Breaking Down NBA Legends' Game 7 Performances

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Breaking Down NBA Legends' Game 7 Performances
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant are among legends who succeeded in NBA Finals Game 7s.

The mention of an NBA legend evokes memories of clutch shots, dramatic plays or championship triumph.

Nothing matches the grandeur of a Game 7—a single game that can define the career of the league’s all-time greats. It’s for all the marbles, and the pressure couldn’t be greater.

Legacies are built upon defining performances in these epic matchups. 

Thursday's Game 7 between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will be just the 18th Game 7 in NBA Finals history.

In the previous 17 Finals Game 7s, 11 have been won by either the Boston Celtics or the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers. None have included Michael Jordan or the Chicago Bulls.

Jerry West did have 42 points in Game 7 against Boston in the 1969 Finals. However, this offensive explosion came in a loss. While it was certainly a legendary performance, this collection is comprised of Finals Game 7 winners.

The legacy of LeBron James will be greatly impacted by his individual performance and ability to lead the Heat to either a second consecutive title or his third failure in four Finals appearances. On the other side, Tim Duncan can earn the fifth championship of his Hall of Fame career and catapult his standing among the game’s elite.

Of course, Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker, Ray Allen, Chris Bosh and Manu Ginobili all have personal narratives on the line, albeit to a lesser degree.

To comprehend the full magnitude of Thursday’s Game 7, it’s essential to look back at what the game’s legends have accomplished in these situations. 

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