Open Access Articles- Top Results for 1999 NBA Finals

1999 NBA Finals

1999 NBA Finals
San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich 4
New York Knicks Jeff Van Gundy 1
Dates June 16–25
MVP Tim Duncan
(San Antonio Spurs)
Television NBC (U.S.)
Announcers Bob Costas and Doug Collins
Radio network ESPN
Announcers Brent Musburger and Jack Ramsay
Game 1: Bennett Salvatore, Hugh Evans, Steve Javie
Game 2: Dan Crawford, Joe Crawford, Jess Kersey
Game 3: Dick Bavetta, Hue Hollins, Ronnie Nunn
Game 4: Hugh Evans, Ron Garretson, Mike Mathis
Game 5: Joe Crawford, Steve Javie, Bennett Salvatore
Hall of Famers Knicks:
Patrick Ewing (2008)
David Robinson (2009)
Dick Bavetta (2015)
Eastern Finals Knicks defeat Pacers, 4–2
Western Finals Spurs defeat Trail Blazers, 4–0
NBA Finals

The 1999 NBA Finals was the championship round of the shortened 1998–99 NBA season or the 1999 season. The San Antonio Spurs of the Western Conference took on the New York Knicks of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Spurs holding home court advantage. The series was played under a best-of-seven format, with the first team to collect four game victories winning the series.

Will Lyman narrated the season-ending documentary Go Spurs Go! for NBA Entertainment.


The 1999 NBA season was shortened due to a labor dispute that led to a lockout, canceling the first 3 months of the season, literally making this the 1999 NBA Season & Finals (as all games were played in the year 1999). The NBA schedule consisted of 50 regular season games (61% of regular 82 games), and a normal playoff schedule; many teams never played each other.

San Antonio Spurs

This was the second year of the "Twin Towers" pairing of David Robinson and second year star forward Tim Duncan, who switched from his natural center position in college to power forward to play alongside Robinson in San Antonio; the two had been teammates since the Spurs drafted Duncan with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft- a pick they earned through the draft lottery, due to a 62-loss 1996–97 season that saw Robinson suffer an injury very early in the season and the team collapse from there. As a result of the shaky start, veteran coach Bob Hill was fired and replaced by then-general manager Gregg Popovich. In the first season of the Duncan/Robinson tandem the Spurs won 56 games but were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the playoffs. The following year, led by Robinson, Duncan, Sean Elliott, and Avery Johnson, the Spurs won 37 of their 50 games and qualified as the top seed in the Western Conference, as well as the league's best record.

After defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves in their first playoff series, San Antonio recorded back-to-back sweeps in the second round and conference finals, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. The victory over Portland gave the Spurs their first ever trip to the NBA Finals.

New York Knicks

The Knicks had a harder time getting to the playoffs than the Spurs did. Toward the end of the season, with the team teetering on the brink of making the playoffs, rumors had begun to spread in the New York media that head coach Jeff Van Gundy would lose his job before the end of the season if the team did not make the playoffs. Instead, New York fired general manager Ernie Grunfeld and allowed Van Gundy to lead the team to the playoffs, with the team barely qualifying as the #8 seed. They would face the Miami Heat, the top seed, in the first round.

Led by an injured Patrick Ewing and relying on contributions from Larry Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, and Allan Houston, as well as a newly acquired Marcus Camby, the Knicks were able to keep pace with the Heat and after Houston hit a shot with 0.8 seconds remaining in Game 5 of that series, the Knicks were victorious and became the second team in NBA history after the Denver Nuggets to win a playoff series as the #8 seed. The Nuggets were led by Dikembe Mutombo in that series, a center who now was playing for the Atlanta Hawks, the Knicks' next opponent. Although the center from Zaire guaranteed a victory, the Knicks won in a four-game sweep to set up a matchup with the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Ewing could not continue due to an injury and was lost for the series after the first two games. In the third game, with 11.9 seconds left and the Knicks trailing 91–88, Johnson looked to attempt a three-point shot but was unable to shake the defender. He continued moving, however, and got off the shot while being fouled. He made the basket and converted the subsequent free-throw for a game-winning four-point play and gave his team a 2–1 lead in the series. In Game 6, however, Johnson suffered a knee injury and although the Knicks rallied around him to get the victory and the conference championship, it would prove costly as his playing time was limited in the Finals.


