History for the Rest of Us

Bill Russell Plays Final Game

Bill Russell Plays Final Game

Jun 5, 2012

On May 5, 1969, Bill Russell, legendary NBA player, would play the final game of his career in typical Bill Russell fashion. The Final Game The aging Celtics entered the playoffs as the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference and their regular-season record was their worst in over a decade. They upset the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks to reach the NBA Finals against arch-rival Wilt Chamberlain and his star Laker teammates Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. After losing games one and two to the heavily favored Lakers, the Celtics would win game three and narrowly win game four with a buzzer beater. Splitting games five and six, the series would come down to the final game. Using the ‘proceedings of the Lakers’ victory ceremony’ (printed on the game program) as motivation for his team, Russell employed a running game against the Lakers. He believed that style of game would be won by the more determined team and not necessarily the better team. At age 35, Russell would collect 21 rebounds, in a 108-106 Celtics victory, and the Bill Russell would win his 11th championship in 13 seasons. Russell would promptly retire, and the career of one of the greatest (arguably the greatest) NBA player in history would be over. Recognition In addition to winning 11 NBA titles, Bill Russell was a five-time NBA MVP. He was a twelve time NBA All-Star, All-Star MVP (1963), Olympic Gold Medalist, and voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. In 1975 Bill Russell was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of...

NBA Finals History

NBA Finals History

Apr 18, 2012

NBA Finals History Year NBA Champion Opponent Result Most Valuable Player 2012 Miami Heat Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 LeBron James 2011 Dallas Mavericks Miami Heat 4-2 Dirk Nowitzki 2010 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-3 Kobe Bryant 2009 Los Angeles Lakers Orlando Magic 4-1 Kobe Bryant 2008 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Paul Pierce 2007 San Antonio Spurs Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 Tony Parker 2006 Miami Heat Dallas Mavericks 4-2 Dwyane Wade 2005 San Antonio Spurs Detroit Pistons 4-3 Tim Duncan 2004 Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Chauncey Billups 2003 San Antonio Spurs New Jersey Nets 4-2 Tim Duncan 2002 Los Angeles Lakers New Jersey Nets 4-0 Shaquille O’Neal 2001 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 Shaquille O’Neal 2000 Los Angeles Lakers Indiana Pacers 4-2 Shaquille O’Neal 1999 San Antonio Spurs New York Knicks 4-1 Tim Duncan 1998 Chicago Bulls Utah Jazz 4-2 Michael Jordan 1997 Chicago Bulls Utah Jazz 4-2 Michael Jordan 1996 Chicago Bulls Seattle SuperSonics 4-2 Michael Jordan 1995 Houston Rockets Orlando Magic 4-0 Hakeem Olajuwon 1994 Houston Rockets New York Knicks 4-3 Hakeem Olajuwon 1993 Chicago Bulls Phoenix Suns 4-2 Michael Jordan 1992 Chicago Bulls Portland Trail Blazers 4-2 Michael Jordan 1991 Chicago Bulls Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Michael Jordan 1990 Detroit Pistons Portland Trail Blazers 4-1 Isiah Thomas 1989 Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 Joe Dumars 1988 Los Angeles Lakers Detroit Pistons 4-3 James Worthy 1987 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-2 Magic Johnson 1986 Boston Celtics Houston Rockets 4-2 Larry Bird 1985 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1984 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 Larry Bird 1983 Philadelphia 76ers Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 Moses Malone 1982 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Magic Johnson 1981 Boston Celtics Houston Rockets 4-2 Cedric Maxwell 1980 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Magic Johnson 1979 Seattle SuperSonics Washington Bullets 4-1 Dennis Johnson 1978 Washington Bullets Seattle SuperSonics 4-3 Wes Unseld 1977 Portland Trail Blazers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Bill Walton 1976 Boston Celtics Phoenix Suns 4-2 Jo Jo White 1975 Golden State Warriors Washington Bullets 4-0 Rick Barry 1974 Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks 4-3 John Havlicek 1973 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Willis Reed 1972...