Jason Terry

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Posted by motoman 05/01/2009 @ 12:19

Tags : jason terry, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
Mark Cuban: 'Could be a week of lots of talk, no action.' - Dallas Morning News
This should be the Mavs' busiest off-season as far as roster remodeling goes since the summer of '04, when Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison and Antoine Walker left Dallas and Devin Harris, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Terry and Erick Dampier arrived....
Red Sox - USA Today
Home-run: Jason Bay lead-off Home Run (19) to left center. Mike Lowell due up. Out: Mike Lowell grounded out short to first. None on with one out and Jason Varitek due up. Out: Jason Varitek flied out to right. None on with two outs and Jacoby Ellsbury...
The TrueHoop Network Shootaround - ESPN
Jason Terry is another prime example. Unfortunately, both Parker and Terry are outliers; many other combo guards in the league are high volume scorers but also high volume shot takers (Ben Gordon, Monta Ellis, etc.). Many are turnover-prone,...
Weekend respite a break for Lowell - Boston Globe
On days when manager Terry Francona thought his third baseman might need a day off, Lowell persuaded him otherwise and gritted through a game. This year, after major offseason hip surgery, Lowell has taken a different tack. “Just because I can grind...
Grunfeld Press Conference This Afternoon - Washington Post
This year, it could be Josh Howard or Jason Terry. Grunfeld has a huge decision to make in the next two days. By Michael Lee | June 23, 2009; 12:48 PM ET Can you ask him why he didn't tell ETaps to play the young guys (AB, JM, JC, NY)last year instead...
Sox capitalize on a woeful foe - Boston Globe
On May 31, manager Terry Francona moved Ellsbury out of the leadoff slot because, with his .332 on-base percentage, he was not getting on base enough. Ellsbury has reached base in 31 of his 69 plate appearances since, a .449 clip....
Mavs to trade Terry or Howard for #5 pick? - Rotoworld.com
Tom Knott of the Washington Times reports that the Mavericks "apparently are willing to part with either Jason Terry or Josh Howard" to acquire the Wizards #5 draft pick and a shot at power forward Jordan Hill. The Mavericks would also have to take...
Two Kansas Men Arrested For Oklahoma Crime Spree - KTUL
Ottawa County Sheriff Terry Durborow said two Kansas men were arrested Monday after a short crime spree in Ottawa County. Sheriff Durborow said the first event that led to the arrest of Jason N. Holland and his brother, Jeremy D. Holland was when they...
2009 NBA Draft Preview - KOAT.com
At 22, the Dallas Mavericks should be looking guard since Jason Kidd is a free agent, while Jason Terry and JJ Barea are both limited on the defensive end. Most of the good backcourt talent should be picked clean by this point, however, so Louisville...
Jason Terry to Washington Wizards a Possibility - Bleacher Report
According to reports, Washington and Dallas have talked about a trade in which Dallas would get the fifth pick, Mike James, and Etan Thomas, while Washington would get Jason Terry along with one of Dallas' expiring contracts....

Jason Terry

Jason Eugene Terry (born September 15, 1977) is an American professional basketball player playing with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. He plays shooting guard, although he also can play point guard. His nickname, "JET", derives from his initials.

Terry was born in Seattle, Washington. He was one of ten children raised by his mother, Andrea Cheatham and his father, Curtis Terry. One of his brothers, Curtis, plays college basketball for UNLV. He has a tattoo of the number 206 on his chest, recognizing the area code of his hometown. On February 2, 2007 Terry's number (31) was retired at Franklin High School.

In 1997, Terry won an NCAA Championship with the University of Arizona. His teammates included Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, and Miles Simon.

Terry was drafted out of the University of Arizona by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1999 NBA Draft as the 10th overall selection. In the 2000-01 season, Jason emerged as the team’s best player, averaging 19.7 points and leading the club in steals, assists and free throws made. He played 3,089 minutes. After spending his first five seasons with the Hawks, Terry was traded to the Mavericks just prior to the start of the 2004-05 season. He had a mediocre first few months with the Mavericks but eventually came into his own, putting up solid numbers and by the end of the season earning his spot as the Mavs' number one guard.

In the 2004-05 NBA Playoffs, Terry averaged 17.5 points on 51% shooting while hitting 49% from three-point range in his first playoff run. Yet his team failed to advance to the conference finals, losing its second-round series 4-2 to Nash's Phoenix Suns. In Game 6 of that series Terry got in a confrontation with teammate Dirk Nowitzki, who was frustrated by his own erratic play during the playoffs, for committing the crucial error of backing off of Steve Nash in the final seconds of regulation with his team up by 3, who subsequently hit the 3-point shot to send the game into overtime resulting eventually in the ousting of the Mavericks from the playoffs.

In the final seconds of Game 5 of the 2005-06 NBA Western Conference playoff semi-finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Terry in closeups was shown punching opposing guard and former teammate Michael Finley in the groin. On May 18, 2006, Jason Terry was suspended without pay from Game 6. Despite losing that game, the Mavericks were able to close out the series in Game 7 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. In Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals, Terry shot 7-25 from the field and 2-11 from three-point territory as the cold shooting Mavericks were eliminated in 6 games by the Miami Heat.

On July 1, 2006, after spending only 12 hours on the free-agent market, Jason Terry agreed to a 6-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

In offense, Terry relies mainly on his shooting skills and speed. He is regarded as one of the fastest players in the league, and is an elite 3 point shooter. He often pulls up for jump shots off the dribble, making him difficult to be guarded. He is known as a very streaky player, as his shooting accuracy can change dramatically from game to game. In defense, he is an average on ball defender, but has great ability to come up with steals which leads to many easy fast break points.

Jason Terry and his wife, Johnyika, have four daughters; Jasionna, Jalayah, Jaida and Jasa Azuré, who was born on June 20, 2007. His younger sister, Lyric, used to live with them in Dallas.

Terry has the number 206 tattooed on his chest. It is his hometown area code. He also has a tattoo of Underdog.

Terry was a member of the United States squad for the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia.

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Arizona Wildcats men's basketball

Arizona Wildcats athletic logo

The Arizona Wildcats basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The team competes in the Pacific Ten Conference (Pac-10) of NCAA Division I. They are currently coached by Sean Miller, who succeeded interim coach Russ Pennell.

While Arizona has a long and rich basketball history, the program came to national prominence under the tutelage of former head coach Lute Olson, who since 1983 has established the program as among America's elite in college basketball. Known as "Point Guard U" by fans and foes alike, the school has produced spectacular guards and NBA stars like Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr, Khalid Reeves, Damon Stoudamire, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Richard Jefferson, Gilbert Arenas, and Jerryd Bayless.

As of 2009, the Arizona basketball team has reached the NCAA Tournament for 25 consecutive years, which is the longest active streak, and second only to the North Carolina Tar Heels' 27 year streak from 1975–2001. The Wildcats have reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament on four occasions (1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001). In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. In Pac-10 play, former head coach Lute Olson currently holds the record for most wins as a Pac-10 coach at 327. In addition, the team has won 11 Pac-10 regular season titles and 4 Pac-10 tournament titles. Arizona also holds the distinction of recording 5 out of the 7 17–1 Pac-10 seasons (one-loss seasons). No team has gone undefeated since the formation of the Pac-10. Arizona has spent 110 weeks in the top 10 which is 8th all-time.

University of Arizona fielded its first men's basketball team in 1904–05. Orin Albert Cates coached the team and drew opponents from local YMCAs. The first game Arizona played ended in a 40–32 victory over the Morenci YMCA.

In 1914, Arizona's first famous coach, James Fred "Pop" McKale was lured away from a teaching and coaching job at Tucson High School to take over as Athletic Director and coach basketball, football, baseball and track. McKale took things to a new level, posting a 9–0 record his first season as a basketball coach. Moreover, McKale elevated the program to intercollegiate play. While basketball was his least favorite of the many sports he coached while at UA, He chalked up three undefeated seasons and a career-winning average of .803, which has never been bested by a UA coach who has held the post for at least three years. The McKale Memorial Center, the main arena for Arizona basketball, is named in his honor.

