- 1994 NBA Finals
NBA Finals summary
year = 1994
New York Knicks
runnerup_games = 3
champion_games = 4
June 8- June 22
television = NBC (U.S.)
Marv Albertand Matt Guokas
Patrick Ewing(2008) Hakeem Olajuwon(2008)
Pat Riley (2008)
Darrell Garretson, Hue Hollins, and Ed T. Rush
referees_5 = Game 5:
referees_6 = Game 6:
referees_7 = Game 7:
ECF result = Knicks defeat Pacers, 4-3
WCF result = Rockets defeat Jazz, 4-1
This matchup was
Hakeem Olajuwon's second NBA Finalsseries appearance, his other being the 1986 NBA Finals, where Larry Birdand the Boston Celticsdefeated the Houston Rockets four games to two. The series was Patrick Ewing's first NBA Finalsappearance. The Rockets came in with strong determination to win the franchise's first NBA championship, while the Knicks were looking to add a third NBA championship trophy, as the Knicks' last trophy came from the 1973 NBA Finals. The series was hailed as a meeting of the two great centers who had previously played for a championship in college. In 1984 while Olajuwon was with the University of Houstonand Ewing was with Georgetown University, Georgetown had beaten Houston 84-75 in the 1984 NCAA Championship game. In this series however, Olajuwon is generally considered to have outplayed Ewing,Araton, Harvey. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E1DA113DF930A15755C0A962958260 ON PRO BASKETBALL: N.B.A. FINALS; Long-Sought Title That Ewing Needed Eludes Him Again] , " The New York Times", June 23, 1994, accessed April 1, 2008. Quote: " But he (Ewing) was just not as good as Hakeem Olajuwon, never has been."
* Kalb, Elliot. "Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball?: Mr. Stats Sets the Record Straight on the Top 50 NBA Players of All Time", McGraw-Hill Professional, 2003 pg. 163 ISBN 0071417885 Quote: "Olajuwon clearly outplayed Ewing."
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-GreatestCenters Daily Dime: Special Edition The game's greatest giants ever] , espn.com,
March 6, 2007, accessed April 12, 2007. Quote: "He (Olajuwon) outplayed Ewing, Robinson and O'Neal to lead Houston to back-to-back titles..." ] outscoring him in every game of the series and posting numbers of 26.9 ppg on 50.0% shooting compared to Ewing's 18.9 ppg on 36.3% shooting. [http://www.hollywoodsportsbook.com/nbafinals/mvp_olajuwon94.cfm History of the NBA Finals: Hakeem Olajuwon: The NBA’s Best In The Mid ’90s] , hollywoodsportsbook.com, accessed February 16, 2007. ] Ewing set an NBA finals record in the series with a total of 30 blocks, and he tied the single-game record of 8 blocks in game 5. [http://www.nba.com/playerfile/patrick_ewing/printable_player_files.html Patrick Ewing Bio] , nba.com, accessed April 19, 2007. ] During the series, the Houston Rockets played seven low-scoring, defensive games against the New York Knicks. After splitting the first two games in Houston, the Knicks won two out of three games at Madison Square Garden. In Game 6, however, Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwonblocked a last-second attempt at a game-winner by John Starks, giving the Rockets an 86-84 victory and forcing a Game 7. The Rockets beat the Knicks in Game 7, 90-84, enabling the city of Houston to celebrate its first NBA and fifth professional sports championship. It is also the first time a Houston team won a championship in a league that still exists. For his efforts Olajuwon was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
1994 NBA Finals Roster
1994 Houston Rockets
Rudy Tomjanovich Hakeem Olajuwon Otis Thorpe Vernon Maxwell Robert Horry Mario Elie Sam Cassell Chris Jent Carl Herrera Scott Brooks Larry Robinson Matt Bullard Richard Petruska Earl Cureton Eric Riley Kenny Smith
1994 New York Knicks
Pat Riley Patrick Ewing
Charles Oakley Hubert Davis Charles Smith Greg Anthony Derek Harper Doc Rivers Rolando Blackman
Anthony Bonner Herb Williams Eric Anderson Corey Gaines
"Rockets win series 4-3"
Olajuwon vs. Ewing
Although many fans in New York, and some members of the national media, blamed John Starks poor performance in game 7 as the contributing factor in the Knicks loss in the series, another important factor in the Rockets series win was Olajuwon's performance. Olajuwon is generally considered to have outplayed Ewing. Olajuwon outscored Ewing in all 7 games of the series and put up significantly better numbers overall:
New York Rangers Win Stanley Cup
Game 4 (
June 15, 1994) took place at Madison Square Gardenless than 24 hours after the New York Rangersdefeated the Vancouver Canucks3-2 in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals to win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years [http://www.nba.com/knicks/history/1994playoffs_070521.html The Parade Would’ve Been Friday] ] . The game took place with the Knicks home court, as well as the entire Garden, still awash from the celebration following the Rangers' win the night before.
At halftime, the crowd erupted into applause when
Mark Messierand the Rangers came out with their Stanley Cup.
Telecast interrupted by O.J. Simpson car chase
During Game 5 (
June 17, 1994) most NBCaffiliates split the coverage of the game between NFL Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson's slow speed freeway chase with the LAPD. At the time, Simpson had been an NFLanalyst on NBC. A visibly confused and distraught Bob Costas(NBC's anchor for their NBA Finals coverage and a colleague of Simpson) said during the telecast from Madison Square Gardenthat the Simpson situation was "not just tragic but now surreal."
John Starks and Pat Riley
2006 NBA Finals, Pat Rileystated publicly for the first time, that sitting Rolando Blackmanin favor of John Starks during Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals was a move he later regretted. Riley called it the biggest coaching mistake in his career and stated that he has never forgiven himself for it. Starks shot an abysmal 2 for 18 from the field in Game 7. Pat Riley stated later that he apologizes for the remarks he made regarding John Starks.
1994 NBA Playoffs
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