While we were in the midst of an exciting and extremely aesthetically-pleasing Stanley Cup Finals, our Fearless Leader Chris Creamer wrote out his opinion on the 7 Best-Dressed Stanley Cup Finals of the Past 25 Years. That excellent list started to rotate some wheels in my head and reminded me of a couple of things: 1) We just got finished with one of the most exciting NBA Finals in recent memory (especially after instant classic that was Game 6. If you’re a Miamian reading this, please tell me you stayed until the end. Please.) & 2) This is a pretty easy series on the eyes when it comes to the uniforms.
In fact, we’ve had some pretty good-looking Finals series in the past 25 years. Here’s a warning: The Lakers are going to show up on this list more than once because they’ve had great uniforms and been wildly successful on the court for the vast majority of their existence as an NBA franchise. However, this doesn’t mean that they’ve been far-and-away the best looking team in the Finals, as we’ll see in our first choice.
1991, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls
No words, really. Just look at the picture and try not to keel over in awe of what you are witnessing in this photo. Oh, and that’s just Magic Johnson going toe-to-toe with Michael Jordan. No big deal.
1994, Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks
The Knicks were always going to be on this list since they have had great uniforms over the years and they’ve actually made the Finals twice in the past 25 years. But, when it came to deciding between this and the set that they wore against the Spurs in the 2000 Finals, I had to go with the ’94 unis, and it was mainly because it went so well with the solid uniforms that the Rockets were sporting the midst of their mini-dynasty.
2005, San Antonio Spurs vs. Detroit Pistons
2 examples of modern classics were on display in this series, uniform-wise. Black-&-silver is a color scheme that can add an edge to a simple design, which is what it does for the Raiders and the Spurs’ excellent uniforms. You add that with the Pistons sporting the modernized version of their Bad Boys-era look and you’ve got yourself a great looking series. Too bad the actual series was about as appealing as watching paint dry.
2008 & 2010: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
Lakers-Celtics happened about eleventy billion times in the 80s, and it looked good every single time. When this classic rivalry underwent a revival in ’08 and ’10, it meant that this great uniform clash came back to the forefront. The Lakers’ current uniforms are the epitome of a modern classic in the NBA, and the Celtics’ look has withstood the test of time.
2009: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic
Although this list is filled with most of the blueblood teams of the NBA (and rightfully so, their uniforms are awesome), this series was all about the great look that the Magic brought to this series. Orlando basically took the cool stuff about the uniforms that they came into the league with (mainly the pinstripes and awesome color scheme), modernized it, and came out with uniforms that are classy yet progressive. Combine that with the lighting in Staples Center just making that shade of blue pop and it made for some easy watching.
To be honest, we really haven’t had an ugly Finals series in the past 25 years. That is amazing considering what the NBA looked like during the latter part of the 90s.
Those are the same 2 teams, 3 years apart. Seriously. I guess we have the Bulls to thank for that because their look saved us from what could’ve been a couple of uniform disasters in the 90s.
I digress, though. The point is that we’ve had some good looking Finals series over the past 25 years. What do you think, though? Did I make some sort of egregious omission in this list? Or was my list just pretty much immaculate? Let us know what you think!