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What was the most impressive (team) NBA championship run?

My top 5 most impressive championship runs ever:

  1. 2004 Detroit Pistons – one all star on the team (Ben Wallace) with no one scoring more than 17 pts a game – defeats heavily favored Lakers team with 4 HoFers in 5 games. It was the series that showed everyone that you can’t just put a bunch of stars on one team and expect it to beat a team with really good chemistry.
  2. 1995 Houston Rockets – this championship is so impressive because they were only a 6th seed in the playoffs! Hakeem was the only all star that year. But they went all the way to the Finals and SWEPT the Orlando Magic (who had beaten Jordan’s Bulls on the way there). Pretty great run.
  3. 1975 Golden State Warriors – another team with only one all star (Rick Barry), who wasn’t expected to contend for a championship that year, let alone make it to the Finals and SWEEP the heavily favored Bullets with 2 HoFers on that team. Considered one of the biggest upsets ever.
  4. 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers – you all know the story. They were down 3-1 in the Finals against a 73 win juggernaut, the Warriors stumbled and it came down to the closing minutes of the game 7 when Lebron made the most famous block ever and then Kyrie made one of the clutchest shots ever. I lost $2500 on a bet because of this series. At that time everyone thought the Warriors had it in the bag.
  5. 1969 Boston Celtics – This championship was the last of Bill Russell’s and it was impressive because the Celtics were running on fumes at that point. Russell and Sam Jones were both in their last season. They were 4th seed going into the playoffs. They beat a very talented Knicks team and went to 7 games against the heavily favored LA Lakers with 3 top 25 players ever- Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain. Bill Russell who proved that he was one of the most clutch players of all time – told Jerry West that those balloons aint coming down from the ceiling and won the Game 7 by 2 points. Came into the league a champion, went out a champion.

I also want to shout out the 2011 Mavericks (obviously another huge upset as well), 1977 Blazers (defeated the favored Dr J / McGinnis 76ers) and the 1998 Bulls (easily the worst of the Bulls championship teams) for great runs as well.

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Sports

Could Kobe Bryant and Shaq really have won twelve rings together if Shaq had stayed on the Lakers?

No. I’m going to say something that seems like blasphemy to some people particularly Lakers fans: the Shaq-Kobe duo is overrated. There I said it.

Now, before you come at me with pitchforks, hear me out: Shaq and Kobe were a great duo, but many people tend to put them at their #1 or #2 spots all time in terms of all time duos. I think this is slightly overrating them. Let’s look at their actual accomplishments together:

1998–1999: the Shaq-Kobe duo got bounced out of the playoffs by the Jazz and Spurs.

2000: Shaq-Kobe got taken to 7 games by the Portland Trail Blazers (with aging Pippen / Sabonis). They took 6 games to beat the 2000 Pacers in the Finals – the 2000 Pacers is not one of the all time great Finals teams people bring up.

2001: This is probably their only dominant playoff run together. They swept every team in the playoffs and defeated the 2001 76ers (also not one of the all time great Finals teams) in 5 games.

2002: Shaq-Kobe got taken to 7 games – again – by the Sacramento Kings this time. In the infamous Game 6, they needed several and I mean several ref calls to really go their way in order to win the game. Then they swept the 2002 Nets (again, not one of the all time great Finals teams).

2003: Shaq-Kobe duo got bounced out of the playoffs by Duncan’s Spurs.

2004: Shaq-Kobe acquired Payton/Malone and went all the way to the Finals, only to lose to the 2004 Pistons (with only one all star, Ben Wallace) – in 5 games.

So – consider this – people name the Shaq-Kobe duo as the greatest of all time. In reality – they almost lost to the Blazers in 2000, almost lost to the Kings in 2002, lost to the one all star Pistons in 2004, got bounced in 1998/1999/2003 and in their Finals wins won against inferior East teams. They had one great playoff run which was 2001. Are they really as good as people think they were?

Personally, I think the Malone-Stockton Jazz were a better duo – an unpopular opinion because they didn’t win any rings – but they were up against Michael Jordan’s Bulls in the Finals, a team that would wipe the floor with the 2000 Pacers or 2001 76ers or 2002 Nets. They also easily beat Shaq-Kobe en route to the Finals. So why do people think Shaq-Kobe is so much better than Malone-Stockton?

tldr; to answer the question, no I don’t think Shaq/Kobe would win 12 rings together if they stayed together. I’m doubtful they would have beat the 2005 Spurs the next season.

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Sports

Who are the greatest NBA players to never win a championship?

  1. Karl Malone
  2. Elgin Baylor
  3. Charles Barkley
  4. John Stockton
  5. Allen Iverson
  6. Chris Paul
  7. George Gervin
  8. Steve Nash
  9. James Harden
  10. Russell Westbrook