As the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers do battle (again) for the NBA Championship, now’s a good time to look back at the storied history of the NBA Finals. From the “Showtime” Lakers to the Detroit “Bad Boys,” from Michael to LeBron, the Finals have featured the greatest teams and players in league history. Take this short quiz and relive some of the NBA’s greatest championship moments!
1. Four ABA teams joined the NBA in 1976. Since then, three of those franchises have appeared in the NBA Finals. Name the only former ABA team that has yet to reach the Finals.
2. Which is the last team to win back-to-back NBA championships?
3. Who was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers when rookie Magic Johnson led the team to the NBA title in 1980?
4. Who was the last team to sweep their opponent in the NBA Finals?
5. Former University of Hawaii star Tom Henderson won an NBA championship ring as the starting point guard for the 1977-78 Washington Bullets. Three years later, Henderson returned to the NBA Finals as a member of what team?
6. The Lakers staved off the Detroit Pistons in seven games to capture the 1988 NBA Finals. The next season, the Pistons traded All-Star forward Adrian Dantley and went on to win their first league title. Who did they get for Dantley?
7. Name the only person to coach both an NCAA champion and NBA champion.
8. Name the only two NBA teams to beat Phil Jackson-coached teams in the NBA Finals.
9. Okay, this is a tough one: Robert Horry is one of only two players in NBA history to win championship rings with three different teams (the Rockets, Lakers and Spurs). Name the other player who achieved this feat.
10. This is an easy one: Name the NBA head coach who, after his team claimed their second league champion, uttered the famous line, “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”
11. Name the first team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to win the NBA Finals.
12. The San Antonio Spurs have won five NBA championships, all under head coach Greg Popovich and star center Tim Duncan. Each of their five titles came against different franchises. Name at least four of them.
- The Denver Nuggets is the lone remaining former ABA team that has yet to reach the NBA Finals.
- The Miami Heat won back-to-back titles in 2012 (Oklahoma City) and 2013 (San Antonio).
- The Lakers were coached by Paul Westhead, who replaced Jack McKinney during the regular season after McKinney was seriously injured in a bicycle accident.
- The San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007.
- Henderson was a member of the 1981 Houston Rockets team that lost to Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in the Finals.
- The Pistons received small forward Mark Aguirre from the Dallas Mavericks.
- Larry Brown coached the Kansas Jayhawks and Detroit Pistons to championships.
- The Detroit Pistons (2004) and Boston Celtics (2008) beat the Jackson-coached Lakers.
- Remember John Salley? He won NBA titles with the Pistons, Bulls and Lakers.
- That was Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers made that stirring NBA Finals comeback in 2016.
- Pick any of these four: New York Knicks (1999), New Jersey Nets (2003), Detroit Pistons (2005), Cleveland Cavaliers (2007) and Miami Heat (2014).
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