As the NBA regular season finale approaches and the playoffs are just around the corner, we can start to speculate about what’s going to happen over the next few months and which two teams will get to the promised land at the end of the season.
Over the years, we’ve seen some breathtaking and incredibly exciting NBA Finals matchups, watching the best players in the world take the next step into stardom and building their own legacy, and even young players proving the world what they’re capable of, like Kawhi Leonard did a couple of seasons ago.
Nevertheless, even if sometimes the matchups are just awesome, fans from all over the world (And from different eras) have missed the chance to witness some of the sickest NBA Finals matchups in the world due to the lack of luck of one of the two teams involved, preventing them from reaching The Finals in the first place.
So now, let’s take a look back at the top 4 NBA Finals that we never saw, and let’s use our imagination to try and wonder what would’ve happened if these teams actually faced each other on the ultimate stage of the NBA.
Chicago Bulls vs Houston Rockets
We saw Michael Jordan and company completely demolish all opposition in 6 different seasons, earning a perfect 6 of 6 record in the NBA Finals and creating a legend that’ll never be erased even if a team manages to win 7 straight rings, as there’s absolutely no doubt in the world that those Bulls were the best team in NBA history.
Nevertheless, when his royal Airness decided to retire for the first time, several teams made the most of the opportunity. And a guy that definitely made the most of it was Hakeem The Dream, as Olajuwon won back to back NBA Championships while MJ was out of the league.
When MJ came back to the league, the Rockets were never able to go back to the Finals, although it was probably for the best, as the Bulls would easily beat them 4 games to 2, considering they had a much better team featuring Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and of course, Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
New Jersey Nets vs Phoenix Suns
Can you just imagine just how incredible this matchup would’ve been? The best two point guards of their time facing each other after being teammates, with Jason Kidd leading the way for the Nets against the two-time MVP Steve Nash and his fast-paced Mike D’ Antoni 7 seconds offense.
Nash was strong and dominant and he led the Suns to several outstanding seasons in a row alongside Stoudemire. Nevertheless, he could never reach the NBA Finals as the San Antonio Spurs kept knocking them out of the Playoffs.
On the other hand, the Nets did reach the NBA Finals two seasons in a row, but they couldn’t defeat the Lakers nor the San Antonio Spurs. If they faced each other, the Suns' incredible offense during Nash’s prime would overcome the Nets 4 games to 2.
San Antonio Spurs vs Boston Celtics
The San Antonio Spurs are arguably the most solid and consistent institution in NBA history, being regular title contenders and one of the most terrifying teams in the playoffs thanks to that proven Gregg Popovich signature coaching style and the presence of guys like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Well, since Robinson’s departure, Duncan had to take the reigns of the team and establish himself as the biggest presence in the paint in the Western Conference, becoming one of the most reliable 2-way players in the league and leading the Spurs to the NBA Finals once again.
During that stint, in the Eastern Conference, a guy by the name of Kevin Garnett was doing the same alongside Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce, reaching the NBA Finals a couple of times but both against the Lakers. Afterward, when the Spurs reached back to back finals, the Celtics couldn’t get past LeBron and Wade, preventing them from facing each other. If that would’ve happened, KG and company would beat the Spurs in 7 games, with the Big Ticket blocking Duncan at the Buzzer.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat
Sadly, we missed the chance to witness a Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James matchup in the NBA Finals and that’s something we’ll always regret. The Black Mamba reached his prime alongside Pau Gasol, winning back to back titles against the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics.
On the other side of the picture, LeBron James got knocked out precisely by both of those teams despite LeBron doing everything possible to drag his teams to The Finals.
After Phil Jackson’s tenure as Lakers' coach came to an end, so did the Lakers dominance in the West, and the Spurs took matters into their own hands, while the Miami Heat established a legacy in the East when the Celtics traded Terry, Garnett and Pierce to the Nets. Could you just imagine that? Kobe shooting over Bron at the Buzzer and winning the game with a last-gasp turnaround fadeaway three-pointer to defeat the Heat in seven games.