MIAMI — Trivia: Name the two NBA teams that no current Heat or Mavs player has ever played for.
If you’re not a fan of the Miami Heat or the Dallas Mavericks, you probably still have an interest in the outcome of the 2011 NBA Finals.
There’s plenty of anti-Heat sentiment among fans of the league’s 28 other teams, of course. But there’s also plenty of former-player sentiment as well. There are likely Nets fans out there hoping to see Jason Kidd get a ring or Hornets fans who’d like to see Tyson Chandler win a title.
These are two veteran squads, with a total of seven guys who have played for at least five different franchises in their careers …
Eddie House (9): Boston, Charlotte, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Milwaukee, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix and Sacramento
Juwan Howard (7): Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Orlando, Portland and Washington
Brian Cardinal (6): Dallas, Detroit, Golden State, Memphis, Minnesota and Washington
Jamaal Magloire (6): Dallas, Miami, Milwaukee, New Jersey, New Orleans and Portland
Mike Bibby (5): Atlanta, Memphis, Miami, Sacramento and Washington
Mike Miller (5): Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Orlando and Washington
Peja Stojakovic (5): Dallas, Indiana, New Orleans, Sacramento and Toronto
And the list above doesn’t include Chandler, who has played for four teams and was originally drafted by a fifth (the Clippers), or Erick Dampier, who’s played for four and was on the Charlotte Bobcats’ roster for two months last summer before being waved.
In total, 26 of the other 28 teams have at least one former player on one of the two rosters in this series, with the Washington Wizards leading the way. Between the Mavs and Heat, seven guys (four above plus Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson) played for the Wizards at one time. An eighth, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, was a member of the Wizards for eight days last season, but never played a game for Washington.
So who are the two teams that don’t have a former player in these Finals?
Answer: Oklahoma City (even when you count the Seattle years) and Philadelphia.
But the Thunder get an asterisk, because Dallas’ Rodrigue Beaubois was originally drafted by the Thunder (and sent to the Mavs later that night).