From 1925 to 1961, the program was under the stewardship of Fred Enke, UA's longest tenured coach. Coach Fred A. Enke was responsible for the early successes of Wildcat basketball. Enke amassed 509 wins in his tenure on the UA sidelines and still ranks as the second-winningest coach in school history, winning more than 60 percent of his games. Enke also led the Cats to the first four postseason appearances (3 N.I.T./1 NCAA) in school history and in 1950-51 competed in both the N.I.T. and NCAA postseason tournaments. Finally, he was the first coach to lead Arizona to a national ranking. Two of his teams (1950, 1951) finished the season ranked in the top 15.

Under Enke, UA competed in the now defunct Border Conference. Under Enke's direction, Arizona won 12 conference championships, including a span in which the Cats won or shared seven consecutive Border Conference titles (1942-51). No Border Conference team won as many league games (231) or overall contests (398) during its membership. In 1962, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference as a founding member after the Border Conference disbanded.

In 1972, Fred Snowden was hired as the head basketball coach, making Arizona the second Division I school and the first major program to hire an African American head coach. Known as "The Fox," Snowden brought the excitement back to Wildcat basketball during his 10 years on the Arizona sideline, averaging more than 80 points per game in six of his 10 years and topping the 100-point barrier 27 times. Snowden led Arizona to the NCAA tournament twice, in 1976 and 1977, getting as far as the Elite Eight in 1976 before losing to UCLA 82–66, a game after defeating UNLV in a Sweet Sixteen matchup. During the 1976 tournament he also logged Arizona's first and only tournament wins until Lute Olson's hiring, beating John Thompson's Georgetown team 83–76. Snowden's 1976 team also won the school's only WAC championship title on a buzzer-beater by Gilbert Myles verses New Mexico, with the help of the spectacular play of Bob Elliott, Jim Rappis, and Al Fleming. In 1978, Coach Snowden helped transition the basketball program over to the newly formed Pac-10. Snowden could not sustain success in the Pac-10, however, finishing no higher than 4th place in the conference. His 9–18 final season led UA to look for a replacement.

Athletic Director Dave Strack brought in Ben Lindsey to replace Fred Snowden in 1983, and on the surface, it seemed like a reasonable move. Lindsey had junior college expertise, having had a successful career at Grand Canyon University, where he won two national titles. What resulted, however, was nothing short of disaster. The 1983 team went 4–24, with only one Pac-10 win.

Under Olson, Arizona quickly rose to national prominence. Arizona won its first Pac-10 title in 1986, only three years after his arrival. That season set up an amazing 1987–88 season, which included taking the Great Alaska Shootout championship, the Valley Bank Fiesta Bowl Classic championship and the Pac-10 championship. Under players Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott, Arizona spent much of the season ranked #1 and made their first (and Olson's second) Final Four. While Arizona lost in the Final Four round, their play put the program on the map and launched Arizona's reign as a perennial Pac-10 and NCAA tournament contender.

In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. Prior to winning the championship in 1997, Arizona stormed back from 10-point deficits in the Southeast Regional First Round and Second Round against #13 South Alabama and #12 College of Charleston, respectively winning 65–57 and 73–69. The Southeast Regional Semifinal pitted against overall #1 Kansas (34–1) which had defeated Arizona the year before in the 1996 West Regional Semifinal. However, Arizona came out fast and stunned the Jayhawks 85–82, then prevailed in overtime against Providence 96–92 in the Elite Eight to clinch a berth in the Final Four. Arizona then beat #1 seed North Carolina 66–58 in the Final Four, which turned out to be Dean Smith's last game as a coach. Arizona also accomplished the unprecedented feat of beating three number one seeds in the same tournament.

The year following the Championship season, 1998, Arizona returned all 5 starters (Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, Bennett Davison, and AJ Bramlett) and were poised to make another run after receiving the #1 overall seed in the West, but were upset by Utah in the Elite 8.

In 1999, all 5 starters were lost to graduation or early entry to the NBA draft and Arizona's hopes of continuing its streak of consecutives trip to the NCAA tournament was in jeopardy until senior point guard Jason Terry (the 6th man the previous two seasons) elevated his game (receiving National Player of the Year honors) and continued the school's amazing streak.

2001 was one of the most challenging and rewarding years for the program. Lute Olson’s wife Bobbi, well known to players and fans alike as a steadfast presence on the sidelines, lost her battle with cancer. The team, which had been a preseason pick by many to win the national title had to play without Olson for three weeks while Olson was on bereavement leave. The Cats vowed to dedicate their season to Bobbi. With guard Jason Gardner, center Loren Woods and forward Michael Wright — each an All-American — leading the way, the Cats trounced their opponents, beating Oregon 104–65, devastating USC 105–61, and charging through the Final Four. They took down Eastern Illinois, Butler, Mississippi, Illinois, and Michigan State, only to be stopped by Duke in the title game.

In his later years at UA, Olson fielded competitive teams with extremely talented point guards. Continuing the reputation and nickname "Point Guard U", recent standouts included Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur, Jerryd Bayless and Nic Wise. Arizona won their most recent Pac-10 title during the 2004–2005 season under the spectacular play of seniors Salim Stoudamire and center Channing Frye, That team also made it to the Elite 8 and the verge of the final four before blowing a 15 point lead with four minutes to play and losing in overtime, 90–89, to Number 1 Seed and eventual National Runner-up University of Illinois.

Olson took an unexplained leave of absence at the beginning of the 2007–2008 season. Assistant coach Kevin O'Neill took over interim head coaching duties for the Arizona Wildcats. At that time, Olson announced that he intended to be back for the 2008–09 season and finish out his contract, which was scheduled to end in 2011. His departure was criticized by some members of the media. They also questioned how he and the UA athletic department handled his return and the verbal succession agreement with coach O'Neill. However, on October 23, 2008, he unexpectedly announced his retirement from the program (by way of an announcement from Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood). A few days later, Olson's personal physician held a press conference and explained that the retirement was strongly advised due to health concerns.

After Lute Olson's abrupt retirement, Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood appointed assistant coach Russ Pennell as the interim head coach for the 2008–2009 season 23 days before the start of the season. The appointment came after Mike Dunlap, the associate head coach brought in to replace Kevin O'Neill, turned down the job. Under Pennell, the Cats finished 19-13 in the regular season, including a non-conference win over Kansas and a 7-game win streak with wins over UCLA and Washington. Despite a 19–13 finish to the season, Arizona was controversially selected as one of the last teams into the field of 65 as a 12th seed in the Midwest region, extending its NCAA consecutive tournament appearances to 25 games. The Cats made it to the Sweet 16 (regional semi-finals) with wins over 5-seed Utah and 13-seed Cleveland State, before falling to overall 1-seed, Louisville. Despite Pennell's post-season success, he was not retained, as Arizona announced before his hiring they would hold a national coaching search after the season ended.

After the end of the season, various coaching names were considered to succeed Lute Olson on a permanent basis. Arizona contacted Gonzaga's Mark Few, Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and then-Memphis coach John Calipari (before he accepted the vacant position at Kentucky) to take the job. Arizona even brought USC's Tim Floyd on campus for an interview and made an offer, which he ultimately turned down.

Arizona finally hired Sean Miller from Xavier University to fill the head coaching position; the official press conference formally introducing Miller as the 13th head men's basketball coach at Arizona was held on April 7 at McKale Center. At the press conference, Miller acknowledged Lute Olson's impact on the Arizona program, addressing Olson, who was in attendance, personally: "...one of the reasons I sit here today is because of the great legacy you built." Miller also promised U of A fans that they would enjoy the style of both offense and defense he would bring to Wildcat basketball. Miller's salary will be $1.6 million per year; he will receive an extra $400,000 per season from Nike and media contracts during a five-year deal, as well as a $1 million signing bonus and other amenities such as season tickets to other Wildcat sporting events and the use of a private jet. Within a week of joining the program, Miller had already convinced two recruits, Kyryl Natyazhko and Solomon Hill, the latter of which originally planned to play for Arizona but jumped to USC after Olson retired, to play for Arizona.

UA has won the Pac-10 Tournament a record four times, including three straight times from 1988-90. The Wildcats have played in the tournament five times. UA also has a record 5 tournament MVPs. Salim Stoudamire is 1 of only 2 players to win the MVP from a losing squad.

