NBA Finals: Winners by Seed

Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler of the 1995 Houston Rockets

Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler of the 1995 Houston Rockets

I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  You know how you are hoping (or ever have) for that seventh or eighth playoff slot.  Well, it doesn’t make a difference.  Neither have ever won it all.

The 1995 Houston Rockets, in fact, are the highest (or lowest, depending on how you look at it) seed to win the NBA title.  They were a six seed.

Check this, it gets worse. No fifth seed has ever won and only one fourth seed has taken the championship.

That means only two champs in 67 Finals have not been either a one, two or three seed. Wow.

All is not lost though.  Making the playoffs and advancing is always fun.  I have many fond memories of the Patrick Ewing era, for example.

Still, it really is about winning it all.

Here are the NBA championship winners by seed:

Follow me on Twitter @VinGetz to be in the know.

UPDATED LIST: Through 2013-14. That’s back-to-back now – the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, the last two champions, were both No. 1 seeds. All together, out of 68 NBA championships, the No. 1 seed has won 49 times (72.1 percent), the No. 2 seed 10 times (14.7 percent), the No. 3 seed seven times (10.3 percent) and the Nos. 4 and 6 seeds one time a piece (1.5 percent each). No 5, 7 or 8 seed has ever won the title.

NO. 1 SEED CHAMPIONS

1. 1948 Baltimore Bullets
2. 1950 Minneapolis Lakers
3. 1951 Rochester Royals
4. 1952 Minneapolis Lakers
5. 1953 Minneapolis Lakers
6. 1954 Minneapolis Lakers
7. 1955 Syracuse Nationals
8. 1956 Philadelphia Warriors
9. 1957 Boston Celtics
10. 1958 St. Louis Hawks
11. 1959 Boston Celtics
12. 1960 Boston Celtics
13. 1961 Boston Celtics
14. 1962 Boston Celtics
15. 1963 Boston Celtics
16. 1964 Boston Celtics
17. 1965 Boston Celtics
18. 1967 Philadelphia 76ers
19. 1970 New York Knicks
20. 1971 Milwaukee Bucks
21. 1972 Los Angeles Lakers
22, 1974 Boston Celtics
23. 1975 Golden State Warriors
24. 1976 Boston Celtics
25. 1979 Seattle SuperSonics
26. 1980 Los Angeles Lakers
27. 1981 Boston Celtics
28. 1982 Los Angeles Lakers
29. 1983 Philadelphia 76ers
30. 1984 Boston Celtics
31. 1985 Los Angeles Lakers
32. 1986 Boston Celtics
33. 1987 Los Angeles Lakers
34. 1988 Los Angeles Lakers
35. 1989 Detroit Pistons
36. 1990 Detroit Pistons
37. 1991 Chicago Bulls
38. 1992 Chicago Bulls
39. 1996 Chicago Bulls
40. 1997 Chicago Bulls
41. 1998 Chicago Bulls
42. 1999 San Antonio Spurs
43. 2000 Los Angeles Lakers
44. 2003 San Antonio Spurs
45. 2008 Boston Celtics
46. 2009 Los Angeles Lakers
47. 2010 Los Angeles Lakers
48. 2013 Miami Heat
49. 2014 San Antonio Spurs

*

NO. 2 SEED CHAMPIONS

1. 1947 Philadelphia Warriors
2. 1949 Minneapolis Lakers
3. 1966 Boston Celtics
4. 1968 Boston Celtics
5. 1993 Chicago Bulls
6. 1994 Houston Rockets
7. 2001 Los Angeles Lakers
8. 2005 San Antonio Spurs
9. 2006 Miami Heat
10. 2012 Miami Heat

*

NO. 3 SEED CHAMPIONS

1. 1973 New York Knicks
2. 1977 Portland Trail Blazers
3. 1978 Washington Bullets
4. 2002 Los Angeles Lakers
5. 2004 Detroit Pistons
6. 2007 San Antonio Spurs
7. 2011 Dallas Mavericks

*

NO. 4 SEED CHAMPIONS

1. 1969 Boston Celtics

*

NO. 5 SEED CHAMPIONS

NONE

*

NO. 6 SEED CHAMPIONS

1. 1995 Houston Rockets

*

NO. 7 SEED CHAMPIONS

NONE

*

NO. 8 SEED CHAMPIONS

NONE

Photo: orlandosentinel.com

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Posted on March 30, 2012, in NBA Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Also note that the only two teams to win from outside the top 3 seeds were both the defending champions the years they did it.

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  2. Pingback: Sports List of the Day’s Top 20 NBA Playoffs Posts | SPORTS LIST OF THE DAY

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