As we reach the end of the season and the Golden State Warriors seem like a lock to win the NBA championship after completely humiliating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, this lopsided matchup has disappointed a lot of NBA fans.
Of course, the Warriors are playing outstanding basketball and they are a beauty to watch, but basketball fans would definitely rather have some competitiveness between the two squads, or else this would be yet another boring NBA Finals.
And of course, we say yet another because this wouldn’t be the first time the ultimate stage in competitive basketball winds up being a huge flop, so today we’ll let you know at the top 10 worst NBA finals ever.
10. Matchup: Seattle Supersonics vs. Washington Bullets
(Date: 1979) Series: 4-1 (Sonics)
For all those who didn’t know, the Sonics did win an NBA championship, and they did so in one of the most boring fashions during that 4-1 route in the 1979 NBA finals against Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld and those disappointing Washington Bullets.
The Sonics won the regular season series 3 to 1 and the Bullets weren’t enough to try and stop Dennis Johnson, winning the 1st matchup just to lose 4 in a row, including an 114-112 overtime loss in game 4 until the Sonics took the title-clinching game in the nation’s capital.
9. Matchup: Golden State Warriors vs. Washington Bullets
(Date: 1975) Series: 4-0 (Warriors)
Just 4 years before that Sonics – Bullets matchup, the Washington Bullets were also embarrassed, this time by the Warriors, who humiliated them and swept them 4 games to 0 with an unstoppable Rick Barry who winds up taking the Finals MVP home.
The Bullets, once again led by Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld, couldn’t overcome Golden State’s offensive power, despite putting up a fight during games 2 and 4, losing both by 1 point each, mostly thanks to those 35 points per game by Rick Barry.
8. Matchup: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Baltimore Bullets
(Date: 1971) Series: 4-0 (Bucks)
And on 1971, guess which team was swept and humiliated once again? Yes, the Baltimore Bullets, this time led by Gun Johnson and once again Wes Unseld, just to be completely routed by Oscar Robertson and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)…
The Bucks took all 4 matchups against and exhausted Baltimore team that had only 2 days of rest before the start of the finals after having to play 7 games against the New York Knicks, with Alcindor averaging over 30 points per contest the year before changing his name.
7. Matchup: Detroit Pistons vs. Portland Trail Blazers
(Date: 1990) Series: 4-1 (Pistons)
Back in the day, the Detroit Pistons were one of the most dominant teams in the league led by Isaiah Thomas, earning the Bad Boys nickname due to their physical style and their intimidating way to get the job done, on a team that also featured Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, John Salley and Bill Laimbeer.
On the other side of the court, we had Clyde Drexler, Drazen Petrovic and the Portland Trail Blazers, that simply couldn’t handle Thomas scoring power and Dennis Rodman suffocating defense, handing the Pistons their second championship in a row.
6. Matchup: Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Lakers
(Date: 2004) Series: 4-1 (Pistons)
Most of you should remember this one, the year Larry Brown embarrassed Phil Jackson by stealing home court advantage and routing the Lakers 4 games to 1 winning the last 3 games in a row by 20, 8 and 13 points.
That outstanding Pistons team featured Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Ben and Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince, but the Lakers had Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaq and Kobe, making it arguably the most disappointing team in NBA history.
5. Matchup: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
(Date: 2001) Series: 4-1 (Lakers)
There was simply no stopping the Lakers back then in 2001 with Shaquille O’Neal in his prime, although you can’t say the Sixers didn’t try to. Or well, to be way more specific, Allen Iverson and Dikembe tried to but couldn’t handle Robert Horry, Kobe and Shaq.
Iverson was a huge beast through the season and the series, but he couldn’t single handed lead the Sixers to the ring, with the Lakers winning 4 in a row to win their second consecutive championship behind Shaq’s 28, 30, 34 and 29, winning all 4 contests by 9 or more points.
4. Matchup: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
(Date: 1959) Series: 4-0 (Celtics)
The Celtics once again make our list, but this time on the losing end, as the dominant Boston Celtics completely demolished them 4 games to 0 during the 1959 NBA finals behind Bill Russell and Bob Cousy against Elgin Baylor and his Minneapolis squad.
Boston swept the 9 games regular season series just to also destroy the Lakers in 4 during the finals by an average of 12 points including embarrassing blowouts of 20 and 13 points despite the great squad Minneapolis had at the time.
3. Matchup: San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks
(Date: 1999) Series: 4-1 (Spurs)
During the 1999 NBA finals, everybody expected Jeff Van Gundy’s squad to put on a fight against the Spurs, but David Robinson and Tim Duncan were simply too much to handle for Patrick Ewing, Latrell Sprewell and Larry Johnson.
Pop’s squad took the first 2 meetings in a row before falling in game three 81-89. But a young Tim Duncan wasn’t just going to let the first championship in franchise history slip through their hands, leading the team with averages of 21.7 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
2. Matchup: Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Jersey Nets
(Date: 2002) Series: 4-0 (Lakers)
The Lakers had already won back to back championships before facing a Nets team that was supposed to stop them from handing Phil Jackson yet another three-peat but got their butts whooped 4 games to 0 once again due to Shaq’s dominance.
The Nets weren’t even able to make this a series despite Jason Kidd’s outstanding performances in both ends of the court, as Shaq averaged 36.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game on his way to his third consecutive Finals MVP award.
1. Matchup: San Antonio Spurs vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
(Date: 2007) Series: 4-0 (Spurs)
And the worst NBA final in league history was definitely on 2007 when everybody expected LeBron James to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to basketball elite before Gregg Popovich took them to school in route to a humiliating 4-0 sweep that was music to LeBron’s haters ears.
Featuring Robert Horry, Bruce Bowen, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan; James couldn’t do much against one of the greatest teams in basketball history, losing a couple of blowout games before trying to make a last minute push in game 4, just to fall by a single point in a heartbreaking defeat for Cleveland fans.