Historically, game sevens in the NBA Finals are known to bring out the best in both teams, settling a contested championship series once and for all. It’s when all the emotion and momentum built during a lengthy postseason come to a head, boiling over as one team stands tall as NBA Champion. Last night’s showdown between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat was just the 18th game seven of the NBA Finals since the the league’s first season in 1946.
On June 21, 1988, another Finals Game 7 was being decided between the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons. In the epitome of a back-and-forth series, Detroit and Los Angeles traded wins each game, with neither team able to take the advantage early on. As the teams met in Los Angeles for the deciding game, Lakers forward James Worthy stepped up with one of the best performances of his NBA tenure. James Worthy posted 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists, racking up his first career tripe-double, which in turn helped the Lakers secure a 108-105 victory and the NBA Championship. This was the first time since 1969 that a team won back-to-back titles, and the Lakers also made history by becoming the first team to win three consecutive seven-game series after a long road to the Finals.
After this defining moment, James Worthy was recognized with the 1988 Finals MVP honors. For this MVP run, Worthy wore the New Balance P790, a classic high-top from a brand that has since moved away from the basketball market. However, in the ’80s, NB was a force on the hardwood, and Worthy was one of their top endorsers. This vintage style was re-released in 2010.