Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, and for a good reason. It’s no secret that it takes great skill to make it to the big leagues, much less the finals. The Golden State Warriors beating the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals only highlights the skill between the two teams, and they’re not alone. There are a number of different teams that have made their legacy throughout their turns at the Finals. Below are some of the greatest NBA Finals in history. 

2016: Cavaliers 4, Warriors 3

One thing that made this Finals series great was the fact that the Cavaliers’ 52-year championship drought ended in an incredible way. They were down 3-1 in the series, and it was like a light switched on: a 40-point effort from Lebron James and Kyrie Irving in Game 5 led to them getting back in the Series. Knowing that you couldn’t count them out yet, Lebron James put up a stat line of 41 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists in Game 6. 

 

Game 7 proved to be a nail-biter, with the two teams putting up their best defense, leading to scoreless minutes near the end of the last game. Luckily, Irving scored a 3-pointer with 53 seconds left, coupled with Lebron James’ stellar defensive block, leading the Cavaliers to victory. 

2013: Heat 4, Spurs 3

This was another nail-biter series. With an incredible game 1, the teams traded wins over the next four games, with the San Antonio Spurs up 3-2. Not only that, but they put up a 13-point lead late in the third quarter of Game 6– but you can’t count the Heat out just yet. Wanting to continue their legacy, the Miami Heat, led by Lebron James, made an incredible comeback, taking the lead on a layup by Ray Allen with a little over six minutes left. 

 

The Spurs scored 5 points quickly, giving them a leg up with a 93-89 lead with under a minute to go. The Heat were determined to stay in the game, with Lebron James scoring a 3-pointer with 22.9 seconds to go. Kawhi Leonard made a free throw, leaving it up to Lebron. Lebron missed, but Chris Bosh made a game-saving rebound, finding Allen, who tied the game. The Heat won in overtime and won the series in the next round. 

1970: Knicks 4, Lakers 3

For a good reason, Willis Reed is known as the Most Valuable Player. Putting the team first, watching him come out of the tunnel for Game 7 while he was injured was enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eyes. Spurred on by Willis Reed’s courage, the Knicks scored a 113-point game, winning in part by Walt Frazier’s 36 points. The Lakers tried their best, with Wilt Chamberlain averaging 23.3 points and 24.1 rebounds in the series.