This year’s Golden State Warriors’ 4-0 sweep of the NBA Finals over the Cleveland Cavaliers was actually the second for the Bay Area dribblers to apply he broom on their rivals to sea on the throne.
In the 1974-1975 season, the underdog Warriors side led by Ricky Barry upstaged their heavy favorite Washington Bullets counterparts by emerging triumphant in the first four of the best-of-seven titular series.
The then Bullets (now Wizards) with Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Wes Unseld were picks to dominate he series but failed.
Then Warriors’ coach Al Attles was credited the famous quote when he said after winning the ring-clinching Game 4 win: “There aren’t any old ladies going to churches making novenas for us to win. This team is good. That’s why we’re winning.”
The 2018 Warriors, likewise, earned the distinction as the ninth team in the history of the oldest pro- basketball league to come up with an unbeaten performance in the NBA gold medal play.
That title-denying four-to-nothing setback was also the second for LeBron James and the Cavs in 11 years. Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs dealt the soon-to-be Christened “The King” his first such heart-breaking blow during the2006-2007 season.
Parker and the Spurs needed only 20 playoff games on the way to 16-4 record to claim the franchise’s fourth title in nine years. Parker, who averaged nearly 25 points and shot 57 percent in the Finals, edged teammate Tim Duncan for the league MVP honors.
Here’s a look at the previous eight NBA champions who used the broom in sweeping their opponents en routé to crowning themselves he NBA kingpins beginning with the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics became the first team in league history to sweep the Finals. In the 1958-1959 season, the Celtics as Sports Illustrated records, backed up the words of coach Red Auerbach, who months earlier called the Celtics “the greatest team ever assembled” after winning over Minneapolis, at tat time named Lakers.
The Celts starting lineup was made up of Bill Sharman, Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Russell and Frank Ramsey, with Sam Jones, Jim Loscutoff, Gene Conley, K.C. Jones and Bennie Swain coming off the bench.
In his first season with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970-1971, with and Lew Alcindor (later named Kaeem Abdul Jabbar) and Oscar Robertson finally captured an NBA title at the expense Baltimore (then known as Bullets). The Bucks, who had the best record in the league, dropped just two of 14 playoff games.
It took another 12 years before another sweep was accomplished when in 1982-1983, Moses Malone carried he Philadelphia 76er to a sweep of the Finals starring Julius Erving. Malone and the 76ers were 12-1 in the playoffs over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Six years later in 1988-1989 it was the Detroit Pistons’ turn to score a 4-0 Finals victory, again, over the LA Lakers. Series MVP Joe Dumars and fellow guard Isiah Thomas successfully broke down the Lakers’ defense. The task got even easier for the “Bay Boys” when Magic Johnson went down with an injured thigh.
Shaquille O’Neal, then only 23, had led the league in scoring and was already being compared to Wilt Chamberlain, but he and his teammates couldn’t stop the 1994 champion Houston Rockets, to becoming the first team to defend a title with a sweep over the Orlando Magic the following year.
O’Neal’s came back with record 145 points in a four-game series against the New Jersey Nets that resulted in the third straight championship for LA and the third straight Finals MVP for himself.
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