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End of an Era: No Duncan, Wade, or Kobe in NBA Finals

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For the first time since Michael Jordan retired in 1998, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, or Kobe Bryant won’t play in the NBA Finals.

In the first 12 seasons after Jordan’s retirement, the trio won six NBA Finals MVPs. Wade’s Heat and Duncan’s Spurs faced off the past two seasons.

A last second shot by fellow Wake Forest alum Chris Paul eliminated Duncan Saturday. Kobe and his Lakers aged, broke up, and didn’t come close to making the playoffs. Wade, like Bryant, scored over 20 points per game this year. Wade, like Kobe, missed a huge chunk of the season. Wade’s Heat, like Kobe’s Lakers, missed the playoffs.

Stephen Curry will be announced Monday as MVP this year. It marks a true changing of the guard. LeBron James will have to battle for more MVPs and titles against Curry, the Rockets’ James Hardin and the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis as these new stars seem on the verge of an era of their own.

Year Duncan Series won, elim by Bryant Series won, elim by Wade Series won, elim by
2014–15 17.9 0 – Clippers 4–3 DNP Missed Playoffs NA 0 – Missed Playoffs
2013–14 16.3 4 – BEAT HEAT DNP Missed Playoffs 17.8 3 – Spurs 4–1
2012–13 18.1 3 – Heat 4–3 DNP 0 – Spurs 4-0 15.9 4 – BEAT SPURS
2011–12 17.4 2 – Thunder 4–2 30.0 1 – Thunder 4-1 22.8 4 – BEAT THUNDER
2010–11 12.7 0 – Grizzlies 4–2 22.8 1 – Mavs 4-0 24.5 3 – Mavericks 4–2
2009–10 19.0 1 – Suns 4–0 29.2 4 – BEAT CELTICS 33.2 0 – Celtics 4–1
2008–09 19.8 0 – Mavericks 4–1 30.2 4 – BEAT MAGIC 29.1 0 – Hawks 4–3
2007–08 20.2 2 – Lakers 4–1 30.1 3 – Celtics 4-2 NA 0 – Missed Playoffs
2006–07 22.2 4 – BEAT CAVS 32.8 0 – Suns 4-1 23.5 0 – Bulls 4–0
2005–06 25.8 1 – Mavericks 4–3 27.9 0 – Suns 4-3 28.4 4 – BEAT MAVS
2004–05 23.6 4 – BEAT PISTONS DNP 0 – Missed playoffs 27.4 2 – Pistons 4–3
2003–04 22.1 1 – Lakers 4–2 24.5 3 – Pistons 4-1 18.0 1 – Pacers 4–2
2002–03 24.7 4 – BEAT NETS 32.1 1 – Spurs 4-2 NA 0 – Not in NBA
2001–02 27.6 1 – Lakers 4–1 26.6 4 – BEAT NETS NA 0 – Not in NBA
2000–01 24.4 2 – Lakers 4–0 29.4 4 – BEAT 76ers NA 0 – Not in NBA
1999–2000 DNP 0 – Suns 3–1 21.1 4 – BEAT PACERS NA 0 – Not in NBA
1998–99 23.2 4 – BEAT KNICKS 19.8 1 – Spurs 4-0 NA 0 – Not in NBA
1997–98 20.7 1 – Jazz 4–1 8.7 2 – Jazz 4-0 NA 0 – Not in NBA
1996-97 NA 0 – Not in NBA 8.2 1 – Jazz 4–1 NA 0 – Not in NBA

 


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