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.
|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.