Thanks to the commenter Eric (Indianapolis) in Daily Dime Live for bringing this to everyone’s attention!
It’s the most telling piece of trivia you’ll find regarding the NBA: Every Finals since 1979 has included Magic, Bird, Isiah, Jordan, Hakeem, Duncan, Shaq, or Kobe.
With apologies to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Horry, and a host of other players who made it to multiple Finals in that same stretch of time, that list is both staggering and a recipe for the league’s success. Take 1 part hope (by allowing more than half of the teams into the playoffs, the NBA gives most fans a vested interest in at least the first round of the postseason), then absolutely saturate it with the type of top-heavy domination an S&M freak with a DD-wife finds appealing.
After all, that group of players is merely* indicative of a larger trend – six franchises (the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Pistons, Bulls, and Rockets) have combined to win 28 of the last 30 championships. Each of those teams included at least one of the players above except for the 1983 Sixers and the 2004 Pistons, and Shaq was also, of course, on Miami’s 2006 title team. Mr. O’Neal is this list’s last hope, and that light is fading after Boston’s overtime loss to the Heat on Monday night.
*It’s not often the word “merely” is associated with those gentlemen. I feel as if I’m breaking some sort of law by even considering it.
But what about the next list – in another 10 years, who will we add? Several people brought up the possibility of a Rose vs. LeBron dynamic, but I’d put my money on the latter – and his partner-in-crime Dwyane Wade. Between their history (both will Finals appearances already) and their future (a team that, as far as I can tell, looks destined for a run of multiple deep trips into the playoffs), it seems like a safe bet.