The NBA Finals have given us a lot. Spectacular finishes. Legendary performances. Bill Russell. Magic Johnson. Tim Duncan. But it’s not always the big trophies and the ESPN specials that we remember. What about the lighter moments?
We dug into some research to try to come up with the 10 best Finals quotes since 2000. Here’s what we found…
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10. 2005 NBA Finals. Tim Duncan Takes a Spill.
Poor Tim Duncan. He gets his nickname from a mentally-challenged, quadriplegic cartoon character, he’s been underrated his entire career and he’s been teased mercilessly by The Onion for his wooden-Indian persona, all this despite being arguably the best player of his generation, not to mention one of the best power forwards of all time. The Big Fundamental has some of the most effective footwork of any big man in the game, but apparently never mastered the fundamentals of walking up stairs. This wasn’t a quote, but hey, it happened at a press conference so we’re counting it.
9. 2008 NBA Finals. “If You Throw Enough of Something Against the Wall, Some of it’s Bound to Stick.”
Kobe has never been very good at concealing his anger or frustration. It’s always right there, just below the surface, like a coiled snake waiting for the perfect time to strike. This particular press conference was relatively tame, but the Mamba does manage to work in a colorful expression, and for a brief, fleeting moment, the drooling zombie horde that is the sports media is reminded that they still have a pulse.
8. 2011 NBA Finals. “The Cough Heard Round the World.”
Okay, this didn’t exactly happen during an interview, but prior to Game 5, a camera crew caught some candid footage of hetero-life-mates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade mocking Dirk Nowitzki for being sick during the 2011 Finals. We all know how that turned out for the Super Friends. Dirk responded by lighting up the Heat for 29 points to win Game 5 and take a 3-2 series lead. Adding insult to injury, Wade was forced to awkwardly address the infamous faux cough during the postgame press conference.
7. 2011 NBA Finals. LeBron Responds to His “Haters.”
The 2011 Finals were not kind to LeBron and the Miami Heat. After losing the series in six games, a reporter asks LeBron to respond to all the people who were hoping to see him fail, to which he basically said something to the tune of, At the end of the day, all the haters still have to wake up tomorrow to their poor, shitty, boring, pathetic, insignificant little lives, and I’m still gonna be mad rich and famous.