The University of Arizona has made 28 NCAA tournament appearances, including a current streak of 25 consecutive years, which is the longest active streak and second only to the North Carolina Tar Heel's 27 year streak from 1975-2001. Their combined record is 43-26, including a 1997 National Championship and 4 final fours. Arizona is also one of only four #2 seeds to ever lose a first round game, losing 64-61 to #15 seed Santa Clara, led by future NBA star Steve Nash in 1993.

The 1997 Arizona team is the only team to date to beat three #1 seeds to win the national title.

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

UA has been a #1 seed five times.

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Donnie Nelson

Donnie Nelson is the General Manager and president of basketball operations for the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA team and an assistant coach for the Chinese National basketball team. He is the son of Don Nelson, the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors. In a 2007 Sports Illustrated article ranking the NBA's personnel bosses from 1-30, Donnie was ranked #2.

Donnie was the assistant coach for the Mavericks when Mark Cuban purchased the team in January 2000.

Donnie Nelson is involved in every aspect of the Mavericks basketball operations. Nelson, who has 22 years of NBA experience, came to Dallas on Jan. 2, 1998 after three seasons as an assistant coach with Phoenix.

Donnie Nelson has been instrumental in rebuilding a team that suffered a decade-long playoff drought into a perennial playoff team and championship contender. During his tenure, the Mavericks have won 66% of their games, including four 50-win seasons, two 60-wins seasons, and a franchise record 67-wins season in 2007. The 67-wins season was tied for the sixth-best regular season in NBA history. The Mavericks are also one of just six franchises to win 60 games or more three times in a five year span. Under Nelson, the Mavericks have also made the playoffs seven consecutive seasons, been to the Western Conference Finals twice, reached a franchise milestone in 2006 when they advanced to the NBA Finals, and won their first Division Title in 20 years in 2007.

Nelson has acquired the core group of players on the current Mavs roster through impressive trades and success in the NBA Draft. Starters Jason Terry and Erick Dampier, along with 6th Man Jerry Stackhouse, and the latest addition of future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd were acquired through key trades. Nelson was also responsible for adding All-Star Josh Howard and 2007 MVP Dirk Nowitzki through the NBA Draft. On previous teams Nelson played a significant role in acquiring players such as two-time Most Valuable Player Steve Nash and All-Star/6th Man of the Year Antawn Jamison.

Nelson also coached the Mavericks while his father and former head coach Don Nelson missed time. While the elder Nelson was recovering from cancer surgery in 2000-01, Donnie led the team to a 13-8 record. In 2001-02, he was 2-0 as the head coach. He was the top assistant to his father at Golden State, where he served the organization a total of eight seasons ('86-'94). Nelson was also a regional scout for the Milwaukee Bucks for two seasons ('84-'86).

Since 1990, Donnie has served as an assistant coach for the Lithuania national basketball team. In that span, he has helped them win three bronze medals in four Olympiads, a silver medal in the 1995 European Championships and a gold medal in the 2003 European Championships. In appreciation for his contributions, Nelson was awarded the Grand Cross of the Commander by the President of Lithuania in 2004. He also serves as Honorary Ambassador for the League of Industries.

In 1994, Nelson served as a scout for USA Basketball at the World Championships in Toronto. Dream Team II went undefeated on their way to capturing a gold medal that year.

Nelson's tireless efforts helped crack two walls that once seemed unbreakable. Nelson was responsible for signing the first player from both the Soviet Union (Sarunas Marciulionis) and China (Wang Zhizhi) to NBA contracts. In addition, Nelson holds the honor of being the only American coach to participate in a Soviet National training camp. On June 24, 1998 Nelson engineered a deal that brought a relatively unknown German and an unheralded Canadian to Dallas. Both Dirk Nowitzki (2007) and Steve Nash (2005, 2006) would go on to be named the NBA's Most Valuable Player, giving the Mavericks the distinction of being the only team in history to acquire two future MVPs in the same transaction.

Nelson also serves as the Chief Advisor for the China national basketball team. During his two years of service, they equaled their all-time best Olympic finish (8th) in Athens and won the Gold Medal at the 2005 Asian Championships.

Also for the past two years, Nelson has worked with the NBA’s African Top 100 campaign. This outreach program provides educational opportunities to challenged African athletes.

Nelson is the founder of the "Global Games" in Dallas, which gives area high school kids a chance to test themselves against the top Junior National teams in the world. The games completed their eighth season this summer.

In December 2002, Nelson helped create the Assist Youth Foundation. The foundation's goal is to advance opportunities for underprivileged kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and across the globe.

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Rivalries of the NBA

Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz playing at EnergySolutions Arena in 2008

Through nearly 60 seasons of history, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has had several intense rivalries. What follows is a summary of just some of the high-profile rivalries in the NBA. Rivalries can be classified into three primary groups; intradivisional, interdivisional, and interconference.

Intradivisional rivalries comprise games between opponents in the same NBA division. Since the 2004–05 NBA season, there are 30 teams in six divisions of five teams each. Each team plays each division opponent four times during the regular season (twice at home, twice away) for a total of sixteen games out of 82 total regular season games.

Interdivisional rivalries comprise games between opponents in different divisions but within the same conference. A team plays against each team from the other two divisions in its conference either three or four times. The total interdivisional games an NBA team plays is 36. Conference games are often important, as a team's record in common games, as well as its overall record against its conference, are sometimes used as tiebreakers for playoff seeding at the end of the regular season. Also, many regular season opponents have met again in the playoffs, and the result of a regular season game can affect where the playoff game will be played.

Interconference rivalries comprise games between opponents in different conferences. A team plays each opponent from the other conference in one home game and one away game.

The rivalry started when the Philadelphia Warriors were in the Eastern Division with the Boston Celtics. The Warriors drafted center Wilt Chamberlain in 1959. Chamberlain was considered one of the best inside scorers in the NBA and posed a serious threat to the Celtics. However, the Celtics had Bill Russell at center. He was one of the most dominant defensive forces in the NBA. When these teams played each other in the playoffs, Chamberlain had good games, but in the end, Russell and the Celtics would win. Before the 1962 season, the Warriors moved to San Francisco, and the rivalry seemed to have died.

In the 1964 season, the Syracuse Nationals moved to Philadelphia bringing in a historic franchise to call their own; the Nats changed their name to 76ers. They were added to the Eastern Division and would therefore play the Celtics on multiple occasions throughout the season. After the All-Star break in 1965, Chamberlain returned to Philadelphia as a 76er, and a new rivalry was born from the ashes of the old one. That season, the Celtics and 76ers met in the Eastern Division Finals with a trip to the NBA Championship on the line. The series was a battle and went to a game seven in the Boston Garden. With seconds left at the end of the game and the score 110-109 in favor of the Celtics, Russell tried to inbound the ball when it hit the backboard which resulted in a turnover. However, the 76ers failed to capitalize because of a deflection on the inbounds by John Havlicek to his teammate Sam Jones. The Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in five games for their seventh straight title. In the 1967 season, the 76ers collaborated a then NBA record of 68 wins and 13 losses, and the Celtics managed to go 60-21. They met in the Eastern Division final again, but this time, Wilt Chamberlain and the 76ers beat the Celtics in just five games and advanced to the NBA Finals. They would go onto win the NBA Championship by beating the former Philadelphia franchise the San Francisco Warriors in six games, giving the 76ers and Chamberlain their first title. Both teams would continue to play each other in the post season, but the rivalry didn't have the same passion as it once did.

The 76ers fell into a deep slump until the acquisition of Julius Erving before the 1977 season. The 76ers became a main contender in the Eastern Conference, but the Boston Celtics would soon join them. In 1978, the Celtics drafted junior small forward Larry Bird, but he chose to return to college for one more year. When he joined the team for the 1980 season, the Celtics took off and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals to face the 76ers, but lost in five games. The 76ers, however, failed to win the title against the Lakers.

