With the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors facing off for the fourth straight time in the NBA Finals, this would lead many to believe that this is one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the game. These people might have been either too young or too oblivious in the late 90s when the Jazz and Bulls were the Kings of the NBA. There are several reasons why this rivalry takes home the cake:
1. Epic Games: The most epic thing to happen to the Cavs was coming from down 3-1 to win the championship. With the Bulls though, there was:
- The Flu Game
- Mailman doesn’t deliver on Sundays
- Jordan’s Last Shot
The Flu Game sneakers are so epic that they sold for six figures after Jordan gave them to a Jazz ball boy.
Scottie Pippen still probably haunts the Mailman to this day after getting him to miss possible game winning free throws by telling him “The Mailman doesn’t deliver on Sundays”.
Jazz fans that tell you that Jordan pushed off are eerily similar to the Cowboys fans that claim that “Dez caught it” in a first round playoff game against the Packers. They are both right but they probably never will let it go.
2. Hall of Fame Count:
The Bulls and Jazz had the following guys in the Hall of Fame:
Bulls: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman
Jazz: John Stockton, Karl Malone
Meanwhile, the Cavs and Warriors only have three locks to make the Hall of Fame;
Warriors: KD, Stephen Curry
3. How they got there
The Jazz and Bulls were built not bought. Stockton and Malone were drafted in the middle of the first round. Michael Jordan was drafted and won with decent pieces around him.
The Cavs won by trading for Kevin Love and overpaying a lot of valuable guys like Tristan Thompson and JR Smith. Trade deadlines have become a bloodbath in Cleveland as the team tries to tinker the roster so much to get LeBron to the Finals. Also, signing the greatest player in the world helped.
The Warriors will tell you that they were built because they drafted Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. This is a lie. Even with their players taking less money they are still way over the luxury tax. They also were a record 73 win team that added one of the best basketball players in today’s NBA, Kevin Durant.
Bottom Line: While these two teams are juggernauts in their respective conferences, the modern NBA is growing more fatigued of this common Cavs vs Warriors matchup than they did when the Jazz and Bulls were on the spotlight 20 years ago. The Cavs and Warriors are the first teams to meet in consecutive Finals since the late 90s and based on what happens in free agency this offseason, that could come to an end after this season.