The Spurs won the series 4 games to 1. Spurs forward Tim Duncan was named the Most Valuable Player of the finals. On June 25 with 47 seconds to go in Game 5, Avery Johnson hit the game-winner. Johnson's shot was followed by a Latrell Sprewell miss that would have sent the series back to San Antonio.

This was the first of San Antonio's five NBA Championships, but they would not return to the Finals until 2003. New York has yet to return to the Finals. No #8 seed has advanced to the NBA Finals or as far as the Conference Finals since, but there have been other instances of #8 seeds defeating #1 seeds in the playoffs: in 2007 the Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks; in 2011 the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Spurs; and in 2012 the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Chicago Bulls.

The Spurs would also be the first champions since 1986 to not go on to repeat as champions. From 1987 to 1998 every champion either repeated or three-peated.

As of the 2014 NBA Finals, June 25 is the latest in the calendar that any NBA Finals game has ever been played. Had a Game 7 been required it would have been played on Tuesday, June 29.

Road to the Finals

Main article: 1999 NBA Playoffs
San Antonio Spurs (Western Conference Champion) New York Knicks (Eastern Conference Champion)
# Western Conference
1 z-San Antonio Spurs 37 13 .740
2 y-Portland Trail Blazers 35 15 .700 2
3 x-Utah Jazz 37 13 .740
4 x-Los Angeles Lakers 31 19 .620 6
5 x-Houston Rockets 31 19 .620 6
6 x-Sacramento Kings 27 23 .540 10
7 x-Phoenix Suns 27 23 .540 10
8 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 25 25 .500 12
9 Seattle SuperSonics 25 25 .500 12
10 Golden State Warriors 21 29 .420 16
11 Dallas Mavericks 19 31 .380 18
12 Denver Nuggets 14 36 .280 23
13 Los Angeles Clippers 9 41 .180 28
14 Vancouver Grizzlies 8 42 .160 29

1st seed in the West, best league record

Regular season
# Eastern Conference
1 c-Miami Heat 33 17 .660
2 y-Indiana Pacers 33 17 .660
3 x-Orlando Magic 33 17 .660
4 x-Atlanta Hawks 31 19 .620 2
5 x-Detroit Pistons 29 21 .580 4
6 x-Philadelphia 76ers 28 22 .560 5
7 x-Milwaukee Bucks 28 22 .560 5
8 x-New York Knicks 27 23 .540 6
9 Charlotte Hornets 26 24 .520 7
10 Toronto Raptors 23 27 .460 10
11 Cleveland Cavaliers 22 28 .440 11
12 Boston Celtics 19 31 .380 14
13 Washington Wizards 18 32 .360 15
14 New Jersey Nets 16 34 .320 17
15 Chicago Bulls 13 37 .260 20

8th seed in the East, 14th best league record

Defeated the (8) Minnesota Timberwolves, 3–1 First round Defeated the (1) Miami Heat, 3–2
Defeated the (4) Los Angeles Lakers, 4–0 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (4) Atlanta Hawks, 4–0
Defeated the (2) Portland Trail Blazers, 4–0 Conference Finals Defeated the (2) Indiana Pacers, 4–2

Regular season series

The Knicks and Spurs did not meet in the regular season.

Starting Lineups

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame ‡
San Antonio Position New York
Avery Johnson PG Charlie Ward
Mario Elie SG Allan Houston
Sean Elliott SF Latrell Sprewell
Tim Duncan PF Larry Johnson
David Robinson C Patrick Ewing

1999 NBA Finals Roster

1999 San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan, David Robinson

1999 New York Knicks