“HOW SWAY????!!!!????” – Kanye West

If any of you are anything like me, every now and then you look at a team that’s gets a chip and ask yourself “How???!!!!!????”. So I’ve created a list of the ten “worst” teams to win a championship. Now don’t get me wrong these teams aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, they just get the puzzled look when they won the title. I feel like they were really good, just weren’t powerhouses. This is why a few teams won’t show up on this list (i.e. Showtime Lakers, 90’s Bulls, Celtics. You get the idea.) This is a collection of the “worst of the best” so to speak. Alright enough talking, let’s get to it. 

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10: 2004 Detroit Pistons

Starting Lineup:

PG: Chauncey Billups

SG: Richard Hamilton

SF: Tayshaun Prince

PF: Rasheed Wallace

C: Ben Wallace

Head Coach: Larry Brown

This team made the list for two reasons: who they beat in the Finals and how they beat them. No one expected the Lakers to lose and even less expected the 4-1 trouncing they received. The Pistons were a good team but didn’t have a superstar. Definitely unlikely champions.

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9: 1994 Houston Rockets

Starting Lineup:

PG: Kenny Smith

SG: Vernon Maxwell

SF: Robert Horry

PF: Otis Thorpe

C: Hakeem Olajuwon

Head Coach: Rudy Tomjanovich

The Rockets secured their spot on the list mainly because of timing. There seemed to be a feeling (at least I had this feeling) that the title was vacated because of MJ’s unexpected retirement. The Bulls didn’t really lose it. It’s even compounded by the Bulls dominance after Jordan’s return. Nevertheless, Dream and Co. jumped at their chance to claim a piece of the title pie. I chose this Rockets team as opposed to the 94-95 team because they upgraded considerably at SG with the addition of Clyde Drexler.

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8: 2008 Boston Celtics

Starting Lineup:

PG: Rajon Rondo

SG: Ray Allen

SF: Paul Pierce

PF: Kevin Garnett

C: Kendrick Perkins

Head Coach: Doc Rivers

I’m sure many won’t agree but I don’t really consider these Celtics a great team. Sure they had the “Big 3” but those guys were 30, 31 and 32 yrs old. They were outstanding defensively but were pretty average on the other end. I can’t possibly be in the minority in thinking that they were unlikely champions. Also, I’d bet any amount of money no one saw that 39 pt a** kicking that took place in Game 6.

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7: 2015 Golden State Warriors

Starting Lineup:

PG: Stephen Curry

SG: Klay Thompson

SF: Harrison Barnes

PF: Draymond Green

C: Andrew Bogut

Head Coach: Steve Kerr

Another team that probably surprised you when they hoisted the Larry O’ Brien trophy at the end of the season. They lived at the 3 pt line, they were doubted every step of the way (the Dubs are probably the least respected champ ever) and their “best” player weighs 170 lbs soaking wet. Somehow they got it done and continue to get it done. People are still talking about what might have happened if the Cavs (and every other team they faced for that matter) were healthy. Also, the fact that they faced a fully weaponized Cavs team the following season and lost only adds fuel to the “what if” fire from the previous championship matchup.

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6: 2007 San Antonio Spurs

Starting Lineup:

PG: Tony Parker

SG: Manu Ginobli

SF: Bruce Bowen

PF: Fabricio Oberto

C: Tim Duncan

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich

I know it may seem weird to see a Spurs team here (if it is then you’re not gonna like the next team on the list) but I don’t think this is one of their better teams in recent memory. They were not a bad team by any means. Great defensively, middle of the road offensively. Won a 4-0 snoozer in the Finals against a young LeBron James and the Cavs.

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5: 2014 San Antonio Spurs

Starting Lineup:

PG: Tony Parker

SG: Danny Green

SF: Kawhi Leonard

PF: Tim Duncan

C: Tiago Splitter

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich

They’re back. This was supposed to be OKC’s year. KD won MVP and they were healthy heading into the postseason. The Spurs didn’t care. Duncan, Manu and TP had slowed down by this point but Kawhi and Danny Green had continued to get better. Sent OKC packing in 6 games and completely embarrassed the Heat in the Finals. Kawhi was probably the most unlikely Finals MVP ever, well until Iguodala the following year (Thanks LeBron lol).

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4: 1978 Washington Bullets

Starting Lineup:

PG: Tom Henderson

SG: Phil Chenier

SF: Bob Dandridge

PF: Elvin Hayes

C: Wes Unseld

Head Coach: Dick Motta

The Bullets were afterthoughts in the East. The 76ers had just come off a Finals appearance and the Spurs (before anyone says anything yes, the Spurs were in the Eastern Conference back then) were dominant as well. The Bullets were not lacking in talent at all but as the other teams on the list, they weren’t the logical choice to pop bottles in the locker room in June.

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3: 1979 Seattle Supersonics

Starting Lineup:

PG: Gus Williams

SG: Dennis Johnson

SF: John Johnson

PF: Lonnie Shelton

C: Jack Sikma

Head Coach: Lenny Wilkens

This lame team but the lame team they lost to in the Finals the previous year.

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2: 2006 Miami Heat

Starting Lineup:

PG: Jason Williams

SG: Dwyane Wade

SF: Antoine Walker

PF: Udonis Haslem

C: Shaquille O’ Neal

Head Coach: Pat Riley

I have a soft spot for this squad because they got two of my favorite players of all time a ring (White Chocolate & GP) but nevertheless they were still an unlikely champion. It took a heroic effort from D Wade and a monumental collapse from the Mavericks to pull this one off. I guess Dirk took it personal because………………

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1: 2011 Dallas Mavericks

Starting Lineup:

PG: Jason Kidd

SG: Deshawn Stevenson

SF: Shawn Marion

PF: Dirk Nowitzki

C: Tyson Chandler

Head Coach: Rick Carlisle

The crown jewel of “How did they win?” teams. No one thought they would come out of their Finals matchup with a win. This was definitely supposed to be the beginning of the Heat dynasty with their newly formed Big 3. The Mavs came back from a 2-1 deficit thanks to Dirk’s magnificent performance and some charitable work from a certain person (LeBron so generous). Dirk took advantage of what most likely would be his last chance at a championship.

And that’s a wrap. Is this list accurate? Any teams here need to be replaced? Let me know what you think.

2 thoughts on ““HOW SWAY????!!!!????” – Kanye West

  1. Matt

    I think the most impressive squad would have to be the Detroit Pistons. For this one reason with the exception of Larry Brown there may not be another HOFer on the team. They also came out of the east as the number 3 seed because Indiana was bussing Detroit all year…
    Good list….I enjoyed this.

    Reply
    1. raylonsden Post author

      I honestly think that despite the lack of “star power” the Pistons were the most balanced team on the list. They didn’t have a superstar but they had 5 really, really good players and their bench was solid. I really only added them because of who they beat, how badly they beat them and the ripple effect it had on the franchise. If LA had won, I’m sure Shaq and Kobe would have figured out their relationship lol.

      Reply

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