the year again where the best from the west and the beasts of the East will face each other for this year’s NBA Finals. For the past two years, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers have proved that they are the best teams in the NBA and won each championship against each other, and for the third time, these two teams will face each other once more to break the tie. The Golden State Warriors managed to sweep the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, while the Cleveland Cavaliers won 4-1 against the Boston Celtics, the most awaited basketball games of the year will take place on the first of June, but before that, let’s travel back in time and look into some of the best moments in the NBA Finals history.
1987 – Los Angeles Lakers VS Boston Celtics
In the 80s, there are two teams who are leading the NBA, and those are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, of course with their star players at the time, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. A close game in the Game 4 of the 1987 Finals, Magic Johnson, did one of the most remarkable shots that made them win, and it was from an inbound pass by Michael Cooper.
The shot Johnson made was famously labeled as “junior junior” and if social media was a thing back in the day, this would definitely be on the top of the trends. The shot was actually a running floated or more like a sky hook that made their team win since there were only about seven seconds remaining in the thrilling game. The entire Boston Garden was actually about to celebrate since they were in the lead, but obviously, they were surprised by the great Magic Johnson.
1998 – Chicago Bulls VS Utah Jazz
With 5.2 seconds remaining on the clock, the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, on his last game and last shot as a part of the Chicago Bulls, made a 20-foot jumper, that made the Chicago Bulls win yet another NBA championship, which was actually their third consecutive title, this time against the Utah Jazz.
This shot was actually one of the moments that critics and fans considered when naming Jordan as the NBA’s greatest. This is because he showed his ability to dominate this game on both ends and managed to make a perfect pull-up jumper despite the tension and the pressure. That marked the end of an era, with a legend.
2000 – Los Angeles Lakers VS Indiana Pacers
Another one of the greats, Kobe Bryant, who just recently retired, made quite an extraordinary shot in the Game 4 of 2000 NBA Finals against Indiana Pacers. Bryant was only 21-years-old at the time, but he managed to show the world that he will indeed become one of this league’s legends.
Alongside another great player, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe and the rest of the Lakers, managed to beat the Indiana Pacers with 120-118 in overtime. This was the first of the three consecutive titles for the Lakers. One of the most notable moments in this nail-biting game, was when the young Kobe, managed to set a reverse-layup putback in the last 5.9 seconds of the game, and with that, they managed to celebrate their win on the home court of the Pacers in Indianapolis.
2013 – Miami Heat VS San Antonio Spurs
Last but definitely not the least is the finals game between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, which happened just about 4 years ago before Lebron made his way to the Cavs.
The Big Three was formed in 2011 when Lebron James joined Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in the Miami Heat. Unfortunately, they lost their first championship against the Dallas Mavericks, but that obviously was just the beginning of something great, because, in 2012, they managed to win the championship against the young team of the Oklahoma City Thunders. To be able to hold on to their title, they have to face against one of the most legendary teams in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs, who has their own Big Three, veterans Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker.
One of the best moments in this final series was when Lebron James missed a three-pointer but Chris Bosh managed to snag the rebound and passed it to one of the greatest three-point shooters in the NBA history, Ray Allen. With 5.2 seconds left in the game and an overtime, the Heat managed to win Back-To-Back Championships.