Boston traded its two first round draft picks for center Robert Parish and later drafted power forward Kevin McHale. With those additions, the Celtics succeeded in knocking off the 76ers in 1981 in seven games while on the way to their first championship in five seasons. However, the following year, the Celtics fell to the 76ers in seven games, but lost to the Lakers. The next season, the 76ers picked up MVP Moses Malone from the Houston Rockets. Malone repeated as the NBA's MVP and lead the 76ers to an NBA Championship in a four game sweep against the Lakers. Both teams still play to this day with some tension, but the rivalry has not lived up to its past notoriety.

These are two of the only remaining teams from the original 1946 NBA (the other is the Golden State Warriors, who, while in Philadelphia, was a also a great rival to both teams; these rivalries died down once the Warriors moved west).

This rivalry attributes and stems from the rivalry between New York City and Boston, as well as the bigger Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in baseball. The fact that Boston and New York City are only three and a half hours away also contributes to the Knicks-Celtics rivalry.

The Nets were a charter member of the American Basketball Association, which formed in 1967. The team played on Long Island from 1968 to 1977 as the New York Nets. With the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, the Nets were one of four teams absorbed into the NBA. The Knicks forced the Nets to pay $4.8 million for "invading" the Knicks' territory, in addition to the $3 million the Nets paid for moving into the NBA. This forced the Nets to renege on a promised raise to star player Julius Erving, and were forced to trade him to the 76ers. As a result, the Nets went from defending ABA champion to an also-ran almost overnight. The teams have since met three times in the playoffs, with the Knicks winning two series and the Nets winning the most recent series, in 2004. The Nets plan on moving into The Five Boroughs in 2010 with the construction of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Bulls-Pistons rivalry originated in the late 1980s, a period when the Bulls' superstar, Michael Jordan, was evolving into one of the league's best players and when the Detroit Pistons were becoming a major playoff contender. This rivalry was one of the fiercest during its early period, mostly due to the dynamics between Michael Jordan and the "Bad Boy" Pistons, led mostly by Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer.

After a period of dormancy, the rivalry was restored in the 2006 offseason when free agent Ben Wallace, the cornerstone of the Pistons' defense, stunned the league when he signed with the Pistons' rivals of old, the Chicago Bulls. The two teams now both play hard-working, defensively sound, team-oriented styles. The two teams met each other in the 2007 Eastern Conference Semifinals, with the Pistons winning in six games.

The Pacers-Pistons rivalry recently started in November 19, 2004 when near the end of the game, Pistons center Ben Wallace and Pacers forward Ron Artest started to push each other around, suddenly, a plastic cup was thrown while Artest was trying to avoid fighting. This led to the Pacers jumping into the stands and a huge player-fan brawl started.

Until moving to Oklahoma City in 2008 the Seattle SuperSonics were traditional rivals with the Portland Trail Blazers, and because of the teams' proximity the rivalry had been dubbed the "I-5" Rivalry in reference to the Interstate 5 freeway that connects the two cities. The rivalry has been fairly equal in accomplishments, as both teams have won one championship each. The all-time record of this rivalry is 98-94 in favor of the SuperSonics. The rivalry was revived when, in the 2007 NBA Draft, the Trail Blazers and SuperSonics had the #1 and #2 overall picks, respectively. The Blazers selected Greg Oden of Ohio State, who got injured before the season, with their first pick, while the Sonics selected Kevin Durant out of the University of Texas. Durant went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

The two rivals met for the first time in the 1970 NBA Playoffs. The Suns blew a 3-1 series lead over the Lakers and lost the series in seven games. The rivals met again ten years later as the Lakers easily dispatched the Suns 4-1. In their next four meetings in 1982, 1984, 1985, and in 1989, the Lakers won all those series in scores of 4–0, 4–2, 3–0, and 4-0. In the Western Conference Semifinals of 1990, the Suns finally got their monkey off as they blazed past the Lakers 4-1 in their run to the Western Conference Finals.

The rivals didn't meet until the 1993 season in which Phoenix won 62 games and were the first seed in the Western Conference. However, the Lakers took the first two games in the then called America West Arena, (now US Airways Center) until then Suns coach Paul Westphal guaranteed that the Suns will comeback and win the series. Phoenix then took the two games in the Great Western Forum (the Laker's home court). In the deciding Game Five, Phoenix won and escaped a tough series. Phoenix eventually made the NBA Finals losing to the Chicago Bulls. The teams didn't meet again until the 2000 NBA Playoffs, in which the Lakers rolled over the Suns, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, 4-1 in their route to the NBA title.

They met again in the 1st round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. The Suns were the second seeded team in the Western Conference and Pacific Division winner, thanks in part to back-to-back NBA MVP Steve Nash and Shawn Marion, and improvements by Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw, beneficiaries of the Suns' "run-n-gun" style of offense. Leading the seventh seeded Lakers was the scoring champion, Kobe Bryant, and head coach Phil Jackson, who led their teams to the playoffs despite missing it the year before. Phoenix won Game One at the US Airways Center, but lost Games Two, Three, and Four. Game Four ended in dramatic fashion as Bryant hit the game-tying layup to send the game into overtime. Before Kobe's game-tying basket, two Lakers cornered Steve Nash at the sideline, forcing a turnover. Given the physical defense, the absence of a call was somewhat controversial to Suns fans. Conversely, many players and pundits commonly recognize in the waning moments of the game, officials will force players to win the game rather than protect them. The turnover allowed Bryant to tie the game and force the extra period. In the final seconds of overtime, a jump ball was won by the Lakers and Bryant was given the ball, allowing him to hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer. Phoenix won Game Five in a game many remembered for Raja Bell's clothesline on Kobe Bryant. After the game, Raja was suspended for Game Six. The two then continued their rivalry as they exchanged words during practices. In response to the flagrant foul, Bryant, after the game, stated that he "didn't know the kid." He then suggested that Bell was not hugged enough during his childhood, in response to Bell's shots at Bryant's perceived "arrogance" and "special treatment" from the referees. Game Six was a hard-fought game that went to the final seconds in regular play until Tim Thomas shot the game-tying three pointer to send it overtime, which was later won by the Suns, who forced a Game Seven in the US Airways Center. Game Seven was a blowout win for the Suns, completing a big comeback.

A year later they met again. It looked like the Lakers would win Game 1 behind Kobe Bryant's 39 points, but Phoenix came back in the second half to win 95-87. Game 2 was a blowout win as the Suns won 126-98. Kobe Bryant only had 15 points on 5–13 shooting. He erupted in Game 3 though as he led the Lakers to a 95-89 victory behind his 45 points. The Suns took Game 4 113-100 behind Nash's career-high 23 assists. He fell one assist shy of the NBA postseason record. The Lakers were down 3-1 like the Suns were a year ago. The Lakers couldn't pull off an upset as they fell 119-100 losing the series 4 games to 1.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns have met 11 times in the postseason.

In 2000 the Lakers were the best team in the league and poised for a triumphant franchise return to the Finals. But the eighth seeded Sacramento Kings surprised everyone by pushing the Lakers to the brink of elimination in the first round. Though the Kings would lose Game Five and the Lakers would go on to win the championship, a rivalry had begun. A better equipped Kings met the still-superior Lakers in the semifinals the next year in 2001 but were swept by the confident champs who would go on to defend their title. The two teams met once more the following year for the 2002 Western Finals. This time the Kings were the favored team, having posted an unstoppable 61-21 league best record. A team seemingly designed to overthrow the champs came up short after losing Game Seven in overtime on their home court, something that had not been done in over 20 years. The Lakers went on to win their third straight title.

The Rockets-Spurs rivalry or Spurs-Rockets rivalry, began in 1980 when the Rockets led by Moses Malone and Calvin Murphy beat the Spurs led by George Gervin and James Silas. The rivalry grew intense as both teams moved from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference. The rivalry sparkled in 1995 when the sixth-seeded Rockets led by Hakeem Olajuwon beat the top-seeded Spurs led by MVP David Robinson. It is one of the three rivalries in the NBA between teams from Texas. It is also known as the I-10 Rivalry since both San Antonio and Houston lie on Interstate 10. In 2004, Tracy McGrady led the Rockets to a comeback win against the Spurs who were up by 10 points in the final minute of the game. where he scored 13 points in 33 seconds.

