Detroit Pistons def. Los Angeles Lakers – 2004 NBA Finals:
The 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers were supposed to be one of the most stacked teams in NBA history, and on paper, they were.
After dropping their previous playoff run to Western Conference rival San Antonio the previous year, LA went out and signed NBA legend Karl Malone and star point guard Gary Payton. A title seemed like a mere formality for coach Phil Jackson after he added these two stars to his already-formidable duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
Yet this was another “dream team” type of squad that failed to live up the perhaps unattainable hype heaped upon it. Buoyed by the more under-the-radar stars like Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace, the Detroit Pistons ran over the Lake Show in only five games. This was the only NBA Finals Jackson lost up until that point – he had won all nine of his previous NBA Finals appearances. He retired after the crushing defeat. It was short-lived, of course, but this loss will resonate in NBA history forever.