Tuesday , Jun , 17 , 2008 Christopher Sells

Top Finals Performances

This is a special feature from guest blogger Christopher Sells.

We are a sports society that likes to use comparisons. Whenever a player comes into the league, you often hear that "he plays like [insert player’s name here] except for so and so." We also like to rank things. You’ll hear an argument about who’s the best player in the NBA or who’s the greatest player of all time and so on.

So it should come as no surprise that someone has taken the time to rank the top 50 individual NBA Finals performances since the NBA and the ABA became one league. You can click here to read the entire 50 (and even the 10 worst) with explanations for each, but I’ll give you the top 20 here.

Player Team Year
1. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat 2006
2. Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 1998
3. Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs 2003
4. Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 1997
5. Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets 1994
6. Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers 1987
7. Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 1991
8. Shaquille O’Neal Los Angeles Lakers 2000
9. Shaquille O’Neal Los Angeles Lakers 2002
10. Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 1992
11. Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs 1999
12. Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers 1988
13. Shaquille O’Neal Los Angeles Lakers 2001
14. Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 1993
15. Isiah Thomas Detroit Pistons 1990
16. Chauncey Billups Detroit Pistons 2004
17. Karl Malone Utah Jazz 1998
18. Moses Malone Philadelphia 76ers 1983
19. Shawn Kemp Seattle SuperSonics 1996
20. Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers 1977

Apparently you don’t have to be that old to have witnessed most of these performances. The merger took place in 1976, so that excludes anything that Chamberlain, Russell,  West, etc. did, but I find it interesting that only four performances from 1989 or earlier cracked the top 20.

I’m also appalled that Wade is listed as the best, but that’s just my opinion.

Any thoughts?