The Mavericks-Spurs rivalry is a particularly new rivalry, but a very fierce one. The Spurs defeated the Mavericks in 2001 and 2003, while the Mavericks defeated the Spurs in 2006. The Spurs have won four championships and four conference titles, while the Mavericks have won one conference title. The Spurs have won 15 division titles, while the Mavericks have won 2. Both the Spurs and the Mavericks have 3 60-win seasons.

The two teams met in the playoffs during the 2000–2001 season with the Spurs winning in five games. Little was made during this series, as the Spurs won their first NBA championship since their ABA days only two years before. The Mavericks, run by a trio of Steve Nash, Michael Finley, and Dirk Nowitzki, had just defeated the Utah Jazz despite not having home court advantage and were only starting to meld into a title contender.

The two teams met again in 2003 in the Western Conference Finals. Both the Spurs and the Mavericks had 60-win seasons and reached the Western Conference Finals after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings, respectively. Despite having the best season of their history, the Mavericks fell in six games to the Spurs.

The rivalry took on a new meaning in 2005 when, near the end of the regular season, Don Nelson would resign as head coach of the Mavericks, apparently satisfied with the state of the team, and hand the coaching reins to former Spur Avery Johnson, the point guard of the 1999 world champion Spurs team who hit the game-winning shot against the New York Knicks. Since Johnson was coached under Spurs' Head Coach Gregg Popovich, he would be familiar with most, if not all, of Popovich's coaching style and philosophy. During the 2005 offseason, Michael Finley, waived by the Mavericks under the amnesty clause, joined the Spurs in search for the elusive title.

The two teams, at present, met for the last time in 2006. San Antonio won the first game at home 87-85. The Mavericks got revenge the next game winning 113-91 evening the series up at 1–1. The Mavericks won a dramatic Game 3 by one point 104-103. Though Manu Ginobili could have made the basket with five seconds remaining, he committed an error allowing the ball to bounce away from him with one second remaining. Dallas won a tightly-contested Game 4 123-118 in overtime. Game Five was won by one point with the Spurs taking the victory. In the final seconds of that game, Jason Terry was seen punching former teammate Michael Finley under the belt. This would lead to his suspension in Game 6. He was sourly missed in Game 6 as the Spurs took the series back home for a Game 7. In the crucial Game 7, with 2.6 ticks to go, Nowitzki converted a three-point play to force overtime. Manu Ginóbili, the one who fouled Dirk was the same person who gave San Antonio their first lead one possession earlier. Tim Duncan, who had played in all 48 minutes of regulation was too fatigued to carry his team in overtime. The Mavericks, meanwhile, were set to take control of the game and they did just that winning the game 119-111. The Mavericks went on to the Conference Finals where they defeated the Suns in six games, but succumbing to the champion Heat in the NBA Finals.

Despite much anticipation of a renewed meeting in the 2007 Western Conference finals, the Mavericks lost to the Golden State Warriors in one of the greatest upsets in NBA history. The eighth seed Warriors, who made the playoffs on the last game of the NBA season, defeated the 67-win, first-seed Mavericks in six games. Meanwhile, the Spurs would ultimately go on to win the 2007 NBA Championship, establishing themselves as a true NBA dynasty. The season also gave longtime former Maverick Michael Finley his first championship. Many Spurs teammates claimed that the drive to win this season was partially to give Finley his first championship, especially since Finley had lost a bitter-fought series to his longtime team the year previous.

Worth noting in a regular season meeting between the two rivals in April 2007, a game which the Mavs won 91–86, Tim Duncan suffered his first career ejection for supposedly laughing while sitting on the bench. Joey Crawford, the referee who ejected Duncan, allegedly asked Duncan to a fight which led to the longtime ref's season-ending suspension. As Duncan was heading into the locker room, American Airlines Center erupted into a huge cheer, applauding Duncan's ejection.

It is anticipated that despite the surprising loss for the Mavericks in 2007 season, both teams should be competing for supremacy of the Western Conference (alongside the Phoenix Suns) for years to come as both hope to maintain their young, talented cores (Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry for Mavericks and Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker for Spurs).

When the Detroit Pistons drafted guard Isiah Thomas in 1981, it was in hopes that he would turn the team around and grow to be a threat to Boston's dominance in the East. It took three years but finally in 1985, Thomas led the Pistons to the semi-finals against the defending champion Celtics. After immediately falling behind 0–2 in the series, Thomas and the Pistons rallied back in Detroit to knot the series 2–2. Though Larry Bird led the Celtics to a 4-2 victory and eventually on to another Eastern Conference title, another historic rivalry was developing.

Knowing that no team could contend with the Celtics grasp on fundamentally perfect play, coach Chuck Daly allowed his team to experiment with a more aggressive type of play. Nicknamed the "Bad Boys" for their rough and aggressive style of play, the Pistons aimed to take this style to the Celtics...and break them. By upsetting the athletic second place Atlanta Hawks 4–1, the Pistons took their style to the 1987 Eastern Finals. Again meeting the defending champion Celtics, this time the Pistons pushed Bird and his team even harder. If not for a game winning steal and assist by Bird in Game Five, the Pistons may very well have won the series, but after seven tense games, the Celtics proved they were still the better team. And while the Celtics would celebrate their fourth straight conference title, the Pistons would recalibrate and come back more aggressive the next year.

The two teams were on a practical date with destiny as they met for the Eastern Finals. Once again the Pistons were the underdogs to the Celtics. Detroit set the tone early and proved that they were done being a mere team on the rise. They upset the aging Celtics 4-2. This marked the Pistons' first conference title since their days in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This started the beginning of the Pistons' reign in the East as well as the fall of the Celtics dynasty.

With Larry Bird injured and sidelined for the season, the Celtics limped into the eighth seed to face the Pistons, who now had the best record in the league. The Pistons swept the Celtics three games to none, showing just how badly they had broken this team. The Pistons would win their first title that year against the other NBA superpower, the Los Angeles Lakers, and would go on to win another the following year against the more talented Portland Trail Blazers. Meanwhile the Celtics would rebuild and invest in some younger more athletic starters like Reggie Lewis and Dee Brown.

By the 1991 season, the two-time champion Pistons were a team starting to show their age. Earning a third seed in the Eastern conference, they went into the semifinals against a recharged Celtics, who now held the second best record in the East. Eager to show that they were still the dominant team come playoffs time, the Pistons contested Boston, overcoming a 2-1 series deficit and defeating the banged up Celtics 4-2. Having secured their fifth straight trip to the Conference Finals, the Pistons had ended the Boston rivalry in their own favor. After this series, both teams would soon suffer the pains of Bird and Thomas's retirement and the rivalry subsided.

This rivalry was hallmarked by Thomas's offhand comments following the 1987 NBA Eastern Conference finals game 5 loss. Thomas and teammate Dennis Rodman intimated that Larry Bird would not receive as many accolades as he did if Bird were not white. These words had for a long time lit the competitive spirit in Bird and sparked a bitter grudge between the two men that continues to this day. Sixteen years later, in 2003, the Indiana Pacers would hire Bird as the President of Basketball Operations and he would use this station to fire Thomas who was the then-coach of the team. Similarly, Donnie Walsh, Bird's boss with the Pacers and current New York Knicks president, fired Thomas after a dismal 23–59 campaign in 2008.

The last time the Pistons and Celtics met in the postseason was in the 2002 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals. Detroit won the first game of the series, but Boston won 4 straight contests to eliminate the stunned Pistons in 5 games. The Celtics earned their first Eastern Conference finals berth since 1988, but lost to the New Jersey Nets 4-2.

The two teams met again in the Eastern Conference Finals six years later. Since their last playoff meeting, both teams engineered dramatic changes. Boston became a defensive force with the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, while Detroit became a six-time Conference Finalist thanks to the backcourt duo of Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton. In addition, players like Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess and Jason Maxiell kept the team competitive. As of May 30, 2008, the Celtics won the series 4–2, over Detroit and earned them their first NBA Finals appearance since 1987. Boston would then capture their 17th NBA title when they beat the L.A. Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals.

