NBA Champions: Forgotten Legends
Ever since 1947, the NBA has pitted the best of their league against each other. As many already know, they do this by taking the Eastern Conference champions and pitting them against the Western Conference champions. However, there are still some forgotten NBA champions.
The Philadelphia Warriors were the first-ever NBA champion in the 1947 season by defeating the Chicago Stags four games to one in a best of seven series.
Since then, many teams have cemented their place in NBA history by winning the coveted NBA Finals. However, there are still some teams who have won the title that tend to get forgotten to this day. In this piece, we will be taking a look at NBA teams who have won the Finals that people seemingly always forget. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at which historical teams deserve more recognition.
Forgotten NBA Champions
Forgotten Champions, Team #1: 1977 Portland Trail Blazers
Yes, believe it or not, the Trail Blazers have actually won a championship. The 1977 champions are criminally overlooked. Led by Bill Walton, the Trail Blazers would defeat the Philadelphia 76ers four games to two.
Walton is one of the forgotten NBA stars. The big man averaged 18.6 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game during his first All-Star season. Head coach, Jack Ramsay, also had a big part in leading this team to a title. The Trail Blazers came away from the regular season with a record of 49-33 which was good for third in the Western Conference.
During this season, the team finished with the second-best offensive rating and fifth-best defensive rating in the league. As a result, the Portland Trail Blazers went on to become the 1977 NBA champions.
Forgotten Champions, Team #2: 1979 Seattle SuperSonics
The SuperSonics also possess a title. The surprising thing is that it happened before the days of Seattle legends Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. During the 1979 season, Seattle was looking for revenge. They had just been defeated in the Finals the year before by the Washington Bullets. The SuperSonics finally got their chip in the 1979 NBA Finals as they downed the Bullets in five games.
Many forget this team had their own dynamic duo. It may not have been quite as good as Payton and Kemp, but Dennis Johnson and Jack Sikma were two stars who were key in delivering championship glory to Seattle in the 1970s. Johnson would win the Finals MVP while Sikma is considered one of the most overlooked centers in NBA history. Both are multiple time All-Stars and in the Hall of Fame for a reason. As a result, this star duo was able to cement the SuperSonics’ place in the NBA history books.
Forgotten Champions, Team #3: 1978 Washington Bullets
There are NBA fans around who do not even know a team called the Bullets even existed. That’s right, before they were the Wizards, the team residing in the nation’s capital was known by a different name. The Bullets also boast a championship to their record as they defeated the SuperSonics in the 1978 season in seven games. Thanks to their Hall of Fame big man Wes Unseld, the Bullets were able to prevail after a hard-fought series.
The Finals MVP would go to Unseld, who is arguably the most underrated big man of his time. Not only does he boast MVP and Rookie of the Year awards, but he is also the greatest outlet passer of all time. The fact that Unseld could hold his own against Wilt Chamberlain, the greatest center of his time would eventually reward he and his Bullets with a title. Unfortunately, that title is still forgotten about to this day.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images