By now you’re familiar with our “Pass the Mic” series – a feature where he give the pen and pad to some of our best readers to let them drop knowledge on the NBA. We’ve had previous posts on everything from game-saving rule changes to essays on how money is ruining the world’s greatest game to imagining what life would be like without Mike. Today, we’re turning the space over to Michael Kochan, who reflects on what REALLY happened in the 1994 NBA Finals.
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Words. Michael Kochan
As the exciting 2011 NBA Playoffs came to a climax with the NBA Finals, we found ourselves watching a very intriguing match-up between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, a rematch of sorts from the 2006 NBA Finals. Both teams were stacked with many NBA veterans looking to break through and win their first NBA Championship. Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Chris Bosh, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic were among the long list of veterans hungry to win their first title.
Going back 17 years we also had a battle of two veteran teams looking to break through and win the NBA Championship, as the New York Knicks faced off against the Houston Rockets in the 1994 NBA Finals. Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Oakley, Kenny Smith and John Starks were among the veterans looking to come through and win it for the first time.
Unfortunately for Knick fans, New York came up short losing in seven games. Since 1973, it has been the closest the Knicks have come to winning the NBA Championship, and still till this day, people in New York sulk about that infamous series. Almost every game was closely played and some games went right down to the wire. Sometimes people are found pointing the finger at New York City’s beloved John Starks, who shot very poorly and did not play well in Game 7 (shooting 2-18 with eight points) as the Knicks went on to lose the game 90-84. You still hear about this all the time, references to John’s bad Game 7, in articles and on television.
Just this past January after the Knicks beat the Heat at the Garden 93-88, ESPN’s Ian O’Connor said that “LeBron James shot the ball like John Starks did in Game 7 of the ‘94 Finals”. It’s still to this day a bitter pill to swallow for Knicks fans. Yet the full story of John Starks and the 1994 NBA Finals is never truly discussed and is unknown to many basketball fans.