The rivalry actually started in the 1981 NBA Playoffs, when a red-hot Chicago Bulls team led by Artis Gilmore and Reggie Theus swept the favored New York Knicks, led by Micheal Ray Richardson and future Bull Bill Cartwright, 2-0 in their first round series. This though, would be an aberration for both teams throughout the decade, until this rivalry started to take off in the 1989 Eastern Semifinals when the Atlantic division champion Knicks were upset by the talented Michael Jordan and his Bulls in six games. Bolstered by their win, Chicago improved over the years. Degraded by their loss, the Knicks went on a downward spiral until Pat Riley, the 1990 NBA coach of the year, was hired away from the NBA on NBC to coach the Knicks back into contention.

A rematch in 1991 proved embarrassing for the Knicks, who as the eighth seed were swept by the top-seeded Bulls 3-0 in the first round, which was highlighted by a spectacular spin-and-dunk by Jordan over Patrick Ewing. The Bulls would go on to win their first title that year.

Under the leadership of coach Pat Riley, the Knicks got tough and scored the fourth best record in the east for the 1992 season. Meeting the Bulls for the semi-finals, the Knicks aimed to upset the champs just as they had been upset in '89. Things looked good when the Knicks shocked the Bulls with a game one victory, 94-89. Despite a Bulls turnaround, the Knicks showed they were serious and took a cue from the Bulls' old rivals, the Detroit Pistons, by implementing aggressive play to break Chicago. But after a surprisingly tough seven game series, the Bulls survived and went on to win their second straight NBA title as they were part of a concurrent finals series in hockey and basketball taking place in the same city, as the Blackhawks, coached by Mike Keenan, reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992, but got swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins, which denied Chicago from having both NBA and NHL championships in the same year.

The Knicks honed their act and returned for the 1993 season by besting the aging Bulls for the best record in the East, 60-22. On a collision course for one another in the Eastern Finals, the Knicks showed their dominance by beating the Bulls in the first two games in New York. But in one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history, Michael Jordan led the Bulls to four straight wins to once again defeat the New York Knicks. The Bulls would go on to win their third straight title while the Knicks would spend their summer wondering how they would beat Michael Jordan.

As it turned out they wouldn't have to. With Jordan's unexpected retirement prior to the '94 season, the Bulls started to weaken. Seizing the opportunity, the Knicks tied the Atlanta Hawks for best record (57–25) in the East and another fated rematch with Chicago in the semi-finals. But the Scottie Pippen-led Bulls aimed to prove that it was the team, not Jordan, that continually beat the Knicks. Nearly proving their point by forcing a Game Seven, the Bulls finally fell to the Knicks and brought their dynasty to a seeming end. The Knicks would go on to win their first conference title since 1973, but would lose to the Houston Rockets in seven games in the NBA Finals, which denied New york from having both NBA and NHL championships in the same year. Like the Bulls two years before, the Knicks in 1994 were part of a concurrent finals series in hockey and basketball taking place in the same city, which once again involved Mike Keenan, whose Rangers won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals over the Vancouver Canucks during the NBA Finals.

A nostalgic rematch occurred in the 1996 semi-finals when the rejuvenated Michael Jordan returned for his first full season back with the Bulls. By this time the Knicks had weakened into a moderately tough team tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the fourth best record (47–35) in the East. They were no match for the Jordan led Bulls who had not only the best record in the league, but the best record of all-time (72–10). The Bulls avenged their '94 loss and beat the Knicks 4–1, going on to reclaim the NBA title.

During the 1990s, both the Knicks and the Pacers were perennial playoff teams. The Knicks, led by All-Star center Patrick Ewing, met with the Reggie Miller-led Pacers in the playoffs six times from 1993 to 2000, fueling a rivalry epitomized by the enmity between Miller and prominent Knicks fan Spike Lee. The rivalry has given Miller the nickname "The Knick Killer". Miller's clutch performances were frequently followed by jabs at Lee, adding fuel to the greater team rivalry.

The Knicks reached the NBA Finals in 1994 and 1999 (incidentally, after Michael Jordan's first and second retirements, respectively), losing both times to teams from Texas: the Knicks were defeated in a grueling seven game series to Houston in '94 and an uneventful five game series to San Antonio in '99. The Pacers finally reached the NBA finals by defeating the Knicks in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, eventually losing to the Lakers in the Finals. The playoff battles between these two franchises led to some of the greatest moments in NBA playoff history, such as Larry Johnson's infamous four-point play in the waning seconds of Game Three of 1999 Eastern Conference Finals, Miller's 25 points in the fourth quarter of Game Five of 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, and Miller's eight points in the last 16 seconds to win Game One of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The rivalry between the New York Knicks and the expansion Miami Heat was a result of their history-making brutally physical four consecutive playoff series from 1997 to 2000. Each series went to the maximum number of games. The rivalry was heightened by a feud sparking between Pat Riley initially the coach of the Knicks from 1991 to 1995, and head coach of the Miami Heat from 1996–2003, 2005–Present and Riley's successor Knick's head coach Jeff Van Gundy, a faithful servant of Riley's in New York. Jeff's brother Stan Van Gundy was an assistant for the legendary Pat Riley in Miami. The first two years were marked by physical violence during the series, with suspensions to players that ultimately determined the outcome.

In recent years, this once bitter rivalry has greatly softened, with the recent struggles of the Knicks franchise and the turnover of the Miami Heat to a new crop of players. Ever since the re-alignment of divisions with the addition of the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, the Miami Heat have been moved to the newly created Southeast Division, in which they have dominated due to the addition of Shaquille O'Neal (from a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 offseason) and the emergence of Dwyane Wade. However, in its prime this rivalry was bitter and marked by players on both teams giving their best efforts in every game. Both teams were almost evenly matched every time they played.

The rivalry has returned due to the return of the Bulls to the playoffs in the post-Michael Jordan era and the emergence of rising superstar Dwyane Wade. This rekindled rivalry has been very physical, involving rough plays and hard fouls between players.

During the 1990s, the Houston Rockets, led by dominant center Hakeem Olajuwon, and the Utah Jazz, led by the pick and roll duo of Karl Malone and John Stockton, were playoff powers in the Midwest Division. Both teams faced each other four times in the NBA Playoffs during the decade: the 1994 NBA Western Conference Finals, the first round of the 1995 NBA Playoffs, the 1997 NBA Western Conference Finals, and the first round of the 1998 NBA Playoffs. The Rockets defeated the Jazz the first two of these four meetings, while the Jazz won the other two years. In all four of those instances, the winner was the eventual Western Conference Champion and finalist in the NBA Finals.

More recently, in the 2007 NBA Playoffs, the Utah Jazz lead by many young players such as Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur and Deron Williams defeated the Houston Rockets lead by Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady four to three. Similarly, the following season, the Jazz wore down the Rockets in six games, with Yao on the sidelines.

Especially in recent years, these two giants of the Western Conference have had many reasons to respect one another. The Spurs won the NBA championship in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007, while the Lakers won the championship for three consecutive years since 2000. Only the Detroit Pistons broke the NBA title stanglehold of the Lakers and the Spurs in 2004. During that span, the Lakers and Spurs have faced one another in the playoffs five times, with the winner eventually reaching the NBA Finals. Either team has reached the Finals every year since 1999 except for 2006.

The teams met four times in the playoffs in the 1980s, with all four series going to the Lakers. They met in consecutive Western Conference Finals in 1982 and 1983. After a first round sweep by the Lakers in 1988, The two did not meet again in the playoffs until the 1995 Western conference Semifinals in a series that featured the resurgent Lakers Featuring a young Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Cedric Ceballos, Vlade Divac and Elden Campbell. This Young team Met up with a spurs team featuring The Admiral, Rodman, Sean Elliot, Vinny Del Negro and Avery Johnson. While being favored to sweep the Young lakers as they had the NBA's best record, the Lakers Made the series memorable with some last second game winners by Nick Van Exel. The Spurs would Eventually power past the lakers 4-2 but would be eliminated in the Conference Finals by the Houston Rockets en route to their second street championship. they did not meet in the playoffs again until the 1999 Western Conference Semifinals. The Spurs, led by the "Twin Towers" of David Robinson and Tim Duncan, swept Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and the Lakers en route to their first NBA championship since joining from the ABA.

The Lakers, having already swept the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings, return the favor in 2001 by sweeping the Spurs in the 2001 Western Conference Finals, in which the Spurs started with home court advantage. The Lakers would proceed to win their second consecutive championship.

The two teams would face off one another again in the 2002 Conference Semifinals. Once again, the Lakers would prevail over the Spurs before winning their third consecutive title.

In 2003 the Spurs and Lakers faced each other once again in the Conference Semifinals. This time, the Spurs ended the Lakers' dynasty in and went on to beat the back-to-back Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets in the 2003 NBA Finals. With another championship win, David Robinson retired after the season, handing the reins of his ship to Tim Duncan.

In 2004, the teams met again in the Western Conference Semifinals. After the home team won the first four games of the series, the Lakers beat the Spurs in San Antonio, thanks to a buzzer-beating jump shot by Derek Fisher. The Lakers went on to win the series and face the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals.

Shaquille O'Neal would be traded to the Miami Heat in the following offseason, and the Lakers missed the playoffs the next season. Meanwhile, the Spurs would win their third NBA championship over the defending champion Detroit Pistons in a long, hard-fought seven game series. Since then, the rivalry has become dormant, as the Lakers, now led by Kobe Bryant, would start anew with a younger nucleus.

Recently, in 2008 Western Cenference Finals, the Lakers, led by first time MVP Kobe Bryant, defeated the Spurs in five games. Lakers had to climb back from a 20-point deficit to win Game 1 at Staples Center. Game 2 was won again by the Lakers before the Spurs took Game 3 at home. The Lakers stole a win in San Antonio in Game 4 and wrapped up the series 4-1 to meet a familiar foe in NBA history, the Boston Celtics (led by the big three, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen).

The Spurs-Suns rivalry began in the 1990s, a time when the playoff-contending Spurs were led by David Robinson, "The Admiral", and the Suns were run by a tandem of players including "Thunder" Dan Majerle, Kevin Johnson, and Tom Chambers. Both teams first met in the first round of the 1992 NBA Playoffs. The Suns established a record of 53 wins and 29 losses, good enough for the fourth seed in the Western Conference, while the Spurs, owning a 47-35 record, clinched the fifth seed. However, the Spurs' captain, David Robinson, was injured, leaving the Spurs greatly shorthanded. The Suns swept this series in three games.

The two teams would meet again the next year, this time in the 1993 Western Conference Semifinals. Also different was the look of the Suns, who acquired former Celtic Danny Ainge and traded Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry to the Philadelphia 76ers for Charles Barkley, who was the season's Most Valuable Player. The Suns also compiled a league-best 62-20 record and clinched both the Pacific Division title and the top seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs finished the regular season with a 49-33 record and the fifth seed. The Suns barely reached the Conference Semifinals by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in a five-game series after losing the first two games, while the Spurs ousted the defending Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers. This series lasts six games with the Suns prevailing over the Spurs again, and ending the Spurs' tenure in Hemisfair Arena. The Suns would proceed to win the Western Conference championship and face the Chicago Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals.

Three years would pass until the two rivals meet again. This year, the Spurs finished the year with a record of 59–23, the Midwest Division title, and the second seed in the Western Conference. The Suns, in contrast, just made the playoffs with a 41–41 record and the seventh seed. The Spurs won the first two games at home and the second of two games at Phoenix, winning the series 3-1. While the Spurs would go on to face the Utah Jazz, the Suns would trade Barkley to the Houston Rockets for Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Mark Bryant, and Chucky Brown.

During the 1997 offseason, the Spurs, who finished with the third worst record in the 1996–1997 season (due to extended injures to David Robinson and Sean Elliott) won the 1997 NBA Draft Lottery and, in the subsequent draft, selected consensus All-American Tim Duncan from Wake Forest University. This marked another major turning point in the rivalry as the Spurs would win three of the four next playoff matchups against the Suns, the only series loss to the Suns occurring in the 2000 NBA Playoffs, when Duncan was out with a knee injury.

The Spurs took a 2003 First Round series from the Suns in six games on their way to their second NBA title.

The two teams met in the 2005 Western Conference Finals. The revived Suns (who had posted the third-greatest turnaround in NBA history that season) went up against the second-seeded Spurs. San Antonio took home the bragging rights as they easily won in 5 games on their way to their third NBA title.

Two years later, the two teams with almost the same players from their previous matchup in 2005 met in the Western Conference Semifinals. Having a 2-1 series lead in Game 4 and leading by 8 points with the game almost over, the Spurs broke down and allowed the Suns to even the series up at 2 apiece. During the closing seconds of that game, an altercation resulted when Robert Horry bumped Steve Nash into the scorers table. Horry was ejected immediately and suspended the following 2 games. Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were also suspended one game each for violating the rule that states that a person on the bench isn't allowed to go on the court during an altercation. The two Suns were missed during Game 5 as Phoenix lost. The Spurs won Game 6, which was at San Antonio as they went on to the Conference Finals and their fourth NBA championship.

The following year, the Suns took a major move during the mid-season by acquiring Shaquille O'Neal from the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion. Hoping to find a solution to Tim Duncan, O'Neal was fitted against Duncan on their teams' meeting in the first round, with the Spurs seeded as #3 and the Suns #6. The Spurs would eclipse the Suns in five games which included a classic double-overtime victory by the Spurs in Game 1 aided by an improbable three from Duncan. After bouncing out the New Orleans Hornets in 7 hard fought games, the Spurs would come up short and fell to the Lakers in 5 games, with an injured Ginobili and a controversial moment at the end of game 4 that denied Brent Barry the chance to tie the game with freethrows.

During the 2004 off-season, former Dallas Mavericks point guard Steve Nash signed a free-agent deal with the 29–53 Phoenix Suns to help out their offense. The addition of Nash helped as Phoenix rolled to a 62-20 record and the best seed in the NBA. The teams met in the Western Conference Semifinals with Phoenix having the home-court advantage.

Phoenix won Game One 127-102 with a 40-point game by Amare Stoudemire. Steve Nash was also given his NBA MVP award during that game, a game in which he terrorized his former team. However, Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki hit a game-winning turn-around jumper in Game 2 to beat Phoenix 108-106 to send the series back to Dallas tied 1–1. Phoenix and Dallas split the two games in Dallas which saw both winners of games score 119 points. The series went back Phoenix then took care of Dallas 114-108 in the America West Arena (now US Airways Center). Then, in Game Six, with Dallas facing elimination, Phoenix beat Dallas in a thriller which saw Steve Nash with a 39-point game, to go along with 12 assists. Phoenix then made it to the Western Conference Finals, where they eventually lost to the San Antonio Spurs who then went on to win the NBA Title that season.

The following year, a Suns team without Stoudemire (who was injured), Joe Johnson, and Quentin Richardson, but with a core of new players led by Raja Bell (who clotheslined Lakers star Kobe Bryant in a first-round series game), Boris Diaw and Tim Thomas to go along with Nash and fellow All-Star Shawn Marion. Phoenix had to play seven game series against the two Los Angeles teams, the Los Angeles Lakers (who had a 3-1 lead against Phoenix) and the resurgent Los Angeles Clippers. They faced a Mavericks team who won 60 games, but were forced to be the fourth seed since the division winners got the top three seeds. On their way to the Western Conference Finals, Dallas swept the Memphis Grizzlies, and beat in-state rival San Antonio Spurs in seven tense games. Phoenix won Game One 121-118 after Diaw hit a game-winning shot in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter. Bell, though injured himself in Game One, missing Games Two and Three. After that, Dallas took control of the series, winning Games Two and Three by the scores of 105-98 and 95-88. Bell came back for Game Four and led Phoenix to a 106-86 blowout win. Dallas however, beat Phoenix 117-101 in Game Five which included a 50-point performance from Dirk Nowitzki, and eliminated the Suns in Phoenix 102-93 in Game Six. Dallas would later on lose to the Miami Heat in six games, despite winning the first two games.

On March 14, 2007, Phoenix beat Dallas in a 129-127 double overtime thriller. With the Mavericks up by 7 with a minute left in regulation, Dirk Nowitzki (a 90% free throw shooter) missed two free throws. Steve Nash fed off his mistakes and scored 10 straight points including the game-tying three pointer with 3 seconds left to go. Dirk Nowitzki's potential game-winning shot bounced off the rim and sent the game to overtime. Jason Terry sent the game into another overtime with a game-tying three pointer of his own. Dirk Nowitzki's potential game-tying shot in double overtime went in and out of the rim as Amare Stoudemire's 41 points were too much for Dallas to handle. Many considered this game the Game of the Year for the 2006–2007 Season and many compared it to Game 6 of the 2005 Conference Semifinals.

A high profile rivalry in NBA history that hit its peak in the 1980s when superstars Magic Johnson of the Lakers and Larry Bird of the Celtics led their teams to win a combined eight NBA titles in the decade, with the Lakers winning five and the Celtics winning three. Moreover, the two teams met each other in the NBA Finals on three separate occasions (1984, 1985, and 1987) and met in the finals once again in 2008, with the Celtics winning the series four games to two.

During the late 1980s, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons met twice in the NBA Finals. The defending champion Lakers met the underdog darkhorse Pistons in the 1988 Finals. It was the Hollywood Showtime style of L.A. against the blue collar brute force tactics of the Bad Boys from Detroit. The Pistons were not expected to perform well in this seemingly mismatched series. In fact, most basketball experts expected the Lakers to sweep the Finals and become the first team since Bill Russell led the 1968–69 Boston Celtics to successfully defend their championship. Though the series started out with a customary kiss between close friends Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, the resilient Pistons quickly set the tone of the series with a game one shocker in which they grounded the high flying champs with a stunning 105-93 victory at The Forum in Los Angeles. The series battled back and forth and featured a heroic Game Six effort by Isiah Thomas, who with a badly sprained ankle exploded for 25 points in the third quarter. The Lakers were pushed to the brink by the surprising Pistons, but managed to avoid elimination by winning Game Six (103–102) and Game Seven (108–105) of the series in LA. It should be noted that Game Six ended with a controversial foul call of Bill Laimbeer on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with about two seconds left in the bitterly fought contest, with the Pistons leading 102-101. The legend calmly sunk both free throws to provide the final score. James Worthy was the NBA Finals MVP, scoring 36 points, grabbing 16 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists in the decisive game seven.

The Pistons dedicated themselves the following season to meeting their new rivals in the 1989 Finals and beating them. The Pistons honed their craft and became the most unstoppable team in the league, posting a league-best 63-19. Despite the first signs of aging and the impending retirement of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Lakers remained the best team in the Western Conference with a 57-25 record. The Lakers swept through the Western Conference with an astonishing 11-0 playoff record, with sweeps of the Portland Trail Blazers (3–0) in the first round and the Seattle SuperSonics (4–0) in the Conference semi-finals and capped off with a sweep of the up and rising Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals (4–0). Predictably the Lakers and the Pistons met in the finals. Once again the Lakers were favored to win this series based on their outstanding unprecedented performance in the Western Conference playoffs; however, the Lakers ran into a buzzsaw and were absolutely no match for the determined Pistons. Handicapped by the absence of starting shooting guard Byron Scott as well as the Game Two injury of point guard Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the Lakers dynasty finally came to a crashing finale with the four-game sweep concluding in LA. Initially, the Lakers looked like they were going to win Game Four of this series and stave off elimination by racing out to a 35-23 first-quarter lead; however, the Pistons clawed back methodically and won 105-97 in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's final game in the NBA. The Pistons found redemption and sent the legendary Abdul-Jabbar into retirement.

A whole new generation of Pistons and Lakers met in the 2004 NBA Finals. The Lakers were considered well experienced. The Lakers were coached by Phil Jackson, who possessed an undefeated 9-0 record in previous NBA Finals series. The Pistons were coached by Larry Brown, a coach known for getting the best effort out of the players on his teams. The all-star complexion of the Laker team, which included Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, former Seattle SuperSonics' point guard Gary Payton, and former Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone (the latter two who joined the Lakers in the 2003 offseason for the elusive ring) and Phil Jackson made them an early favorite to win the series. Both teams fought uphill battles to make it to the championship as the Pistons faced the Milwaukee Bucks, the New Jersey Nets (who had eliminated the Pistons in the Conference Finals the year before), and divisional rival Indiana Pacers. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were feuding during the regular season over who was the most valuable player to the Lakers; however, their feud was put on hold during their playoff run against the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Incidentally, Phil Jackson was the coach of the Lakers when the Lakers defeated Larry Brown's old team the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2001 NBA Finals. But as it was in the late 1980s, this new 2004 Pistons team's commitment to defense and its deeper bench proved surprisingly insurmountable.

The teams split the first two games in LA, the Pistons winning the first game and the Lakers taking the second thanks to an end-of-regulation shot by Kobe Bryant that forced overtime and an eventual win. However, Karl Malone reinjured his knee (which he injured earlier in the regular season and had surgery on, sidelining him for 40 games) during the series and was unable to play in the fifth and deciding game. The Pistons easily won all of the next three games in Detroit.

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Martell Webster

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Martell Webster (born December 4, 1986 in Edmonds, Washington) is an American professional basketball player currently a member of the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. The 6' 7" (2.01 m), 235 lbs (107 kg) small forward–shooting guard was nicknamed "The Definition" as a play on his surname (popularized by Webster's Dictionary), given to him by a personal friend. Webster is the cousin of Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks.

Webster was selected by the Blazers with the sixth pick in the 2005 NBA Draft after the Blazers' traded down their third pick to the Utah Jazz just hours before the draft. He was assigned to the Fort Worth Flyers of the NBA Development League by the Blazers in January 2006, and in doing so became highest drafted player (6th overall) to be assigned to the D-League. He later returned to the Portland Trail Blazers in February 2006. He scored a career-high 26 points in a January 5, 2008 win over the Utah Jazz, with 24 of them scored in the third quarter. He is one of the last ever high school lottery picks to be chosen in an NBA Draft due to new draft eligibility rules introduced in 2006. In October 2008, Webster signed a four-year, $20 million contract extension. On February 20, 2009, it was announced by Trail Blazers athletic trainer Jay Jensen that Webster will likely miss the rest of the 2008-09 NBA season, having only played 5 minutes during the season.

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2005–06 Miami Heat season

The 2005-06 Miami Heat season was eighteenth National Basketball Association season for the Miami Heat basketball franchise. The highlight of the season was winning the 2006 NBA Finals. The team was nicknamed "15 Strong".

Heat clinched a 2 seed at the Eastern Conference for the 2006 NBA Playoffs.

Dallas' Jason Terry scored a playoff-high 32 points as the Mavericks overcame a 31–23 deficit at the end of the first quarter.

Dirk Nowitzki had a stellar 26 point-16 rebound performance, and the Mavericks cruised past the Heat to take a 2–0 series lead.

Led by Dwyane Wade's 42 points and 13 rebounds, the Heat rallied from a 13-point deficit with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The momentum-changing comeback was capped by a Gary Payton field goal from just inside the three-point line with 9.3 seconds left.

Dwyane Wade shined again for the Heat with 36 points, and Miami held Dallas to just seven points in the fourth quarter en route to a series-tying, blowout victory. The Mavericks' low-scoring fourth quarter was the lowest ever by any team during the NBA Finals. Jerry Stackhouse caught Shaquille O'Neal with a flagrant foul that resulted in him being suspended for Game 5.

Making a strong case for NBA Finals MVP, Dwyane Wade was the star yet again with 43 points shooting as many free throws as all the Mavericks combined, leading the Heat to their third straight win over Dallas after being down 0–2 in the series. After a controversial play in which Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thought Wade committed a backcourt violation, Wade hit the game-winning free throws with 1.9 seconds left, and also made the shot that sent the game into overtime. He set an NBA Finals record for most made free-throws in a game with 21. The NBA, upon further review of the play, deemed that the officials made the correct call, and that there was no backcourt violation committed.

After the game, Dirk Nowitzki kicked a ball into the stands and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban caused many "acts of misconduct" resulting in both of them being fined $5,000 and $250,000 respectively.

Behind Dwyane Wade's 36 points, Miami edged Dallas to win their first championship in franchise history. Averaging 34.7 points per game in the championship series, Wade was named NBA Finals MVP (Most Valuable Player).

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Source : Wikipedia