The moment that basketball fans in North America have been waiting for has finally arrived. NBA franchises have battled their way through two months of grueling playoff contests to whittle the field down to the final two. Now the stage is set for the NBA Finals, and fans are lining up to purchase NBA Finals tickets before all the seats are sold out for these intense matchups.
Formerly named the NBA World Championship Series, the NBA Finals is a seven-game series that determines the champion of the National Basketball Association at the end of each season. Unlike some of America's other major sports, the NBA has seen a handful of franchises enjoy unprecedented success in the NBA Finals throughout league history. For example, it is not at all uncommon to see NBA Finals tickets on sale in Los Angeles. The Lakers have made 31 NBA Finals appearances since the adoption of this playoff format in 1947.
Similarly, Boston fans are accustomed to purchasing NBA Finals tickets. The Celtics have made 21 NBA Finals appearances. Aside from the dominance of a handful of franchises, the NBA Finals has seen many of the league's franchises make at least one appearance. Only seven of the league's 30 franchises have never made an NBA Finals appearance. In the case of the Minnesota Timberwolves, older fans in the Twin Cities at least had an opportunity to purchase NBA Finals tickets in their youth. Before moving to Los Angeles, the Lakers won five titles as the Minneapolis Lakers.
With the 2014 NBA Playoff field now whittled down to two teams, San Antonio and Miami, basketball fans in Texas and Florida are lining up to purchase NBA Finals tickets. This year's matchup features a rematch between the two teams that met in the 2013 NBA Finals. Despite a holding a 3-2 series lead, the San Antonio Spurs were not able to close out the Miami Heat in game six or seven. The Heat erased a deficit in the fourth quarter to win game six and clinched a second-consecutive title with a victory in game seven.
The rematch on tap for the 2014 NBA Finals offers an intriguing matchup between an aging dynasty and an emerging dynasty. The San Antonio Spurs have quietly built a dynasty in Texas while receiving none of the media attention of the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics. With Tim Duncan on the roster the Spurs have won four NBA Titles in five appearances, including three in five years between 2003 and 2007.
San Antonio's roster is aging though, and the team's biggest stars are not likely to be in the league much longer. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker have all contributed to the success of the Spurs in the 21st century. However, at 32, Parker is the youngest of the group. Duncan recently turned 38 and Ginobli will be 37 this summer.
Miami, by contrast, is anchored by a Big Three of its own that is much younger. Dwayne Wade is the oldest in the group at the age of 32. Chris Bosh recently turned 30, while LeBron James won't turn 30 until the end of this year. Whatever the outcome of the 2014 NBA Finals, this could be one of the most exciting matchups in recent memory. NBA Finals tickets are already on sale. Four of the seven games are set to be played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX, with the remaining three games to be played at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL.