The youngest players in NBA Finals history

The youngest players in NBA Finals history

Finals

The youngest players in NBA Finals history

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Young players typically don’t get minutes in the playoffs, but sometimes, they earn them, even on a stage as grand as the NBA Finals. Other times, young players get minutes in garbage time.

That was the case this year with Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, as both young Golden State Warriors players got playing time in the series against the Boston Celtics, making them the third- and fourth-youngest players in NBA Finals history.

The ranking is led by Darko Milicic and is mostly full of guys with minor roles in the Finals like Milicic, Kuminga and Moody (so far), but you also have some guys who had major roles, like Tony Parker in 2003, Tyler Herro in 2020 and, memorably, Kobe Bryant in 2000.

There’s even a Finals MVP on the list.

The legendary Magic Johnson won that accolade in 1980 after averaging 21.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 2.7 steals in a six-game championship win for the Los Angeles Lakers, stats he put up… as a 20-year-old.

Sheesh.

Check out the full rankings below.

(The ages listed are for their first game in the NBA Finals).

1
Darko Milicic (Detroit): 18 years and 356 days

Manny Millan /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

2004 Finals stats: 0.7 rpg, 1.3 mpg in three games
Pistons won 4-1 vs LA Lakers

2
Jonathan Bender (Indiana): 19 years and 129 days

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

2000 Finals stats: 3.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg in two games
Pacers lost 4-1 vs LA Lakers

3
Jonathan Kuminga (Golden State): 19 years and 239 days

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Finals stats: 2.0 mpg in four games

4
Moses Moody (Golden State): 20 years and two days

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Finals stats: 2.7 mpg in four games

5
Darryl Dawkins (Philadelphia): 20 years and 131 days

AP Photo

1977 Finals stats: 7.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 18.7 mpg, 44.8 FG%
Sixers lost 4-2 vs Trail Blazers

6
Tyler Herro (Miami): 20 years and 254 days

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2020 Finals stats: 14.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 36.8 FG%, 36.7 3P%
Heat lost 4-2 vs Lakers

7
Magic Johnson (LA Lakers): 20 years and 264 days

Manny Millan /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

1980 Finals stats: 21.5 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 8.7 apg, 46.2 FG%
Lakers won 4-2 vs Sixers

8
Tony Parker (San Antonio): 21 years and 18 days

JAMES NIELSEN/AFP via Getty Images

2003 Finals stats: 14.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.2 apg, 38.6 FG%, 42.9 3P%
Spurs won 4-2 vs Nets

9
Bob O'Brien (Philadelphia Warriors): 21 years and 75 days

1948 Finals stats: 3.0 ppg
Warriors lost 4-2 vs Bullets

10
Daniel Gibson (Cleveland): 21 years and 100 days

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

2007 Finals stats: 10.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 43.9 FG%, 31.6 3P%
Cavaliers lost 4-0 vs Spurs

11
Max Zaslofsky (Chicago Stags): 21 years and 130 days

1947 Finals stats: 10.0 ppg
Stags lost 4-1 vs Warriors

12
Ante Zizic (Cleveland): 21 years and 147 days

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

2018 Finals stats: 2.0 ppg, 1.7 mpg in three games
Cavaliers lost 4-1 vs Warriors

13
Vern Mikkelsen (Minneapolis Lakers): 21 years and 169 days

1950 Finals stats: 12.5 ppg
Lakers won 4-2 vs Nationals

14
Jordan Farmar (LA Lakers): 21 years and 188 days

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

2008 Finals stats: 7.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 48.4 FG%, 52.9 3P%
Lakers lost 4-2 vs Celtics

15
Shannon Brown (Cleveland): 21 years and 197 days

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

2007 Finals stats: 1 second played
Cavaliers lost 4-0 vs Spurs

16
Johnny Davis (Portland): 21 years and 213 days

AP Photo/Harry Harris

1977 Finals stats: 10.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.0 apg, 42.9 FG%
Trail Blazers won 4-2 vs Sixers

17
Patrick McCaw (Golden State): 21 years and 219 days

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Finals stats: 2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.4 apg, 6.8 mpg, 27.3 FG%
Warriors won 4-1 vs Cavaliers

18
Andrew Bynum (LA Lakers): 21 years and 220 days

Larry W. Smith-Pool/Getty Images

2009 Finals stats: 6.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.6 apg, 36.4 FG%
Lakers won 4-1 vs Magic

19
Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers): 21 years and 289 days

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

2000 Finals stats: 15.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 36.7 FG%, 20.0 3P%
Lakers won 4-2 vs Pacers

20
Cory Joseph (San Antonio): 21 years and 290 days

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Finals stats: 1.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 7.1 mpg, 44.4 FG%
Spurs lost 4-3 vs Heat

21
Alvan Adams (Phoenix): 21 years and 309 days

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

1976 Finals stats: 23.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 48.8 FG%
Suns lost 4-2 vs Celtics

22
Dolph Schayes (Syracuse Nationals): 21 years and 324 days

AP Photo

1950 Finals stats: 17.3 ppg
Nationals lost 4-2 vs Lakers

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