Their triumphant 2013 gives this famously revamped Heat squad back-to-back wins that put them in pretty special company. Regardless of what you think of certain players or how the team was assembled, the fact of the matter is that repeating as NBA champs is seriously difficult to do. And doing so officially puts you in the conversation with some of the greatest teams in recent memory.
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It’s official, the Miami Heat are the 2013 NBA Champions. And whether you like them or not (and let’s face it you probably don’t), there is no denying that this team just came out on top of what was one of the best Finals, or playoff series for that matter, in recent memory.
Michael Jordan was already the league’s best scorer, but in his seven years in the league he had yet to translate his offensive prowess into a title. That would all change in the ’90-’91 season though, when His Airness officially took his rightful place on the NBA throne. Buffered by the defense and scoring of Scottie Pippen, the relentless rebounding of Horace Grant, and the sharpshooting of B.J. Armstrong, Michael Jordan led the Bulls to three straight championships, and established himself as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
When Michael Jordan unexpectedly stepped away from the league, Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets were more than happy to see him go. The Rudy Tomjanovich coached Rockets became the league’s best in his stead, posting the second best record in the regular season, then beating Patrick Ewing’s Knicks in a 7-game finale in 1994. Then the following year, just for good measure, the Rockets added Clyde Drexler to a roster that already included stellar scorers like Hakeem, Kenny Smith, and Sam Cassell, and swept a young Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando Magic squad to win their second ring in as many seasons.
Without a doubt, the Chicago Bulls were the team of the 90s, even though they took a short break in the middle to let Michael Jordan run around on a baseball diamond for some reason. In their second three-peat of the decade, it was pretty much more of the same from the Bulls; Michael Jordan scorching every opponent while Scottie Pippen continued to be one of the quietest, but greatest players of all time. This time around though, they were joined by the colorful (literally and figuratively) Dennis Rodman, whose hustle, rebounding and general insanity helped them to dominate the league once again.
In the mid-2000s, no one team was able to get a stronghold on the NBA title. Not one team repeated from 2003-2008, although the Spurs did manage to win three titles in that time. But without question, the early 2000s belonged to the Lake-show. These were the good old days for the purple and gold, back before Kobe wanted the team all to himself and before Shaq was asking Kobe “how’s my ass taste?” Snagging the Big Diesel in free agency and landing Kobe in the draft gave the Lakers an unbelievably dynamic duo that gave them three straight rings before their less than amicable split.
This Lakers group was another one that was brought together under what many (except Laker fans) believed to be unfair circumstances. A team that had been floundering, the Lakers were able to land Pau Gasol from Memphis, for what seemed like absolutely nothing in return (at least at the time, but Memphis getting Marc Gasol wound up paying dividends), and they were quickly back to their old winning ways. After trading for Pau, they lost the ’08 Finals to Boston in 7 games, but took home the trophy in 2009 with a win over Orlando, and again in 2010, getting revenge on the Celtics in another 7 game battle.